What better day than Friday the 13th to talk about fears and superstitions? I have lots of them. It's never to the point where it interferes with my daily life, but they are certainly a part of my daily life. Just so you know what I'm talking about, here's a airing of grievances I have with reality:
* Bugs - the flying and the creepy crawly kind. I hate bugs. An ant invasion in the house kept me sleeping poorly for months last year. Palm-sized waterbugs in an apartment kept me restless the entire summer of 1995 in NYC. A see-through mutant gummy-looking spider that I saw in the bathroom of my 89th Street Apartment still gives me the shivers...but that's because spiders are the worst with their spidery way of moving. A close second is Bees. A bee comes near me and I make a fist. Though, I've tried to make peace and we have a tentative truce at the moment. I've negotiated a settlement with the spiders as well during the Ant Wars. We are uneasy allies like France and the UK in the big one.
* Bad Luck - I fear luck changing to misfortune. I'm a firm believer in luck and that luck is not something you can make. I've had incredible runs of good luck in my life and some relatively short stretches of bad luck. More than anything, I fear a long stretch of bad luck. Years of bad luck? *shudder* And there's nothing you can do about it except wish. Which brings me to...
* Wishing - this is sort of like a religion for me, something that developed from my childhood and simply strengthened over time. I make wishes on eyelashes. I wish when the clock strikes 11:11 (I also do 1:11, 2:22, 3:33, 4:44, 5:55, 10:10 and 12:12- but 11:11 has the most magic in it). I will wait by the clock if I see it a minute or two before one of these numbers, simply to make a wish. I throw pennies in fountains. I wish on shooting stars, luckily I live in a place where they are semi-frequent. I try (and mostly fail) to say "Rabbit, Rabbit" the first thing upon waking up on the first of any month. Oh, and I cross my fingers a LOT. I always take notice whenever someone says "Oh that's supposed to be good luck" and usually incorporate it into my religion.
To any reader of my books, either my novels or children's books, none of this will come as a surprise as these traits often find their way into my characters. A writer has to use their own insecurities, fears, and insanity to their advantage. These are your raw materials and you must mine them.