Conference Challenge #6: Laughter Through Tears

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Okay, those who are close to me know that this week has been an emotional one now that both of my boys are in college and I’m a … sniff … empty nester.

I seriously can’t believe it yet.

So my emotions have been on a total roller coaster. One minute, I’m desperately sad and depressed. The next minute, I’m oddly intrigued over our life change and the possibilities it brings. I can finally take down that awful wallpaper in the kitchen! Organize the basement! Write an article for Writer’s Digest!

But then I get angry over all the mistakes I’ve made as a mother.

Then I worry over whether or not I’ve prepared them to be on their own.

Then I get depressed all over again, staring at the open doors of their empty bedrooms, and crying, “Where have the years gone?”

Then I notice how awesome my eldest son’s leather chairs would be in the kitchen nook for a cute reading area … which quickly leads to guilt because what kind of mother steals furniture from her son’s room two days after he leaves?

Then I’m depressed yet again and I want to lie on the sofa watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns.

Then I realize that–hooray!–I can now watch shows like Grey’s Anatomy and other chick flicks instead of crap fests like Family Guy and American Dad.

Then I start to missing my boys all over again because–I must admit it–Family Guy is kind of funny.

See? I’m an emotional basket case with a side serving of crazy woman, going from depression to laughter to anger to depression again. So when I sat down to write this challenge, I thought about one of my favorite movie lines from the wonderful Dolly Parton:


No, not that quote … although it’s pretty awesome, too. I mean this one:

Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

Ah, Steel Magnolias. How awesome was that movie, huh? Care to walk down memory lane with me? Yes? Oh goodie, I was hoping you’d say that.

Gives you chills, huh? But wait … We can’t leave out another fabulous example of the Laughter Through Tears scene, this one with Kathy Bates in the classic Fried Green Tomatoes:

Such a wonderful, wonderful scene! And a perfect example of what I’m asking everyone to do for today’s …


I want you to write a scene between two characters that shifts from one high emotion to another. It can be any kind of emotion – anger to fear, depression to elation, sadness to happiness or what have you.


Sketch two drawings of one character displaying very different emotions.

Have fun with this! And remember, you can complete the previous challenges at any time. Just let us know by leaving a comment in the challenge post saying you have completed that task.

Challenge #1: Two Friends and a Kitchen Table

Challenge #2: Victimize a Villain

Challenge #3: Conflict–Can’t live with it, can’t write without it

Challenge #4: Give yourself a job review

Challenge #5: Introducing Your Main Character

Challenge #6: Laughter Through Tears

Happy writing and drawing! 🙂

About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger/vlogger at Write, Run, Rejoice and Joyful Miles, mom of two awesome boys, wife of one fantastic husband, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She loves run-on sentences and adverbs. She also still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.
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4 Responses to Conference Challenge #6: Laughter Through Tears

  1. Summer B says:

    Familiar Fear vs. Panic and Anger

    Completed. I did a scene with a parents fight from the child’s POV complete with cops and SS.

    I was going to post but its long and makes me feel rather raw.

  2. Challenge #6: Accomplished and Included … Repulsion to Guilt

    “Ugh, you’ve been eating dead things again.” Noir covered his beak with his great black wing. The smell that came along as his Uncle Georgie landed was unmistakable – the putrid sweet smell of death, the sour scent of decay. Noir’s stomach rolled and lurched and he clamped his beak down hard so the smell would not get on his tongue.

    “Oh, so sorry, Your Highness. Sorry to offend your olfactory sensories. We’re crows. Eating and cleaning up the dead … that’s what we do. We clean up the world by eating dead things.” Uncle Georgie shook his head at Noir’s repulsion. “You should be helping me instead of collecting all your silly beads and baubles. What good does that do any creature?”

    Noir knew that his birds, the Crows, were supposed to be cleaners, picker-uppers of the most grisly things–trash, dead animals, sometimes dead crows, insects and the creepiest of the crawlies–but Noir had no desire to do such things. He wanted to eat clean, sweet things like seeds and flowers, berries and nuts. His family didn’t understand, but he just couldn’t be what he was supposed to be. He had to be the bird he wanted to be. A nut-eater and shiny bauble-collector, a bird who was different who … who what? Stood apart? Rejected his own? Noir’s heart was stabbed with a pang of guilt. He looked over at his grandmother. She smiled and winked. She was the only one who understood him. She offered him a plate of smashed squash and poke berries. His mouth watered at the sight of the bright, earthy-smelling food. He looked up at Uncle Georgie, who rolled his eyes.

    “Grow up, Noir.” And with that exasperated command, Georgie kissed Grandma Fanny and flew away.

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