MemberJune 21, 2020 at 5:47 pm
I write a weekly column which is usually about a personal experience (not TOO personal) . It’s usually about a feel-good relatable experience. Sometimes it can be amusing and will elicit a smile or smirk and sometimes the reader will get a bit choked up, but nothing extreme in either direction. I wanted to do something different for a change and write a humorous article about how I have nothing to write about. My daughter (19) read it and didn’t realize I was joking. I’m wondering if I should just skip it or if there is a way to make sure people will realize I am kidding.
MemberJune 21, 2020 at 6:34 pm
Do you want to let us have a look at it? Only if you are comfortable… It can help us get a better idea of how to respond.
MemberJune 21, 2020 at 7:20 pm
I would hate for you to have to be less subtle than you’d like. But you might need to be.
MemberJune 21, 2020 at 7:30 pm
When you write hyperbole, people will have to be obtuse not to get the humour. I find the best way to write humour is to go from the subtle to the extreme; you’ll have the smart ones cottoning on immediately and smiling in appreciation and with time you’ll have the whole audience joining in.
Example: I’m staring at a blank screen for the longest time ever. Life has never been so boring, so run-of-the-mill. What on earth can I write about?
MemberJune 21, 2020 at 7:34 pm
Thank you both for responding. I would be willing to show my piece, as intimidating as that is. But if I can send it off to my readers I should certainly be able to show it to you guys. It is totally not a final draft. Really. Really! Especially the end. As long as I’m putting it out there, if you have any other suggestions I’d love to hear. I’m jumping in. Here goes:
To my dearest readers,
I cannot believe that it has come to this. But I must apologize profusely to you. As hard as I’ve tried to come up with an idea for this week’s column, I have no Slice (name of column) to share with you. I’ve been wracking my brain for days and I’ve come up empty handed. The publishers of (the publication) are unusually nice people. They allow me to submit articles as often as I want and never pressure me in any way. But I feel an internal pressure, a sense of responsibility to provide you, my readers, with a weekly submission. I’m always on the lookout for an interesting story, place, or event, anything to give you some pleasant reading material for these long Shabbos afternoons. I’m ever poised to take a picture because I never know when I will come across something that will be the perfect photo to accompany my article. But ideas for submissions come from going to interesting places and experiencing human interaction, both of which have been somewhat curtailed these days. I get out, but still not as much as I did in pre-corona days. I did go to Kever Rachel which was as empty as I’ve ever seen it, but I care too much about all of you to write an article so similar to another one I wrote so recently. However, I will attach a photo of it because I can’t help myself.
So, what can possibly interest you about all this time I spend at home? I mean, am I supposed to write about the inner workings of my kitchen? My family always tells me that no matter what time Shabbos starts, no matter who is coming for Shabbos, I never leave the kitchen on Friday. They say this as though it’s an oddity. But I’m wondering where else should I be? Am I missing out on something of great importance? I don’t know. But I definitely spend a lot of time in my kitchen, and not just on Fridays. And how many interesting things do you think I can I tell you about what’s going on in there? I thought that maybe I should write about the incredible phenomenon that no matter how many times I wash the dishes, the sink keeps replenishing itself with more of the same. It’s like it’s on an automatic setting that never ends. I don’t understand why that is. Long ago I made a rule in my house that if the sink is empty, it must stay that way. I don’t mind if there’s a sink full of dishes and someone wants to throw in a spoon. But if it’s empty, I honestly don’t want to hear that clink in the sink. Nobody seems to have understood this rule so in order to make it crystal clear, I hung a sign in English and in Hebrew requesting that the empty sink remain empty. Apparently, those signs still did not get the message across. My next strategy was to hang a sign in Aramaic. I thought that would drive the point home, but google translate does not list Aramaic as one of their languages and nobody that I asked agreed to translate it for me. Maybe I should write about how I finally just replaced the ovens that I had been complaining about for years, even though I now no longer have anyone or anything but myself to blame if my food doesn’t come out well. But now my cook top won’t shut off and will continue cooking forever unless I replace it. I am convinced this is a direct result of all the lashon hara I have spoken about my ovens over the years. Are these things I can write about? No, I think not. And besides, what would the title be? Kitchen Woes? And what picture would I attach? A photo of the microscopic space between the top of the dish pile and my ceiling? No and No. My readers deserve better than that.
So, I go for my walk, which is when I do most of my thinking and planning of my articles. You never know when inspiration will hit so I used to take a pad with me whenever I went walking. That way I could immediately jot down ideas which, otherwise, would be long forgotten by the time I got home. But that became too cumbersome. I can’t walk and write at the same time. Then a good friend taught me the art of sending a WhatsApp message to myself. So, now I walk around the street talking to myself half the time. I get very engrossed in my thoughts and don’t always focus on what is going on around me. I once inadvertently walked straight through the middle of a street minyan. I can’t say I wasn’t embarrassed but nobody in the minyan seemed to be bothered too much. Everything goes these days.
Now I’m staring blankly at the screen of my computer hoping that an idea will just jump out at me from the screen. Our computer is not situated in the most comfortable spot in the house. Sitting at my computer does not usually stimulate my creative juices. The A/C doesn’t reach there and my comfortable chair that was next to my computer was stolen, oops- I mean relocated to a different computer which is being used for learning on zoom. I’m all in to support learning but that leaves me without a great space to do my writing. My husband graciously offered to put together a makeshift office in my married son’s old room. I am seriously considering the offer but then I’ll have to find a new place to dump all my clean laundry. Maybe I should plunk it into the kitchen sink. Then there will be no room for dirty dishes.
I’m sorry you had to read all of this. You shouldn’t have to hear about all of the trials and tribulations I go through to present you with a finished product. In any case, any difficulties I have are more than worthwhile in order to make you happy, which is my ultimate goal. But I’m sorry to have let you down this week. My deadline is looming with a few hours to go. Maybe by then I will have a flash of inspiration. You never know. Maybe you can even let me know what topics you would like to hear about. I would love to have your input. But please please forgive me. Just know that you are always first and foremost on my mind and I will always do my best for you, my dear readers.
MemberOctober 20, 2020 at 5:57 pm
Hi, this was really funny! Keep it coming! I was laughing at some of the lines with tears in my eyes. Vivid descriptions, I felt like I was there with you. Thank you for the good laugh–its what we all need once in a while.
MemberJune 21, 2020 at 7:39 pm
A lot of smiles here. 🙂 Good job!
MemberJune 21, 2020 at 8:41 pm
I’m all for this kind of humor! I think it’s a great piece! The question is how much it would bother you if there would be some readers who wouldn’t get it.
MemberJune 22, 2020 at 4:05 am
I was already laughing by the first sentence…Love it!
MemberJune 22, 2020 at 10:12 am
Great article! At first I could see what your daughter meant that maybe you are being truthful because it was so detailed – what you generally write about and how it wasn’t working out. So I thought “she should use examples! Write about the things you should be writing about but can’t,” and then you did that for the rest of the article so I was smiling 🙂
maybe be a little more despairing in the first section? Idk I found it to be a good article and I got that you have “nothing” to write about 🙂
MemberJune 22, 2020 at 11:49 am
Thank you everyone for your feedback. It is very helpful and encouraging.
MemberJune 22, 2020 at 7:15 pm
Mommy’s Writing: You cracked me up. I have this silly smirky grin climbing up my face and am trying to purse my lips into something more neutral so those around me don’t think I’m laughing from them.
Titlewise, this line jumped out to me: I honestly don’t want to hear that clink in the sink.
Which got me thinking.
That Clink in the Sink.
Total Dr. Seuss Vibes.
And moving your office to the kitchen sink? Brilliant kill-two-birds-with-one-stone solution.
Point is! Me going on and on here…is a good sign. It means your story hit the right places. My funny bone was tickled. My lips got their daily stretch. My wandering mind was engaged.
*writes a five-star review*
MemberJune 22, 2020 at 7:55 pm
Now that I’ve read it, I think it’s obvious ;-D
MemberOctober 26, 2020 at 8:36 pm
Thanks so much for your response. for some reason I didn’t see this until now. I really appreciate your feedback.
AdministratorJune 23, 2020 at 8:11 am
[quote quote=19173]I cannot believe that it has come to this. But I must apologize profusely to you. As hard as I’ve tried to come up with an idea for this week’s column, I have no Slice (name of column) to share with you. I’ve been wracking my brain for days and I’ve come up empty handed. The publishers of (the publication) are unusually nice people. They allow me to submit articles as often as I want and never pressure me in any way. But I feel an internal pressure, a sense of responsibility to provide you, my readers, with a weekly submission. I’m always on the lookout for an interesting story, place, or event, anything to give you some pleasant reading material for these long Shabbos afternoons. I’m ever poised to take a picture because I never know when I will come across something that will be the perfect photo to accompany my article. But ideas for submissions come from going to interesting places and experiencing human interaction, both of which have been somewhat curtailed these days. I get out, but still not as much as I did in pre-corona days. I did go to Kever Rachel which was as empty as I’ve ever seen it, but I care too much about all of you to write an article so similar to another one I wrote so recently. However, I will attach a photo of it because I can’t help myself.[/quote]
Mommy’s Writing, I think the idea is very cute and that your readers will appreciate it. Maybe you can rework the beginning to make it seem not like an apology (which would imply some kind of subpar work or something to be ashamed of), but rather an intentional reflection on your sink and your stove. All readers can relate to that now that we’re intimately familiar with lockdown and it would definitely elicit a giggle. If you rewrite the piece as a le’chatchila reflection on corona then you’ll put a different spin on things. Maybe start with a catchy sentence, something like:
Well, folks, you know how I like to bring you exciting, inspiring events and snapshots from my colorful life. Boy do I have news for you today! This week, I’ve got a whopper of a column, and you’ll never believe it: this hefty dose of insight and intrigue was obtained without ever leaving my house! Betcha can’t relate…
MemberJune 23, 2020 at 8:24 am
Love this site. Thanks so much for responding so quickly. I’ve already made many changes as this was not a final draft but my whole point WAS to be “apologetic”. I even open it up at the end to my readers to send in their ideas for articles. I thought that would be funny and a change from my regular column. I wrote many about corona, some serious and some amusing. I guess you’re saying I should stick to the regular. Got it.
MemberOctober 20, 2020 at 7:46 pm
<p>I found myself smiling throughout the entire article. Love the direct voice and creativity. </p><p>To echo FF The clink in the sink was a smart thing to think. And to dump clean laundry in there…brilliant deduction!</p><p>Thanks for sharing your slice!😋</p>
MemberOctober 22, 2020 at 1:57 pm
Thanks so much for your response. Truth is that I put this article in my “I don’t know what to do with” file, but I’m thinking of taking it out and reworking it a bit. Thanks for your vote of confidence.
MemberOctober 20, 2020 at 9:43 pm
I LOVE it, Mommy’s Writing! I would “drink” in your column each way and I so appreciate the humor. I would say to keep at it and keep giving us some more chuckles 🙂
MemberOctober 22, 2020 at 1:59 pm
Thanks so much for the feedback. It’s really helpful!
MemberOctober 27, 2020 at 8:38 pm
I’d really like to thank all of you for your feedback and encouragement. I restructured my article and it will be published this week Be”H.
MemberOctober 27, 2020 at 9:35 pm
Wow! That’s amazing news, Mommy’s Writing! So happy to hear!
MemberOctober 29, 2020 at 10:45 am
I really would like to thank all of you for your feedback and encouragement. I restructured my article and it was published this week BH.
MemberOctober 29, 2020 at 3:52 pm