Tuesday, November 11, 2008

As luck would have it

"If you choose to rely on a rabbit's foot for luck, be aware that it didn't work for the rabbit."

I'm often guilty of playing the Luck Card, attributing success to being in the right place at the right time. I wonder about people who just happen to bump into the King of The Publishing World in line at the post office, or meet the beloved daughter of the Queen of Making Bestsellers in the produce aisle.

If it's hard work and not luck, that's too bad, because that means you'd have to cover every produce aisle and every post office 24/7 to be sure to bump into someone who'll be helpful to your career.

Unless you have a few things going for you—objects or rituals that are lucky for you.

I've been known to toss an article of clothing that failed me—not that it didn't look good, but that I wore it three times and something went wrong each time. Maybe I missed the bus the first time, got overcharged by a cabbie the second time, and ran out of gas the third time. Out, blue jacket!

I have certain rituals and superstitions that get me through tricky times; some are OCD-related, like lining things up; others are too embarrassing to share on the open 'net.

What do you think? What's luck got to do with it?


Betty Hechtman said...

I think you can attract good luck with your attitude. But it isn't luck alone. If you happened to meet the daughter of the queen of publishers in line at the grocery store and you've never written that book, but only thought about writing it someday, the meeting isn't going to do you much good.

Kathryn Lilley said...

I try to avoid bad luck. If this one particular song comes on the radio, I immediately switch it off because I associate it with bad luck. I think it's called "Holding back the Dawn." For some reason I associate that song with doing a bad job on something, so hearing it is an ill omen. No good luck omens that I know of!

Sheila Connolly said...

I love the image of prowling the produce aisles asking, "Are you somebody?"

I firmly believe in luck, although I usually call it serendipity. That's how I landed my second agent--her intern forgot to lick the SASE.

I can prove it exists in my genealogy efforts--I find the weirdest connections without even looking. Like that lovely second cousin in Australia who gave me a tour of Sydney. I found him through an unlikely string of connections on-line.

It's real--but I don't know if you can control it at all.

Anonymous said...

At this stage in my life, goodluck is walking with a friend, having coffee with a friend (anywhwere you want) and having a wonderful cousin! Go step on those lines on the sidewalk on your way..... xoxoxox

Camille Minichino said...

I'm secretly building a character with all these little quirks -- a song, sidewalk cracks, and lots of serendipitous events.

You're so right, Betty -- sigh -- sometimes you actually have to be prepared.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I believe in luck, and think that sometimes you can encourage your own by seeking out opportunities. And I always knock on wood to prevent something I say from jinxing me!

Ann Parker said...

My thought: I think of this kind of luck as "being open to possibilities." And I love serendipity. Yes, coincidences and "luck" (good and bad) happen that we could never put in fiction, because they "don't happen in real life." The funny thing is, they do! But in fiction, they don't seem real.