When we put up the new contest in September some of our regular flash fiction contestants scratched their heads and wrote us. "Wow, that is a departure," one of our previous winners wrote. "It's going to take a lot of thought on my part, if I end up entering at all. What do I write about?"
As I responded to one of these emails I remembered a story of how something strange changed my life. Off the top of my head, I wrote:
I just remembered something that brought me good luck once -- I was in Santa Monica with some girlfriends, and they kept saying, "Oh, we gotta go see this psychic, she's unbelievably accurate." Then they would snicker. O-k-a-y... I thought, sounds kinda fun, but I'm not shelling out a bunch of money I don't have to go see a psychic!
They took me to the pier and led me inside a room that had a carousel in the middle, and pushed up against the wall in the corner was this gaudy old mechanical fortune teller. Of course they burst out laughing, and I was just glad they weren't taking me to see a real psychic. So we all put in a dollar fifty, and the creepy lady moved her fingers over a crystal ball until the machine spit out a thick card.
The picture on the front of the card had a woman falling and screaming. I walked away to read it, fearing that it would say something bad. At the time I was not doing so hot with my finances to put it mildly. I was broke, in debt, jobless, and going nowhere fast. I feared that the card would predict another grim tale to add to my list. But to my surprise, the card basically said that the troubles I've been having with my finances would soon be over.
So I tucked the card away in my purse and carried it with me wherever I went, and a week later, I landed a contract for my graphic design business that paid a hundred grand a year.
Of course after that I called up all my friends and we celebrated!
I have no idea if the card really worked or not, but it just seemed like too much of a coincidence to dismiss.
When I think about all the experiences that have happened in my life, they all can be attributed to some form of luck, serendipity, or karma. Events happen in a series, connections lead from one experience to the other. If you step back for a moment and examine the most important times in your life... what event, action, or coincidence led up to that point?
I met my husband when my ex-boyfriend and I moved into an art studio four doors down from his. If I hadn't moved in and broken up with my ex soon thereafter, I probably wouldn't have met my hubby. That move to the studio put me in close proximity, and even before that, I was forced to move out from the apartment I lived, and so on and so on.
An easy way to find your "lucky you" moment is to write a list of monumental events in your life. Take a look at that list and hit rewind. What event started that ball rolling?
In my story with the mechanical fortune teller, I could've just said, that was a year I started making a lot of money because I got this really great contract gig -- but that wouldn't have made for a good story. By retracing your steps and the series of events that led up to that point, you will be able to find your "lucky you" moment... and you may even be lucky enough to win our essay contest!
So to get started, can you write a list of some major events in your life? Please share them here and we'll encourage each other!