The White Star Line wineglass

Elizabeth Donald
5 min readJan 15, 2024

Writers are superstitious creatures; do not mess with our rituals.

I can’t remember what we were celebrating, but it may have been Thanksgiving. We were attempting to find enough wine glasses in my mishmash collection for everyone in the room to have a glass. There is one glass left over from my first marriage, the tattered remnants of the small set my husband and I received when we got married, a promotional glass from some winery somewhere, an oversized one from a Disney World reception…

My son pulled out a wine glass from the back of the china cabinet, and I stopped him immediately. “Oh no, not that one.”

He stared at it, surprised. “Why not this one?

“I’ll tell you a story sometime,” I said. “But that one doesn’t get used, ever.“

He made me explain, and then I got the look of, “crazy writer-mom strikes again.”

If you Google writer rituals, what you’ll get is a lot of helpful how-to’s detailing how you write a book. I’ve only ever found one bit of writing that talks about what you do when you finish a book. In Stephen King’s Misery, his main character has a ritual whenever he finishes a book. He drinks Dom Perignon and he smokes a cigarette, the only cigarette he allows himself after having quit. And being an incredibly wealthy, successful author, of course, he…



Elizabeth Donald

Journalist for more than 25 years, freelance writer, editor, photographer, and fiction author. Subscribe at or visit