Aqua background with black text that reads: ha-ha...nah.

Sometimes Humour is Serious

Before the pandemic started (and my brain could words), I really enjoyed participating in Twitter writers chats. They’re pretty fun. Often, the first question asked is our name and the genre we write in. I almost always write something like this:

Hi, I’m Cait (like cat). I’m a humorist who writes space opera with aliens and dessert…

And this is true. I identify as a humorist who primarily uses the genre of space opera as her vehicle for writing adventures for my aliens. In my short fiction, however, I write in many genres. I discovered I could actually do this when invited to participate in ’Nathan Burgoine’s flash fiction challenge in 2018. He noted how humour gets injected into all my stories, regardless of the genre.

While I love being fun, I don’t always write lighthearted stuff. I am Irish by citizenship and culture, and I think I’ve adopted the tradition of exploring serious themes while weaving humour into the plotlines. Also, my young autistic brain growing up was always drawn to comedians and hilarious characters in fiction. Snark hooked me right in. I read MAD magazine religiously and repeatedly.

During my life, I’ve been confronted with pretty difficult trials. Humour has always been a way to help me gain power during a struggle, to lift myself out of the trenches, and/or to overcome gaslighting and ableism.

This is reflected in my writing as well. While I love when people say they have laughed heartily at the comedic elements in my work, I feel especially good when readers also notice that humour is not the only element there.

Life is full of nuance.

Even when I read works that aren’t my own, like the stories in the Nothing Without Us anthology, I don’t consider that collection something to be labelled under Humour, even though several stories use humour really well. Because I’m immersed in disabled and autistic culture, I know how strong a role humour plays in our daily lives. For some of us, it keeps us from head-desking into another dimension.

What I find to be a crying shame is when those of us who are humour authors are typecast as “vacuous.” I don’t know how many times people have thought I’m not serious enough. Could write music to it, really, and call the album: Do Your Feet Hurt When You Jump to Conclusions? When I think about all the hardships I have survived in my life, I know I can feel as serious as a stroke. Even to this day, I manage situational depression and anxiety. I also have to deal with pain 24/7. And don’t get me started about being autistic around neurotypical perceptions. Eeesh.

And I’m not alone. How many times have we noticed comedians who have admitted they deal with mental health challenges? They live with it perhaps daily in some cases and are still so bloody funny. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me humour doesn’t cure, but it lessens the sting so I can face hardships and get the help I need. It’s a respite. When I can laugh, even using twisted humour with my BFF who gets me and won’t make The Face™, then I know I’ll eventually be okay.

In my book The Stealth Lovers, Xax is reflective of me, in a way. He’s always got a quip or funny remark at hand. But when a longtime life goal of having a family gets quashed, two souls call him out. They tell him his humour is his greatest asset, but he shouldn’t use it against himself. I wrote that to remind me (and perhaps others like Xax and I) to reach out when in pain and not cover it up with jokes. Xax is probably my funniest character. Or least he’s the most fun to write. But he’s not one dimensional. Humorous people rarely are.

I’m not exactly sure why I’m writing this post. Maybe I just wanna share how I feel about my fellow comedic authors. Maybe I just want to let colleagues know not to make us into living tropes. There’s more to us than the ha-ha-ha.

We might be funny because things have been far too serious for us.

Black and white photo of Cait Gordon

Cait Gordon is a disability advocate who wants everyone to be wise and prevent the spread of COVID-19!

She’s also the author of Life in the ’Cosm and The Stealth Lovers. When Cait’s not writing, she’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She also teamed up with Kohenet Talia C. Johnson to co-edit the Nothing Without Us anthology (now a 2020 Prix Aurora Award nominee) in an attempt to take over the world.


Even Funny People Get Pissed Off

I like making people laugh—it’s my thing and has been ever since I was a little girl. It was an easy decision to make my “brand” about being a humorous weirdo because IT ME! Humour has always served me well, whether I’m weeping from laughter at comedies and comedians, coping with dire situations, or just trying to dole out giggles to those who need them. (The other day I was encouraging author S.M. Carrière to embrace her awesome by saying, “It’s not arrogance if it’s true!” She’s got such a hearty laugh, and it’s hard for me not to provoke it!)

Absurdist humour is my absolute fave because the more ridiculous a notion, the more it’ll make me howl. And when you merge absurdity with cheekiness, you get things like “wibbly wobbly timey wimey,” which is an ingenious way to dodge flawed scientific theories and give us a catchline that we adore. Thanks, Doctor Who!

Humour calms and deflects stress, too. When I thought I might have breast cancer at 32, I was petrified as I awaited the results. That was when my husband gave me a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. With trembling hands, I opened the book. Bet you could hear me laughing all the way into the main waiting room. The funny can be magic at times. And when years later, a beta reader told me they were in stitches at the hospital from reading Life in the ’Cosm, I felt I’d paid it forward.

The only problem with being known for the funny, is people might forget I’m also human and possess all the emotions. Sometimes I’m terribly blue, and other times I’m supremely pissed off. Lately, frustration and anger have been a thing. I blogged about what’s been bothering me in Calling for a Disbanding of Cliques and the Culture of Fear. Man, I hate reading about people being pushed around, harassed, and worse. The empathy goes to 11 from triggering my own stuff, then I just want to call out the crap and stand up for those who’ve come forward.

My social media posts haven’t been all sunshine and roses and silliness for a few weeks. I’m trying to get back there, even for my own mental health, but it’s been rough. The Canadian Speculative Fiction ‘cosm looks different to me now, and I’m trying really hard to find the pockets of people who are inclusive, welcoming, and encouraging folks. Because right now, my perception is that it’s a gaslighting mess. Hopefully, my opinion will change, as I have been seeing some people forming new reading series and cons. Perhaps other people will never see past their own privilege, but there will be those who do and who care.

So, anyway, I’m recovering from exhaustion these days. My number one priority is to get back to Regular Crappy Fibro levels. When my energy returns, I’ll continue writing in my favourite genre: Silly. I’m also trying to remember this has been a special year for me, publishing-wise: The Stealth Lovers, Nothing Without Us, and Space Opera Libretti (coming Dec 2019) actually happened! TSL is full of adventure and zaniness, NWU‘s authors also embrace The Snark at times, and my story (The Silken Eclipse) in Space Opera Libretti is pretty darned wacky. This is what I do, I live for humour and encourage it in others.

Just remember that sometimes I might be ticked. Even supremely ticked. But I’ll always come back to the laughter. It’s too much a part of who I am.

Now then, what do we do when wanting to battle against the ugly in this life? That’s right, we:


Cait Gordon, in a black and white digital sketch
Cait Gordon

Cait Gordon is a disability advocate and the author of Life in the ’Cosm and The Stealth Lovers. When she’s not writing, Cait’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She also teamed up with Kohenet Talia C. Johnson to co-edit the Nothing Without Us anthology in an attempt to take over the world. Narf.


Choosing ‘The Funny’ While Managing Anxiety

It’s amazing to me how people who deal with mental illness can be stigmatized as being weak, ’cause I’m like, Really? Really, doods? Do you actually have the teensiest clue what it’s like?  I manage OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) impulses and anxiety. It wasn’t enough for me to have chronic neuropathy throughout my body. I wanted a mental illness, too, for shits and giggles.

Working through physical disabilities is challenging and then some. Accessibility limitations, chronic pain with associated fatigue, and people saying the most ridiculous things to me as “possible cures” are all part of my regularly scheduled life. However, as difficult as those things are, for me the mental stuff feels way more like constantly lifting hand weights. It takes up so much of my capacity and spoons, and if I had to prioritize, it would often be my mental health over my physical comforts. That’s just me, though.

But today I want to talk about the most common word people use to describe me: funny. I make people laugh. It’s my jam. I’ve chosen to be a humour author as my career. Even when I write serious themes, I always bring it back to something to chuckle about. Why? Probably because (1) I love doing that and (2) if I didn’t go to the whacky place, I’d not still be alive today.

Oscar Wilde said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” I would probably lie in that gutter and make up goofy stories about a couple of the stars. Meet Blinky and Twinkles, two star-crossed lovers, who find that expression a bit odd since they’ve not moved from their orbits in five billion lightyears . . .


Now I need to do a flash fiction about Blinky and Twinkles.

I wrote Life in the ’Cosm while in a great deal of physical pain. I’m now writing The Stealth Lovers, a prequel, while having to go through therapy after an unspeakably horrible 2017. Last month I had a terrible day with debilitating anxiety, and I remember taking out my laptop to write a chapter in The Stealth Lovers. Oh, I was a mess that day. Writing often soothes me, though, so that’s why I’d chosen that activity. A few days later, I reread the new chapter . . . and laughed my butt off. I said aloud, “How the hay did I make it that funny? I remember how badly I’d felt!”

The mind is sort of a miraculous thing. It let me bypass the PTSD that overtook me and led me to a spot in my brain where I could escape to be ludicrous. You’d never guess the state I was in that day by reading the words on the page. And you know what? That alone made me feel damn proud.

Somehow, someway, I can still choose to be funny. Heck, I’m sorta funny even when I’m in therapy—not as a way of covering up what I have to say, but because I tend to find humour even in the worst situations. I still get my point across so I can be treated, but I just express myself in this creative fashion.

Mental illness is weakness? Yeah, that doesn’t compute for me. We have to be strong AF to function at our best potential. And you know, meeting with a medical professional who’s a virtual stranger and admitting your deepest secrets so you can get better takes a shitload of guts. Wanting to care for one’s mental health is probably also one of the most intelligent moves anyone can make. There’s nothing feeble about any of it. Badass warriors, we are. One of these days, I’ll paint myself in woad. (But I’ll spare the world seeing me naked. Yeah, you’re welcome.)

We’ve seen it’s not uncommon for comedians who are completely hysterical to have come from tragic or difficult circumstances. Or, they can be people who deal with mental illness. Robin Williams, my all-time favourite, battled with severe illness and demons. But I celebrate him for all the times he chose the funny. Because he chose the funny, he gave himself a reprieve and some joy, and then gave us treasured memories for a lifetime. Gosh, I miss him. (Why does it always feel like it’s still “too soon” when it comes to talking about Robin Williams?)

Whatever battles you might face, I hope you can find the support you need with medical intervention and great people who have your back. Then I hope you can find the funny, whether you write it yourself, listen to it, watch it, or binge-read it. There’s something about the funny that’s like nectar for the soul.

Dont you find?


Cait Gordon

Cait Gordon is the author of Life in the ’Cosm, a story about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague. Cait is currently working on a prequel to ’Cosm called The Stealth Lovers, a rom-com military space opera. When she’s not writing, she’s editing manuscripts for indie authors and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors are writers with disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She also really likes cake.



ID, book cover: A multi-coloured nebula of purples, blues, and aquas. A ringed planet. A little alien, resembling a fried egg with huge eyes, nonchalantly hurtles through space.

My Top-Ten Favourite Reader Comments on Life in the ´Cosm

I know an author has to maintain some distance from reader reviews. I am also fully aware that not everyone will like Life in the ´Cosm, and people are completely entitled to their opinions. There are books I’ve not enjoyed either. It happens.

But these particular excerpts made me smile. (Btw, if you did like my book, a positive review is a great boon to us emerging authors. Thanks to all who have left reviews on GoodReads and Amazon.)

#10, Awwww.

This book was fantastic! Funny, endearing, with a great diversity of characters. The MC is a writer, too, which appeals to me, and he exorcises his demons through his (very bad) fantasy novel.

My first-ever review! This author made me feel like a real author.

#9, Are you okay, though?

I have to admit that I was a little bit jaded going into this book. However I was soon surprised and laughing so hard that I am sure that I injured several internal organs.

I might have to inform my publisher that we need to post a medical warning.

#8, WHEEE!

Fun, zany, boingy!

This was just the title of the review. I think it alone captures what I was trying to achieve with the book.

#7, Please check your fried eggs, mkay?

Life in the ´Cosm is a wonderfully fun read. If you’re expecting hard speculative fiction or hard science fiction, this book isn’t it. If you like fun, humorous science fiction this book is great! The story is witty with zany lovable characters. Just don’t mistakenly eat Splot next time you are out for breakfast or brunch.

Sound advice, really.

#6, Mmm . . . candy.

This book is sheer, silly, candy coated fun, and it also manages to sneak in some extremely progressive ideas stealthily between the desserts. Inventive and often deliriously funny.

This author’s comment is as almost as sweet as Sonny’s sugary treats!

#5, I’m drawn to this review.

The characters are lovable and wonderfully diverse, and the story-within-a-story device helps drive the plot along and add an extra layer of humor to an already hilarious tale. If me dropping my book to draw fan art doesn’t convince you that this book is seriously awesome, I don’t know what will.

This reader sent me an incredible drawing of Noola, according to the description in chapter 3. I’ll treasure it always.

#4, Woohoo! Glad you caught this!

I also loved how inclusive this book was. It does well in avoiding all the mistakes that writers often get wrong when writing LGBTQA+ characters, and it doesn’t pander, either. I loved that the flamboyantly gay hairdressing couple also happened to be one of the most feared pair of military men in the history of their people. AND they didn’t lose their flamboyance, even in action situations.

Xax and Viv know who they are and will always be exactly themselves, no matter what situation they’re in. I was so happy this author picked up on that.

#3, From down under.

A fun look at the novel within the novel, the tormented soul of a writer, all in a fantastical setting. It is written in the proud tradition of comedy sci-fi but is absolutely enjoyable for anyone as the characters have regularly every day concerns just like us.

This quote is from an Australian author I admire. I did try to write a novel for everyone, and not just space-opera enthusiasts. Yay!

#2, I’m not worthy.

Just finished Life in the ´Cosm by the fantabulous Cait Gordon. It was an intergalactic joyride of epic proportions. Laugh out loud hilarious, touching, endearing and wonderful don’t do it enough justice. The book was a joy to read from start to finish. The characters were awesome and had so much depth to them. Yes, this is a sci-fi novel but one with heart, verve and warmth. I loved this book so very much and can’t wait for Virj and Noola’s next adventure! Write faster, won’t you Cait?

This author’s review move me so deeply. When someone who’s written over 60 books says this about a first-novel, it matters.

#1, One day I will stop laughing at this review.

For most of the book, I HATED the main character. Virj has his head so far up his a$$ that it’s almost unbearable, even though he seems to be a genuinely nice guy.

Yup. This was my favourite. It is dead on. I don’t blame this reader for their opinion one bit. His head is totally stuck up his backside. The man could easily see his own tonsils.


You can buy your own copy of my book on Amazon or from Renaissance, my publisher. Hope you have a fun ride and don’t forget to leave a review of your own. Cheers!

cgauthorCait Gordon is the author of Life in the ’Cosm, a comedic space opera where boy meets girl, but girl doesn’t notice boy because she’s sharing a body with another boy. She is also the creator and editor of the Spoonie Authors Network. You can follow Cait on Facebook and Twitter.


rainbow book

I’ll be at Queer Between the Covers!

rainbow bookHey, lovely readers!

I’ll be in Montreal on August 19, 2017 at the Queer Between the Covers event at Pride because it sounds like super fun and let’s face it, my book is also queer between its covers!

WHERE? 1700 Rue Amherst, Montréal, QC H2L 3L5, Canada
WHAT TIME? 11pm to 5 pm.

You’ll find me at the Renaissance table selling Life in the ’Cosm and other cool books. Bring your book and I’ll sign it! Or, buy a book or get your friend to buy a book or ASK EVERYONE TO BUY MY BOOK! And I’ll sign them. The books. Not your friends.

Warning: I’m frighteningly friendly, but I promise not to spontaneously hug you. Or sniff you. (Shut up, Amy. In my defence, she smelled like freshly-washed laundry. She’s never let me live that one down.)

I smell like two people! Or, how I write sex scenes.

Relax, all you authors and writers of erotica; your jobs are safe. Nobody will accuse me anytime soon of trying to steal your thunder. Not by a long shot.

This week I confessed to my publisher that no matter what genre I try to write in, everything comes out silly. I said, “I think my genre is Silly.” My publisher feels it’s a perfectly acceptable genre. I like this person.

bowchikawowowBecause I love writing with humour, I just had to extend it to our most vulnerable space–the bedroom. While sexual activity can be mind-blowing and magical and filled with fireworks, sometimes the clunkiness of life and the quirks of people can take it to a different place. A ridiculous place, really. I know in my life some of my biggest laughs with my spouse have been in bed, when things haven’t gone to plan. Yet, those odd, imperfect moments always created a deeper intimacy between us. Made everything a bit more real, and somehow a bit more perfect.

If you’ve not read Life in the ’Cosm, then warning, spoilerishy things are imminent

As most of the book was a stream of consciousness, I didn’t limit where I went in my writing. I got the first two chapters down, and then opened chapter three with:

Self-gratification was not an easy task in the flat.

Okay, so we’re going with masturbation in this scene, I thought, refusing to delete what I’d written. It made sense. My protagonist had been longing for someone he literally couldn’t have and the poor guy was ready to explode. I gave Virj some release, but not without adding a little mortification to the mix. (You never know where Splot is slithering, or when Sonny will barge in with breakfast questions.) A beta-reader loved that scene and told me they could totally relate to Virj’s embarrassment.

Later on in the book, there’s that infamous moment when you’ve had too much to drink and only just realised you’ve slept with someone but have no memory of it:

She paused again, frowned, lifted the sheets over her head, and inhaled deeply. Then she screamed on top of her lungs.


A valid question. We all know our personal perfumes, so when a foreign scent is blended with ours, we’d obviously like some answers. In my life, I’ve often said after a passionate tryst with my beloved, “Gee, it smells like two people who love each other.” Because doods, it truly does smell like two people! Amirite???

Also, sometimes there’s that gloppy sensation:

She shifted her position and immediately pulled a face. “Ew, I’m so goopy down there. When did you last masturbate, in your teens?”

Again, a valid question, if you cannae remember anything from the night before. Am I the only one who feels this way?

I loved adding the awkward things about sexual activity. It made me laugh, and I think it made my readers laugh, too. We can relate to the embarrassing, smelly, and goopy side of sex because that’s often what it’s actually like. Not every sexual encounter is a well-choreographed dance that ends in simultaneous orgasm. The films might want to have us believe that, but I think we writers need to tell the other side of it from time to time. We need less, “She was enthralled by his throbbing love-wand,” and more of, “OWWW! Get off my hair!”

Or is it just me?

Watching people work through those clumsy moments makes them more endearing to me as a reader, too. I don’t want to roll my eyes at the sexually unattainable. I want to laugh with empathy. I want to say, “Oh, heck, yes, I totally get it.” I want to see the sexy in the awkward, because people are still desirable when they’re goofing up. Maybe more so than when they’re suave, in my opinion. I want to make love to a real person, not a robot.

Unless it’s a cute and clumsy robot who blushes and reads poetry. I’d have to mull that one over.

Anyway, here’s to klutzy sex! Sláinte! (Raises cupcake in a toast.)


CGAuthorCait Gordon is an Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ’Cosm, a space opera about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague (Renaissance Press). Cait’s also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Network blog.


Review of Life in the ’Cosm, by Author Jamieson Wolf

The following is Canadian author Jamieson Wolf’s review of Life in the ’Cosm from his post, Best Books of 2016. Thanks, Jamieson! We can’t wait for your upcoming Lust and Lemonade this spring!

Life in the ’Cosm by Cait Gordon

20161123_135849_hdrThis isn’t your typical boy meets girl story.

Virj Ofreesin is writing a fantasy novel. In it, the girl he loves is in love with him* but can’t have him. In reality, she is actually part of the Dwa species, two sharing one body, able to spend eternity with their soul mate.

Though everyone from his gay dads to his sentient daisy Sonny and his Ovum, Splot, tells him that it will never happen, Virj isn’t one to give up on his hearts desire. He had loved Frayda for three years. He won’t stop loving her just because everyone else is telling him that it can’t happen. The heart knows no limitations.

Then he meets Noola. She’s annoying, constantly chipper, a total klutz and dresses in eye watering sparkly clothing. She is also living in the same complex as [Virj] and happens to be the new editor at his office. Virj wonders how his life could get any worse.

When he learns that the Dwa Frayda and Jobie are ill, he agrees to fly to a planet in the middle of a war zone to retrieve a mystical plant that only grows upon its soil. He is congratulating himself on his bravery…until Noola says that she is going with him.

Armed with his tablet and his thirst for sweets, Virj is a man on a mission.

Life in the ‘Cosm is an intergalactic joyride of epic proportions. Laugh out loud hilarious, touching, endearing and wonderful don’t do it enough justice. The book was a joy to read from start to finish. The characters were awesome and had so much depth to them. Yes, this is a sci-fi novel but one with heart, verve and warmth. I loved this book so very much and can’t wait for Virj and Noola’s next adventure!

  • Ah, but is Frayda in love with Virj? Read for yourself, peeps! ~Cait G