Today is Wednesday, December twelfth, two thousand and twelve. Yes, folks, it’s 12/12/12. Do you know what this means?
It means it’s holiday time. Sadly, it does not really portend the end of the world. If it did, I wouldn’t have to attend corporate parties, or make sure whomever is hoarding the church tablecloths is brought to justice. The fact that the Sunday school teacher has the flu wouldn’t matter, because who cares about a pageant when the world is about to end?
That even my Spanx can’t get me into any of my old dresses? Not a problem.
The world isn’t going to end, however, so that means I have a sick baby’s diaper’s worth of stuff to get done.
You can’t escape the season of Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men in the U.S.A. It’s everywhere, blaring out at you from every store, radio, television commercial, and blinking at you in colored lights as you drive home in the dark at five in the afternoon.
Oh, and you can’t escape it at my house, either. Because even though I said yesterday on Twitter that I’d like to break a beer bottle over my Santa figurine’s head?
I’m playing Christmas music at home. I’m turning on the tree first thing in the morning.
This is the third Christmas without my Dad, and the first one where I’ve really felt his absence. This means I’m swinging between laughing and making merry and having random bouts of uncontrollable tears. Every happy thing makes me sad…
And yet I’m still happy.
Here’s the thing. People are like this. We can go through life’s moments, big and small, holding two opposing emotions.
So, if you’re looking over a manuscript right now? Maybe you just finished NaNoWriMo, or you’ve got a couple of things in the drawer that need your attention, think about this:
Where in your book does your character experience two directly opposing emotions, needs, wants, or dreams?
If it’s not there, put it in. Because for most of us, it’s not, “Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight.” For most of us, tragedy and comedy exist in the same space. It makes life interesting. Doesn’t hurt a story, either.