Why I write in the comedy genre

I was 32. My favourite auntie had been only two years older when she died of breast cancer decades earlier. And here I was in my early thirties, just months after finding out I couldn’t have children, and now in the Ottawa Women’s Breast Health Clinic. I’d discovered a mass in my left breast weeks before and we needed to find out if it was cancer. I was petrified. The lump seemed huge. It had to be removed. On this particular day, they would take a sample of the lump with a needle. I sat alone in the small room, trying to steady my breath, and had no clue what my future would be.

In the room with me was a book: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’d never read it. It was my spouse’s copy. The doctor seemed to be taking forever. I opened the book.

And from the hallways I’m sure nurses and other staff were wondering why such boisterous laughter burst from the small examining room. By the time the doctor claimed me, I was nearly in tears from laughing.

A funny book made me forget all about my fears for a moment, and helped me get through a petrifying experience. (It was a big but benign tumour in the end, just fyi.) The power of well-written humour had taken me over completely.

In 2014, I sent a few chapters of my comedy sci-fi, Life in the ‘Cosm, to a friend for their opinion. Their spouse was admitted to hospital for a scheduled surgery. My friend was so frightened for her, despite assurances from doctors that the procedure was routine. Well, in the waiting room, they opened my baby manuscript and started reading it. And then told me they laughed and laughed in that hospital. (Their spouse is okay, by the way. Very bonny and braw.)

When I found out I made someone laugh the way Douglas Adams had made me laugh—in the worst of circumstances—I felt honoured. Laughter can be an elixir for the soul. I truly believe that.

I manage a disability that involves chronic pain and constant fatigue. And in that state I completed my book. And it’s a silly little book at times. But I made myself laugh. (I made myself weep, too, but SPOILERS!) It was such great fun to complete that project. And now that it’s published, I hope it brings a little snickering into your life, right when you need it.

Imma keep writing the funnee stuff. The world needs more funnee. At the very least, I do.

To those who write humorous sketches, scripts, cartoons, short stories, novellas, and/or novels, I thank you. You are joy bringers. Keep it up, peeps. I rely on you!



Cait Gordon is the author of Life in the ’Cosm, published by Renaissance PressAvailable now


The First Draft Dance of Joy!

Oh my word, I made it this far. Any seasoned writers reading this will laugh at me, I know. This is a huge milestone, though. My book is now in the ugly, poorly written, filled with useless words, but completely mapped out phase.

I love you ugly manuscript! *hugs tightly*

The book will be 30 chapters long. This was the last chapter I had to draft out, because I wrote the ending months ago.

When I was a tech writer, I always breathed easier after I’d finished the first draft of a several hundred page manual.  I knew it was just a question of revising the thing, but the hardest part was over. When you’re on a high-tech deadline, getting a first draft done makes you want to dance for joy.

My next step is to take a little break–which is hard, because I keep reading the manuscript–and start preparing the draft for my beta readers. My goal is to have the book in as a good shape possible without an editor’s help. I want the beta readers to view the story with a critical eye and tell me what works and what doesn’t. I need solid feedback, and I have my Teflon suit at the ready for the onslaught. (In technical writing, you’d toss a manuscript to the reviewers and it often came back looking like it was shot full of blood. Ah, the red pen of smiting.)

Writing a novel is no sprint run, that’s for sure. It requires endurance, patience, something to punch at times, and an obscene amount of dessert. Yet, hitting any milestone along the way gives you that wonderful feeling of accomplishment, and the desire to faceplant into your pillow and sleep for a week.

For now, I just want to bask in the glory of the moment. And maybe eat more dessert. Gotta keep my strength up you know.


Cait Gordon has been a senior technical writer in high tech and government organizations. She is currently a Web Developer consultant for Dynamic Canvas Inc., and assistant to the Executive Director at H’Art of Ottawa. She also enjoys her crafting business, Cait Cards.