I’m all for rituals, so I decided I’d begin my next big writing project with one. I bought a papier mache daruma doll and colored in one eye, as per custom. Often, Japanese politicians color in an eye of a daruma as they embark on a campaign and then color in the other eye after they’ve won the election. I’m going to color in the other eye after I’ve finished the novel that I’ve just begun to write. (It may be a long, long, time, but I look forward to that day.) In the meantime, I’ve thought of some other little things I can do to mark my progress, such as bottle of champagne after every 5,000 words. It’ll have to be the cheap kind, though. My daughter likes the daruma and signed that she wants one, too. “What will your goal be?” I asked her. “To work hard at math?” “No,” she signed. She’s going to write a book, too.