I’ve been attending the Left Coast Lesbian Literary Conference (LCLC) for the last five years and in my distorted view of the world, I’d started to view our annual trek to Palm Springs as tradition. That got me to thinking about tradition and of course I had to do some research. I began to think about other things I used to consider tradition, I wondered how those “traditions” were different from ritual or habit. Are they synonyms (something I learned we ought to pay special attention to as writers) or completely different concepts.


My thought processes meandered along to writing rituals or habits and whether I or others have distinct ones we would readily admit to. Surprisingly, I don’t have writing rituals or habits. I don’t need a certain ambiance or beverage or whatever else is required for those who pay homage to a ritual or tradition that works for them. And yet, I do believe in tradition. Or what I thought was the definition of tradition before doing the research on this blog.


For those of you who do not know the differences between tradition, ritual, and habit, I googled the definitions.

Tradition: A long-established custom or belief that has been passed on from one generation to another.  Or…and this was fascinating…an artistic or literary method or style established by an artist, writer, or movement, and subsequently followed by others.

Ritual: A series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone. Or…(of an action) arising from convention or habit.


Habit: An acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. Or…a particular practice, custom or usage.


At my very first writing conference, the Affinity Rainbow Publication writers started what I thought was a tradition but now seems more like a ritual or habit based on the above definitions. We began as a group to take a fireball shot in the evenings that soon evolved to fireball shots as a group whenever the spirit moved us. We readily pulled others into our ritual because come on, who wouldn’t want to join in the fun?


I don’t like the fact that I can’t call this a tradition just because we haven’t been doing this ritual long enough to pass along to other generations. Will I be around long enough to ensure this ritual becomes a tradition? Not likely. So, because I enjoy making up my own rules, I’ve decided, screw that. I’m not only going to consider fireball shots a tradition, but I’m also going to decide that a group of lesbians, wearing various funny hats, and having high tea is absolutely a tradition. It doesn’t matter that we’ve only done this twice. I’m convinced this will continue for many years to come and maybe, just maybe, it will be passed down to the next generation of lesfic writers who attend the LCLC conference.


There is one other tradition I quite enjoy that started five years ago when my hand shot in the air after the presenter on police procedures asked for a volunteer and there were handcuffs involved. Every year after, I’ve enjoyed being her volunteer for various demonstrations even when those demonstrations did not involve handcuffs!

I’m not sure if I follow a tradition related to writing as in a method or model followed by a famous or not so famous writer, but if you’re so inclined to ferret that out through a perusal of my writing, please be my guest and click on the links below! For those who want a screaming deal, Compound Interest, the final installment in the Asset Management/Book Addict combined series is on pre-sale for .99 cents!

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2 thoughts on “Tradition

  1. One year I’m going to make it out to the LCLC. I’d like to join you for both fireball and high tea. And, of course, I’d love to see you put in handcuffs, my friend! Too much fun!


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