It’s the holidays - a time of year we all love and sometimes hate. Maybe hate is a strong word, but long-buried feelings have a tendency to surface at the worst times. So instead we need to think positively, be tolerant and kind, and get through it all with a big smile. And yes, that is me. Please note my father's famous bongo drums under the tree. 

In my quest to be published, I’ve discovered a general aversion among literary journals to humor. I know this because they email: "Thank you. Not right for us at this time." 

I like writing humor, however, because it’s a good way to offset deadly serious with crack-a-rib funny. As Barrett Warner, Associate Editor of the Free State Review, replied when I admitted my penchant for humorous fiction:

"Oh, the trouble with comedy. I have a similar affliction, and tend not to ever let a meaningful honest revelation stand in the way of a good laugh."

Can’t humor and good writing be synonymous? I did some research. 

In Women’s Wit & Wisdom: A Book of Quotations, of the 26 categories - including Love & Romance, Death, Human Nature, Household (how dare they!) - there’s nothing for humor. What’s up with that? I guess we girls tend to be a serious bunch but there are exceptions: 

“A man in the house is worth two in the street.” Mae West.
“Women and elephants never forget.” Dorothy Parker
“Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.” Erma Bombeck
“Vodka is kind of a hobby.” Betty White

On the male side, there’s more indisputable proof:

How about this from our friend Oscar:
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

And T. S. Elliot? Not bad for a poet who wrote about wastelands and cats.
“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”

Even my dear Proust can arouse a chuckle, of sorts. OK, this is about as funny as he gets:
“Love is reciprocal torture.” 

Are we laughing yet?

And speaking of proof, we have author Brock Clarke, a good friend (can I say good?) and great teacher. Brock is an exceptional writer with an exceptional sense of fiery humor (An Arsonist’s Guide to Writer’s Homes in New England); and macabre irony (The Happiest People in the World - who are actually not very happy at all because there is bomb involved and people die). I highly recommend putting his books on your holiday shopping list for yourself or someone you love.

And last but not least, here is the link to my new short story, Arrivederci,  just published in the Lowestoft Chronicle. I hope it will make you laugh.