Feb 20, 2012

Happy President's Day!

By Tracy Astle

Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
George Washington

Happy President's Day, everyone! As to the quote above, let me say that ANWA certainly qualifies as being a place to associate with people of good quality.

Today I'm thinking about holidays in writing. I like to include references to holidays in my writing; I also like to read stories with holiday references. To me it provides a kind of touchstone to the reader, something they have likely experienced, too. From a scene showing how characters celebrate or don't celebrate, how they respond to or ignore a holiday, the reader can either identify with or at least learn more about the characters. It's no accident that so many books are set during holidays. Sometimes the holday practically becomes another character in the story - think A Christmas Carol. 

Holidays can be jam packed with emotion, just waiting to be mined for the benefit of the reader. Who doesn't have some kind of attachment to the big holidays, and maybe to some smaller ones? What a fun thing it could be to explore with a reader why Ground Hog Day is so important to a character while Christmas is no big deal.

So, two questions for you.
          Do you like to use holidays in your writing?
          Why could Ground Hog Day be important to someone, and Christmas not so much? (Bonus points for creativity in answering this question.)

BTW - We have our own kind of holiday just around the corner with the ANWA Conference starting up on the 23. I so wish I could be there with you all. Let me be the first to wish those of you who will attend, "Happy Conference!"


  1. Hmmmm good point. How do holidays figure into our writing. I like that. Need to think on it.

  2. I think that because we tend to have so many memories and emotions tied to certain holidays that using holidays in our stories helps the reader become more invested in the story. Now that I think about it, many of my favorite books use a holiday somewhere in the storyline. Interesting. thanks!


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