Monday, October 17, 2011

Jinxed? Or, it’s not good to be an iynx.

By Janet Fogg

Shades of Linda Blair! The origin of the word jinx isn’t clear, but there’s speculation that it might come from iynx, a wryneck bird that’s able to twist its head around 180 degrees while hissing like a snake. Historically, the poor bird has also been used for divination and magic. Steaming entrails, I assume. It’s not good to be an iynx.

As a writer, I think I’ve emulated an iynx more than once. My head regularly feels as if it’s spinning around plus I am rather good at hissing. Fortunately, my entrails have thus far remained where they belong, though we could pause in honor of Halloween to discuss evisceration in more detail. But I digress...

I have sometimes wondered whether I’ve jinxed myself by doing or not doing certain things, though I hope I’ll never act like certain baseball players whose actions often amuse and sometimes irritate me. Let’s see, before I touch the keyboard I need to spit, adjust my right sleeve, wipe my forehead, tug on the brim of my baseball cap, wipe my forehead again, tug the brim one more time, then inhale and exhale slowly. Whew! Now it's safe to start writing! Right? Maybe not.

But… I do have a few superstitions. (Don’t worry, no steaming entrails.) One of my superstitions is that I believe in having at least eight queries out – that eight is luckier than three or seven. Does it make me feel more in control? Yes. Isn’t that good, especially when there's so much we can't control? I think so.

How about you? Do superstitions influence your writing day?


Anonymous said...

I refuse to change my socks until my editor give me the green light on a newly submitted title.

Dan Brown

Chiseled in Rock said...

"Watch Where You Step," is a creepy ass picture!

Anyway, unless I have a dastardly scheme for marketing and a title, I won't even commit a word of a novel to paper. So far, it hasn't charmed the publication gods.


Ron at CM said...

Yeah, I makes sure not ta carry my pen in my pocket so da iynx won't stain da shoit if da pen leaks.

Sisters of the Quill said...

I have never spit on or near my keyboard. But I must say, the words steaming entrails makes my mouth water. - Karen Lin

Patricia Stoltey said...

I don't have any superstitions that involve spitting or such, but I can't write anything until I've had just the right amount of coffee and read the newspaper. Since this morning's paper was sopping wet and had to be trashed, I'm feeling very unsettled today.

Mario said...

I'm superstitious in that if I don't write, there's no word count.