Ever have days were you encounter somewhat disquieting signs that feel a little “bad omen”-ish? During my morning run on Friday, I had a little bit of that. It was a beautiful autum morning, and I was enjoying the fresh and air and even the beginnings of some fall colors.

As I trotted along, soaking in the positive energy, I ran past a small, dead bird on the sidewalk. Not sure how it got dead or wound up there, but it was a little creepy. And I remember reading a bunch of Carlos Castaneda books in college, and he would talk about the mysticism and symbolisms of birds and their movements. I don’t remember a lot of specifics, nor could I be able to claim the ability to interpret any of that kind of thing, but I’m pretty sure “dead on the ground” isn’t exuding tons of great happy vibes.

I continued on, unfazed. But as I got close to home, there was literally a black cat in my path.

To borrow from The Office’s Michael Scott…I’m not superstitious, but I’m maybe a little stitious. I was not taking any chances with that one, so oh yes, I walked a block out of my way to get into my house a different way so as not to take a chance with double bad luck jinx.

That all said, I’m thankful to report it was a very uneventful day, and it didn’t seem that any bad luck stuff took. Work went pretty smoothly, and in the afternoon I took Amelia out for a little while to do some grocery shopping.

It was late at night, when I was relaxing outside and the kids were in bed, that I finally saw where that bad luck jinx stuff came in. You see, on a goof, I had registered for short screenwriting competition the day before. It’s one of these 48 hour challenges, and the way it works is that you get put in a group of 10 and assigned a random genre, location and one thing you need to incorporate. You then work all that into a 5-page screenplay. 

Everyone gets two of these…one this weekend, and another in November. You get ranked in your category and get points based on rank, and if you earn enough points in the first two rounds, you move onto round three. I figured it would be a fun little creative challenge, and what the heck. A friend of mine is doing it too, and has done it before. He joked to me that he hopes he doesn’t get historical fiction again. I thought to myself, I think I’d be OK with most anything.

Well, I got my assignment, and my genre is…horror. OK, here’s where that black cat and dead bird did their best. I can think of no genre I am less prepared to write in. I don’t like horror movies, I don’t like them, and nothing in my writing sensibility says “horror.” 

Dammit! Oh well, I guess if I had get some bad luck in the day, that isn’t so bad. So now I have to get to work writing a horror story that takes place in the mountains and somehow involves a bird bath. Hmmm. Wish me luck.