Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Eight Days a Week

I’m always looking for love in all the wrong places. As a romance writer, I read a lot of marriage-sex-and life-oriented stuff, trying to stimulate my recalcitrant muse. I came across an article in The New York Times recently called “A Date with Destiny.” Apparently every engaged couple in America wants to get married on July 7, 2007. 7/7/07 has vast appeal (far more than 6/6/06, the author Michelle Higgins noted---Satan sucks).

I got to thinking about lucky numbers, about which I obviously have no clue, or else the Maine Lottery Commission members would be on my doorstep with one of those giant cardboard checks. But eight was a big number in my family. My birthday is October 8 (write that down), October also being the 8th month in the original Roman calendar. My dad’s birthday was August 8, my mom’s January 28. They were married on March 8. We lived at 81 Lincoln Boulevard. So far 8 has not panned out for me with the ponies or Powerball.

Eight is a lovely number, looking like infinity. The No. 8 tarot card means strength. In China, it’s a lucky number because it sounds like “wealth” or “prosper.” In the middle ages, 8 was the number of "unmoving" stars in the sky, and represented the “perfectioning of incoming planetary energy.” I don’t know what that means, but it sounds good. There are a zillion interesting math facts about 8, but since I stopped teaching Title One math, I’ve shut that part of my brain down.

How to transfer all this digit data to writing? Apart from checking my word count every paragraph, hoping somehow those 250 words were really 2500, I wonder if I should set a daily numerical word goal. For the past few weeks I’ve been doing VaNo with the Romance Vagabonds and some other Vanettes. We tantalize each other every day with number of words written and snippets. Thus far I’ve ranged from a few hundred words to over 4,000. I am consistently inconsistent. Christina Dodd aims for ten pages a day. Many writers don’t let themselves leave their desks until they’ve typed 1,000 words. Keeping that pace, you can complete a book in three to four months, maybe even finish three books a year. Right now, I’m happy if I write a little every day.

How about you? Daily goals? Deadlines? For those of you who did NaNo/VaNo, is it helpful to have the pressure? Do you have a "best" time of the day to write/get stuff done? I seem to be fresher before I go to work in the morning. Do you have a lucky number or a lucky anything?


Terri Osburn said...

I'm not sure I have one lucky number but the number 4 comes up in my life alot. Either in phone numbers or addresses. And 7 is the same way. So I guess those are my lucky numbers.

My mother plays the lottery all the time. I think it's her retirement plan. She plays our ages or birthdays. After all these years of never winning a thing, you'd think she's give up. But no. Bless her heart.

Being accountable to the Vanettes makes a huge difference for me. I am the queen of the procrastinators but knowing I have to give some sort of answer every night really gets me working. Thank goodness for VaNo.

BernardL said...

My wife's favorite number is eight, and she insisted we be married on the eighth long ago. On writing, I vary as widely as you do. Although I like to set a goal, it very seldom works out. If the new stuff doesn't flow, there's always 'editing'. :)

Beverley Kendall said...

Right now I have a daily goal of about 5 to 6 pages a day so I can have the first draft of my second novel complete by Nationals. It basically works out to 100,000 words in 2 mos (but that's just the first draft). I'm usually good when working with self-imposed deadlines.

Janga said...

I don't think I have a lucky number. The only things I have ever won have been based on knowing something or creating something, not on luck. That holds true even with book wins on various romance sites--with one huge, recent exception.:)

And I too owe a huge debt to VaNo. I am writing more consistently now than I have since my committee signed off on my dissertation.

Erica Ridley said...

Halloo, fellow Libra! (Oct 2 over here *g)

I missed the 7/7/07 memo! I can't believe it! Instead, I'm tying the knot on 9/8/07. Does that count for anything??

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Erica, aren't we perfectly well-balanced? ;) I think your chosen wedding date is equally, if not more, clever.

Janga, continued good luck with your randomness!

Beverley, I am in awe of your discipline. And you have a four-year-old. Wow.

Bernardl, I'm with you on the 'editing.' That counts, right? Lately I can't squeeze out over 500 words, and I'm not 'editing' either. Say hi to your wife!

Terrio, my husband plays our kids' birthdays just like your mom. Ditto on the losing. The most I've ever won is $2 on a scratch-off ticket.

lacey kaye said...

My friends are getting married on 7/7/7. I aim for scenes. A scene can be anywhere from 5 to 10 pages, I suppose, but I don't leave until the scene is done. Except today. I've been critting all day...and so I'm rewarding myself with a bit of blog-hopping. Hop. Hop. Hop. Can't wait to get to that nekkid Brummel I see down there.

Hellie Sinclair said...

My favorite numbers: 7, 3 & 4. I love the number 27; and I'm fond of 17.

Do I have a lucky anything? No. I was born under lucky signs. Pisces are supposed to be lucky; and Rabbits are lucky. But do I carry around good luck charms? No. I do have lots of little pirate stuff though (imagine! *LOL*) and Harry Potter stuff...