January Links Roundup
Featuring quarterly goals, funny tv, and leaning out
Welcome to the Humor Me January links roundup, a monthly roundup of things I’ve enjoyed recently.
I am kind of a sucker for the fresh slate/goal-setting that January offers. I like setting annual goals, but I often set them at the start of the year and then don’t look at them very much again until the end of the year. I’ve also tried monthly goals but the month often comes and goes too fast for me to keep up with them.
So this year I’m trying the life-changing magic of making quarterly goals, and so far am liking it. I’ve got some goals for reading and writing other things I want to do, and I like the idea of breaking down annual goals into chunks.
For example, if your goal is to bake 24 different pies this year then you should try to knock 6 out in the first quarter. Also, if you need someone to take one of the pies off your hands, let me know.
Funny stuff and other distractions
Instahumor: This sounds accurate to me.
Funny TV: I’ve been enjoying some Netflix comedy specials recently including Trevor Noah’s “Where Was I” and Mike Birbiglia’s “The Old Man and The Pool.” I also have been liking season 5 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I had lost a little steam with the show in season 4 but I like the way they mixed up the structure jumping back and forth in time for this final season.
Short humor: This writing bingo piece co-written by writer friend R.L. Maizes made me laugh.
Book: I recently enjoyed the book “Several People Are Typing.” It’s told entirely in Slack messages and it made me laugh. I’m trying to read more books with unusual structures this year, so if you have others to recommend, let me know.
Kid reading journal: My writer friend Melissa Taylor has a new reading journal out. It has cute illustrations and fun reading-related exercises and it would make a good gift for the kid in your life. Melissa’s site Imagination Soup has also helped me find good book options for kids in the past.
Humor challenge: This month the first annual One Funny Line humor writing challenge was completed. Thanks to everyone who participated! You can get all the prompts here if you missed them or are just looking for some quick exercises to get your humor writing flowing. I’m pondering some other future challenges too.
Pitch opportunity: I saw on Twitter that Conde Nast Traveler had recently updated their pitch guide.
Book proposal piece: I appreciated the transparency in this post from Courtney Maum about the challenges of selling a book on proposal.
Podcast episode: I also found this episode of The Publishing Rodeo podcast about factors that help books sell interesting.
Guest funny rec of the month
This month I’ve got a guest humor rec from humor writer Julie Kling who is a humor, health, and parenting writer based in [in her words] “(a boring suburb of) New York City.”
What is making Julie Kling laugh lately: “I’m still breastfeeding my almost 3-year-old and very verbal daughter, which means I entertain requests for which side she prefers to sample first (it’s always the right), and then we discuss the aroma, body, and acidity of my mommy milk, like it’s a fine boob burgundy. So I’m laugh-crying a lot these days to a song by Jessica Carmen called ‘My Boobs Belong To You.’ (Like Jessica’s baby, my daughter will definitely want my boobs “...getting coffee, getting bread, probably even when I’m dead.”)”
Julie has a free newsletter called Mom Rage(r): turning your Mom Rage into raging fun! You can sign up HERE.
And on Monday, February 12th @ 8 pm EST, Julie is co-leading a Zoom “anti-workshop” with humor writer Talia Argondezzi based on Talia’s book Lean the F*ck Out (which I’m sure will make you laugh as much as her humor pieces make me laugh).
The anti-workshop is called How To Lean The F*ck Out in 2024! It is Pay What You Wish, and you can learn more and sign up HERE.
News from me
I made some lists! I have a love/hate relationship with end-of-year lists (which roughly translates to loving them when I’m on them and hating them when I’m not). However, I was excited to make a couple of them in 2023 including having the 9th most-read piece at McSweeney’s and the 8th most-clapped piece on the Belladonna Comedy. I also always find the behind-the-scenes on the pieces that McSweeney’s runs interesting for humor writing tips.
I will be at the AWP conference in Kansas City next month. I’m moderating an offsite panel with funny women at the central library on Thursday night (more details here). I always like meeting other writers at conferences, so let me know if you will be at AWP too!
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