Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jinxed! (It's not good to be an iynx.)

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 often emulate an iynx. My head spins regularly, plus I'm rather good at hissing. Fortunately, my entrails have thus far remained where they belong, though in honor of Halloween we could pause to discuss evisceration in more detail. But I digress...

I sometime wonder 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 if I'm in query mode, I want to have at least eight queries out.  For me, eight is luckier than three or seven. Does that make me feel as if I'm in control? Yes. Isn’t that good, especially when there's so much we can't control in this crazy business?

How about you? Do superstitions influence your writing day?

by Janet Fogg

Janet is the author of Soliloquy, an award-winning historical romance, Trail Winds, five etiological tales, and co-author of the military history best seller, Fogg in the Cockpit.


Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Janet -- I don't think I have any superstitions that influence my writing life...but I most definitely have habits. I cannot start until I've had two cups of coffee and checked my email. That's written in stone.

Maryann Miller said...

I don't have a specific superstition, but I do have to get into a professional frame of mind when making business calls or now making contact via e-mail. Years ago when the only contact with agents or editors was via mail of a phone call, I would dress up in business attire to make those calls. I simply could not pick up the phone and feel professional in my sweats and t-shirt.

Maryann Miller said...

Oops, that should have been, or a phone call.