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:
RELEASE THE OTTERS!
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.