Monday, October 25, 2010

On Birthdays...

Hey, all! Guess what? Last week I celebrated a... birthday.

Yes, it's true.

I pretty much kept it on the down-low because 1) I didn't want to make a big deal out of it and 2) I was super jammed up all week with individual birthday celebrations and didn't really have time to write a blog post to tell anyone. :)


Ever since college by birthday has turned into a week long fiesta of parties instead of just one day. Not sure how that happened, but the hubby just shakes his head at me every year.

Yesterday, even my neighbor told me, "Wow, yours is the longest birthday I know."

Hey, it's not my fault people like to shower me with parties, gifts, and/or cake. LOL (I've had three cakes, by the way. Most of which are in the freezer now)

Anyhew, the hubby ended up taking me away for a few days in the middle of the week to a really beautiful bed and breakfast. We visited some local wineries (yes, New Jersey makes some worthy wines) and did a little shopping.


I even bought myself this cool sparkly ring:





-------------> Doesn't it look fun?



I call it my "bling ring". :)



Anyhew... since I had birthdays on the brain and was looking over my WIP, I realized I've never written a book where one of my characters had a birthday. In fact, I only remember ONE book in all the books I've ever read where the main character celebrated a birthday.



The book was Honey Moon by Susan Elizabeth Phillips and the scene was an especially heartbreaking one. I think it worked so well, because birthdays can carry a high level of stress ( just like the holidays) which can provide a great opportunity to showcase something special about your character--whether it's fear of getting older, fear of being alone on his/her birthday, or maybe worry over no one remembering it.

I'm thinking of working in something like that to my recent WIP. I think it'll add to her motivation.

What about you?


Do you remember the last book you read which featured a character having a birthday?
Have you written a book or scene in which one of your characters is celebrating a birthday?

48 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

Happy birthday, Jennifer. Glad you're back.

What a way to celebrate!

Linda G. said...

A belated Happy Birthday to you. Love your bling ring. :)

Let's see...books with birthdays. How about Harry Potter? Getting his invitation from Hogwarts was a pretty significant birthday happening for him.

Em-Musing said...

Happy b'day! Wow, what wonderful friends and husband you have.They're gifts all year long. And the ring is gorgeous. I did actually have one of my characters celebrate a birthday, now that you mention it. It was a pivotal scene because it was the first time her husband remembered it during their 30-some year marriage.

Marianne Arkins said...

Happy birthday!!

I can't remember a book where a character (other than a child) celebrated a birthday, though I'm sure I've read one.

And, I haven't written one either. But now -- you've challenged me. And with NaNoWriMo coming up, I know *exactly* which book will have a birthday scene.

:-D

Have a great week!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Thanks, ladies!

Linda: Don't tell anyone but I never read any of the Harry Potter books. :)

Em: Oooh, that is a significant birthday scene! Love it!

blueviolet said...

Happy Birthday!!! I love the ring that you treated yourself with. Bold rings like that are my favorite!

I really can hardly remember books I read 15 minutes after I finish them. Seriously. I have to write my book reviews immediately or I'll forget it all! lol

Sarah Forgrave said...

Happy birthday!!! And I don't think I've read or written a birthday scene...interesting observation.

Joanna St. James said...

Hi Jen I saw it on twitter Happy Birthday.
In my WIP the hero has a birthday and his friend with benefits plans the shindig, she keeps it quiet and low key that's how he knows she can see the real him

Shannon said...

Happy belated birthday. It's good to see that I'm not the only one who stretches the b-day out over a week. :p

Interesting question about the birthday scenes. I'm pretty sure one of the Judy Blume books I read as a child had a b-day scene, but I can't remember. Something to think about...

Amie B said...

happy birthday! sounds like it was a great one! we had my daughter's party on saturday even though her birthday was like 3 weeks ago.

that's a really fantastic ring! every girl needs a little bling! :)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

My first novel had a birthday in it.

My birthday is on Sunday. Halloween--explains a lot, I know.

And yes, I absolutely LOVE that ring!
~ Wendy

Carol Kilgore said...

Love your Bling Ring :)

I've never written about a character's birthday, but it sounds good. It could go a lot of different ways - however works best for the story.

Thanks for the idea.

Glad your birthday was GREAT!

Jules said...

Happy Birthday! I had one too but I celebrated by cleaning out the gutters :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Linda Kage said...

Love the Bling Ring, and HAPPY late BIRTHDAY!!! I have an October b-day too!

I read "Suddenly You" by Lisa Kleypas. It starts with the heroine's 30th birthday. She's bummed because she's getting older and has never had a man, so she hires on and oh, my does she get one. Takes place in historical England so it was all so very scandalous...I couldn't put it down.

Joanne said...

Happy Birthday, raising my coffee cup in a toast :) Love that bling ring, very cool. I do have a birthday in my fiction manuscript, and it happens to be a very pivotal part of the book.

Rula Sinara said...

Happy Birthday!!! A B&B getaway sounds so romantic...and that beautiful ring. Hun, you're living a romance novel ;).

Talei said...

Happy Birthday!! Such a lovely getaway, you are lucky! ;) Loving the bling ring too.

Last book with a birthday? mmm, do know I think it might be Bella Swan's in New Moon? LOL and we all know how that ended. Oh dear. I've never written a birthday into a story yet but never say never.

Diane said...

Happy Belated birthday you sneaky thing. I'd give you one of my chocolate muffins from my video blog if I could.

Love the bling ring, we all need one of those. :O)

Kristen Painter said...

Happy belated birthday! Love the ring!

Terri Tiffany said...

Happy Belated Birthday to you! I am so jealous of three cakes, when all I beg for is at least one cupcake for mine!! Boo hoo!
In fact in my current WIP, the scene begins on the woman's 50th birthday as she is dumping her husband's remains into the river.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Wow, three cakes. Will you introduce me to your friends, please?

Happy BD, dear. I like the ring, and your fingers are so slender. Do you play piano or guitar?

I cannot remember the last time I read a book where a BD was included in the plot. Perhaps one of Camy Tang's.

Susanne Drazic said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jennifer! Great bling ring.

Katie Ganshert said...

A bling ring! I love it. Happy birthday girl! I have written a birthday into a novel. My heroine ends up bringing a cake she didn't bake over to him the night before his birthday and they share a steamy almost-kiss. :)

Kristi said...

Happy belated birthday!!!

I love the bling ring, and what a great hubby to whisk you away!

You know, I've never thought about it and I'm not sure I remember a book where a character celebrated a birthday. Now that you mention it, it's an odd phenomenon, huh?

Lydia Kang said...

Happy Birthday and I love your bling! Your post got me thinking. Birthdays are unusual to see in book! Except Harry Potter, maybe!

T. Anne said...

Happy Birthday!!!! You're one of my favorite people so I feel cheated not knowing this valuable information!!! Love the bling! I tend to treat myself kindly round that time of year and a few other occasion too but nevertheless... And B-day's in my novels? Good Lord I don't think I have one book without them. I say party on!

Wendy Ramer said...

As a matter of fact, both of my novels include the MC's birthday. In my first novel, it's a recurring theme because that date is the last time she sees her young son before being separated from him.

In my second novel, a 12th bday scene is described in detail to highlight the best-friend relationship.

Birthdays have always been special to me...obviously.

Together We Save said...

Wow - a week long birthday celebration!! That is great, hope you had a blast!

Catherine West said...

Yes I have written a birthday scene. Love them! I can't remember off hand the last one I read though. I had a birthday this month too. October people are cool!

Tara said...

Happy belated birthday, Jennifer.

My MC mentions having had a recent birthday, but I passed over celebrating it. Not sure why...

Kimberly Franklin said...

Love the Bling Ring! Very cute! Happy Birthday!!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Huh... you're right! It's not very common.

Happy Birthday Month! :0)

Karen Lange said...

Happy Birthday! I always think bday fun should be stretched out as long as possible. :)

Where in NJ do you live? I used to live in Cape May Court House. We might have been almost neighbors!
Blessings,
Karen

Susan Fields said...

That's a very good point. It is very rare to have a character celebrate a birthday, isn't it? The only one that comes to mind is a MG mystery/ghost story, I think it was called The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright, where the mc has a birthday party with her friends.

Happy belated birthday to you!

Laura Pauling said...

Happy Birthday!!!! Wow 3 cakes!

If the bday is not the focus of the story it is easy to forget to include them in a story!

Jaime said...

I love the Bling Ring ;)

PatriciaW said...

Didn't think about it until you asked, but the book I'm reading, Faithful by Kim Cash Tate, has a character who celebrates her 40th birthday on her younger sister's wedding day, and the book I'm writing has my heroine celebrating her 30th birthday on the church's 50th anniversary. Birthdays can be interesting.

Happy belated birthday, Jenn!

Lynn said...

I like this idea. How people react on their birthdays usually says a lot about them. I think of Harry Potter too. I believe he had a birthday in every book of the series. It showed his lonliness but also the love of his friends and Sirius Black.
Happy Birthday. Long celebrations are the best!!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Happy birthday - I love the ring!! Harry Potter always has a birthday. Other than that, hmmm...I can't come up with any others off the top of my head. :-)

Stephanie Newton said...

I had a character with a birthday in Flashpoint (July). It wasn't a main character, but highlighted the fact that the heroine had never had her mom around to celebrate birthdays.

Also have mad love for SEP books!

Hope you had a great day!!

Steph

Talli Roland said...

Happy Birthday! Love the bling ring!

I can't actually recall any books I've read with birthdays. I'm sure they're out there somewhere!

Heather Sunseri said...

Happy Belated Birthday! My parents commented last week about how long my birthday seems to last. I'm okay with it. :) Mine is tomorrow. Aren't October birthdays the best?

My MC surprises the hero in my current manuscript with a cake for his birthday.

Jen Daiker said...

Happy Birthday!!

Late or not I'm glad you shared with us!

Last book with a birthday was You Wish by Mandy Hubbard... Loved it!

Jessica Bell said...

Hi! I've come back now to try and follow your blog for three days in a row. And it's not letting me! Just thought you might want to know, just incase it's something on your end and not blogger being a bugger :)

Glynis said...

Belated Happy Birthday. Khronia Polla as they say in Cyprus. Many Happy Years.

Keri Mikulski said...

Happy Birthday!! Good question.. Hmm.. Myracle's ELEVEN, TWELVE, and THIRTEEN begin with the main character's birthday. :) I think I'm going to add a birthday scene to my WIP. ;)

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Happy birthday!

and that does sound fascinating.Now I'm thinking about my books and wondering how I can work in a birthday.

Patti Lacy said...

Love the bling ring! The only book I can think of is my An Irishwoman's Tale, which MENTIONS that Mary doesn't KNOW what a birthday is when the nuns say happy birthday. Hmmm. Good thing to work in!!

P