If you missed our Virtual Book Tour yesterday, scroll down to read about Lucy Adams and her book, “If Mama Don’t Laugh It Ain’t Funny.” Below are some of Lucy’s answers to our readers’ questions:
Were you always funny or did you cultivate your sense of humor? I admire your skill and, although I see the humor in stuff, I don’t seem to be able to convey it to others.
I think a good sense of humor runs in my family. My best memories of my great-grandmother and grandmother are of them laughing, and mostly at themselves; my mother, likewise. I learned from them to note the details in life, to find humor even in unlikely places, and how to tell a story. So, I owe them for my gift of humor . . . and for many wonderful memories.
With raising a family, writing and working, how do you ever find any time for yourself?
How do I find time for myself? Funny you should ask that. I just finished writing an article (for a parenting magazine) about moms making time to pursue their own interests.
Writing is my THING, my personal interest, and I tend to squeeze it in where ever I can. I always have a pen and paper with me, I’ve been known to take out a pen light in a movie theater and jot down an idea that suddenly comes to me. I wrote an entire story one time in a fitting room, sans children of course, in the women’s department of Macy’s.
I don’t watch television, don’t carry on long conversations over the phone, try not to get bogged down in e-mails, don’t spend long hours on facebook. I find those things steal my time.
But most of all, I guess I’ve made time for myself to write because it is very important to me.
You say you have 4 children and seem to be pretty intuitive – any insights about birth order?
Aaah, birth order. Well, first of all, I suppose I should confess that there are two babies of my family. And, no, they are not twins. My oldest three children are boys and my youngest is a girl, the natural baby of the family. My youngest boy is the baby of the boys. It really complicates things.
One of the stories in If Mama Don’t Laugh capitalizes on the whole birth order idea, when I refer to my children as Say Some Evil (the go-getter oldest), See Some Evil (the observant, quiet middle boy), Do Some Evil (the attention grabbing youngest boy).
You’re able to look at your life and find the humor in it – I’ve never been able to do that. I wonder if that’s in the DNA or I can learn to see the world through a softer lens. What do you think, Lucy?
I think all the little annoyances of the day – trying to get four kids to six different activities while also getting myself to my own obligation, dinner burned, no milk for breakfast, an unexpected meeting at work, car battery dies -while on the surface very managable, start to pile up until my jaw is clenched and my heart is racing and all I want to do is go back home and get back in bed. I think everyone has days like this, weeks like this, or even lives like this.
But in the big scheme of things, these little annoynaces are barely blips on the radar. And it’s important to keep them in perspective. I don’t want my life to boil down to one frenetic day after another, without happiness or joy. I don’t want my children to remember me as a stressed out shrew who only said, “Hurry up.” When they see my face in their mind’s eye, I hope they picture me smiling and laughing.
I believe it is a personal decision to find the meaning, the lessons, the laughter in the very chaos of life. If I can’t do that, then I have nothing but chaos, and I cannot live that way.
I loved If Mama. Living in the south and having a gaggle of kids may help, but there was so much I could relate to. The title of your new book makes me wonder what it’s about.
My upcoming book, Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, due out late spring 2010, is about life’s embarrassing, uncomfortable moments, both mine and those of other people. The first chapter highlights some of my own flubs and foibles, then I go on in subsequent chapters to share about my husband and children, my extended family, my friends, and finally observations of total strangers.
The book and title were inspired by an actual incident in which I walked out of the bathroom and down the hallway at work, past several coworkers, with my skirt tucked into my panties. I dedicated Tuck Your skirt to the author of a scathing letter in regard to one of my columns published in the newspaper. Her letter and my response are both included in the introduction.
Thanks, Lucy! We all appreciate your honest, thoughtful and funny responses.
Wow, everyone asked such great questions. This has been a wonderful Virtual Book Tour stop. Please go out and purchase your very own copy of If Mama Don’t Laugh, It Ain’t Funny. Ask your local bookstore to order it for you, or order it on-line at all major bookstores – Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon, Books-a-Million, etc. Hint: It makes a great Christmas gift! And please keep your eye out for Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run in the Spring of 2010.