Hark! Herald! Hiiiiiii! I have returned!
Probably. As every reading challenge I have ever done has proven, I shouldn’t make promises about anything on the internet that I actually want to do. However. After almost a year at my not-new-anymore editing and writing job, I may have found a rhythm that will allow me to keep a few brain cells for evening book writing.
2016—among other horrendous things that will not be named here—has been the year that I experienced my worst personal reading slump, probably of all time. It was also the year that I turned to comedy—oh sweet life preserver!—and clung to it and through it to both sanity and hope. It’s all in short supply these days around here. (Just google my current employer. I DARE YOU.)
Bring on the laughs ’cause otherwise I’m going to cry.
A collection of interviews with comedy writers—Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers by Mike Sacks—provided me not only with interesting insight into the writing craft as it plays out in another industry, but with some much-needed laughter and a new and extravagantly lengthy comedy to-be-read-and-watched list.
I binge read Andrew Smith books and though The Alex Crow—among Smith’s best, right after The Grasshopper Jungle—was also one of his most serious, he always brought enough ridiculous to keep me smiling, chuckling, and trying to think up new and absurd euphemisms for masturbation. I look forward to reading the rest of his catalogue in 2017.
On the audio front, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson and Bossypants by Tina Fey both brought the funny and after a bumpy start, Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke is bringing some sensawunder to my commute.
But the majority of the pop-culture humor holding my life together right now has come from television, a medium that has failed to interest me much in the last few years. Well, I’m back on it. Broad City, High Maintenance, and occasionally Rick and Morty, man, hahahahaha. Ha! Especially Broad City. And The Katering Show holy shit, The Katering Show! If you’ve never heard of it, it’s an Aussie parody cooking show, it is free to watch online, and it is the best thing that has ever happened to cooking shows.
I am deeply in love with the latest series of Black Mirror, but I can only take it in small doses because it is intense, poignant, and dark. People of science fiction if you have not seen Black Mirror, go forth! This is the best on-screen science fiction writing I have ever seen. On-point societal critique, perfectly executed. If Shut Up and Dance or San Junipiero don’t win a Hugo or, well, every other award it is possible for science fiction television to win both in or outside of the genre bubble, then I’m a giraffe. (Fuck. I’m probably a giraffe. I wish someone would have told me earlier.)
While my end-of-year reading looks like less of a laugh so far—holy shit though, Veniss Underground by Jeff VanderMeer, YES—a week and a half of vacation should have me reading and writing again. So grab a coffee and come on by.