Sometimes the advice is completely useless, as with this recent warning in my horoscope:
* Avoid snap judgments.
Yuh, right. As if I could.
But more often than not, there's something I need to hear, once I've twisted it around so it's meaningful for my writing life. Like the fortune I got when I was waiting to hear back from my agent on whether a publisher wanted my first standalone novel NEVER TELL A LIE: "If your cookie is in 2 pieces the answer is yes."
It was! A few days later I had an offer. The little slip with that fortune is scotch-taped to my printer.
Here's what my horoscope said one day when I was stuck in the mushy middle of my work in progress:
* Just keep in mind that your current growth phase isn't finished; you simply have a chance now to move a project along at your own speed by taking a good idea and developing it further.
When I lost the Mary Higgins Clark Award:
* Working with amazing people doesn't have to rob you of your self-esteem.
When I was thinking about exhuming a character I'd excised from an earlier novel and inserting it into my work in progress:
* Reconnecting with someone from your past is possible as amorous Venus turns retrograde this week. Yet it's best not to expect that history will simply repeat itself.
A day when I was planning to outline a new book:
* Don't be cocky and think that everything you imagine will unfold according to your plans. Just allow your daydreams to flow without analysis; you will have plenty of time to make sense of it all later on.
The day I finally get a decent Kirkus review:
* Just don't let your confidence grow into arrogance because you're still likely to encounter a little turbulence along the way.
And the best writing advice I ever got came from a horoscope:
* Go ahead and set your sights on a far-off galaxy, strap on your seat belt and prepare for blast-off. if you experience self-doubt, remember that he who hesitates is lost. Ultimately, you can figure out a way to make it all work.
Here's the fortune I got when I was down in the dumps and considering giving up writing:
* You will succeed in a far out profession(I saved that one, too.)
So, Readers and Reds, your assignment for today: Go find your horoscope or crack open a fortune cookie and let us know what useful bit of advice it has for you, or maybe it just gives you a good laugh.
If you haven't got one handy, here's the horoscope page in the LA Times. (Mine begins: Nurturing others comes naturally to you, especially today...)