What went wrong?

This is it! This is the wedding ring.

So I have… not exactly a superstition, but a thing I do when I write a novel.  I find myself a talisman.  This could be anything that has some sort of meaning in terms of the story.  For example, when I wrote “White Rabbit” I found a coin from the reign of Charles II.  (For anyone who doesn’t know, one of the characters was supposed to be Old Rowley.)  For “Rough Trade” I found a pair of gnome salt and pepper shakers.  For “Suffer the Little Children” Glinda and Jim gave me a beautiful print of Victorian London that I need to put on my wall.  I have a lot of little things that make me feel physically connected to my novels.

Like I said, it isn’t exactly a superstition, but the last one I wrote and submitted, Son and Heir, got rejected this week.  Apart from being kind of bummed about that, I also realized that I’d never found a talisman for it.  I even mentioned it to Glinda.  I was certain that I’d find one before I finished the story but I never did.  And look what happened!

No, I don’t seriously believe that this is the reason it was rejected.  I’m not insane or stupid.  But what I do know is this:  I’ll feel better about the story, and about sending it out again, once I have my talisman, my touchstone.  I’d been looking for something related to Vienna or “The Third Man” because that’s a theme that runs through the novel.  But tonight I suddenly realized that what I really wanted was a Celtic knot ring.  There’s a wedding in the book, and one of the characters is Irish.  A Celtic knot wedding ring would be the perfect talisman.  So I went online and found a reasonably priced one, and I’ve ordered it.  I think now I can feel good about the story again.  I’ll have a focus

Yeah, it’s probably silly, but it’s my thing, it’s how I like to work, it’s my way of connecting to the story in a physical way.  One thing I do know:  I’ll never finish another novel before I have my talisman for it.  And in the end, I’ll have an interesting and eccentric collection of objects that have deep meaning to me.

It’s all good.


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