IWSG: Private Holidays and Personal Traditions

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March 4 question – Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?

The awesome co-hosts for the March 4 posting of the IWSG are Jacqui Murray, Lisa Buie-Collard, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!

Private Holidays and Personal Traditions

Private holidays? I’m not really sure I have any that would be worth adding to a book. There are certainly private remembrances, but in terms of parties? Well, I suppose there are some small-interest group holidays that might be fun to put into a book. Not that I’ve actually done it.

I don’t really have a lot of holidays in my stories. Not recognizable, human holidays, anyway. There’s no Christmas on Mars, Hanukkah on Jupiter, Trick-or-Treats on a spaceship type thing. No. I make up the holidays I think my characters need. The ones that the story needs. Sometimes, they’re holidays I think the planet Earth needs, or holidays that I’m shocked are missing from real-life.

I have a festival of immigrants in the story I just finished revising. It was something the book needed, but the more time I spend thinking about it… isn’t it weird that we don’t have that kind of thing in real life? Something where a society of immigrants just gets together and celebrates the more-ness of each new arrival. It would be one hell of a party. Imagine the food.

Sometimes, birthdays work their way into my rough drafts, either as holidays celebrating an attribute of the person whose birthday it is, or just as a character’s birthday. When is my character’s birthday? Same as my Aunt Thelma’s. Of course, by the time I’m done revising, December will probably be “Second Snows” or something like that. No need to share some poor sucker’s personally identifiable information in my (almost certainly bestselling) novel. But it does help keep the timeline straight.

Insecurities of the Month

I just finished revising my manuscript (again), so I’m gearing up to start submitting to literary agents (again.) My current irrational fear is appearance. Maybe I should get a haircut. And a new set of glasses. And a new wardrobe… and uhm… a body double or something? What is my most marketable color? Would I look more literary, if I got something waxed?

Oh, yes. And I’ve volunteered to host IWSG for the first time, and I’m terrified. Promise not to be disappointed?

Leave a comment below, hang out and read some of my short stories, or follow me across the web. (Or all of the above, of course!)


  1. Reply

    Parties are always fun to write about and especially when surprises erupt from these parties 🙂 I wish you luck in your writing endeavors and happy IWSG day 🙂

  2. Reply

    Great idea, immigrant parties! Also, don’t worry about co-hosting on IWSG! It’s a blast and fun and everyone is wonderful, and, best part, you get to visit blogs you might have otherwise missed! Do it!

  3. Damyanti Biswas


    I do love party settings… so many potential turns it can take.

  4. Reply

    You will enjoying hosting. It embeds you in the community more and creates more connection. You will do great. Claps for you in excitement. Congrats on the rewrite. Cheering you on.

    • Reply

      Thank you so much! For what it’s worth, when I’m doing the terrifying, scary, out-going things, I usually wind up asking myself: What would Juneta Do? You’re the best community-builder I know.

    • Reply

      I know, right?!! It could be so much fun. The music, the dancing, the food… I desperately want one, now. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Reply

    I also love your idea of an immigrant festival. What fun that would be!
    Don’t fret about hosting IWSG. You’ll be great!

  6. Reply

    An immigrant festival to celebrate the food, culture, drinks, music etc of one’s native country should be a thing. Especially considering is a nation founded and descended by immigrants.

    Good luck on querying your manuscript

  7. Reply

    Oh, you will love hosting IWSG day. I’ve done it twice and it was so much fun. I wish I had the time to host more, but as you can see, I can barely keep up with comments and visitors on my own blog right now.
    I like that you create the holidays that your characters need.
    Immigrant festivals sound like a great idea.

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