Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Drawing From the Wells of Truth and Superstition

by Julie Coulter Bellon

Well, I'm almost finished with The Counterfeit by Rob Wells. But I'm frightened to finish it. Really, I am. Let me tell you why.

I was reading the book on my porch swing and I was at the part where we meet the Catacyclist. I'm not kidding you, at that moment, a kid rode by on his bike and turfed it. Big time. It was horrible. I felt a little responsible because of the book. Maybe if I hadn't been reading that, it wouldn't have happened. (I didn't tell the kid that though and I haven't stopped reading it even with the obvious inherent danger. I'm strangely drawn to it, but I've limited my reading to inside the house now).

The Counterfeit draws me in because of its clever way of coming across as simplistic when in reality it's complex and layered. It's a very interesting book. You have this plot which is straightforward but complicated with emotions and feelings and strange people and events. It's a tangled mess that makes it fun for the reader to unravel. And Eric, what can I say about Eric? He's so everyman that you love him and his clumsiness and insecurity and you're cheering for him all at the same time you're laughing at/with him. Wells did an amazing job with his character.

One other thing I really have loved about the book was reading about France and remembering all the fun memories I have of my time there. The romance of the city of Paris in itself, not to mention the Champs Elysee, the Arc de Triomphe, and even reading all the French again and realizing I can still understand it. It was a little joie de vivre and it was reassuring and fun after all the crazy things that have happened since I started Rob Wells' books.

But then the frightening thing happened. (There is an eww factor here so be warned). I had a few minutes to myself so I could read and I took The Counterfeit out. I'd only read a few pages and I heard a loud smack. My dog started barking and I ran to the window to see what it was. It was awful. A little bird had flown right into my dining room picture window and his guts were all over the glass (that we'd just cleaned, by the way).

Now I have to give you a little background here. When I was a little girl I was told that if a bird hits your window that means someone in your family is going to die. I didn't believe it at first, but one day when I was really young, a bird flew into our kitchen window and my aunt died a few days later. It was awful. So ever since that day, deep down in my consciousness I believed that if a bird smacks into your window, someone in your family is going to die. And if anything happens to anyone in my family in the near future I'm going to blame Rob Wells and his bad luck book. Just so you know. And it won't be pretty.

I've often heard of strange traditions and superstitions. My grandmother believes that if all the cows in the field are laying down, it's going to rain that day. I've also heard that if there's sunshine while it's raining it means another rain is coming right after. Or if there's a double rainbow and you can see both of them at the same time, something extra good is going to happen to you. Or if you find a penny and pick it up all day long you'll have good luck. But if you pass it by you'll later cry. Or walking under a ladder brings bad luck, like breaking a mirror. What traditions or superstitions have you heard of? Do you believe them? What makes us superstitious? Do we make up reasons for good or bad luck in our lives? Is there such a thing as luck?

Josh Groban once said that luck is preparation meeting opportunity. Do you believe that? I know the publishing world talks a lot about luck and timing being the key to getting published. But if we found a penny and picked it up does that mean our manuscript will be published? If a few cows are standing and some are laying down, does that mean it will only be cloudy? Is there any truth to superstition?

Whether any of it's true or not, I'm trying really hard not to think about/believe the superstition about the bird, though. I'm just going to tell myself it's all in my head, just like all the crazy things that have happened since I started Rob's books. It's all coincidence. Right?


At 11/16/2006 3:02 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Julie, of all the reviews of had of my books, your not-quite-reviews (this week's and last's) are my favorite.

Here's the quote I'm going to use on my website: "I'm strangely drawn to it."

At 11/16/2006 3:42 PM, Anonymous Marnie Pehrson said...

Hilarious "review." Let's see... superstitions...

Step on a crack and break your mother's back... I still avoid cracks even though I know it's ridiculous.

I also think of the cow saying whenever I see cows lying down. I too have wondered about the part up/part down thing. But I don't think that's a superstition. I think that's one of those signs of nature like ... red in mornin' sailor's take warnin', red at night, sailor's delight.

The bird thing makes me think of the Darling family on the Andy Griffith show. They were always seeing some kind of omen and getting Andy into a scrape with their superstitions. There were the owls in the daytime, men riding east to west through town on white horses, etc. Or was it north to south? If I recall, Barnie couldn’t keep that straight either.

Hmm... now I'm in the mood to write a novel about crazy mountain people and their superstitions. :) Thanks for the idea!

At 11/16/2006 4:16 PM, Blogger John Ferguson said...

Superstitions? I only have one thing to say about that: It is really bad luck to be superstitious. :)


At 11/20/2006 12:21 AM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

Or as I call it, "stupidstitious." :)

I always heard that if it rains while the sun is shining, that means the devil is beating his wife. I know, it's weird.


Post a Comment

<< Home