This is the 11th post in a series in which we profile people’s passion projects and let them explain their work in their own words. Learn more and see a list of all the projects profiled here.
Aprill Brandon is a writer and humor columnist who writes screamingly funny observations and insights into daily experiences. Often she’s able to get a joke about burping, farting, or boogers in there. She graciously answered questions about her writing projects. Her blog is here and you can get her book here.
What is Chick Writes Stuff? How did it come about?
Chick Writes Stuff is my humor blog where I essentially take all my frustrations about life and parenting and delivery drivers who forget the marinara sauce when you order mozzarella sticks, and turn it into booger jokes. It helps me keep my sanity and is a form of really dark, albeit effective, therapy for me. These random musings are also occasionally accompanied by some really, really bad stick figure art, so yeah, I guess you could call me a Renaissance Woman.
Similarly, what is “Why Does the Cheese Always Fall?”? How did it come about?
That is the title of my collection of columns over the years that I self-published about five years ago. I’ve been writing some form of this humor column/blog for about 15 years now at various newspapers, media outlets and now on my own website. And in this glorious age of social media, I was delusional enough to think, “yeah, the world totally needs this epic literary work!” But I had a blast doing it. When I wasn’t, you know, busy crying.
On a more serious-ish note, that’s the wonderful thing about being a writer in this day and age with all the fancy technology. You can make your dreams come true and publish your own book. Roughly only five people bought it, and of those five only one person read about half of it, but it was worth every ounce of effort I put into it. Writing is truly one of those things I would do even if I didn’t get paid for it (and I barely get paid for it) so it’s wonderful to have all these platforms for publishing and sharing your work.
What version(s) of Aprill would you say Chick Writes Stuff and “Why Does the Cheese Always Fall?” bring out? In other words, how have these projects allowed you to express yourself?
I have two kids now, the oldest being three and a half. It’s amazing the transformation you go through when you have kids. It’s wonderful but also really easy to lose your sense of self when you’re refilling sippy cups 32 times a day. Chick Writes Stuff is my tether to who I was and who I still am deep down when the kids are finally asleep and I can curse again. I can be irreverent and petty and sarcastic and slightly evil at night while writing posts and then wake up the next morning like friggin’ Mary Poppins, all refreshed and cheery.
What parts of pop culture have influenced Chick Writes Stuff and “Why Does the Cheese Always Fall?” the most? I’m guessing there are writers you’ve admired, but any influence from movies, music, TV?
Ugh. So many writers, especially Dave Barry and David Sedaris during my formative years. But I’m a bit of a pop culture junkie. Or was, before my kids made watching anything besides “Sesame Street” a luxury. So, I was influenced pretty heavily over the years by TV and movies also.
Amy Sherman-Palladino rocked my world. I recommend “Gilmore Girls” to every single human I see.
“Aprill, your latte is ready.”
“Thanks! You should really watch ‘Gilmore Girls.’ It’s one of the best shows of all time.”
Then there is Tina Fey, who is God.
The first time I saw a Woody Allen movie, I knew I wanted humor to be my life calling, regardless of whether or not I was good at it.
I discovered Loren Bouchard in college and could not get enough of his show “Home Movies.” Same now with “Bob’s Burgers.” I’ve almost hurt myself on multiple occasions laughing .
And growing up, Tracey Ullman and Carol Burnett were huge influences on me.
If Chick Writes Stuff had a theme song, what would it be? And if “Why Does the Cheese Always Fall?” had a theme song, what would it be?
Oh man, that’s a tough one. I’d say “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse but only because I want to look cool. I’ve reached a point in my life where two glasses of wine have me dancing on the dining room table. So, maybe a more accurate one would be “Itsy Bitsy Spider” sung by Marilyn Manson.
As for “Why Does the Cheese Always Fall?”, I’d have to say “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty. Yes, I know, it seems a bit too on-the-nose, but I keep imagining a sad cheese slice singing this as it falls in slow motion from the refrigerator shelf and it makes me giggle like a first-grader, so there you go.