Am I back? I think I’m back.

Slowly it began to dawn on Loretta that the saying "The tinier the cap, the bigger the ideas" was not, in fact, a real thing.

Slowly it began to dawn on Loretta that the saying “The tinier the cap, the bigger the ideas” was not, in fact, a real thing.

 

Writing used to be easier.

Once upon a time, my children were small. So very small. Any parent who says parenting tiny humans doesn’t come with a side of stress is lying like a politician caught at a Motel 6. But you find ways to cope. Some do yoga. Some knit. Some go on multi-state crime sprees. Anyway, my point is that you get through it. I got through it by rediscovering my love for humor writers, reading  memoirs and stumbling across amazing talent online. And then I began to think that maybe, just maybe, I had something to say as well.

I started this blog the day my youngest went to kindergarten. Never one to  fit in with the PTA moms (honestly, Jane, did you have to scrunch up your nose like you smelled poop when I suggested that the committee meetings might be improved with the addition of margaritas?) I chronicled my own misadventures in parenting and life. I threw myself into “finding the funny”, and through my writing found a community to which I felt I belonged. Incredible people, those humor writers. But little did I know the best was yet to come.

I stumbled across a blog post that  mentioned a writing workshop in Dayton Ohio. I remember my heart thumping, my breath quickening. How could I have not known about it? Better still, it was the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, dedicated to one of my humor-writing idols. But my heart sank as I realized I had just missed the workshop by a couple of weeks… and the next one was two long years away.

Yet I persisted. I submitted to humor contests, with successful results. I kept writing, finding my voice along the way. And I waited. With trembling hands, I signed up for the 2014 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. And readers? In Dayton I not only found a community, I found a tribe. A tribe of people who understood. Understood the desire to make people laugh. To find the humor in everyday life. The 2014 workshop was such an amazing experience that I signed up again for the 2016 workshop. After a lifetime of being the odd puzzle piece that just didn’t fit, I had finally found where I belonged.  

Looking  back, I realize that I was in the sweet spot of life when I started my blog. All of my children were small, and anyone who is on the other side of that period of time in life knows that parenting, and life, doesn’t necessarily get easier. You might not be changing diapers and tying shoes any more, but kids’ problems get more complex. Writing about poop, spit up, and your abiding love for yoga pants seems like low-hanging fruit once you have suffered through teaching a kid to drive, seen your aging parents through medical crises, and dealt with enough teen angst fill up three whole seasons of a CW show.  Life just wasn’t funny any more. Or at least, I couldn’t see it.

As I said, writing used to be easier.

So, cut to last December. The 2018 registration loomed. Did I deserve to attend this year’s workshop? I haven’t been able to write a funny word in two years. Financially, this isn’t the best time for us. I have nothing to offer, and nothing to show. I’ll have nothing to contribute to the conversation at cocktail hour. The excuses tumbled around in my head like a roomful of toddlers hopped up on Pixie Stix and Red Bull.

And then, perusing the workshop sessions, one in particular caught my eye. “It’s Okay to Laugh: How to Use Humor in the Dark Places”. And I realized that my inner funny person is still there, she just needs some coaxing out. Kind of like the raccoon under the porch, except not as likely to bite your face off.

So on December 5th, once again with trembling hands, I filled out the workshop registration and hit submit.

Dayton, here I come. Margaritas are on me.  

Comments

  1. I love it, Lisa! Beautifully and honestly told. Very relate-able for everyone, parents or not. We all enter those dark times. Life gets heavy. But, you remain you, as you found. Writing is a calling built into your soul. It’s not about the audience. It’s about the need for your soul to express all of the feelings and emotions within you, to give them life outside of you. Are you back? You were never gone. You just forgot who you were for a little bit. Say “hello” to you and keep writing!

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