National Day Of… (Go Ahead, Fill In The Blank)

As a writer, it’s fun to include some unusual facts in your books or short stories – things that make your readers say “I didn’t know that!”, “That’s SO cool!”, or just make them smile with new knowledge. And if you’re writing a series, they’ll come to expect – dare I say, even anticipate – these types of surprises with each new novel.

There’s one area that’s rarely thought of in fiction writing, and it can serve as a little comic relief or become one of those eccentricities of an offbeat but lovable character. It can even be the quirk that leaves just the right odd clue pointing directly to the murderer. What is this thing, you ask?

Even I have my own day! (In case you didn't know, it's November 14!)

Even I have my own day!
(In case you didn’t know, National Pickle Day is November 14!)

Awareness days.

Oh sure, we all know about observances like Mother’s Day, Labor Day, and even Bring Your Child To Work Day. But how about those obscure little nuggets like Cellophane Tape Day on May 27, Hug Your Boss Day on August 24 (imagine the situations that could create in your novel!), or National Chocolate Covered Anything Day on December 16? (That last one is something I can really get into!)

Of course, there are more serious observances that you can also use to give a character a sense of purpose or to show that s/he has a soft heart, even if s/he does pull wings off flies for fun. Observances of any kind can be seamlessly woven into almost any story, adding a new gem of information, a chuckle, or raising readers’ awareness in your own way.

While some readers will just enjoy learning something new or discovering that a character has yet another facet to him or her, others will undoubtedly run to their computers to find out more about this strange new bit of knowledge they just learned from you. It might even give them a funny topic to bring up over the dinner table or the next time they meet friends for coffee….and when asked, they’ll say they read it in your book. Win-win!

So maybe the next time friends visit me on May 29, they’ll find a pillow on top of my fridge. After all, May 29 is Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day in both Europe and the US, and I wouldn’t want to miss any opportunity to coax a little good luck my way…. 😉

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