Lake Scene

an duk II
Photo by Richard Fogg

For a moment let’s not consider
the beauty of the mallard
paddling, paddling on the lake.
Overlook her iridescent shawl
shimmering green like a silk kimono;
ignore her resplendent composure
as she drifts in splendor
like Cleopatra’s barge.
Disregard her breast, chestnut hued,
a mahogany bib,
and think nothing of her hind-feathers
like soft gray cumulus clouds.
Concentrate instead on the wake,
the silver trail left behind
as she’s paddling, paddling on the lake.
Take note of reflections,
the expanse of water, the trees,
bordering the water. The sky—
and its reflection.

Now, close your eyes
and consider the beauty
of the bird itself

~ Lake Scene with Ducks by Sonny Rainshine

Jinxed? (It’s not good to be an iynx.)

jynx_torquillaShades 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 all things macabre 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?