My love for Erma Bombeck began when I was just a kid peeking over my dad’s shoulder while he was laughing and reading one of many of her books that we would collect over the years. I was hooked.
“My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?”
~ Erma Bombeck
When I heard there was a conference dedicated to humor writing in her namesake – Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop – I went berserk. And even more berserk when I found out it had just passed since it only happens once every two years!
So I waited months and months until the next round of Erma tickets came for sale. Tickets sold out in a matter of hours and I was one of the lucky ones heading to The University of Dayton, Erma’s alma mater, to
get my funny on refine my craft.
It all started here.
This would be my home away from home for the next four days. After a long day of laughing and learning this is where I lay my sleepy head. Not hugging the bed’s edge like I usually do, but smack in the middle of the bed surrounded by mounds of white fluffy pillows. And – are you sitting down? – my very own TV remote!
It. Was. Heavenly.
During the day we went to classes and had cake.
Lots and lots of cake.
And I learned things from their amazing faculty.
Be ruthless in editing: Revise, polish, and then do it some more. Print out your work, but read it in a different location. Then read it out loud. ~ Anna Lefler
Humor is where you find it. Write it as you would tell it. And if it isn’t making you cringe it’s not good enough. ~ Lisa Scottoline
Your most personal post will be the most universal. You can’t write and have shame. ~ Gina Barreca
Try to be one of those people on whom nothing is lost. Keep a notebook with you at all times. Have a list of funny words. ~ Dan Zevin
And so much more that would fill volumes of notebooks.
Humor writers are a special breed. Of all the conferences I’ve even been to this was the one that made me feel
warm and fuzzy I really found my people. I loved everything about it. It was small, it was cozy, it was casual. We shared french fries.
It was like family, only better!
I learned as much in the classes as I did during the lunches, dinners, and informal chitchats in the bar. And when Sunday rolled around I was sad to go. I didn’t want to leave all my new friends and all the exciting and wonderful comedic energy behind. That’s when it dawned on me – it was like summer camp for humor writers!
See you at Erma in 2016. Bring your funny. Fuzzy slippers optional.