Nearly four years ago, Anna Lind Thomas noticed a gap in women/parenting humor on the Internet.
So she decided to fill it. The result is HaHas for HooHas, the funny website for women.
When she's not making shameless jokes on HooHas, she takes a funny spin on living with purpose at her author website. She is also a regular contributor at Babble.
And we are excited to have her make a little room in her busy schedule to become a monthly contributor for momaha.com.
We jumped at a chance to find out more about Anna.
Momaha.com: What were you doing before you founded HaHas for HooHas?
ALT: I was living in Northern California as a residence community coordinator at Chico State University. I received my master's degree there in interpersonal communication. It was a far cry from outrageous humor writing, but my experiences working so closely with students — mentoring, guiding and helping them in crisis — really shaped who I am and the type of writer I am today.
Momaha.com: What was your reason for creating HaHas for HooHas?
ALT: My husband and I decided to move back to Omaha to be close to my family. When you work in higher education for so long, it becomes a huge safety net filled with fun and purpose. Leaving was nerve-racking — I had no idea what I was going to do. I always dreamed of being a writer, but I didn't know how to make a living at it. ... I noticed a huge gap in women/parenting humor so I got the crazy idea to try and fill it. It ended up taking off relatively quickly and I've been chipping away ever since. Now the gap is overflowing with a lot of great talent, so you can't rest on your laurels in the baby humor game!
Momaha.com: Have you always had a love for writing?
ALT: Yes, definitely. I thought I would be a writer as early as I can remember. I started off with deeply dramatic, sad pieces about love and loss — it must have been from watching the TV show "Dallas" while hiding on the staircase when my parents weren't looking — who knows? Children with happy childhoods tend to like creating their own drama. Humor has always been a huge part of my life, but I didn't try actual humor writing until well out of college.
Momaha.com: You went viral with "The fart that (almost) altered my destiny." How did that came about?
ALT: I needed a post for HooHas and I was drawing blanks. One evening, I had dinner with my parents and recounted the story at the table and we were all laughing at the sheer horror of it all. My mom casually mentioned I should write the story up for HooHas. Out of creative desperation, I did. At the time, I was a little more self-conscious about how I was perceived as a writer (thank God that season has passed) so writing about a fart felt a tad threatening to my integrity. ...I remember I had an appointment at noon, and wrote it from 11 to 11:45 a.m. If I had even an inkling it would go so viral, I would have spent way more time on it and probably ruined it. Life can be weird like that sometimes.
Momaha.com: How did it feel to have something go viral?
ALT: It was a total shock. My partner at the time, my best friend from college, noticed our traffic and social media numbers were going nuts and it started this avalanche of activity. I wasn't embarrassed, but I was nervous about all the attention and emails I was getting. I don't think any writer wants to be the top Google search for "the fart girl," but beggars can't be choosers, AMIRITE? It was also my first time getting negative attention. A lot of people criticized the writing, me, my hair! It was a crazy time, but exciting. I knew if I wanted to succeed at humor writing, I could do it if I just worked it everyday, but going viral gave me wind in my sails.
Momaha.com: You're a mother now. Has that changed you?
ALT: Starting a family as your writing career is finally taking off is scary, but I read somewhere that, by 30, my eggs took a huge nosedive off a cliff, so there wasn't time for dilly-dallying. I knew writing and having an infant was going to be incredibly hard, I just didn't realize it would be impossible sometimes. It's one of the few experiences in life that can suck in a good way. It really is captivating. Of course, right off the bat you become less selfish and self-centered. I wash my hands more, I give random strangers the stink eye just in case they're thinking about being threatening. I didn't think I could kiss another human being with so much crazed intensity — it's an all-day workout! Just her smile gets my heart beating fast with love. It's kind of thrilling — the whole miracle of it all. I just feel blessed to experience it.
Momaha.com: How do you spend your free time?
ALT: Free time? I don't know what that is. BUT, maybe, MAYBE you could catch me watching bad reality TV at around midnight once I get my work done. It's my husband's greatest shame. Did you know there are around five shows about little people? Did you know you can become addicted to all of them? Even the boring ones where no one is swearing and splashing wine in people's faces? Well, you can and it's none of your business how I know that.
ALT: Life is way too short to take it so seriously. Parenting is a very serious, important job — perhaps the most important job in the world — that needs to be laughed at relentlessly. It's a survival tactic, honestly, and I just hope with humor I can impart some joy in someone's day. It's all I can do and that's enough for me.