He thought my story was funny.
I mean, I hoped that a reader might see it that way, but I didn’t expect it. So, when he told me he thought I wrote a humorous piece, I gave him a full-on grin — I’ve been glowing ever since.
He’s created a monster.
I love a book that makes me laugh, makes me wonder, makes me think. Life is too short for self-absorbed story that sparkles wondrous words, declares its points in spittle-flying fury, bows at the end, and waits for admiration.
What I want to do is laugh, throw my head back in full-headed joy the way that I did last night in reading Kate DiCamillo’s stunning Raymie Nightingale. DiCamillo relates the story of an ambitious ten-year-old girl in a way that pulled me completely into the experience of a smart, innocent, great kid. I lived the story, both the scary and sad as well as the hilarious — I laughed hard and often, pausing to admire DiCamillo’s exceptional craft in simple, well-wrought prose; just one example is her using the word “cringing” to describe the lone tree in front of a miserable single-story building housing an animal kill shelter.
That brings me back to my own story. I want to do what Kate did. I want to write the highs and the lows, to give the reader a terrific ride in a shopping cart going too fast down a too steep hill, heading straight for the pond.
Don’t worry. You’ll be fine — and things turn out better than you could ever have imagined when you started down the hill.
So, to the generous and kind reader who told me that my story was funny, I say:
Thanks. I needed that.
His observation has made me think different, offered a different perspective on my work in progress — and I really, really needed that. We are all of us going to have such a good time now.