Gift Of The Magus Moon

Johnny has been a stage magician for years, but his career is on the brink of collapse. That is until he gets the opportunity of a lifetime – a gig on a luxurious cruise ship. Johnny jumps at the chance to perform for a new audience and hopefully save his career.

But things take an unexpected turn when Johnny witnesses an incredible atmospheric event and discovers that he has real magical powers. This could be the opportunity he has been waiting for to take his act to the next level. But soon, Johnny realizes that his new powers come at a dangerous price.

As he delves deeper into the world of magic, Johnny discovers a hidden world of secret societies and ancient terrors. He quickly realizes that his new powers have made him the target of dangerous individuals. His magic may be the key to saving his career, but it could also be the very thing that ends it, and worse yet, his life.

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A “Very” Good Graphic 

Photo post.

Source: 128 Words To Use Instead Of “Very” | Kobo Writing Life

The wisdom of dogs « David Hewson•com

‘We watch them grow, from puppy to prime to feeble old age. All in such a brief space of time, for us anyway. A man or woman with feelings, witnessing this passage, remembers they’re just like us. On the same journey. Merely one that happens to be a little shorter, with fewer opportunities perhaps, though full of all the same excitements and uncertainties, terrors and joys. The wisdom of dogs is to remind us of our own arrogance and stupidity in believing tomorrow may somehow prove more precious than today.’

via The wisdom of dogs « David Hewson•com.

How to Write Funny

How to Write Funny

how to write funny

How to write funny

So you want to know how to write funny?
“People think it’s very hard to be funny but it’s an interesting thing—if you can do it, it’s not hard at all.” (Woody Allen)

Well, excuuuuse me, but most of us can’t do it. Or, if we sometimes do it, we have no idea how we did it. So, I interviewed some comics and here’s what I’ve discovered:

No one knows how to write funny!

Almost no one.

Arthur Black is very funny guy who lives on an island in the Salish Sea, and who claims to know how he does it. He hovers over his keyboard and then…

I imagine I’m in a tavern with a couple of guys I’ve just met, and I’d like a beer but I have no money. That’s it. I try to make whatever I type outrageous or thought-provoking or incongruous enough…to make them want to keep me lubricated.

Not very scientific, Arthur!

Problem is, if you dissect humour, the blood drains out of it. Like a frog in the biology lab, “the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.” (E.B. White)

That’s not even meant to be funny. But it highlights the problem with humour—if you study it too closely…

Humour isn’t funny.

For example:

“Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.” (Woody Allen)

This is funny until we start poking around in those innards. Here’s what we find:

a) the statement is implausible,

and yet, somehow, yes, come on, don’t deny it…

b) the statement is plausible.

It’s implausible because we don’t string people up for thinking about murder (except maybe in Zimbabwe or Oklahoma). On the other hand, it’s kinda plausible because exterminating the would-be killer would save the victim. No doubt about it!

Please Note: your story must be more implausible than plausible.

Humour is a delicate balance of implausible and plausible.

Mathematically it looks like this: [ T(x) = ½ Be!2×2 ]


T = the god’s Truth;

B = the belief system by which the Truth is made invisible;

e = the existential quotient discovered by Jack Kerouac in a Mexican cantina;

x = is what we don’t know (although Arthur Black claims to know it).

Oh, yeah, and the “!” is a graphic reminder how serious this is.

In other words:

Humour is absurdly logical.

Which, as I warned you, isn’t very funny.

No one lives by this logic of the absurd more than Miami columnist, Dave Barry:

“As a mature adult, I feel an obligation to help the younger generation, just as the mother fish guards her unhatched eggs, keeping her lonely vigil day after day, never leaving her post, not even to go to the bathroom, until her tiny babies emerge and she is able, at last, to eat them.”

Which is hilarious, right? Why? Because Dave connects with three of Arthur Black’s beer-swilling criteria:

It’s thought-provoking—raising kids? are you kidding me?

  1. It’s incongruous—that a fish should have to go to the bathroom.
  2. It’s outrageous—thatwe should have babies so that we can…eat them.

Important Note: You don’t want anyone bogging down on the “baby” business. You don’t want your audience to know that “humour isn’t funny”. Just keep drinking and above all…

Keep being real.

Humour is about the bare-assed truth.

No one knows this better than the hero of my latest (unpublished) novel.

Conrad Morris, a would-be comedian, loves to disrupt dinner parties with such pithy and outrageous and incongruous truths as, “All disease is constipation.” To explain why this is funny, here’s Conrad himself:

“Finding a cure for cancer has so far cost…what?…a trillion? And all this time the answer lies…excuse me, where? In the toilet? The idea of all disease reduced to ‘constipation’ is comical because it is absurd yet earnest at the same time. It rings true. The implausible is not impossible.”

The implausible is not impossible.

(Are you taking notes?)

Conrad is absolutely correct. Feeling unwell? Skip to the loo and drop a chalupa. We’ve all been there. The logic in the absurd—as long as you don’t think about it—is funny.


In the following chunk from a Woody Allen short story, please locate the plausible that plops out of the implausible:

“The Walt Disney Company shareholder suit over the severance package paid to departing president Michael Ovitz was jolted today by the testimony of an unexpected witness, who was questioned by counsel for the entertainment giant.

“COUNSEL: Will the witness please state his name.

“WITNESS: Mickey Mouse.”

Please leave a “Comment” with your opinions on the foregoing apocryphal nonsense. You may even have your own half-baked notions about “How to Write Funny”.

At the very least, leave a joke.

About the author:
PJ Reece’s book ‘Story Structure to Die For‘ is a great resource for writers. It has been downloaded over 2,000 times. Please go here to download it for free.

Join the webinar with WTD Chief Editor Mary Jaksch: BUST THROUGH YOUR BLOGGING BARRIERS. Wednesday, 19 September at 8PM Eastern US. Click here to register (it’s FREE)

Quote: Kurt Vonnegut

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I dont know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.Kurt Vonnegut, “Cold Turkey”, In These Times, May 10, 2004

via Quote Details: Kurt Vonnegut: There is a tragic… – The Quotations Page.

The Power of the First Sentence

Brenda Hineman has a good article on the Write To Done blog. Anyone  who writes can understand the frustration of staring…

… at that blank page with the desperate urge to write, only nothing comes out. We want to be in the zone. We want words flowing effortlessly from our fingertips. We want characters spouting witty banter that we, as writers, never even knew we had in us.

But, alas… nothing.

Starting is always the greatest hurdle. I face a vast expanse of white space.  The only thing of the screen:  a small blinking cursor that  taunts me; daring me to push it to the right.

As writers, one of the best ways for us to undermine the paralyzing power of the blank page is to focus on writing just one sentence. By telling ourselves, we will write one killer opening sentence, we set a manageable goal that, ideally, sets up the next sentence … maybe more.

Finally, remember that you don’t have to write The Great American Novel every time you sit down to mash the keys. More often than not, a good sentence is all you really need to get a story going.

Nothing new or revelatory here, but a good reminder that every journey has to begin with the first step.  The article has some excellent example of what makes a good opening line.

Dark Couier Font

The Courier fonts that come with Windows are anemic. When printed out they are way to0 light. Do a favor for anyone who will be reading your manuscript by installing a darker font.

HP offers and excellent one for free. The download and instructions for instillation can be found here.

This font is for Windows only. The standard one that comes with Macintosh is plenty dark enough.

More Heinlein Wisdom

Robert A. Heinlein, one my favorite writers, had five rules for writing.

They are:

1. You Must Write

2.Finish What Your Start

3.You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order

4.You Must Put Your Story on the Market

5.You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold

All good advice. However, Rule 3 usually takes some explaining. Heinlein may very well have been confident in sending out first drafts–he was Robert A. Heinlein after all–but most of us could not get away with that. First drafts are almost always too rough to be seen by anyone except your dog. Since dogs can’t read, they are just impress that you have words on paper. Most people agree that what Heinlein was trying to say was “Don’t rewrite endlessly.”

I struggle what that one a lot. The fact is it can alway be better, but at some point you just have let it go. Knowing when it has reached this point is the hard part. A simply one line rule can’t tell me when it is time to stop. Still, keeping the rule in mind does help.

Novelist Robert J. Sawyer has a good article on these rues with his take on them and adds a sixth. Well worth checking out.

Now I’m off to polish up that first chapter a bit more. Or maybe not.

Writer’s Hygiene

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.Robert Heinlein