Kim Korson on ‘I Don’t Have a Happy Place’
Does everyone have to be happy? Kim Korson certainly doesn’t think so. Her honest and hilarious autobiographical collection, I Don’t Have a Happy Place: Cheerful Stories of Despondency and Gloom, focuses on a life finding the unhappy in every situation. Hopefully she wasn’t too unhappy answering our questions!
What can readers who pick up I Don’t Have a Happy Place expect?
They can expect a humorous look into the life of someone who is challenged in the happiness department. They can expect honesty, darkness and levity, much 70s nostalgia, and hopefully a few laughs at my expense. In a perfect world, they’ll get a pass on needing to feel happy all the time.
Your book is billed as “Cheerful Stories of Despondency and Gloom”. How do those work together?
While I am a confirmed malcontent, I manage to have a great deal of humor in my life. A lot of the subject matter in the book is painful, and while I can never seem to find the positive side of things, I do like excavating the humor. Personally I can’t help but find the funny side of terrible situations, otherwise I’d take to the bed (more than I do already). I’ve also learned over the years, that you are much more palatable as a person if you can laugh at yourself.
Do you have any advice for readers who can’t find their happy place?
I don’t think I’m qualified to give advice in any department but I find that never seems to stop me. My gut reaction to this question is: meh-happiness is overrated. But that upsets people, so I’ll go with, not everyone has to be happy all the time, so ease up on yourself. I won’t say “don’t worry about it” because that’s in line with someone shouting for you to smile when walking down the street. Those are not pieces of advice—those are words that make you want to throw stuff at people.
What is the one book you can’t stop recommending to friends?
Bad Haircut by Tom Perrotta. I have an obsession with first books, coming of age stories, humor, and the 70s—which is this book in a nutshell. I have a very loved copy that lives on my nightstand. I read it year after year.
What are three things you need to write?
I’m a homebody and like to be around my things when I write, so that would be 1.) My desk. I find I’m most productive in the very early morning hours, before my internal naysayer or family wakes up, 2.) a 5 am start time. I tend to write a lot of notes as I work and am particular about my writing paraphernalia, which leads me to 3.) A sharpened Dixon Ticonderoga pencil (the black one) or a Pilot Precise V7 rolling ball, fine tip (not red) and a pile of graph paper.
What can readers expect next from you?
I’m currently working on a novel about the theater. That’s all I’ll say about it because if I start talking about projects, I never finish them!
Kim Korson is a writer, originally from Montreal, Canada. Kim now lives in Southern Vermont with her husband and two kids. She doesn’t get out much.
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