Happy Holiday Season!

When I moved to the US, one of the first things that surprised me the most was how the Americans turned the holiday season into such a show. Fascinating, exciting, and a little overwhelming to observe.

Now that I am an almost full-blooded American, I’m used to see lights and trees up right after Thanksgiving. Last year, I even decorated during Thanksgiving weekend as well.

This year, however, I’m way behind according to American standards.  I got excuses.

First, the weather here in California has been abnormally warm for the longest time. We got this three-day storm, which brought rain, but temperatures are still hovering in the upper 60s. Doesn’t put me in the right mood to go pick a Christmas tree.

Then, there was NaNoWriMo. Honestly, this program sucks lots of energy. I must confess that I didn’t write 50 000 words – it was my personal goal. I went as far as 32 000, and I console myself with the idea that the first 10 000 words aren’t bad.

My draft isn’t where I was hoping it would be, but I have built a set of characters I like.

I read once an interview from the great Dick Jackson. “True voice,” he said. “Comes from somewhere inside the writer or inside the character.”

We all agree, of course. It makes sense and it seems easy to do, right?

Through the month of November, I worked hard at giving each and every of my characters a voice, because I found out that, more than the writer’s voice, the characters the writers created gave a voice to the books I admire most.

Take John Green, for example.  In my opinion, he excels at giving each and every of his characters a definite, unforgettable personality so they can stand on their own.

It takes persistence to execute this kind of thing.

So this is how I spent November.

Now that December has started, I already know it will be a less productive month. School ends in two weeks and three of my four children will be home all day long. Great when you want to write true to life dialogues. Not so good for the mom I am, since I find it hard to stay away from the fun.

Happy Holiday Season!

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