Purveyor of fine fantasy adventures


Black cat - lucky for some?My mother-in-law was ruled by superstition. If she dropped a piece of cutlery on the floor, it would lie there until somebody else came into the house and picked it up for her – sometimes for days.

If two knives crossed on a plate, she’d spend the rest of the day waiting for a fight to start – and heaven help anyone who spilled the salt, or opened an umbrella indoors. Just as well I never told her Rob had seen The Dress before we got married, or I might never have heard the end of it.

But me? Not a superstitious bone in my body. I’ve never had a lucky pen to do the lottery, and if ladders are in my way I walk under them without a qualm. Dropped a teaspoon? I pick it up. If I’ve just come in from the rain, I leave my umbrella open to dry in the utility room because if I close it up wet it’ll go funky and smell bad.

I don’t even have any writing rituals. Some habits I’ve got into, maybe, like writing notes longhand, but not what you’d call rituals. Or so I thought.

Last night, making a cuppa, Rob fumbled the coffee jar and dropped it onto my favourite mug. This one:

My writing mug

and took a gurt chip out of the edge. And what was Ms Rational’s first thought? Sheer horror: how am I going to finish writing my books now?

[This space intentionally left blank for your gales of incredulous laughter]


I’ve had this mug a very long time. My best friend gave it to me years ago, for my birthday I think. I used to use it at work; first for its intended purpose, then, when I got sick of the horrible over-boiled taste of the water from the work kettle, as a pencil-pot on my desk. When I gave up the day job I started using it for tea again: it holds much more than the everyday mugs in the kitchen, which meant fewer trips up and down the stairs to refill it, and the handle was comfy to hold.

Now I am bereft. I know it’s only a thing, and things are not important, but I hadn’t realised just how accustomed I’d become to having it to hand whenever I was writing. Fortunately, it’s not terminally cracked and I can still use it, but clearly, its days are now numbered. This will not do.

Perhaps I can exploit my husband’s feelings of guilt and get him to buy me one of these:

"Go away, I'm writing" mug


  1. Sam Adamson

    I have one of those “Go Away, I’m Writing” mugs and by gum, but it comes in handy sometimes. They really ought to come with instructions: when someone bothers you while writing, simply hold up the mug and point. It works a treat! 😉

  2. Hubby

    In my defense, me being the aforementioned husband, the whip my good lady was cracking, and the foot she was stomping while screaming at me to “Get that tea made, slave.” Were a contributing factors in said incident. I plead my innocence and suggest to the court that leniency be given on the grounds that I am merely a man and therefore am generically prone to getting everything wrong.

  3. Jenny Brown

    I’m not superstitious either–except about my lucky copyediting blue pencil which I have used to correct the copyedits of every book I’ve published since 1987.

    Sadly, hen it came time to work on the proofs of Star Crossed Seduction, I had to face the fact that my lucky blue pencil had been sharpened to where it could never be sharpened again, so with much trepidation I went out and bought a new one.

    I’m still waiting to see if this means the end of my publishing career!

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