Monday, May 10, 2010

Superstitious, Me?

When Hank Phillippi Ryan interviewed me at Malice I denied that I was in the least superstitious.
In my last post I realized that do have superstitious quirks after all. Maybe that's because I grew up in a household of great aunts who were an endless font of superstitions: if you drop a spoon, you're in for a disappointment, if you sneeze once you'll get a letter. I can't remember what twice was but it was "three times something better." And of course all the well-known ones, "Fine at seven, rain by eleven." (that was England of course where that prediction often comes true). Dark men, flights of crows, black cats--my aunts believed all of them would influence their lives. It seemed that everyday happenings all had some message of luck or prediction attached to them.

So it was little wonder that growing up I looked for portends. If the bus comes by the time I count to one hundred, I will pass the geography test. If I can get home without stepping on a crack , I can make a wish.
When I found that these simply didn't work, I lost heart. Grew up sensible, forward thinking, organized....
except I find that I do have my little superstitions still. Usually in times of great stress or distress. When my dear friend Lyn Hamilton knew that she had terminal cancer, she gave me a bracelet that we had bought together at an antiques fair in New England. I didn't want to take it but she insisted. So I put it on and refused to take it off, in the vain hope that as long as I wore it she wouldn't die. Unfortunately not even the bracelet  could keep her alive in the end. It's silly what hopes we cling to, isn't it? I guess we still have that element of primitive man, sitting around the fire in the cave, trying to defy nature, to survive against all odds, embedded in us.

So are you superstitious?


  1. Yep, usually under stress, though. The main one that seems infallible is that if I buy a lottery ticket, my usual income declines, as if trying to persuade me not to be so foolish.

    I have a certain pair of earrings that a friend told me conveyed 'authority'--I'm not sure if it is superstitious to wear those earrings when I have to face down an important challenge, but I do.

  2. I think there's only one thing I'm superstitious about, and that's if I tell anyone I've queried an agent I'll subsequently be rejected. It's come true almost 100 times so far. I get requests for fulls and partials, tell everyone, then get the big R.

    When will I ever learn to keep my mouth shut? An agent requested re-writes of one of my stories. Stupid me told everyone and their brother. It's been over a month since I sent the manuscript back and I'm scared to death I'll be rejected again.

    My rational mind knows it has nothing to do with luck/bad luck, but I suppose it's easier to think I'm rejected because I blabbed than to believe I suck as a writer.

    Yikes! I also talk too much. I'll shut my mouth now. Great post!