I know what you’re thinking – don’t worry, Tawna, you don’t look a day over 35. With a good skincare regimen and a supportive bra, you’ll stay youthful and vigorous for at least another two months.
But it’s really not aging I’m worried about. It’s the fact that my birthday is cursed.
You heard me right. My birthday is cursed, and I am deeply superstitious about this.
Don’t believe me? Consider the evidence.
Here’s how my 32nd birthday unfolded:
- My cat died.
- My editor at Harlequin/Silhouette called to tell me the Bombshell line – which was scheduled to publish my debut novel in February 2007 – was being cancelled a month before said debut.
- My longtime employer threatened to fire me if I refused to comply with the company’s hosiery policy (I did. They didn’t. Long story).
But the birthday demons were just toying with me. Exactly one week after my birthday, the following things occurred in a single day:
- A doctor’s appointment revealed that a nerve surgery in my elbow had failed.
- Our elderly dog was incapacitated by a severe vestibular disorder and couldn’t walk.
- Our younger dog collapsed suddenly from an undetected, bleeding tumor and had to be put to sleep.
- My agent called to tell me a book deal we thought was an absolute certainty was not going to happen.
I’m not saying all writing-related superstitions are bad. Back when I was querying agents, there was a funny little “blessing” Pythagoras would perform over every snail-mail query I sent. It was a sweet way to involve him in a challenging process, and it lent a teamwork vibe to an otherwise solitary pursuit.
But my fear of the birthday curse – well, there’s nothing fun about that.
Which is why I’m determined not to let it worry me this year. Deep down, the intelligent part of me knows that good things and bad things happen every single day. Much as I might occasionally believe the world revolves around me, I know the date of my birth does not control the flow of luck in the universe. Assigning so much significance to a single date just ensures I’ll spend the next few weeks braced for bad things to happen, and is that really a healthy way to write?
So this year, I spit on the birthday curse. I kick it in the nuts and give it a wedgie before ducking behind Pythagoras and cackling like a fiend.
Are you superstitious when it comes to writing? Do you have rituals you perform when sending queries or contest entries? Please share in the comments (unless it involves human sacrifice, in which case you should probably share with the police).