Jun 18, 2010

Friendly Friday - Cindy (C.L., C. Lynn, C.K.) Beck

Hi, I’m Cindy Beck. I’m also known as C.L. Beck, C. Lynn Beck, C.K. Beck and several other pen names which are mostly useless, that sit out at blogs I’ve forgotten I own and on which I’ve probably never posted anything.

So, right off the bat, let me give you my opinion on multiple pen names. They’re fun to create but hard to remember and pretty soon you find that when you meet someone new, you don’t know what to call yourself. Quite frankly, I think I might have to switch over and call myself Ethyl just so that I don’t get confused with the other names. Except then I wouldn’t know if I’m Ethyl as in ethyl alcohol, or Ethyl as in Ethyl and Fred, from the I Love Lucy show.

All week I’ve been pondering what to write and it’s too bad the Ethyl issue didn’t come up earlier because I could’ve written a long treatise on that. However, instead we’ll discuss something even more important than pen names—how to write humor.

Here’s my advice. It’s important, and a secret. Shhh … go visit DaveBarry.com and read his tips. That is, if there are any out there. Dave Barry is a wild guy and you never know if he’ll have tips at his website or not.

Are you wondering how I can feel comfortable saying that Dave Barry is a wild guy? Well, because, I know Dave Barry personally. Not “know him” as in the biblical sense. Oh my gosh, no! I know him in the, "I sent him a note once and he wrote me back" sense.

I can see that you are all impressed and would now like my autograph. Meaning you’re thinking, She’s a nut, having delusions, and I’m not leaving any comments here because she might track me down and tell the world she personally knows me, too.

Not true. I would not have to track you down because I probably already know most of you. But please leave a comment, anyway.

A number of years ago, I subscribed to the Salt Lake Tribune and liked to read Dave Barry’s column. One particular day—as opposed to a non-particular day—I opened the paper to read what Dave wrote. (You’ll notice I can call him Dave because I know him personally.) I glanced at his picture. Something had gone wrong in typesetting and somehow Dave ended up with a “ghost” picture on top of the actual one, giving him four eyes. He looked bizarre. Which is possibly fitting for my friend, Dave—who wasn’t my personal friend at the time. I grabbed a pair of scissors, cut out the picture and mailed it to him with a note that said something wise and witty.

Okay, I’ll tell the truth. I don’t remember what I wrote. It probably said something like, “Here’s your picture. It looks funny. Will you please, please, please be my personal friend since I went to the trouble to send you this?”

Then, I promptly forgot about it. You can see how very important it was to me. And no, I do not send notes like that to every humor writer in the country. Only to Dave Barry.

And maybe Garfield, the cat.

Several weeks later, a postcard arrived in the mail. It said, “Cindy—That’s what I look like. ~ Dave Barry, possessed by demons.”

Why am I telling you this? I don’t remember … I think it’s because I had to come up with something to write for my guest post. But if you don’t believe that Dave Barry actually sent a note, addressing me by name—well, one of them, anyway—you can go to my blog and click on the tab near the top that says, “People I’ve Known” to see a copy of the post card.

That being said, I just realized that I’m supposed to give a bio (of myself, not of my friend, Dave), so I’ll end this post with an official one, written in third person … for whatever that’s worth.

Cindy (C.L., C. Lynn, C.K.) Beck was born in Wisconsin, grew up reading books, and is now living a normal life with Toto and the Wizard, in Kansas … er, umm … Utah. Cindy and her friend, Nichole Giles, have written a humor book called, Mormon Mishaps and Mischief, published by Cedar Fort, Inc. She also has serious, non-fiction stories published in anthologies, magazines, and on-line newsletters, but humor is what she enjoys most. You can learn more about Cindy at her blog, Write Up My Alley, or at her author website, ByTheBecks.com.

[Author’s Note: Christine, thanks for inviting me; it’s been fun. Oh, and after this post, would you please send me a postcard that says you know me personally? Thanks! :]

ROFL!!! Cindy, you are hilarious!! I wish I could write humor like you do. I try, and sometimes it comes out kinda funny, but usually it's just an accident. Or maybe it's just funny to me and not anyone else. Either way, I love reading humor mingled in with whatever genre I happen to be hooked on at the moment. Thanks for being my guest today. YOU ROCK!!

My guest next week will be David West.


  1. Christine: Thanks for your kind compliments; I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks again for inviting me ... oh, and don't forget to send that postcard! :)

  2. I've always loved Dave Barry, too, though have never received a postcard from him. Sweet! Thanks for the fun(ny) post!

  3. Cindy, (if that is your real name)
    That was a hilarious story. I know Dave too. He told me about a stalker he once had....named Cindy.
    No, Dave doesn't know me. I used to read his column and then read news of the weird. For some reason they go together. Thanks for a fun read.


  4. Cindy,

    You're the best! Thanks for the laughs and smiles. I know where you live so I am definitely a personal friend and you don't even need a postcard to prove it. :)