Friday, February 06, 2009

Pardon Me, Have You Seen My Lucky Underwear?

As I mentioned last week, I'll take any kind of writing encouragement I can get : horoscopes, fortune cookies, the constant reassurance of the Playfriends... whatever keeps me from hanging it up and makes sure I continue to write. It doesn't matter whether or not its true. It's a mental game I play with myself. It's like your mom telling you you're pretty. You may very well be, but she's also your mom and obligated to say so either way. It makes you feel good for a few hours, at least until you get back to school and get made fun of (again).

One thing I haven't managed to come up with is a lucky charm. I just don't have one. I'm not much on writing supersitions, or at least, I haven't been able to connect any thin threads that tell me X = success. I have tried. PM gave us all magic mojo beads for NaNoWriMo. They're hanging from the book light on my desk at home. Not sure if they worked or not. I write at work a lot of the time, for one thing, and two, I never wore them. Maybe I had to wear them. I don't know. I did okay, hit my goal even if I didn't hit the 50k.

But I don't have an actual lucky charm. No pink polka dot underwear that I have to wear to agent appointments. No little troll figure I have to rub after I mail off a manuscript. No special candle I have to light in order to write. Some people have charms built into their process. I'd say Instigators conference table might be considered lucky since she has to lay on it in order to write.
So the question is... how do you go about geting a lucky charm? Is there a store in the mall where I can pick up one? Do you have a lucky charm of your own? How did it come about? I'm exceedingly curious. I need all the luck I can get and will stoop to ridiculous levels to get it at this point...



Maven Linda said...

No good luck charm, just hard work. Sorry. It isn't the charm, it's the PROCESS. You have to develop your own process, whatever it is. If you have to go out in the backyard and run around a stone three times, backwards, to get your brain in the operational mode, then it's the process that's working, not the details of it. It's whatever we have to do to get our brains to that point. I have to do e-mail first, then check all my web points (the Playground, the weather gurus, etc.) before I can possibly write. How could I write if I didn't know what was going on in my world????

And before all that, I have to sit with a steaming cup (or three) of coffee while I read the morning newspaper. That's my personal time, and I don't do well if it's interrupted or postponed; throws off the entire day. I have to check what the newspaper says about the weather, then come check that against the weather gurus online.

I have to check the status of my Zappo's shipment, if I have one :-).

THEN I can write.

PS: If anyone's interested, Dr. William Gray, he of hurricane fame, is really going off on global warming. He says the climate did warm for about twenty years, but that the warming ended ten years ago and since then we've been in a mild global cooling but no one wants to admit it because they have so much invested in the opposite. If you want to read his paper, go to, click on weather, then select "weather blog" from the drop down menu. These guys are phenomenal. The blog is separate from what they do at the television statement, but it's so popular the station links to it. They usually beat the Weather Channel on accuracy; I've seen them predict something two weeks out and hit the nail on the head.

These are the guys who give me advance warning of when it might be cold enough for us to make snow and have a Snow Day, so we can start preparations.

PPS: I have no idea why I'm so obsessed with the weather but I check it three or four times a day.

The verification word is "anculati" which sounds like an ancient cult of Latin calculus scholars.

Rhonda Nelson said...

Linda, you and my daughter. :-) Ever since we had that tornado last January she's been completely obsessed with the weather. When I get her AOL report card, it's loaded down with weather web sites. She was disappointed at the job fair they went to on Tuesday because there wasn't a meteorologist there. (That's what she wants to be.)

And I'm the same way about checking out my world before I can write. Then all I need is gum and I'm ready to go. (Tactile learner.:-)

Linda Winstead Jones said...

My process has taken a serious hit, in the past year. I'm off balance, out of a lot of habits. I wish a charm would do the trick! But instead I'm trying to get back into the habit of writing, trying to reestablish a schedule that got turned upside down, for a while. It's harder than I thought it would be but it's beginning to work.

I also drink my coffee, check the web, check the news on television, before I can get started. I've just gotten to the point where any distraction is extremely tough to shake off. And the world is filled with distractions!


Maven Linda said...

PPPS: I also have to regularly check the Lamps Plus website. It's a serious time suck. If you're interested in interior decorating at all . . . beware! Any kind of lighting, rugs, wall art, decorative pieces, ceiling medallions, clocks -- oh my!

Problem Child said...

Linda, do you ever not have a Zappo's shipment on the way? :-) (And I recently discovered Lamps Plus -- I got AC a fabu pink lava lamp from them!)

I think most lucky charms work because *You* believe in them. As far as writing goes -- the actual getting the words on paper -- that's not luck, that's hard work, and I'm with Linda: whatever you have to do to get your juices flowing, do it.

Yes, I do have a lucky lunch that I do not question the power of, but that doesn't come into play until after the hard work. (And who am I to question a superstition that gets me out of the house for a nice lunch with a friend?)

I know it's hard, SP, waiting for the stars to align, but "the Universe is unfolding as it should." You have the talent, so you don't need a lucky charm to write good books. Everything else will fall into place. (And if we need to go to Romania to find your lucky lunch buddy, then so be it. My passport's valid...)

Playground Monitor said...

During NaNoWriMo I had the mojo beads, the salt candle and my creativity music soundtrack, and I hit the 50K mark. I still have the beads, cancle and soundtrack and haven't touched the manuscript since December. February was supposed to be my month to get back into serious writing mode. I also had GH entried to judge (scores sent via the RWA website last night -- yay!) and I have to write the lectures for an online class I'm teaching in April (got PC to help me develop the syllabus so the rest should be easy).

Of course now my computer is on some crazy wonky trip and I have word out to a friend's husband who has an online computer repair business where he can get into your computer remotely and fix what ails it. I'm waiting to hear back.

Is Mercury in retrograde or something cause my car battery died on Monday too.

Angel said...

Honey, I'm right there with ya. If there was a lucky charm out there, I want one too.

I think I've got my process down pretty good, although it varies according to what's going on and who is in the house that day. It's the waiting afterwards that I'm struggling with. Just hang in there!

And I definitely think you, me, and PM need to try to work some lucky lunch mojo for ourselves!


Sherry Werth said...

SP, you are not alone in your search for the magic of a lucky charm. I haven't found mine either. And like Linda and PC said, we'll just have to find the process that works for us.
So if I have to wear pink polka dotted underwear on my head and run around that stone in the yard nekked...I will. :o

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I don't think there's a lucky charm for the process either. Yes, I have lucky lunch mojo, and I do not question the why or the how since it seems to work most of the time. But like PC said, that's after the hard work.

I also find I have to do email, read blogs, etc, before I can start writing. I have to have that time that's not taxing on my mind just to sort through everything going on. Then when I start, it's hard work, but I keep slogging along. I find deadlines to be extremely motivating to the process. ;-)

I had a friend in college who absolutely had to wear the same outfit every time she took a test. Must have worked, because she graduated with a 4.0.

Like PC said, just trust that things are unfolding as they should. This business takes time, most of it frustrating and esteem crushing. You'll get there. Just keep writing and keep submitting. And consider avenues you might not have thought about -- that's how I ended up at Presents. If I hadn't entered that contest, I'd still be trying to write and sell something different -- and I'd probably be agentless and unpublished. That's MY experience, of course, but I do urge you to look at more than one place you might fit.

Misty Wright said...

I agree with everyone here. Its the process and those processes change along the way. Sorry, to say that one, but they have for me.

With a house full of kids it is hard for me to find time for myself, as well as writing. I have to find that balance between it all and I'm slowly doing that. Then every time (it never fails) when I find it something comes up to knock me off balance again. Like this time its the kids being sick. We aren't talking about just one of them. 4 of them were sick and still are to a point(with that nasty cough). A few of them had the stomach bug and now I have another one with the stomach bug. So, my writing has suffered for the last two weeks. UGH.

Before then I had a little routine going. I'd check email and do what I needed to do, go through my round of blogs, and then write. Oh and I wrap this shawl I bought when I write, most of the time. :)

Hang in there, it will all happen with it is time.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm not a writer but a great reader of words, and thank you ladies for that. I'm a departmental secretary & assistant. I start my work day off rolling out of bed, listen to news/weather while eating breakfast. Once I get to work I bring my computer up, check for any emails my professors may have left that need attention asap, and then I do room rounds(unlocking doors, checking on rooms). After that I settle in checking emails again and just zip right on through my day. Some days are planned and others I just roll with the punches. What gets me going? Just knowing that I have a job as I was unemployed for 1 1/2 years. So hang in there and it will come. At least that's what I tell myself---trying to sell my home you see.
word verification - shroft, would that mean a big softy?
2nd word verification - gymalipt

Christine said...

No lucky charms... but whenever I am worried a trio of birds tends to fly by me and that usually reassures me. That and butterflies. Bluebirds are my special favorites.

Regarding Global Warming: Maven Linda... my hubby is a physicist with all kinds of scientific friends and 10 years ago a buddy of his came to our house with all kinds of data re: the facts about "global warming"--it is a not true. It is normal cyclical weather events. But no one wants to hear it... it's not politically correct to express the facts if they don't agree with certain, ahem, people of a political persuasion. Hey, scientists need funding too... and if they are skating in Holland, you can bet, global warming is over... typing this with cold fingers and a bill for $400 plus for heating my house in AL last month LOL