Chuckles Would Have Been Proud

You know what’s interesting?  Probably not or you wouldn’t be stuck reading my blog to find out.  I wonder if insulting my readers is the brightest idea.  Hmmm.

OK, I started off with a digression so now I can focus.  In the pursuit of publishing my book I have connected with incredibly helpful perfect strangers.  I can’t even tell you how many of them go out of their way to help.  I’ve had the opportunity to speak at length with a number of published authors, and what’s interesting is how different we all are from each other, and yet how eager they are to help.

When I tell people that my book is a humorous take on breast cancer, there are three typical answers.  One is not really an answer; just silence.  Awkward.  The other is “what’s so funny about cancer?”  Really awkward, and even when I explain I don’t think cancer is funny in general, that my book is about my personal experience using humor as a coping mechanism, they’re just not on board.  They’ve all given me great advice, regardless.

Thank goodness there is a third reaction:  laughter.  So I know there are people out there who totally understand what I’m trying to do, and that keeps me going.  I had the good fortune recently to connect with Greta Nettleton, http://gretanettleton.com/ , the talented author who wrote the book The Quack’s Daughter.  The book is a true story about the private life of a Victorian college girl,  Cora Keck, who just happens to be the author’s great grandmother.  The book is beautifully written—and by the way would make a great Mother’s Day gift because it traces a matriarchy.  The thing I most enjoy about the book though is how similar Cora’s adventures at Vassar 130 years ago are to those of modern college students.  The truth is Cora probably would have been my best friend if we went to college together.  She wasn’t exactly a rule-follower, if you know what I mean.

Greta was gracious enough to spend quite a bit of time talking to me about the process of getting a book published, and gave me lots of great advice.  But more importantly, she totally gets what I’m trying to do.  When I described my book she had no problem laughing along with me at my breast cancer adventure.  We just clicked.  She restored my faith that there are people out there who are willing to join me in laughing at my own hapless tales.

I get that there are people out there who think I am Morticia Addams, as if that was a bad thing.  Morticia was hilarious, right?  Because if you can’t laugh at death, what can you laugh at?  A classic clip illustrating my point…

chuckles the clown funeral – Bing Videos.

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6 Responses to Chuckles Would Have Been Proud

  1. David Cannon says:

    Jill,
    I found this blog quite by accident. As a survivor of my own health scare less than 2 years ago( a heart attack at age 46), I know what humor can mean to your recovery. It gives us a much needed break from dealing with the seriousness of it. Hang in there!
    Dave Cannon

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      Many thanks David! So happy to hear that you are doing well and that you got through your health issues with good humor. I hope you will enjoy my blog entries on other topics as well.

  2. Kate says:

    The book sounds very interesting. As a breast cancer survivor, I don’t want to read a “pity party” book. In cancer, as in life, many funny things happen and those are the things I best remember. I had a different kind of radiation than most. They would insert a radioative seed into a catheter and then remove it. My poor husband had to clean my radiation port because I couldn’t see it. I don’t think we ever did that without both us breaking up in giggles. Humor and upbeat friends are what helps you through it. I would buy your book for sure!

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      Are you sure we weren’t separated at birth? I love your radiation seed story and I know you found a little humor in everything during your journey. I think you will love my book!

  3. mimijk says:

    I think it’s awesome that you are meeting authors who can provide guidance and direction and who can enjoy the joy of meeting with you. Yeah, I know this isn’t a funny response, but sometimes happiness trumps the bada-bum.

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      Thanks Mimi. It never ceases to amaze me how much people, particularly women, are willing to help a perfect stranger. I’ve found this in everything in life, whether it’s looking for a job or publishing a book. Most people love the feeling of helping someone else. It is a good insight to hold into when people start blowing up other people. Ultimately, people create far more good than evil. That sound really cheesy, but sometimes cheese trumps humor too. 🙂

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