Are there certain things you always do or don’t do? Like not wearing white until Memorial Day or after Labor Day. Hey, who cares anymore? What about putting up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving? Dress in costume for Halloween?
One of mine is not to turn on the furnace until November. Broke that one this week when Hubs looked at the thermostat and said, “It’s 60 degrees in here.” Until then, we’d been layering up—a sweater, sweatshirt, long pants, socks, wrapping up in an ultra-soft throw. Gray skies and rain had a lot to do with turning on the furnace besides the inside temp.
In the spring, I don’t turn on the air conditioning until I’m sweating. Hubs tolerates heat better than I do (while I can put up with more cold). Besides, you can only take off so much. We have great cross-ventilation and ceiling fans so I can wait on the AC, hopefully until June. My rationale with the furnace/AC thing is economics. As newlyweds, we saved wherever we could until we could buy our first house. I guess my Great Depression-era parents had a lot to do with my penny pinching. Waste not, want not was Mom's mantra. All those years of saving are now paying off in retirement.
Another of my rituals is reading before I go to sleep. Before I started writing, I used to read everywhere and any time. It's different now. I have too many stories to write to take the time to read. Still, I love to read, even if it's only a few pages at night.
Grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning before I begin writing is more habit than ritual. Does the caffeine help? Maybe it wakes up my Muse. She’s a lazy thing in the morning. But when she’s in the zone, so am I. Funny how that works.
One of my new rituals—done under protest—was prescribed by my physical therapist. Get up and move every hour. In theory, this is good. Sitting too long stiffens the joints and muscles. It also interrupts my Muse, who then takes off and goofs around. Like my old dogs, she doesn’t come when called. Obviously, my therapist is not a writer. He doesn’t realize how long it takes to get back in the groove. Is he satisfied if I get up, go to the bathroom, grab another cup of coffee, then get back to work? Of course not. He wants me to do exercises! That’s guaranteed to make the Muse disappear for hours. But I guess if I want to walk without pain, I’ll have to adhere to this new ritual.
How about you? Any rituals?
Diane Burton writes science fiction romance, romantic suspense, and mysteries. She's currently working on the 3rd book in her Alex O'Hara mystery series,The Case of the Meddling Mama. Diane blogs here on the 30th of each month, with Paranormal Romantics on the 13th, and on her own blog on Mondays.