By Cait Collins
It’s New Year’s Eve and I have not dedecked the halls. I always keep the house decorated until January 1st. Why? According to legend, removing Christmas decorations before January 1st is bad luck. Who wants to start a new year with a bad omen hanging over them? So tomorrow morning, I will take down the tree; pack the wreaths and the holiday dishes and linens. Everything will be safely stored in air-tight boxes until next December.
Legends are fun. They give glimpses into other cultures. They can be the basis for a story or a novel. Some years ago, my husband and I visited Santa Fe, New Mexico. In one of the shops I found a beaded lizard pin. Attached to the card was a legend. The lizard is sacred. Care for him and he will become your protector. If you are threatened, the lizard will turn into a dragon and devour the aggressor. I used this legend as the basis of an early novel.
Think of all the possibilities for inspiration. Celtic legends and lore have wonderful potential. Think silkies. Greek and Roman mythology have inspired books, movies, and television series. Then there are the stories of the Old West like the Lost Dutchman Mine. When the creative juices are running dry, check out legends. A little research could spark an idea that leads to a best seller or a hit movie.
I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2014. And don’t forget to eat your black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. Legend is for every pea you leave on your plate, you will have a week of bad luck.