I’m a rather superstitious person. Not a “step on a crack, break your mother’s back” kind of superstitious, the kind that believes in “signs.” You know, when you have a dream about someone from high school, then you suddenly run into them on the street. Or when you make a hypothetical soundtrack for your novel, then you hear two of those (rarely played) songs back-to-back on the radio. Or when you’re waiting for good news about your book, and you see that your waitress has the same (uncommon) first name as your main character. I think all of these are good signs.
I often just make note of them, smile, and go on with my day. But sometimes I’ll take it a step further. Like when I dreamt the concept for my first YA novel and then a psychic told me I’d go on to become an author—I quickly sat down and wrote that book.
I mean, if you spent nearly as much time in a Catholic church as I did growing up—or you just watch Oprah—you know the saying “God speaks in a whisper.” So my theory is that if you’re getting beaten over the head with a message that blatantly, you better pay attention.
So that’s how I came to write my WIP. There were a lot of signs leading me to that story. I won’t get into them now (I will soon), but I will say that they trace all the way back to when I was 18 years old. And I believe that means something.
And really is that so much stranger to believe than some magical muse who whispers in writers’ ears? I was never really one to get the whole concept of authors being “vessels” to “channel” divine inspiration, and maybe it was because I was already too busy running around believing in signs. If I added mystical muses to the mix, it might just be enough to push me over the line into crazy town.
But my point is, often aspiring authors ask me how I decide which story idea to work on, which novel to write. And interestingly, this has never been an issue for me. I just follow the signs. But if you’re not a believer, then I’ll say this: write the idea that keeps nagging in the back of your brain. There’s always one idea that nags louder, so pay attention to it.
And if the new guy at work happens to walk in sporting your main character’s name, maybe you want to make a note of it. I’m just saying.
POP CULTURE RANT: Glee
I’m sadly excited for this show to debut. I mean, Fox has been pimping it like it’s the second coming of Seinfeld. I swear the commercials have been running nonstop for what seems like forever. And last night, my hubby and I watched the rerun of the pilot. And at the end when they were singing “Don’t Stop Believin’” he turned to me and said, “Is this supposed to be funny? Because they’re pretty good.” The show must have something if it can get my husband interested in Glee clubs. But, personally, my favorite character is the teacher’s wife who works at “Sheets and Things” and has a Christmas closet. She’s on her feet “four hours a day, three days a week!” Classic.