My name is Mark Saunders and I’m a writer. I prefer to write short, humorous pieces befitting my height and attention span. My humorous memoir about dropping out and moving to Mexico, Nobody Knows the Spanish I Speak, published by Fuze Publishing, was voted the #2 book in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. (Not bad, considering San Miguel was voted “Best City in the World” by readers of Condé Nast Traveler Magazine, the world’s premier travel magazine.)
I am an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and cartoonist, and a former winner of the Walden Fellowship, an annual fellowship awarded to three Oregon writers or artists each year.
Thirty of my short plays have been staged from California to New York—with several stops in-between—and two of my plays (Who’s on Faust? and Playthings) have been published.
With three feature scripts and two short scripts optioned, my screenplays, all comedies, have garnered insignificant awards and even less money. As a freelancer, I wrote jokes for stand-up comedians, including Jay Leno, as well as gags for the popular comic strip “Frank and Ernest.”
Back in my drawing days, more than 500 of my drawings were published nationally, in publications as diverse as The San Jose Mercury News, Writer’s Digest, The Saturday Evening Post, and Twilight Zone Magazine.
I once owned a Yugo (please don’t ask about the car).
If you can laugh or smile, I believe you can make others laugh or smile with your writing. Humor is perspective. It’s how you (and your characters) view the world. Put another way, a humorist connects everything from dots to polka dots to polka musicians.
I feel fortunate to be a writer. Unlike a carpenter who can’t work without acquiring lumber, or a chef who needs a storeroom of meats, starches, and greens, I never run out of the raw material required to tell stories.
And that’s what I like about writing humor. Ideas are everywhere. You can never run out of them. You really can’t.
However, the truth is there is no bibbidi-bobbidi-boo to writing humor, no secret handshake, decoder ring, or chemical formula mixed inside of an RV that works every time. Nonetheless, I consider humor to be a muscle. And as Richard Simmons, the exercise guru formerly known as Milton Teagle Simmons, might say: “Work it, people, work it.”
I plan to work it in The Qwerty Times. I hope you’ll join me.