Once again, I am delighted to welcome Wendi Zwaduk here to the blog. She always has something fun to talk about, and this time it is her sense of humor on the front line. I often wonder where some people develop their unique sense of the absurd and funny, and Wendi is here to let us in on that side of her.
She is also here to talk about her latest release, Ever Fallen In Love. This is one I am really looking forward to reading, and remember, one lucky commenter will win a $10 GC to Amazon. But first, for newcomers, here's a bit about Wendi.
I always dreamed of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. I tend to write books with titles taken from songs because music is one of my many muses. I earned a BA in education at Kent State university and as well as a Masters in Education from Nova Southeastern University. I've tried my hand at teaching, waitressing, and retail sales, but writing holds my heart. I love NASCAR, romance, books in general, Ohio farmland, dirt racing, and my menagerie of animals. I have six books under contract and more than my brain can handle percolating. I can't wait to share them with you! http://www.wendizwaduk.com http://wendizwaduk.blogspot.com
I want to thank Nancy for having me back here. As soon as I found out I’d be at her blog, I squee-ed. I mean, I have always had a blast here. And so I’ve heard, you readers feel I have a wicked sense of humor. So I thought for my post for today, I’d write about the origins of my sense of humor.
To write, you must know a few fundamental things: how to string a sentence together with coherence, how to string the parts of a story together with coherence, how to use the words in their correct use, and how to laugh. Crazy, huh? You gotta laugh to write? Yes. Why? There are more than a few times when there’s little but the laughter to get you through. Revisions, edits, rejections. Yup. You gotta laugh.
So where did I come up with my sense of humor? My parents, music, and Hawkeye Pierce. Didn’t think I’d string those three together, now, did you?
When I was little, my parents encouraged me to watch stuff that was over my head. No really, the TV was up on a microwave stand so everything was above my head. Ok, that and I’m short. But I digress. Mom and Dad encouraged me to ask questions and to observe. Sounds sorta boring, eh? In some ways it was. I mean, I was the first kid in my kindergarten to recite a Billy Joel song, My Life as my favorite song. Mortified the teacher when I sand, quite proudly, the part about sleeping arrangements (they tell you you can’t sleep alone, can’t sleep with someone else...you still wake up with yourself – and yes, I paraphrased). I’m pretty sure Mrs. George wanted to crawl into a hole in the floor. Billy Joel, though cool as heck, isn’t really kindergarten listening material. But Mom played it and I listened/loved it. Still do. I found out later that the teacher thought it was funny that I knew all the words. So, I learned that when I knew stuff and could use it, it was funny.
That brings me once again to my parents. I can’t say that they listened to a wide variety of music. They didn’t. But, they were a class act at watching shows that had an intellectual and humorous bend. I was watching Night Court way before I really got the jokes. I realized though, that I could be crude when making a joke, yes, but sometimes the better joke was being smart about it... Ok, so this example isn’t the most intellectual, but it’s still funny, and again, I’m going to paraphrase because I haven’t see the episode lately. The courthouse gang is stuck in the morgue. They’re watching television and waiting to see who won the poll—for Dan, I think. Anyway, a person who's been in the morgue as a worker is watching with them. The TV goes on the blink and the man says, ‘Hey, it’s one of those ocular contusions.’ I thought, that is the smartest thing. He meant optical illusion, but man, I laughed and laughed. And yes, I still want a pair of slinky shoes.
I happened to be talking to a CP about this a few days ago, but another show I got tons of inspiration from was a British show. You see, Mom loved PBS. Loved it. So on rainy days, we watched PBS. Are You Being Served? is one of my all time favorite shows. The writers knew how to talk what they saw and write about it in a human way that was still funny. For example, the one character is a middle aged woman who has different colored hair in every episode—blue, green, purple, red/white/blue...she’s had them all. Her favorite saying is “And I am unanimous in that.” Even when she’s the only one involved. Crazy fun.
But one of the most hearty places I learned my sense of humor was M*A*S*H, Hawkeye Pierce to be exact. He knew how to take something totally inane and make it funny, like strolling nude because everyone was bored, or wearing a clown suit to post op because it made the patients’ day. I thought, hey, I so want to be like that. He makes people feel better and makes them laugh.
I won’t say I based my entire act on him, but yeah, there are certainly touches of Hawkeye in what I write. I think a line that comes from Ever Fallen in Love that illustrates my sense of humor most is this little bit:
Tucker sped down the two lane highway to a gravel road. Dust swirled in their wake as he peeled down the stony path. Pole lights towered over a dip in the landscape. Her breath wrenched from her throat as they came to a stop.
“The best place on earth to unwind and find yourself. Works for me every time.” Tucker stood and helped her off the bike. “Nice little rumble between your legs, too, wasn’t it?”
“You would think about sex right now.”
“Took the edge off, didn’t it?” Mischief and something hotter burned in his eyes.
Tucker’s quip is so reminiscent of Hawkeye, the little girl reciting Billy Joel and a slice of life like Are You Being Served? or Night Court. I can’t say it’s the coolest origin or the funniest but it is my own.
Now I ask you, where’d you learn your sense of humor? What do you think contributed to yours? I’m all ears.
And thanks again to Nancy for having me. It’s always a fun day when I get to visit with my pals.
I have to say, my slightly skewed sense of humor is something I inherited from my father. You always had to watch every word in front of him or you paid dearly later. Thanks for another terrific look into one of my favorite minds, Wendi.
Tucker lost the love of his life once, but this time, he’s not taking no for an answer.
Once a driver, always a driver...
Racing consumes Tucker Poston’s life. Until he sees her again. Megan Rodney. She’s the one person to come between him and his ride. She’s the only woman to understand him. The only woman he’s ever loved. Circumstances tore their love apart. Now he’s determined to show her the contents of his soul, even if it means losing his heart.
Being a driver doesn’t warm his lonely nights. Too bad she’s not interested.
Megan’s not about to fall for his smooth lines and slick image. She’s got a good life as a team owner for a stock car team. Still, memories of their love affair burn bright in her mind. What’s a girl to do when the man of her dreams, the man who pushed her away, wants a second chance at forever?
Contains a little spanking, anal play, and domination shared between former lovers, but no one’s complaining. For good measure, there’s the sizzling use of a Camaro hood for outdoor pleasure.
“I come in peace.” Tucker Poston took a step back. In one hand, he held earphones. In the other, the radio. “Want me to talk to him? I’ve got my own headset. I understand race brain.”
“Race brain?” She rolled her eyes. “You can talk, sure. I didn’t expect you.” I’m not completely upset. She took in the way his t-shirt contoured to the dips and valleys of his chest. Muscles rippled under the soft cotton. She licked her lips. Years ago, she’d spent countless hours touching and tasting his skin. A slow burn started deep in her heart. For a split-second, she’d almost admit she missed him.
“Eric got waylaid. Your rear tire changer had his foot run over by the number four truck.”
“If it’s not one thing, it’s another.” Megan tugged at the hem of her blouse, smoothing out unseen wrinkles. She sucked in her stomach. What would he think of her extra pounds? Guys of Tucker’s calibre liked women in the size two range. Her size eight wasn’t anywhere close.
She turned away and massaged her forehead. She wanted to smack herself. What would he think? What was she thinking! His opinion didn’t matter, regardless of his obvious sex symbol status. She meant nothing to him.
“Eric suggested you and I settle our differences—at the track.” He wrapped the earphones around his neck and clipped the radio to his belt loops. “I want to help you and I’d guess there will be another couple laps under caution. What’s the team frequency?”
“Forty-seven. I can’t afford another trashed truck.”Although her gaze travelled south for a moment or two, Megan groaned. Noticing the way his jeans hugged his body and accentuated the strong muscles in his legs wasn’t going to make Mat a better driver. Nope, all it did was kick her libido, back from a long hibernation, into high gear. Truth be told, she didn’t want to deal with Tucker. The wounds from his betrayal were way too fresh even after ten years. Damn. Coupled with his way of wrapping her around his finger and she didn’t stand a chance of keeping him at bay.
Tucker hooked his index finger under her chin. “Hey, I’ve got a good rapport with him. He’s scared he’s not going to finish or keep his ride. It’s paralyzing. I know where he’s at because I’ve been there too many times.”
Her heart pounded and her hands shook. If she waited another minute, Mat could put the truck into the wall. Then again, Tucker could make another move and get closer. Megan shoved her second thoughts aside in favour of her team.
“See if you can get through to him, Professor Race Brain.” She found the frequency on his headset. “I’ve got faith in you.”
The corner of his mouth lifted in a smile. “I promise you my best.”
“You saved the collective butts of Blitz Racing. We’re appreciative.”
“Keep up the mushy talk and I’ll start thinking you care.” Tucker’s breath warmed her skin. His eye lids drooped, almost as if he wanted to kiss her. “Do you still care?”
“I never stopped, but you lost interest.” There. She’d made her point. Blunt, but she felt a little better. Sort of.
“Touché.” Tucker paused. He cupped her cheek, rubbing the pad of his thumb along the line of her jaw. “I need to get back to MPR, but I’d like to follow Eric’s advice and talk with you some more. This was kinda fun.”
“I suppose you think we owe you, as well.” Her skin tingled from his touch. Not good and yet better than the best.
“You do, but not up here.” Tucker descended down the ladder into the meeting room of the hauler. He held his hand out when Megan reached the bottom rung. “Too many prying eyes up there.”
Not wanting to encourage him, Megan strode out of the truck and stood in the shadow of the hauler. She shielded her eyes. “This is a little better.” She inched close to Tucker and kept her voice low. “And you want me to make it up to you in a very personal way?”
Crimson infused his cheeks. Had she gotten under his skin? He didn’t blush easily. Tucker rubbed his mouth with the back of his hand. “Please do make it up to me. I can think of at least three ways right now and one involves the hood of my Impala.”
Megan nodded and bit down hard on the inside of her cheek to suppress a smile. “Stop back when the race concludes. It should be worth your while.”
“I’ll be here.” His lips parted and his eyes widened. “I want to tell you, I—I wish I could take back what happened.” He toyed with the knobs on the radio. “I made mistakes, lots of them, but losing you is right at the top.”
He regretted his actions? A shred of the anger she’d held for the past ten years dissipated. “We all have things we’re not proud of.”
“I want to start over and show you I can love you the way you deserve.”
The earnestness in his voice chipped away at the fortifications around her heart. “Let’s not get mixed up. You love racing and race cars, not women.”
“There’s one woman in particular who is very near and dear to my heart. Tell me what you want me to do to make things up to you,” he murmured. “I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ve still got a set of handcuffs with your name on them.”
She’d bet he did. Handcuffs dangling from his headboard as a reminder of a conquest. Not a lost love. No way.
Megan glanced over Tucker’s shoulder. Her assistant Janine remained a few feet away but crooked her brow and crossed her arms. Thank God for friends with attitudes. Another moment and she’d cave to Tucker’s sweet apologies. “How about you just show up?”
“I see you haven’t taken the teardrop off.”
“It went with my outfit.”
“Uh-huh. I’ll be here—later.” Tucker tipped his hat and jaunted away.
Once again, thanks to Wendi for visiting-be sure to leave your email with your comment, and one lucky person on the tour will win a $10 GC from Amazon.