The Fortune In My Cookie

I love fortune cookies. It’s the second time I’ve written about them on the blog.

It’s not so much the dust, dry cookie part I like. Usually I just smash the thing and move on to the crispy paper filling. YUM!

When I was in college, my friends and I would play the ever popular “In Bed” game. Maybe you’re familiar with it too. Everyone in the group takes turns reading their cookie out loud to the rest of the party. Then, at the end of the reading, you have to add the words “in bed.”

Here’s some examples: “You will go on a long journey…in bed.” “Every day brings new challenges…in bed.” “Your feet stink like the Ganges River…in bed.”


Now I tend to collect those little slips of paper from trips to a Chinese restaurant. They are hanging from my refrigerator and taped to the bathroom mirror. I have one or two stashed in my wallet. A few even are hiding beside me in the desk drawer.

I’m not a superstitious person by nature, but for some reason I feel like these little pieces of paper hold some grain of truth. It could be that it’s a bit of hope during trying times. Maybe I just want to believe in forces bigger than me. Or it could be that the sayings are so general they could apply to anyone. Whatever the reason, I’m glad they arrive with the check at the end of a good meal.

The other night I got the following fortune in my cookie:

Good writing is clear thinking made visible.

When I googled the quote from my cookie, I found out that it is attributed to Ambrose Bierce (1905). He was a newspaper satirist and short story writer who also fought in the Civil War. Like me, you may have read his amazing short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (If not, you should. At the very least, look up the Twilight Zone adaptation).

The idea that I just need to put my thoughts in a clear manner seems so simple. The problem is that my thoughts aren’t always clear. I have precise intentions when I set out writing, but the characters don’t always cooperate.

What I’m choosing to take away from this fortune is that I need to work on making my thoughts clear and then I will strive to make them visible.

One final thought: My husband got the following fortune:

Keep on Keeping on…in bed.


May all your thoughts be clearly visible,


InsecureWritersSupportGroupThis post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) blog hop where writers work to support and encourage each other on the first Wednesday of each month.

This month the IWSG is being hosted by the founder Alex J. Cavanaugh  along with Laura at My Baffling BrainMark Koopmans, Shah Wharton, and Sheena-Kay Graham!

PLUS – Happy Third Anniversary of Posting to IWSG!



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Categories: Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “The Fortune In My Cookie

  1. lauraclipson

    It’s interesting that you got that quote in your fortune cookie – quite specific to you! I like the idea of good writing being clear thoughts, but like you, I struggle to get my thoughts together anyway.

  2. Ha ha! We played the “in bed” game in college too.

    I feel the same way about fortune cookies. While I don’t have Chinese food all that often (bad buffet experience), I do occasionally keep the fortunes I get. I’m staring at one on my desk right now that says, “you are a lover of words, someday you should write a book.” It does feel a little like the universe is sending you confirmation that the path you’ve chosen is the right one. 🙂

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