Do you know if I wasn’t a writer, there are two things I might want to do when I grow up? (Yes, I said grow up, because I don’t care how old I am, I don’t feel I’ve completely grown up!) Oddly, these two career choices are completely different.
If you are a fan, you might have already figured out one of these things about me. I love to make people laugh. I write characters who make you laugh. Della’s sassy comments make me chuckle when I’m writing. And Perry, his crazy antics are for sure always worth a few good belly laughs. (Remember when he mooned everyone at lunch?) When I get emails from you telling me that I made you laugh, it makes me feel so good. I love making people laugh so much that if I didn’t spend all my time writing, I might try my hand at stand-up comedy.
The second career I might have pursued, is not so apparent. You probably wouldn’t even guess it. You see, I love languages. And yes, I do speak a second language. I speak Spanish. No, I’m not Hispanic. But years ago, I lived in Maracaibo, Venezuela and learned to speak the language. I still make a lot of mistakes. And here’s the sad part, I can’t read or write a tenth of what I can speak. Being dyslexic, I am what a lot of people call an oral learner. I learn by listening. So learning a language comes a little easier for me than maybe some people. And if I wasn’t busy playing with my characters, I would love to lots of different languages.
You know, in Reborn you’ll learn that Della speaks Mandarin. And while I don’t speak that language, I did go to China for ten days. During that time, I had a translator and she taught me a few words, I could say simple things, like order my food, or ask how someone was doing, or say thank you and excuse me. A lot of the times the translator would laugh because I would say something and the Chinese people would be shocked and start talking to me. They thought I could speak it. And I honestly think if I had stayed there a month or so I could have learned a lot.
I think it’s sad that here in the United States so few people speak another language. I’ve read a lot of things about how learning a new language opens up and uses different parts of your brain. Here in Texas, we have a lot of Spanish speaking residents and I get to use my Spanish a lot. I will admit I love surprising people sometimes. I will be in a store and two women will be talking about me, maybe commenting about my shoes or purse. And I will turn to them and tell them where I bought the item. They are always shocked because being blond with green eyes, I don’t look like I speak the language.
Today, I will give away one copy of Born at Midnight in Spanish. Maybe you have a friend who is Hispanic and reads better in Spanish, or maybe you read better in Spanish. Sorry, due to mailing cost, the winner has to have a U.S. address.
Do you guys speak another language? Are you taking one in school? I encourage you to do it. So for now, adios.