What a lot of people don’t realize is that research is the key to a great humor piece. The more research, the better. Years ago, I wanted to write a true story about how my mother almost named me Lorraine… that is, if I was born a girl. So, I got an itch to look into what’s behind naming babies. The unfortunate result was “Five Minutes from Lorraine” (http://bit.ly/2UyLyEn) and it went on to become one of my favorite pieces. Why? Because I wrote about all the crazy things people do when naming their kids. Real things. You could NEVER dream up the names people bestowed on their kids — for the rest of their lives!

Allen Smith is an award-winning writer living in Oceanside, California and has published thousands of articles for print, the web and social media.