by Chris F. Holm
Back in September 2012, we Criminal Minders tackled a question as to whether we had any peculiar writing rituals. I proudly declared that I did not. Because I'm me (read: long-winded and digressive), I did so by relating a tale of my youth misspent hustling drunkards at pool. An old-timer at the pool hall I frequented gave me a bit of advice back then I carry to this day: if you want to hustle, you'd best learn to play with the house cues. You come in with a
billiard glove and a custom cue, and no one's gonna play you.
But if you learn to play with a cue from off the rack, your mark will never see you coming.
It's a bit of advice I took to heart in large part because I'm a deeply superstitious person, and to my mind, superstition and ritual go hand-in-hand. I like the notion of a lucky cue. A lucky table. A lucky mug. A lucky pen. It's all too easy for me to settle into little rites and rituals to help me get through my day unstruck by lightning or uncursed by gypsies or whatever. The only thing keeping me from counting all the sidewalk cracks I step over from beneath the cool shade of my tinfoil hat is sheer, teeth-gritted force of will. If I let so much as one teeny, tiny superstition have dominion over me, it won't be long before they rule my life.
Which is why I've decided to use this blog post to slay the only superstitious writing ritual I have.
See, titles are important to me. So important, in fact, that I've often said I can't so much as start a piece unless I've got a title for it. Whether that title sticks or not is irrelevant (although to a one, my titles thus far have; how's that for jinxing a lucky streak?) What matters is that I've something to build off of.
Or should I say, what mattered. Past-tense. Because it seems to me, I just wrote a post without a title as my guide.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to cross myself and knock on wood.