Talismans

Victoria Schade Writing

We all have them, right?

Little good luck charms that protect us from harm, or spur us on to greatness, or support us as we battle the crap that life occasionally throws at us.

I have a few talismans, like the new watch I got at the beginning of 2018 to remind me, every time I look at it, that time is precious and fleeting, and everything is temporary, no matter how challenging it might seem in the moment. It’s like a little hit of cognitive behavioral therapy every time I check to see if I’m late.

I also have a writing good luck charm, the little pig pictured above. I bought it as I was working through my first novel, Life on the Leash. I found it at Elizabeth Gilbert’s now closed shop in Frenchtown, NJ, Two Buttons. Yes, Elizabeth Eat, Pray, Love Gilbert. Now, I’m not a pig collector, so there was no reason to buy it other than the fact that it spoke to me from the shelf.

“I’ll be your good luck charm as you write,” it said to me. “A mega-star bestselling author put me here so that I could find my way to you, and it doesn’t really make any sense because I’m a pig not a dog, which obviously means that it’s a sign. So buy me already!”

When I paid for it the associate gave me a little printed card describing the pig’s symbolism, and I found out that it wasn’t jade, but “aventurine” and could help “enhance one’s creativity,” which made total sense. The card also said that aventurine can “balance male/female energies,” which made less sense, but whatever.

My little nameless pig sat beside me as I finished Life on the Leash (you can see him in a Tweet from 8/14/15, as I was closing in on the end of Cora’s story), and he’s still there as I’m nearing completion of version 1 of novel 2. Sometimes I pick him up and turn him over in my hand when I’m thinking through a plot point, and other times he disappears beneath a stack of junk for days at a time, a very pig-like behavior. But he’s always nearby.

Do I rely on my talismans? I’d certainly be upset if something happened to my pig, or my watch, or my lucky socks (Oh, I didn’t mention those? Yeah, they exist.), but I don’t need need them. If it takes a lucky little something to manifest magical thinking into reality, so be it.

And the little bit of Liz Gilbert dust on my pig doesn’t hurt either!