Is That a Donut In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Glad to See Us?
Greener Pastures’ April Newsletter
“Scientists recently discovered the world’s first diabetic polar bear, who was quoted saying, “DAMN YOU, COCA COLA!”’ — Kegan Witzki
March was supposed to come in like a lion and out like a lamb, but it behaved more like a frat boy on break, and the Greener Pastures’ writers helped us laugh at the shenanigans. Need help laughing at the wild animals in your basement? What was up with all those doctors freaking out about donuts? How about we forget about all that and look at some creative writing prompts for parents stuck managing online school? We got you covered.
We had a lot of great comedy, but there was one piece that ruled them all.
Great News! We’re All Going to Live On Mitch McConnell’s Front Lawn!
Gwen Coburn absolutely nailed it with her piece My Plan to Retire on my $1400 Stimulus Check by Living on Mitch McConnell’s Lawn. Editor Kegan loves how many different angles she covered with “early retirement” via stimulus check and how some of the things are super innocent fun (ie skateboarding). Also, gotta love an ending with an Allstate-like ending.
We asked Gwen to talk a little bit about how she came up with her piece:
This was fun to write. Of all the weird objections conservative lawmakers had about sending out COVID relief checks, the one that hit me most was Mitch McConnell thinking people would be able to not go back to work, or that they would even stop working. How long does he think the average American can live off of less than $2000? I don’t personally know anyone that could afford to not work for a few months, or leave a job and expect to last until they found a new one, with $1400.
At the same time I’m starting to become a Responsible Adult (TM) and look at what future financial security looks like. So writing this was me letting off some of that steam. I took the categories the internet told me I need to consider for retirement, and made up a world where I fulfill them by becoming Mitch’s own personal Dennis-the-millennial-menace. Thanks Greener Pastures for publishing it!
Have you had a chance to listen to the Greener Pastures Podcast? We’ve had a stellar lineup of guests. You can hear Carlos Greaves, Caitlin Kunkel, and Kyrie Gray talk about how they write great comedy. Check it out!
NEW SUBMISSION OPPORTUNITY We’re now taking submissions for the fake, comedic commercials that appear in each podcast episode. Listen to the episodes to get an idea of what we’re looking for. We want 2 commercials, roughly 30 seconds long. Send us your written submission to firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know if you can perform the commercial, or need us to do the voice over.
Teresa Douglas here with an important editing tip. Comedy pieces need less explanation than you think they do. Set up the premise by giving your piece a great title that explains the game, and then use your first paragraph to dive right in. DON’T spend time talking about why you wrote the piece, or what it’s reacting to in real life. DO use that space to tell a joke from your character’s point of view. Don’t worry about this when writing your rough draft. Most of us need to use those first paragraphs to figure out why we think something is funny or satirical. But in the next draft, be rutheless. Your writing will be more engaging, and more likely to be acepted for publication.
Get to Know the Editors
Question: If you were deciding the Oscars, what movie would win Best Picture this year?
Ash: The movie my mom accidentally made when she hit record on her phone instead of taking a photo. The cinematography is amazing and the twist at the end when she unexpectedly swears is great.
Amy: Minari. Beautiful cinematography, strong character development, overall just a really well done and 100% American film (I’m looking at you, Golden Globes).
Brett: La La Land.
Kegan: If it were me, I’d dismantle all award ceremonies — DOWN WITH THE PATRIARCHY! That being said, I loved “Sound of Metal.”
Mike: Promising Young Woman, but I also finally saw the 3rd Matrix movie for the first time this year. So if that was somehow elligible I would say Promising Young Woman.
Teresa: Judas and the Black Messiah. It has everything that should win awards — smart writing, stellar acting, and subject matter that’s important and relevant right now.
Susan: barb and star go to visit del mar! i’m sick of no one taking comedy seriously! NOTHING IS MORE SERIOUS THAN NOT TAKING ANYTHING SERIOUSLY!
Cassie: Pixar’s Soul. Though, I do agree with Susan that comedies should be taken SERIOUSLY! This is no laughing matter.
Justin: Promising Young Woman and I Care A Lot would be neck and neck for me. Both start out as one thing then completely subvert our expectations by the end. Both are also just plain ol’ fun and entertaining. It’s an Oscar tie!
The April Joke Contest is Open!
Do you want to be featured at the top of our next newsletter? Send us a joke — a one liner or blackout bit — to email@example.com by April 30th. We can’t wait to read your submissions!