Thursday, March 20, 2008

Day Four: Spooky Spooky Superstitions

(superstitions: not as CORNY as you might think!)

Writers can be a superstitious bunch. Like sports fans who don’t think their team will win if they don’t do certain things, many writers think their writing will go better if they just adhere to their superstitions. Though Elizabeth doesn’t have any writing superstitions, she does have a touch of magic in her life…

It’s funny you should ask about that. Although I’m a devoted wood-knocker and left-shoulder-salt-tosser, I don’t have any superstitious writing rituals (I like to change my socks. Call me crazy.). I do, however, have habits… but I don’t think that’s the same thing. Of course not. Not at all.

However, superstition and folk ritual are a big part of CURSE, so I started collecting some of the folk charms that appear in the book. I bought a witch ball (a blown glass ornament with swirling patterns of color and ribbons of glass dripping through it) at a local fair, and found a corn dolly in—of all places—a truck stop near Wichita! I like having tangible elements from my characters’ worlds around me as I work, and these things are neat mementos of being immersed in Charlotte’s world for so long.

The funny thing, though, is that at times during the editorial process, it seemed like a little of the Stirwaters magic was coming true and rubbing off! Whole chapters would go mysteriously missing from my editor’s office, scenes I’d deleted would pop back into the manuscript, and they had to shoot the cover three times because things kept going wrong! It got to the point where I actually sent a corn dolly to Cheryl (Klein, my editor) for her office at Scholastic! We certainly don’t need the Stirwaters Curse rubbing off on any of her other titles! When she sent me back all of the manuscripts, I promised to find a nice wall somewhere to board them up inside.


gabe said...

I need a certain rock within grasping distance when I write - plus - no second cup of coffee until I'm actually involved in my writing - ie. no more web surfing, emailing, etc.

Your book sounds so interesting, EB,can't wait to read it.
Best Wishes

M.P. Barker said...

I hear that Twilight Zone music....


Barrie said...

Your book arrived from amazon. I have unpackaged it and set it on my desk. Hmmmm.....any chance my desk will be magically cleaned up??!

Anonymous said...

Barrie, it's a book about a curse. What do you think?