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Friday, September 23, 2011

Jenny Bent Internship Opportunity, Contests, and The Writerly Wisdom of Jack Handey

Before I get started on today’s post, I urge you to head over to Lindsay Currie and Trisha Leaver’s blogs today~ they’re a writing team repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown (yes, that’s right, bow down everyone!) and they’re on a mission to break 300 followers. Their giveaway prizes include critiques (perfect for both published and pre-published writers!) and this awesome stuff:
INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY: Amazing agent Jenny Bent is looking for three more interns to read for her! See the details HERE and apply soon~ she filled up very quickly last time!

CONTEST ALERT: Enter your query and first page at Krista V’s blog to be considered by an agent seeking MG/YA fiction. Contest starts at 10:00 AM (EST) this Monday, September 26, and closes at 50 entries. Click HERE for details.


For those of you who don’t know, Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey (click on the link for his Wikipedia page-he's a real person, not a pen name) was an ongoing segment on Saturday Night Live where Jack’s memories and musings were shown as written text on the screen while his voice (a nice monotone, a bit like Tom Bodett) would read the words. Soft music generally played in the background, serving as a nice little juxtaposition for the choice pieces of wisdom he’d empart.

One of the tricky things about writing fiction is delivering the narrative with authority, so that the reader can simply sink into your story. At the same time, you have to offer a fresh enough idea or premise to make room for stimulation and intrigue. People like Jack Handey have done the world a service with his quotable quotes that are both:

-cozy and familal in tone and delivery
-hilarious examples of delivering a bizarre twist and thinking outside the proverbial “box”

Okay, so I’m not sure if you can actually learn anything from these that’s applicable to writing, but I think they’re pretty funny. Here are a few gems to mull over:

Instead of having "answers" on a math test, they should just call
them "impressions," and if you got a different "impression," so what,
can't we all be brothers?

To me, it's a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when
you walk around. That way, if anybody says, "Hey, can you give me a
hand?" You can say, "Sorry, got these sacks."

During the Middle Ages, probably one of the biggest mistakes was not
putting on your armor because you were "just going down to the corner."

I hope if dogs ever take over the world and they choose a king, they
don't just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with
some good ideas.

If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them
down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

If you ever crawl inside an old hollow log and go to sleep, and while
you're in there some guys come and seal up both ends and then put it on
a truck and take it to another city, boy, I don't know what to tell you.

Maybe in order to understand mankind we have to look at that word
itself. MANKIND. Basically, it's made up of two separate words "mank" and
"ind." What do these words mean? It's a mystery and so is mankind.

Okay, this one is a bit mean...but it clearly demonstrates how Point Of View impacts writing (okay, no it doesn't...I'm reaching here) and it's a fine example of the dichotomy between adult and kid perspectives:

One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going
to take my nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old
burned-out warehouse. "Oh no," I said, "Disneyland burned down."
He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a
pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but
it was getting pretty late.

And just because this is, for the most part, a blog about writing and books, here's Jack's take on reading:

Whenever you read a good book, it's like the author is right there,
in the room talking to you, which is why I don't like to read good books.

Want more? There’s a whole website.

Happy Friday!


  1. Enjoyed your funny quotes! I'm off to go enter Lindsay and Trisha's giveaway.

  2. I love Jack Handy. So funny! And thanks for the heads up. Man, I wish I could be an intern at a lit agency. So cool!

  3. I saw that Jenny is looking for 3 more! That would be so cool. If only I had time.

  4. I love Jack Handy! So hilarious.

  5. Thanks for giving me a good Friday afternoon laugh! ("... which is why I don't like to read good books") Must check out the website!

  6. Hahaha! The Disneyland one is so cruel, but sooo funny!

  7. Read the quotes aloud to my husband and at the last one he said, ” Man, I wonder what Jack Handy would say if he lived with you.” Rude! Lol.

  8. I love Jack Handey! Thanks for posting.

  9. Those are hilarious, but you're right about that mean one. Makes me want smack him.

  10. What a crack up of quotes. Thanks for sharing and for the contest/intern info!

  11. ohmygoodness! i didn't realize handey was a real guy!!!! i loved those spots! we used to have a whole stack of printed out jack handey quotes and when i'd feel a bit down, i'd crack 'er open and be laughing in no time! thanks for the laughs, chicky!

  12. Luv the Jack Handy reference:)

  13. Thanks for all the info! The quotes are hilarious.

    Have a great week!


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