Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Of Eye-Patches and Pirates by Melinda Curtis

I write in many romance genres, but one of them is romantic comedy. In these stories, I try to balance real issues with a comedic take on life and bring the characters to some kind of growth at the end of their journey.

Recently, I completed a novella about a war vet who'd lost an eye in service (this is one of the most common injuries of the modern war). I gave him an eye-patch and immediately made a list of other heroes and cultural references to characters with eye-patches, such as:

1.Nick Fury, The Avengers
2.Snake Plissken, Escape from New York
3.One-Eyed Willy, the pirate from Goonies
4.Mad-Eye Moody, Harry Potter
5.Pirate costumes galore

I was thinking there was a lot of comedic value in an eye-patch. And then the writing became harder, because comedy is a tricky thing, and nothing was funny about what I was putting on the page. I didn't want to be insensitive, but once I got to the end of the story, it wasn't funny. It wasn't even fun!

It took a few days of noodling for me to crack the code and make some serious revisions. My hero, Mike Romero, resented his eye-patch the same way someone might resent their prosthetic leg. He thought it made him less of a man. He was big on overcompensating for his loss by being macho (and a bit sexist). His journey needed to be one of acceptance and he needed a strong woman to make him loosen up about his appearance and his attitude, not by treating him with kid gloves, but by treating him like one of the guys.

I find humor to be healing. I have a bump on my nose where it was fractured by a line drive softball (the dangers of pitching). Every once in awhile my husband catches me running my finger down my nose over that bump. He always tells me my nose has grown over the years and he can hardly tell the bump is there anymore. LOL!

We've all got an eye-patch or a bump in our nose, but love and humor seem to find us anyway and make everything feel better. Have you ever had someone use humor to help you accept something that you were struggling to deal with?

Melinda Curtis is a USA Today bestseller who writes light-hearted sweet romances and sweet romantic comedies. You can read about Mike's journey in Rescued by a Bridesmaid, Book 3 in the Bridesmaid series, coming in June. Follow her on Facebook or sign up for her newsletter to be notified of the release date.

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  1. Nice post, Melinda! I've used humor to get through some very difficult times. It can certainly help.

  2. I like your post Melinda. My husband uses humor to help me to accept things I struggle to deal with. I do that to myself at times too. Since most of us struggle with things we wish we could change about ourselves, humor can be the best way to cope with those things.

  3. Wonderful post, Melinda. Humor can be one of the most wonderful things on the world to help us get past our challenges. My husband makes me laugh all the time - and it is great medicine! :)

  4. Humor is definitely healing! Laughing through adversity makes us stronger. Can't wait to get my hands on Mike's story. :) And I've never noticed the bump on your nose...and how long have we been friends?!

  5. Love this post Melinda! Humor helps, but I don't think it's my go to during stressful/challenging times. I find myself more inclined to cry to the horror of myself and my family. My husband and daughter almost always choose humor. They both try to head me off when crying might start with a good joke thrown in to lighten the mood. Looking forward to reading Mike's story :)

    Lori P