Walking Through a Comedic Wonderland
The January edition of the Greener Pastures Newsletter
Welcome to this post-resolution episode of the GP newsletter! Experts say that 80% of people abandon their resolutions by February, but they’re totally wrong. We didn’t abandon our resolutions, we freed them to find their bliss elsewhere. Refuse to eat lunch with anyone who tells you differently. They’re probably still snacking on salad anyway.
January was a big month on the pasture. We had loads of excellent comedy and cartoons for your belly-laughing pleasure. Read on for some highlights.
Speaking of cartoons, if you haven’t seen Miriam Jayaratna’s Old MacDonald Had a Farm (of toxic masculinity) or David Milgrim’s Your Death is Very Important to Us, what are you even doing with your life right now?
Most Popular Piece for January: MAGA Meets American Girl Doll
There are some pieces that come through your inbox looking like Mary Poppins — practically perfect in every way. Gwen Coburn’s Meet McKartleigh: The First American Girl Doll to Storm the Capitol Building didn’t just vandalize America’s seat of power, she took our hearts hostage (along with Nancy Pelosi’s laptop).
Here’s what Gwen had to say about her piece:
I’m so glad folks are enjoying Meet McKartleigh! I loved AG doll books growing up. The relatable, 90’s girl voice they apply to big, often tragic events in history is always a slightly funny juxtaposition to me. I wrote a version of this in the weeks following January 6th, 2021. A year later I was inspired to revisit it. I started playing around with a book cover art idea and the image tickled me so much I decided to send it in for the anniversary of the riot. For those wondering: I grew up a staunch Molly doll girl– if you know, you know.
And here’s why our editors loved it:
Meet McKartleigh is a near-textbook example of how to parody. The reader doesn’t have to be a super fan of American Girl Dolls, or know that some of them come with their own line of historical novels. Gwen’s hyper-enthusiastic tone takes us through the Capitol Riot as if it were written by Walt Disney’s marketing department. It’s a delight, and with over a thousand views, we aren’t the only people to think so.
Take a moment to check it out. You’ll be so glad you did.
Writing Tip of the Month: Set a Time Limit
This tip is brought to you by the amazing editor Kate Chrisman.
Sometimes, pieces take time — some of us have pieces that we’ve worked on for over a year, tweaking every month or so until we get it just right. And that’s great, for some pieces. But to get better at writing, you need to write a lot. And that means not being too precious with your work. It also means getting out of your own way.
So give yourself a time limit. Can you write a first draft in an hour? Thirty minutes? Fifteen? Limit yourself, put a timer on your phone, and see if that helps you get out of your head. And if you get stuck on a word or a line — put in a few XXXX or T K (to come), or just write down the general idea of what you want here, like this: [super funny joke here].
Get to Know the Editors: What Do You Think of Winter? Yay or Nay?
Ash: Hard Nay. I didnt see snow until I was 21- and then realized it isnt for me. Lucky I live in the land of eternal summers.
Amy: Big yay! I’m from New England and not only is my birthday in winter, I was actually born during a major nor’easter. Being a winter person is intrinsic to my whole personality!
Brett: Winter: Yay. COVID Winter: Hard nay. COVID winter is winter on hard mode.
Cassie: Yay! Bundled under a pile of blankets is my natural state of being. Slightly nay… only because my toes get so cold and no matter how many socks I wear, they’re still cold.
Kate: Yay if I’m in the Rockies or the alps. Nay if I’m anywhere that’s cold but isn’t a world class ski resort.
Kegan: I’m a winter tourist: visit somewhere snowy for a certain length of the time, then come back to sunshine. To anyone judging me, I grew up in the Midwest… I’VE DONE MY TIME! *cue silent tears*
Mike: Both! Winter Yay: It’s cozy season, baby! Winter Nay: I still have to walk my dog, who seems unbotherd in the Philly Tundra and thinks that it’s the perfect time to stop every few feet and sniff everything.
Teresa: Can I vote meh? Canadian Winters are long and dark. I love the snow for the first two weeks, but after that I’m done. I’m willing to change my answer if someone would like to give me a resort stipend so I can go to Tahiti in February.
Susan: Yay! Curling up in my heated blanket is my happy place.