Seems like we just finished celebrating National Coffee Day, and we don’t know about you, but we haven’t even taken down our decorations for National Custodial Worker Day. And now it’s Leif Erikson Day, Curious Events Day AND Moldy Cheese Day—all on the same day! This abundance of special occasions have us in a celebratory mood, so we’ve taken the liberty of adding a few more events we’d like to recognize.
Happy Random Letter Day!!! Today is a day to celebrate all those silent and extra letters found all over the English language. Yes, I’m looking at you Mr. G in lasagna! As well as all the W’s (Write, Wrist), the K’s (Knee, Knowledge), the T’s (Depot, Rapport), and especially the the P’s (Psychology, Corps). Some say you are unnecessary. I say that you add a much needed dose of excitement to what otherwise would be a very boring word. Having an unnecessary letter (or two or three) in my own name, I’m sensitive to your plight. I support you—so much that I decided to shove a Y in the name of the main character of my book in a show of solidarity. I named her Dayna.
So let’s all stand up and recognize those letters that work just as hard as their counterparts, but get no credit. As you the spend day texting, typing and tweeting, please take a moment to stop and appreciate that random letter before you hit send.
So here’s my proposed holiday: Give Your Characters a Break Day. Why? Well, basically, time off for my two detectives, Summer and Dorothy, means a little downtime for yours truly, too. I’m currently finishing up my second case with The Ladies Smythe & Westin (okay, full disclosure: at this very moment I’m at Bouchercon) and I just realized something horrifying. My books are set on the Florida Gulf Coast, but twentysomething Summer, seventysomething Dorothy, and in-between me have not yet been to the beach together.
Of course, Summer would immediately zip off on her surfboard and Dorothy would probably set up camp with a book under a shady umbrella. And if I went with them, I’d probably be scanning the water for sharks, sinking sailboats, and floating bodies. Because that’s what mystery writers do, right? Guess that means we’re never really on vacay…but after the beach, you can bet my sleuths and I will head for ice cream, and later a fabulous dinner. Then Summer will hit the clubs in a cute dress and killer shoes, and Dorothy and I will return to our books in progress: Dorothy to read, and me…to write, sigh. And maybe come up with another holiday, because my sleuth team and I will need another one soon.
My very own holiday! Hmmmm, so hard to choose. Dress Like a Toddler Day? Bring Your Cat to Work Day? International Eat Nachos For Breakfast Day? I kind of want to celebrate all three of those, but probably that’s just my id talking. I was pretty excited about my idea for a National Gibberish Day—until a quick Google search told me it was already taken. (On the plus side, I know what I’ll be doing next September 20.) So instead, I bring you: National Read All Day Day. Find a comfy spot on a beach or in a hammock. Or maybe just stay in bed and arrange to have coffee and meals brought to you. Then? You just read. All day long. And if you reach the end of the book, you celebrate with cupcakes and champagne. And as long as I can make it whatever I want, I’m going to say we celebrate it….every Saturday. Who’s in?
Happy Fet Let! Okay, so I didn’t make up a holiday, I made up a festival. But in Louisiana, they’re almost the same thing.
Louisiana boasts over four hundred festivals a year, which means there are more festivals in the state than actual days in a year. There’s everything from New Orleans’ world-famous Jazz and Heritage Festival—whoo hoo!—to the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival—whoo…huh??
As I was writing Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery, I decided my mythical little town of Pelican needed its own celebration. I tossed around a few ideas, and since the book takes place at the end of summer, I finally landed on Fete L’Ete—“L’ete” being the French word for summer. Ooo, aren’t I fancy? (Yeah, right. Thank you, freetranslation.com.) Since a quirk of Louisiana is that every person or event seems to acquire a nickname, Pelican locals dubbed the event Fet Let. Families set up booths and serve their favorite dishes, competing informally for the most popular dish at the festival, as Cajun and Zydeco bands entertain in the town square’s bandstand. It’s a super fun day, and I can’t wait to go.
Oh, wait. It’s not real. But I’m sure somewhere in those four hundred festivals, there’s got to be one just like it. Whoo hoo!
So let’s hear it, readers! What are you celebrating today?