What the heck? What do adaptability and humor have in common? Over the past two days I’ve been embroiled in the opportunity to learn and network with my colleagues in the healthcare human resources profession. It’s a great group of people because despite the normal perception of human resource professionals, when you get us away from our organizations all the rules and stuffiness go right down the toilet. I’m even more unconvetional (go figure) because I don’t need to leave the workplace to lose my stuffiness.
The first part of the conference was a session on the best selling book, Streghtfinder. I took the test to find out what my strengths are (thank God the test didn’t reveal my weaknesses or you would still be reading this blog well into the night or given up hours ago) and at the top of the list was adaptability.
In the adaptability description, there are words like unflappable, easy-going, go with the flow. In order to maximize my strength the handy dandy book says I have to stop responding to every whim to accommodate people. That got me to thinking about a recent thread that identified all the overused phrases for writers to avoid.
Of course my temptation was to scour my current work in progress for any of the phrases identified and then make sure neither main character had blue or green eyes (also overused). Furthermore, I needed to stop using physical descriptions as sentence starters, such as the Raven-haired beauty….Of course, I also needed to eliminate too many uses of the character’s name, she, or her. I wanted to ask those that gave these suggestions, how do you possibly identify who is doing what to whom? Don’t people want to know whose finger made their way into….oh never mind. Now I know I am exaggerating, but the point is that when I try to please everyone, I please no-one. Adaptability should not mean changing and tweaking to the point that the book is no longer any resemblance to my original vision. Side note: Full confession here…while searching for a funny graphic for cliché I came across the picture below and I have to say that this is not something you would typically see in a lesfic novel… so I’m going to have to find a way to weave it into a book somewhere! Doesn’t this just say romance you?
The second day of the conference focused on humor and the importance of that in our lives. The speaker recommended surrounding yourself with funny people. I wholeheartedly agree, which is why I love my wife. She makes me laugh. It is also why I hang out on Facebook so much. There are some very funny posts and people on Facebook. I get at least one laugh out loud moment every time I go to Facebook.
If there was one strength I wish I possessed it would be the ability to write humor. I’ve been told that there are laugh out loud moments in my books, but they weren’t really intentional and I don’t think any of my books could be considered humor. Yet, I am always delighted to hear when someone found a passage funny because I do believe in the power of humor.
I think my wife would say she is not a funny person by nature, but I believe that the moments that are the most humorous are those zingers that sneak in and catch our funny bones just right. She is a master at those. Every time I go to a conference, the first question I am asked is, where is Jody? That’s my wife. She is the life of the party and stays later than I do at the mandatory fun events in the evenings. Everyone loves my wife. I’m sure there will be a collective groan when I decide to retire because they won’t miss my presence at these events, they’ll miss my wife’s. She keeps us all healthy with her humor.
If you want to find those passages in my books where I managed to accidentally write something humorous…you know the drill…click one of the links below.