I don’t have a lot to say about luck in general. Sometimes, I think it’s a matter of perspective.
For example, last year, I went to a steampunk convention: a conference for people who read or write a fantasy/sci fi/speculative fiction genre where the books are (a) set in an alternative Victorian era where steam is the main power so introduces cool gadgets that never really existed, OR (b) set in an alternative future but using the “signs” of the Victorian era, OR (c) break the first two rules but involve fantastic mechanicals. Steampunk celebrators dress up in things like top hats and suits, or long flowing skirts with corsets or bustles, but wear them with aviator goggles or steam-powered jet packs or conglomerations involving gears.
The first day was spectacular—a veritable feast for the eyes plus myriad family-friendly activities—and I thought my kids might like to attend. So I bought a couple of top hats from the conference shop. Then on the drive home, I tried very hard to think of a way to condense the definition of steampunk for an audience of two, both under ten years old; I basically whittled it down to “a party for stories that have gears and goggles.” I didn’t know if it would be exciting enough to lure them into a literary conference. But when I walked in the front door, here’s what happened.
Son: Hey, are those top hats?
Son [putting it on his head]: I always wanted one of these.
Me: You did?
Son: Of course. Top o’ the mornin’ to ye.
Behold the power of the top hat.
That certainly was lucky, I thought. Who knew they would like top hats? So much that when I mentioned going to the conference, all they asked was, Can we wear our top hats? And when I said yes, they were like THEN LET’S GO RIGHT NOW.
I’ll admit to having had visions of my children later crediting this very conference for contributing to their happily book-centric lives. Yet, soon after we arrived, I was “volunteered” for an event which involved being shoved into an elaborate hat-and-cape combination and forced to sing something. In front of a crowd. Of strangers.
I have no idea how that happened. But my kids thought they were pretty lucky to witness that.
As I said: a matter of perspective…