Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rabbit, Rabbit (Or Where Ideas Come From)

When I was in 10th grade, my English teacher told my class about an old superstition. Upon waking on the first day of any month, if  the very first words you speak are "Rabbit, Rabbit" you will have good luck for the rest of that month.

Weird, right? I sought the origin of the story through the all knowing oracle, Wikipedia. Interesting stuff, particularly the variations. Some standouts:

  • Instead of believing that saying it will bring good luck, believing that not saying it will bring bad luck.
  • If the speaker becomes muddled and says 'Black Rabbits' on rising, bad luck will follow.
  • Saying "rabbit, rabbit" to another person on the first of the month entitles the speaker to the luck of the listener for the duration of the month.
  • Some couples have a tradition that the first to say "rabbit rabbit" on day entitles the sayer to a gift.
  • The band Jawbreaker makes reference to the superstition in their song Jinx Removing.

It goes on.

Writers are often asked where they get their ideas. There's no definitive answer, but what I just did was walk you through how an idea MIGHT evolve.

I woke up early (yawn), glanced at the calendar and realized March 1st is a week from Friday (time to pay bills), remembered an odd tale told to me once (that s*** is cray), did a little digging (no, went to Wikipedia), found some info (once again, Wikipedia), and flipped my original perception (good luck vs. bad or the idea winning/stealing luck).

Right away I saw the potential for several different stories (horror, fantasy, comedy) centering around luck and how one gets it. I could knock out a couple of drafts in the next week or two if I so choose.

Or you can.

Whatever you do, just remember, when next Friday rolls around…Rabbit, Rabbit.

Lamar "L. R." Giles writes books for teens and adults. FAKE ID, his debut Young Adult Thriller, will be published by HarperCollins in 2014. He is represented by Jamie Weiss Chilton of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and resides in Chesapeake, VA with his wife.

1 comment:

  1. I first heard saying "Rabbit rabbit" from Saturday morning cartoons. If I forgot to say it during the first of the month, I'd get soooo sad. Not sure whether or not it ever changed luck in my favor or not..