Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day Twenty-one- Superstitions, jinxes, fate, lore, old wives tales, and hexes

So, I posted about how valuable "awful" can be, and then my water pump seized on my car on my way to visit my sister. This caused over-heating, and getting stranded, and whining kids. T knows how to push my buttons in a crisis mode--mostly because he gets impatient and can't sense my frustration and stress. Then, he fell apart in a Target because he couldn't have a cheese pizza (when I was trying to buy oil and anti-freeze.) He also dumped poor B straight in a puddle. There was crying from her. STRESS! In the middle, T kept asking, "When are we leaving? I don't want to be here anymore. I'm hungry. I want to go." (T doesn't "GET" situations--especially the more emotional they are. So, in his opinion, I was just wasting time and irritating him.) I'm stranded at my nice, sweet, obliging sister's house without meds, clothes, and the husband is trying to track down parts and figure out how to tow the car. Yeah. So, some awful experiences ARE NOT valuable.

So, I sort of feel like I jinxed my day by posting yesterday. I'm not a superstitious person in general, but I tend to subscribe to the whole "don't say how lucky you are out loud, because it's like asking for trouble" way of thinking. I feel like I can logically justify that in my head because I believe in the devil. On the other hand, I'm baffled by other superstitions like the complete standstill some of the world experiences in regards to the number thirteen.

Black cats? I don't care for cats, honestly. Kittens are cute but then they grow up into controlling bags of allergies. Still, I just found out that people have to keep black cats inside on Halloween. What the crap is that about? They're cats--they're no more evil in one shade over the other. (Yeah... I really don't like cats--partly because they always drape themselves across me as if they know I'm allergic. Oh... and they know. They're creepy smart.)

Ladders--I love to walk under ladders.

Mirrors--Isn't breaking them already enough bad luck in itself?

Despite all of this, I like to write about superstitions and such. I find creepy lore especially interesting. I wonder if perhaps some people believe about superstitions just to hedge their bets--or for a good excuse to take a day off work. (The husband says traffic is disturbingly light on Friday the 13th.) What is it about human nature that creates these strange illogical quirks? Sometimes, it's related to religious beliefs--even if it's just a general "if there is a force of good... there is a force for evil" belief. I also like to write about characters that can wield that "evil power" in some way or another. There is something tangible about the concept of "cursing and hexes." I like that. I guess it's good that I'm not superstitious about writing about superstitions. Nearly every one of my stories has some elements of folk lore or superstition built in.

My NaNoWriMo book deals with demons that are created by fire, and dogs that can drag them back to hell. I also have a "men in black" agency... which I would call a more modern paranoia. Still, demons... demons are fun. (In fiction--probably not so fun in real life. Definitely not actually.) My Honor series deals with superstitions and lore on a near constant basis. Magi, vampires, zombies, cursed objects, elixir of eternal life, skin-walkers, hellhounds, etc. It's all fun and games when dealing with the dark.

Is anyone else as fascinated by the weirdness that is superstition?

Isn't it weird that someone uncomfortable with even numbers actually isn't superstitious? If I could describe it, though, it wouldn't be that the numbers are unlucky so much as "sharp" as if they have an edge to them. I view even numbers with the same leery misgivings that I would a sharp knife being left out. It makes no sense--which is key with OCD. You know they don't make sense--and yet, they are.

Happy Saturday to everyone. Hopefully, I'll be home and in a better mood by tonight. I really hope so anyway. Yesterday was "sharp spike to the eyeball" awful. Today MUST be better. Do you hear me, FATE! Did you hear that??? Fate owes me better than this CRAP!


  1. Ohhh... sharp spike in the eyeball? That's not fun. My week was pretty wretched so I'm hoping for a better one next week. And wishing the same for you!

  2. I'm home. I'm home. Yay! My poor car is in the driveway losing it's water pump and most of its guts so that it might rise from the dead and be courageous and free. It turns out in order to change a water pump in a Subaru, you must first rip out every other component in the car. The husband is in charge of that. I was in charge of worrying and watching the trailer with misgivings. My job is done. Phew. I also was in charge of a fire when we got home as the house was a brisk fifty-two degrees. I'm surprised the kidlets have their coats off. Well, I hope the husband and my Frankenstein car have a beautiful interlude and, at the end, the husband can shout "IT'S ALIVE!"

    Stephanie, everyone seems to have had a lousy week. I think we're all owed something better than this crap.

  3. Lousy week? If only I could talk about it. Try worst week ever. I was about to add that it didn't even include a ladder (one of my biggest fears) but then I remembered I had to climb one to get to the saw my neighbor borrowed. I would never walk under one.

    And I have a black cat. She doesn't go outside but people keep them in on Halloween to keep them safe from sickos.

  4. Matt, yes--the husband told me that black cats shouldn't be outside on Halloween, and that just leaves me baffled. Our pet hospital had a reminder on their sign the week before Halloween. Weird. I just can't figure out what is wrong with people.

    Well, people are morons--that's what is wrong with them. I had some woman roll down her window when I walked in front of her in a grocery parking lot. It was raining. I was in a hurry. She went to all the trouble to roll down her window and yell at my back, "Don't worry about the road or anything! I stopped." The lady nearby me couldn't figure out what her problem was either. (This was yesterday too.)

    If you're going to go to the trouble to yell at a pedestrian (who has the right of way) in a rainstorm in a parking lot--at least have a clever thing to say.

  5. The problem with a clever retort is it never comes to me in the moment. After the fact sure, but then I'm like George Costanza and the jerk store.

  6. You poor thing. Sounds like a horrible day but I enjoyed your humorous spin on it.

  7. We always kept are black cat in on Halloween - just to make sure she was safe. We keep both our dog and cat in actually. Lots of freaks in this world. The book I'm writing is full of jinxes,curses and lore. I don't believe in it, but it makes for interesting reading.
    Sorry you had such a bad day yesterday. Yesteday's post was very revealing and profound.

  8. Though most superstitions don't bother me I do feel the superstitious need to say I believe in them because if I say I don't then something bad might happen to me.

    Considering I am never right, I also believe that if I speak out loud the most awful situation, as if it were fact, then it couldn't possibly happen because then I would be right.

    Glad you made it home safe. Husband gutting car, I'm not sure my hubby could open the hood. He's not the fix it type. (giggle, that is an understatement)

  9. I really only have one thing to add:


    It seems like it was a sad-emoticon-face worthy day. Hope today is better...

  10. Hugs on your horrible week and especially the water pump. My husband is very car savvy and I am definitely not.

    I don't think I can decide if I'm superstitious or not. I always feel like those things are absolutely no big deal. I feel like I should totally be comfortable with walking under a ladder. And then there's a ladder in front of me and I won't do it and I feel crazy for letting a ladder have some sort of power over me. I also make up superstitions of my own. And Gwoe freaked me out, because I have the same ritual of saying bad situations out loud, especially bad dreams. If they came true after I said them, then it would be like I'm a fortune teller with the ability to predict the future, which obviously can't be true.

    So to answer your question, yes I am FASCINATED with superstitious stuff, not afraid of it, but I am weirded out by my own weirdness. And I also love reading about powers and legends and all that kind of thing.

  11. Of course I'm superstitious. I mean, it's just life giving you the heads up that that spilling salt thing was followed by a lot of misery, so best be on the watch, right? Course I'm also a big believer in just letting my kids do whatever they want just so they don't big me when I'm getting through the latest crisis. Hey, maybe that's a superstition, too. Beware of kids demanding pizza. Terrible puddle trouble will follow....

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  13. Did I say "big me." I meant bug me. Boy, of all the things to misspell on your site! Geeze

  14. Matt, that Seinfeld episode was funny. "The jerk store called...." Poor George. Things never worked out quite right for him.

    Catherine, my sense of humor always rebounds. When I cease being able to laugh about things, it's bad.

    Mary, it's weird there are so many freaks in the world. It's interesting you're writing about lore, jinxes, and curses. What genre does that fall into?

    GwOE, I feel that way about things too. For example, I don't like talking about haunted places--even if I don't believe in that kind of thing. (I'd rather not have a spook try to prove me wrong.)

    L.T. I've been so stressed out that I haven't gone to do madlibs! Ahhh! I need to head over there.

    Diana, my husband is the king of technical stuff and I always feel like an idiot when I'm describing things to him because I describe "creatively" and use the word "thing" a lot. "It's that thing with plastic and a belt and it does stuff." He usually can figure out what I'm talking about--if only he could brag about it, because it is impressive.

    jd, I toss salt over my shoulder. I figure what's the harm, but I feel silly doing it.

  15. Sorry about your trying day, Wendy. Car problems are so frustrating!

    I am fascinated by superstitions. For the most part I do not consider myself to be superstitious, but I do find that I'm hesitant to make comments about how well things are going because it feels like I'm going to jinx myself.