Sunday, November 4, 2012

Laughing My Head Off

All the women in my family have huge laughs. We don't giggle like ladies. We literally laugh our heads off, bend our necks backwards, and guffaw.

Once, when my sisters and I attended a Second City improv, the comedian on stage used us in his routine as "cackling hens". That's really what we sound like.

Recently we attended a taping of Zoink'd, a children's show that my grandchildren love. My daughter and I sat further back, while the kids were placed up front for the cameras (all the kids were). Kristen and I fell in love with the warm-up guy, Josh Hellyer (watch him on his website and you'll see what I mean: The Josh Show). We laughed so loudly that we ended up making friends with him.

Any family party is suffused in such loud hilarity that we often disturb the neighbours. My friends are funny, too. There is nothing we love more than a joke or witty comment that sends us into gales of laughter. Sometimes the humour is fueled with alcohol, but still hilarious nonetheless. I love reading funny books too, such as my friend Melodie Campbell writes (Funny Girl Melodie).

So you would think that I would write comedy too. Instead, my books are filled with dark themes, complex characters, evil versus good, and that sort of thing. People look at me and wonder if I am a secret psychopath or something. They often can't believe that this benign, fun-loving middle-aged (OK, maybe 3/4 aged) woman writes such horror.
The Bridgeman

What they miss is the dichotomy. I pit violence against peaceful community, hatred with love, despair with hope. The good guys always win. The bad guys always get punished, even if that means some loss of innocence (or innocents) in the process. The world is always a changed landscape, but a better place in the end.

That's why I used the Ojibway philosophy of the Seventh Fire in my fourth book. The prediction states that the world will go through a terrible time that will change everything, but that people will emerge into a better place. Hell to heaven, if you will. Redemption perhaps. The Great Flood, the new start.

Really, when I think about my novels, they are demonstrative of my optimistic nature. They might not be LOL, but they are filled with hope, love, and strength of community. That surely befits a benign, fun-loving 3/4 aged woman.  Catherine Astolfo
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