Fortune Cookies

26 April 2015: Finding my inspiration

As I’ve mentioned before, I love to find inspiration, ways to challenge myself as a writer in the oddest of places.   Fortune cookies being one of them.  I love to find ways to work in a little saying or fact into my books in a seamless fashion.

Here are a few good fortunes I’ve collected over the past few weeks:

Wondering how I get so many fortunes???  My coworkers order a LOT of Chinese food for lunch.

Fortune - Let reality be reality cookie

Fortune - If you live out Your

Fortune - Read to Live

Fortune - Important Email coming

Another challenge I’m taking on is working in a few Snapple facts.  If you don’t know, most bottles of Snapple Iced Tea have little facts on the bottom of the lid.  I have a friend who is a compulsive Snapple drinker and saves her Snapple caps for me.  Here’s a few good ones I’d like to try to work into a book:

Snapple Cap 2

Snapple Cap 4

Snapple Cap 13

Snapple Cap 6

Sometimes I find inspiration in odd pictures people post on Facebook like this:

Angry Woman

I love this picture.  It’s practically a book in and of itself.  I mean, what happened to piss her off???  I love it!

So where do you find inspiration?


8 Feb 2015: Even Fortune Cookies let you Down Sometimes

As I’ve mentioned before, I love fortune cookies.  Not just because a fresh one tastes great, but I’ve also used the fortunes as a writing challenge.  I have two bowls of fortunes in my house.  One with the not so good ones, and one with the potentials.  The potentials are fortunes I might be able to write into a book.  This has been my challenge on my last three books, find a way to elegantly work in a few of my fortunes.

But then and again you sometimes come across one that’s so bad, so strange, I’m not even sure I want to put it in with the clunkers.  I got one of those yesterday.  Here it is:

Stupid Fortune Cookie

WTF does “You have the exceptional ability to understand the fancies of marketable ideas” mean?  I mean what drunk guy at the fortune cookie factory came up with that one?  I mean it’s so bad, I kinda want to find a way to put it in a book.  I mean, THAT would be a challenge.  I guess I just have to figure out what it means first …. no easy task to be sure.

So does anyone out there have a clue what my fortune means???


3 Jan 2015: Do you always do what a Fortune Cookie tells you to do?

I don’t know if it’s because I just needed a bit more of a challenge, but somewhere down the line, I started writing fortune cookies into my books. First of all, let me tell you, I LOVE fortune cookies. They taste yummy (when they’re fresh) and like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get until you open it up. Sometimes it’s a gem, sometimes it’s a clunker.

Anyway, a couple of years ago, I found a good one and slipped it in my wallet. Then I got another one and added it to the pile. Now I have a big jar full of them. That’s where I keep the rest of them, but I also have a little jar where I keep the good ones. The good ones are ones that I can possibly write into my books.

I think I started when I was trying to find ways to describe one of my characters in book three, Roger. As I do with many of my characters, I like to use their intimate surroundings (his study in this case) to subtly describe them. It was that week that I got a fortune that said “No man is free who is not master of himself.” Talk about a good one! This was good for Roger for many reasons. First of all, Roger is obsessed with maritime history. The “Master” in this cookie, could be subtle as a reference not only to Roger himself, but also as in the Master of a vessel.  But it also described Roger’s independent spirit.

So how do you work this cookie, seamlessly into a novel?? Good question. Here’s how you to it:

The Blood that Binds, by Jennifer Geoghan: “A minute later I found Roger in his study, sitting at his desk with a book in his lap he’d obviously not been reading.   I walked over to the far side of the small room and leaned against the wall of wooden bookshelves. I hadn’t noticed it before, but the room looked exactly like a ship captain’s quarters on an old sailing ship. It seemed very appropriate for Roger. On the wall above his desk hung a needlepoint sampler with No Man is Free Who is Not Master of Himself embroidered on it. Again, somehow it seemed appropriate. Putting the book down on his desk, he swiveled in his chair to face me.”

Now it’s sort of a game with my fans. After I publish a book, I’ll have them guess where the fortunes are. Here’s some of the other ones I’ve used in my last three books.


Used Fortunes 1

Used Fortunes 2