Smart Girls Read Romance

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sass is an Art Form by Joan Reeves

I had an unfortunate habit as a child of saying what was on my mind. Somehow, I looked at the world around me and always came up with a Dorothy Parker-type comment.

While this gained Ms. Parker the rep of being a biting sophisticated wit, it gained me the reputation of being a sassy little girl. Trust me, being sassy wasn't considered a praiseworthy attribute in my small southern town.

While a sassy assessment of people and events might be wonderful for a stand-up comedienne in training, it wasn't considered so wonderful by my parents or teachers. I remember a comment my third-grade teacher wrote on the back of my report card: "Joan talks too much in school."

That did not endear me to the teacher or my parents especially when they knew the kind of sarcastic, funny things I was wont to speak.

Childhood Disaster Makes For Writing Talent

Perhaps that's why I like to write heroines who are armed with an arsenal of sass and aren't afraid to use it. All my books have a lot of dialogue, and my romantic comedy Just One Look is no exception. It's full of romance and humor and sex.

Readers often tell me that they laugh out loud at some of the conversations between characters. In Just One Look, I really got into the dialogue. My heroine Psychologist Jennifer Monroe uses words, innuendo, and sexual tension to twist her hero Gynecologist Dr. Matthew Penrose into a pretzel.

I like writing dialogue, and I work hard to make it humorous. Sometimes it’s witty; sometimes snarky; and sometimes downright funny when my characters speak. A lot of the dialogue in my books is stuff I’d love to say, but never do – maybe because I still hear the voices of my teachers and my parents telling me to think before I speak so I don't sound like a sass mouth.

So that's what I do now. I think before I speak and usually come up with a good half-dozen of sarcastic, amusing retorts that I place in the mouths of my characters. I prize being a sass mouth now. In my opinion, sass is an art form.

I suppose it’s no surprise that I like to collect quotations that are equally sassy and amusing. I honor the smart – and smartass – women who uttered these quotations below. (I like sassy quotes so much that I used some to preface each chapter in another romantic comedy I wrote – Old Enough To Know Better.)

Perhaps you’ll find some of these inspire you in your work in progress or motivate you to succeed. Or maybe they’ll just put a smile on your face. Here are a baker’s dozen that are some of my favorites.

Favorite Sassy Quotations

“I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb ... and I also know that I'm not blonde.” Dolly Parton

“You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy.” Erica Jong

“I think I alternate between optimism and anxiety. I realize that should either of these get out of hand I would probably need a clever doctor.” Elizabeth Jolley

“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” Jane Austen

“If high heels were so wonderful, men would be wearing them.” Sue Grafton

“I think; therefore, I'm single.” Lizz Winstead

“When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country.” Elayne Boosler

“Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.” Maryon Pearson

“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” Lucille Ball

“I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.” Zsa Zsa Gabor

Last, but not least, a wooden sign hanging by my desk: “Put your big girl panties on and deal with it!”

That’s right, just face your challenges head on and deal with them rather than procrastinate, run, or hide – and don't forget to laugh.

Post Script

Today, I'm giving away a Smashwords coupon for a free copy of Just One Look AND 1 free copy of the Audio Book Edition of Old Enough To Know Better.

Anyone on the planet is eligible.
  • Make a comment.
  • Leave your email address with your comment (not as a hot link but as "address AT domain DOT whatever)
  • I'll email you with specifics on how to claim your prize.
Wishing you a very good day filled with lots of laughter!

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All Romance eBooks, iTunes, Kindle, Kobo, Nook, or Audio Book at Audible or iTunes Audio.

Joan Reeves is a mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet who – no, wait, that's someone else. Seriously? Oh. Joan is a multi-published author. Her books are available in ebook, audio, and print. Joan's Motto: "It's never too late to live happily ever after."

Find Joan Online: Blog * Website * Facebook * Google+ * Twitter * YouTube

25 comments:

  1. Joan, I love you as a child, and really enjoyed this post. your heroines sound wonderful.

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  2. *LOL* Thanks, Beth. I'm afraid I was a trial to my parents. Little did they know I was in authorial training.

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  3. Yes, in our day an age sass was not a good thing! I'm glad you found a way to use it to amuse and entertain.

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    1. Thanks, Paty. Laughter definitely smooths the rough edges of life.

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  4. Fun post, Joan. Having a "smart mouth" was a sure way for a kid to get in trouble when we were young.

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    1. Hey, Caroline. Yes. We grew up in the era of "children should be seen but not heard."

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  5. What a fun post! You sound like you are the life of the party through your books! I really enjoyed it!

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    1. Hi, Karren. I don't know about the life of the party, but I do enjoy a good party. Planning a housewarming party now for December when we finally move back to Houston.

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  6. I saw a quote on Facebook that I love. It said- "I never think before I speak. I like to be just as surprised as everybody else by what comes out of my mouth!" I don't know who said it, but I love it! I haven't read either one of your romantic comedies & I would sure love to. Oh & my email is aegis49 AT msn DOT com.
    Phyllis Ketchersid

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    Replies
    1. Hello, Phyllis. That's a great quote. A coupon for a free copy of JUST ONE LOOK will be winging its way to you. You are entered for the drawing of the audiobook edition of OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER.

      Hope you enjoy JUST ONE LOOK.

      Delete
    2. Joan- I got the coupon & have already used it on Smashwords & loaded it onto my Kindle. Can't wait to read it & thank you so much for the free coupon! This just tickles me all the way to my toes!

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    3. Phyllis, that is so nice of you to let me know. You are very welcome. Thank you! My toes are tickled too.

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  7. Joan, you are a woman after my own heart. I think I spent more time outside the classroom door than inside the room. I was forever in trouble for 'mouthing off' I just figured I was entitled to express my opinion. Took a while but I finally learnt to express it with a bit more tact. Loved the post and I look forward to reading your works.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Hello, Susan. (I deleted my original reply because I wasn't finished. Ha! Still talking too much.) Ah, we are sisters under the skin. That report card comment from the teacher followed me through elementary school. It was like an albatross hung around my neck so I was extremely sensitive to any comments a teacher made on my kids' records. One thing about being labeled, you learn to fight the good fight for your kids.

      A coupon for a free copy of JUST ONE LOOK will be winging its way to you. You are entered for the drawing of the audiobook edition of OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER.

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    3. Joan, I received the coupon, thank you. I have read the book and absoltuely loved it. I have left a review on Amazon for you. This was the first book of yours I have read and I will most definitely be reading more. Once again, thank you for introducing me to your stories.

      Delete
  8. Forgot to leave my email: karrenlucas@hotmail.com. Thanks!

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    1. Got it. Thanks. A coupon for a free copy of JUST ONE LOOK will be winging its way to you. You are entered for the drawing of the audiobook edition of OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER.

      Delete
  9. I, too, was "blessed" with a sassy mouth in my youth. Would love to win your books.
    stephaniesuesansmith at gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Stephanie. I'm loving that there are so many of us! A coupon for a free copy of JUST ONE LOOK will be winging its way to you. You are entered for the drawing of the audiobook edition of OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER.

      Delete
  10. Life can be hell for a smart-mouthed kid, all right. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard, "Little girls should be seen and not heard." Never could quite get that concept through my thick skull. :)

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    1. Oh, Jacquie, I'm familiar with THAT old saying.

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  11. Fun blog. We share the sassy trait. My mouth has been known to engage before my brain on too many occasions. I love how you capitalize on the trait with your wonderful heroines.

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    1. Hi, Judythe! Thanks. I love writing dialogue.

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  12. Happy Monday, everyone! While my darling hubby was home from Canada, I had him draw the name of the winner of an audiobook edition of OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER.

    The winner is: Stephanie Suesan Smith (stephaniesuesansmith at gmail.com)

    Congratulations, Stephanie! I have emailed you on how to claim your prize.

    ReplyDelete

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