Let’s Talk with Maggie Toussaint

The Power of Threes
By Maggie Toussaint

I am a big fan of threes. Lots of famous things come in threes, like the Three Musketeers; the Three Stooges; folk singers Peter, Paul, and Mary; Harry, Hermoine, and Ron from Harry Potter; Alvin, Simon, and Theodore from the Chipmunks; and of course, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The day this post airs is the 20th day of February in 2020. That’s three 20s in a row. Powerful stuff.

As a kid, I put three sugars in my coffee (lots of milk too!). Oftentimes, as a yoga instructor I repeat a yoga pose three times. When I was a scientist, we washed and rinsed lab glassware until it was clean and then we rinsed each item three more times with distilled water. It was a rule. And my last book contract was for three books to Henery Press: Seas the Day, Spawning Suspicion, and Shrimply Dead.

Three books were contracted, and only one and a half of were written. It was both a graduation moment in my writing career when I contracted multiple books without having everything finished ahead of time, but it was also a first-day-of-school moment when I had that doubt of “what if I can’t do it?”

Now I was sure I could do it, as I’ve been writing books and getting them published for a while, but still. It was an uncomfortable moment then, and another once came later when book 1 was nearing production but still involved in edits, book 2 was in its first round of publisher edits, and book 3 was partially written and a long way from anyone seeing it.

But, everything is perking along and so far I’ve kept the stories straight, so I’m counting that as a win, or should I say a win-win-win?

Do you do anything in threes? Comment for a chance to win a print Advance Reading Copy of Seas the Day, my April 2020 release. (Winner must have US mailing address)


  1. maggietoussaint says

    My winner for the print ARC of Seas the Day is Cherisse T. Congratulations, Cherisse! I hope you love River Holloway and all her crew in my new culinary cozy!

  2. Jeanne Schutts says

    I adopted 3 abandoned kitties. I count when I’m swimming so I know when to breathe, when I’m biking up hills to distract myself, and when running/walking in races.

    • maggietoussaint says

      I like the way your brain works, Jeanne! I totally get where you’re coming from. Counting helps in numerous ways.

  3. Uh Oh. When I was little up North on the Lake we had 3little chipmunks all the timetime, guess what I called them?
    Ok .. Alvin, Simon & Theodore.. This was back early in like 1960 they must have just come out. I never thought of the 3’s thing.

  4. I aaammm an obsessively reader who enjoys obsessively knitting tiny bears & bunnies while I read also crocheting. Counting rounds
    and does and stitches in multiples. But no I am not obsessive anywhere else in my life.🙄🙃

  5. I don’t play the numbers game in any way. I enjoyed your viewpoint on it, though.

  6. This is so interesting! I’m an accountant so always counting 🙂!

    • maggietoussaint says

      I like counting. It keeps order to my thoughts when I have to do something repetitive or try to stay awake! Glad you could drop by, Cherisse!

  7. I think I do things in twos. legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

    • maggietoussaint says

      Hi Kara! It’s nice that you can get things in two tries. For some of the rest of us, third time’s the charm! Thanks for coming over.

  8. Kelly Braun says

    Howdy! In my case, it’s both 3’s & 4’s… in the 3’s (3 rescue kitties, 3 rescue puppers) & in the 4’s, children 😉… 4 girls, 4 boys. Looking forward to your next book!
    Kelly Braun

  9. I wonder if it has anything to do with left brain vs. right brain. I’m totally right-brained and definitely not a counter. Although, I have to admit I did write a guest post about 3’s years ago for another blog. I must have pulled that one out of the deepest recesses of my brain. So maybe I’m 5% left-brained. 😉

    • maggietoussaint says

      The fact that you even described your left-brain with a number seems promising! Thanks for weighing in!

  10. I’m a counter like Cheryl — a bit OCD, I guess, as I have to go back multiple times to check things like dates and times that I looked at a mere two seconds ago. Which is why I surround myself with so many calendars and whiteboards and clipboards, LOL. I count stairs, too, but mostly because I read Sherlock Holmes as a kid, and in one story Holmes asks Watson how many steps up to their flat, and he hadn’t a clue. There are 20 steps in the stairway outside my work office (though does the landing count as a step or not?). Plus, I’m on the 2nd floor, but since that level has no windows it’s considered a mezzanine, so the 3rd floor is the 2nd floor when you push elevator buttons. ARGH!

    • maggietoussaint says

      Elevator buttons can be confusing to me too. I used to count stairs but now I’m busy making sure I put my feet on each step…

  11. I don’t think I’ve really had anything in threes. It is quite interesting your insight into this. Thanks for sharing it. My fingers are crossed I might get chosen.

    • maggietoussaint says

      Robin, You have three “o”s in Robin Coxon, so threes are around whether you notice them or not. I was just struck by the line from the childhood game Red Rover. It was a game our elementary class played at recess. The kids on one side would call out “Red Rover, Red Rover, send Robin right over”… I notice there are 3 repeats of the Over from that game. Three Little Pigs, Three Blind Mice, and Goldilocks and The Three Bears also come to mind. Thanks for visiting the blog!

  12. I count nearly everything in my life. There’s always a part of my brain that is automatically counting the number of steps in a flight of stairs, the number of towels I’m folding doing the laundry, the number of days left until — you get the picture. I especially love numerically interesting days. I plan to enjoy it and will probably add to my manuscript word count today with a number that ends in a twenty.

    • maggietoussaint says

      I’m a counter too. I’ll count words in a sentence or something I’m thinking about, running the numbers through each corner of a box until it comes out even with the last thing in the number 4 position of the square.

  13. Phyllis McGuire says

    I don’t do anything in a numerical sequence. For me, I guess, things happen as they may.

    • maggietoussaint says

      No “to-do” lists, no reading of recipes? It’s hard for me to imagine not using numbers. Even assembling furniture or dying hair, you are given numerical steps to follow. And dancing. Look at the numbers for dance steps…

  14. I tend to do things in twos, not threes .. married someone who’d been married once before and obtained two step-children; gave birth and it was twins; in terms of publishing — orphaned twice….you get the picture…. but I will take the chipmunks any day… “Alvin!”

    • Maggie Toussaint says

      You made me smile, Debra! Haven’t heard a good Alvin in a long while. How interesting that your version of this is twos.