Monday, March 16, 2015

Totems, Rituals and Luck (oh my!)

I am a sentimental man. I know, sounds a bit surprising with some of my posts, but it's also the truth.

I am not a superstitious man.

My mother once said to me (among her other nuggets of wisdom) "We make our own luck. You can be the luckiest person in the world, but if you don't use what is offered, it means nothing."

You win the lottery, that's luck.

You write a novel? That's perseverance.

I have no rituals. My life at the present does not permit them. I get up, I work out, or I go to work. If I go to work first, I work out when I get home. Before or after the day job, I write.

When I'm done with the writing (and sometimes before, but that took time, and not luck) I sell the pieces I write.

I do not have a lucky coin. There are no rabbit feet on my key chain.

I have a table full of statuary, most of which I purchased after my wife passed away, that I find amusing and inspiring. It sits to the right of my computer. Among these various and sundry statues there are three Doctor Dooms (One a rather costly polystone sculpture that is limited and very cool. One a bobblehead of the doctor and one a Lego Doctor Doom given to me by a very dear friend. Within short range I also have a Doctor Doom coin bank. There's Gene Colan's version of Dracula, The Zombie from Marvel Comics, Darkseid (DC) The Red Skull, Deathlok (Another gift from a good friend) Iron Fist, Baron Blood, Morbius the Living Vcampire, Man-Thing, The Joker holding up Batman's cowl, Mystrerio and Annihilus, as well as a scattering of others. What all of these have in common, aside from the gifts, is that they represent A) something I enjoy from the comic books and B) proof of my sales. Each of them was purchased (normally on a time payment plan) when I received money from a novel.

They are marks of my successes. When I am feeling down about my career (which I maintain every writer does, regardless of success) I look at my collection and I get over it. There are other statues I'd like to own. I don't NEED them, God knows, but I want them. The odds are good I will never HAVE them, but on the off chance that I DO run across the ones I want at a reasonable price, I will only earn them with my writing money, and only then if I have enough to spare on a trifling.

That's as close as I get to a lucky totem or ritual. The books don't write themselves. I write them.

They are mine and mine alone, at least until the second draft and the editor's notes.

First rule: Books don't write themselves. Second Rule: Plant Butt in Seat and get to it. Third Rule: Go Make Your Own Luck and Reap The Rewards of Same.

And if I feel miserable? I just look to my right and remind myself that there are rewards for my hard work.