Memoir Writers: Just for the Fun of It

by Matilda Butler on July 28, 2015

Writing Prompt LogoPost #218 – Women’s Memoirs, Writing Prompt – Matilda Butler


Life Can Be Somber; But Not Today

Yes, life can sometimes be a somber business. There is much to be done. Too much, it seems at times. There are family complications. Illness or pain can present itself at a most inopportune time. Life savings can dwindle too quickly. A secure job can be swept aside with the downsizing of a company. Adult children can need assistance. And the “downer” list can go on and on.

Humor and writingSo if you are feeling a bit down today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite jokes with you. And if you’re feeling up today, then I hope these jokes will help keep you there.

“Jokes? Memoir writing?” I know. I know. There doesn’t seem to be a link and you are mostly right. Each week, I look for topics that will help you with your writing. I love doing that. But sometimes we all need a little change-up.

Besides, jokes tell us about a person…and a time. They are generational and depend on shared knowledge. It is with some embarrassment that I confess I often don’t get New Yorker cartoons. I think they refer to events or situations I know nothing about. However, I did enjoy the one showing a dog standing on his back two legs and carrying a briefcase. He’s at the just opened front door and says, “I did my business. Now may I come inside?” And once a friend gave me a cartoon that I kept on my desk for years. It got lost in my move to Oregon, but I can still see it in my mind’s eye: Four cavemen hunters are walking in a line carrying a huge carrot above their heads. The caption said: Early vegans returning from the hunt.”

humor and memoir writing promptAnd we know that jokes have been around for a long time. Although there were probably earlier jokes, the Greek book Philogelos (Laughter Lover) dates from around 248 CE. More recently, we have The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler. Published in 1964, Koestler’s book is his study of human creativity by examining humor, science and art. So putting a little levity in our life just may spark even more creativity from us as we write. It can’t hurt.

Here are four jokes that make me laugh. It will tell you about my weird sense of humor.

Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don’t let Kevin Bacon die!

I think that one’s funny even though I’m a vegan and gave up bacon a long time ago.

As I watched the dog chasing his tail, I thought “Dogs are easily amused.” Then I realized I was watching the dog chase his tail.

That one is funny because one of my son’s has a dog who chases its tail. I too have been amused.

An engineer was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, “If you kiss me, I’ll turn into a beautiful princess.” He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket.

The frog then cried out, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I’ll stay with you for one week and do anything you want.” Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.

Finally, the frog asked, “What’s the deal? I’ve told you that I’m a beautiful princess and that I’ll stay with you for one week and do anything you want. Why won’t you kiss me?”

The engineer said, “Look, I’m an engineer. I don’t have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that’s cool.”

And my current favorite joke:

A wife asks her husband, a software engineer: “Could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk, and if they have eggs, get six.”

A short time later the husband come back with six cartons of milk.

The wife asks him, “Why did you buy six cartons of milk?”

He replied, “They had eggs.”

Memoir Writing Prompt:

1. If you like just enjoy the jokes. If you want to make use of the good mood generated by a bit of humor, make a list of jokes that you like. As a child, I loved to tell Knock, Knock jokes. At different times in our lives, we like a changing category of jokes. Did you have favorite ones you told as a child? Do you have jokes you like now? Write down a few.

2. True jokes are one thing. But ever family has funny situations that get told and retold at every family gathering. Write down a few of the funny tales that you family laughs about.

Hope this lifts your mood for the day. And now, with your creative juices flowing, get back to your writing.

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How Writing Your Family’s Memoir Benefits You Too: Tips from Denis Ledoux

by Matilda ButlerJuly 21, 2015
How Writing Your Family’s Memoir Benefits You Too: Tips from Denis Ledoux

Women’s Memoirs welcomes Denis Ledoux, founder of The Memoir Network to share details on writing his mother’s memoir…something you just might want to do as well. Be sure to read to the end where Denis tells you how to get a free copy of the ebook version of the memoir — a gift to you to honor his mother on what would have been her 94th birthday.

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Memoirs at the Movies: Pamela Jane Opens Our Eyes to Story Structure

by Pamela JaneJuly 14, 2015
Memoirs at the Movies: Pamela Jane Opens Our Eyes to Story Structure

Pamela Jane brings us a fun article on her top 5 memoir movies. Read about the story structure of her chosen movies and write about your favorites.

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Free Memoir Giveaway and Guidance on What We Write About from Memoir Author Anne Kaier

by Matilda ButlerJuly 7, 2015
Free Memoir Giveaway and Guidance on What We Write About from Memoir Author Anne Kaier

Like animals? Then you have to read this article by Anne Kaier who tells us about the story of her rescued cat. Her post helps us better understand how we can write about our own lives. ALSO, be sure to leave a comment about animals in your life…cats, dogs, horses, deer, kangaroos (well, maybe not that one). Anne will choose one of the comments and that lucky person will win a free copy of her new memoir — Home with Henry: A Memoir.

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How Will You Use Today’s Extra Time?

by Matilda ButlerJune 30, 2015
How Will You Use Today’s Extra Time?

It’s official. Today you get extra time. Join WomensMemoirs for an honest look at time, reflection, mindfulness, and memoir writing.

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Writing Prompt: Know Where You Are Going in Your Memoir

by Matilda ButlerJune 23, 2015
Writing Prompt: Know Where You Are Going in Your Memoir

Matilda Butler shares an insight of writing with a goal in mind. It just may help keep you on track.

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Women’s Memoirs Interviews Author Pamela Jane

by Matilda ButlerJune 16, 2015
Women’s Memoirs Interviews Author Pamela Jane

Matilda Butler interviews memoir author Pamela Jane who shares writing and publishing tips based on her experiences.

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