Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Writing Superstitions and My Big, Fat Give-Back Contest

I realized two things this morning. I like dancing to techno, and I am superstitious when it comes to writing.

Why do I like techno, you ask? I don't really, it all sounds the same to me, but it is easy to see why so many people dance to it. No complicated moves are required. My kids and I had another one of our legendary early morning dance parties today, and all I needed to do was throw my arms around and jump up and down like a human pogo stick. Fun, but exhausting! Daniel Craig said I could take a day off my walking regimen since I'd already been aerobic for twenty minutes at the party. He can be such a nice muse.

Are you a superstitious writer? I am. I like to sit down to a clean desk with a cup of Celestial Seasonings (lemon or red zinger) tea in my Williams-Sonoma Ten Days of Christmas mug. (It has to be either day 5 with the golden rings or day 1 with the partridge) I also need to have my hair out of the way in a ponytail. When my favorite Pavorotti playlist begins and my dog is dozing near my feet, I'm ready to write. Only then are the stars aligned. Without these things, I feel a little off my game, so to speak.

If I'm mailing a manuscript to an agent, I need my lucky fine-point, black Sharpie. Woe to the child who has ill-advisedly used my pen, left the cap off, and let the tip dry out! I usually address two manila envelopes, pretend I'm an agent receiving both, and choose the one that looks better.

I know, I'm weird. I can admit it publicly. I would also say that the conditions I described above are the ideal. There are many days when I am merely scribbling ideas in notebooks scattered throughout the house or I'm mumbling dialogue or story lines to myself as I'm driving my kids around. You get the picture. I'm sure it sounds familiar to you.

Tell me, do you have any idiosyncrasies or superstitions? I'd love to hear what they are.

Pass the word . . . Tomorrow, I'm going to post the specifics about My Big, Fat Give-Back April Contest. It will run from the 1st-15th. The prizes will include a $50.00 Nordstrom Gift Card and two $25.00 Barnes and Noble gift cards. I've reached the 200 blogging buddies land mark, and I'd like to show my appreciation for your comments, advice, writing tips, and support. Thanks to all of you.

Now back to revising.


  1. No real idiosyncrasies or supersitions. For me, I just have to have my eyes open and my fingers flexed. That having been said, I do prefer a quiet house and a kitty at my side. But since those are hard to come by in my life, I've had to function on nothing but the fumes of my inspiration.

  2. I love your rituals. I don't have many writing superstitions, but I feel like I always write better with my cat curled up beside me. She often puts her chin on my knee as I'm writing (I compose on a laptop, with a complicated arrangement of pillows in bed to alleviate the hand pain which plagues me).

  3. Totally understand the Sharpie thing.

    Congrats on 200 followers!

  4. I never would have pegged you for a techno woman! :)

    I don't have rituals, because I'm always afraid that if I don't follow them exactly I will get majorly blocked!

    Congrats on the 200 followers! You're blog is the best and you are too, your kind comments really helped me. Thanks Roxy :)

  5. I too am addicted to my Sharpie! Sharpie addicts unite!!! *she says arms in the air*

    Fun post...I too have superstitions. Ironically one is that when I'm really into a story and the inspiration hits....I'm terrified to write anything unrelated to my story. Blogging suffers frequently. I'm shaking a little as I write this, secretly terrified it will be gone when I go back to work on it. :-)

    Can't wait to hear about the contest and congrats on 200 followers!

  6. I like to have a glass of iced tea, preferably in one of my glasses, some snacks nearby, and a fresh MS document. I also make the entire folder for the book, including a folder on characters, plot, worldbuilding, etc before I start. I play my itunes playlist made specially for this book, and try to make the magic work. Come to mommy!

    Glad to know someone else out there is as anal as I am about writing.

  7. Nothing really for me, either. I'm OCD, so everything needs to be in "order", but that's about it. But I do have to be in "the groove." Sometimes I sit down and its just not there. Other times, I sit down and I can't pry myself out the seat! Weird how things work.

    Congrats on the 200 followers!

  8. I am superstitious when it comes to my writing. If something doesn't happen in the order it is supposed to, then the whole day just feels off.

  9. I'm like Toni Morrison, "I type in one place, but I write all over the house." And, any other place I might be. I don't have any rituals. Although, when I send in a ms, I have the boys rub the envelope for good luck. Hasn't worked, yet, but we'll keep trying.

  10. I'm superstitious in what I tell people about my writing. I never reveal the full plot and only give vague details if someone asks me.

    I also need to be facing either north or east when I write. I can't write when facing west. Well, I can but I find it uncomfortable. Bad feng shui or something. Gives me a weird feeling.


  11. I don't think I'm too superstitious in this department. Although... there are only 2 spots I ever write in. So maybe :)

  12. Hi

    Gosh I'm far too boring that I'm afraid even I'd put Dan the Man to sleep and he's normally pretty easy going about these things. Ahem.

    Anyway!!! I just want a nice quiet room with a pc that works, a cat that's happy and wandering around and of course birdsong. Outside of my window.

    And maybe a call or two from Craigy Boy.


    Yay!! 200 followers - well done you!

    Take care

  13. Now that sounds like one COOl contest! Can't wait to hear about it. And i love techno music too! ;)

  14. Sending out manuscripts is more fraught for me than the actual writing. My writing doesn't have many rituals attached to it - just sit down and go until you can't. But I am fussy about my envelope and what pen I use to address it and then I have to kiss it goodbye. euuuh! That sounds so lame but I do!

  15. Definitely not superstitious so far... ;o)

    Love your recaps on the dancing mornings... ;o)

  16. My quirk is silence and time. If I have to do something and it is less than an hour away, I don't start writing. I jot down plotty notes or something, but I don't write rushed.

  17. You sound less superstitious than major league baseball pitchers!

    My only quirk is that I have a purple pen I like to use to sign my name and write on the envelope for queries.

  18. Woohooooo, 200 followers! Congrats, funny lady! Your posts continue to be fun, touching, funny, and so true to life.

    I don't have many superstitions but I do write better on paper than on my laptop. I also tend to like writing alone in my room but with my family at home. Lol, weird, I know. :)

    I left an award for you on my blog!

  19. OK, I used to think I was quirky...

    Wow! That's some give-away. I'm getting ready for my first, and now I feel cheap. Guess I'll have to get creative.

  20. I have certain superstitions. I have to have chocolate around when writing. Strange I know and I really have to start an exercise routine. There is something for you on my blog:)
    Can't wait for the contest.

  21. Happy 200 Followers :)

    I love Williams-Sonoma! I love that you have certain things you do to get comfortable before you write. I don't have anything like that at the moment, I'm very fly by the seat of my pants and see where it gets me, but I have a feeling that when I'm editing the story will be different! I love certain pens so I'm sure that'll come into the mix!