Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Odd Day

by Julie Coulter Bellon

Today is Odd Day. 05/07/09 is three consecutive odd numbers and today is one of only six times that will happen this century. Which means it’s perfect for a writing blog, since most writers are considered odd.

I think writers got that reputation from famous authors who did odd things.

Like Emily Dickinson never leaving her house and not wanting anyone to see her handwriting. Ever. Another rumored quirk of Emily Dickinson is that she supposedly always wore white. Yet, in the picture below of her . . . yeah.

I always liked the story of how Emily never left her house, but lowered down baskets of cookies to the neighborhood kids. Way to get in with them! "No, mom, Miss Dickinson isn't that weird. She gives us cookies!" And how when Emily was ill, she wouldn't let the doctor examine her, but she walked back and forth across the doorway while the doctor watched so he could diagnose her. I would have loved to hear that conversation. "Okay, ready? I'm going to walk by the door again, doctor. See if you can guess what I have."

Or there's Charles Dickens who put his bed in a north/south position and made sure everything on his desk was in a certain position each day. He also had two pet ravens and named both of them Grip.

Seriously? A creative genius like Dickens can't think of two separate names for his pets? Maybe he only had time to think of one name, I guess. But, yeah. I found that odd.

Henry David Thoreau talked to forest animals. (Maybe Rob should try that to help with his plotting problem.)

Don't you think Thoreau looks a little odd? I can totally see him talking to forest animals when I look at that picture, you know? I wonder if he brought pet frogs and such to school to talk to and the kids teased him. If he lived nowadays, I bet he would have gotten an reality TV series as the first "Animal Whisperer/Author." I wonder who the best forest conversationalist was.

But do you see what I mean about the oddness factor in writers, though? I know authors who have to eat an apple before they can begin writing for the day, or have a lucky writing shirt that they do their best work in, or lucky writing socks that must be put on right foot first, then left foot, or the house must be completely clean before they can write. I tried hard to think of a writing quirk of my own, but since I couldn't think of one, maybe that's the odd part. A writer with no quirks! Or, that's the reason I'm not a famous author. Perhaps, I should never leave my house, name all my pets the same name, and start talking to forest animals, (some deer came down and ate all the tulips in my front flower garden last night. Maybe I could talk to them about that.) It's something to think about, at least.

So, in honor of odd day and the fact that you're reading this blog, tell me what writer’s quirks you’ve heard of or what odd thing do you do every day before you begin writing.


At 5/07/2009 12:29 PM, Blogger Mr. said...


Do you mean sequential odd numbers only happen six times a century?

At 5/07/2009 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about 05/01/09 and 05/03/09 and 05/05/09 and 07/05/09 and 09/03/09. I can think of about 90 dates this year alone;

Isn't this the formula for calculating the number of odd numbered dates this century:

(6 odd numbered months per year) x (15 odd numbered days per month month) x (50 odd numbered years per century) = 4,500 dates with all odd numbers in them during this century.

Don't you mean sequential odd numbered dates? Or something else we're not thinking about...

Yeah. That's what you mean. There's a formual for that too. Wanna see it?

At 5/07/2009 12:40 PM, Blogger Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Sorry I wasn't more clear. It's one of only six times this century the date will be three consecutive odd numbers.

Thanks for letting me know about the formulas and such though. :)

At 5/07/2009 12:43 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I'm glad I don't have the quirk of needing to have my whole house clean before I can write--I'd never write!

At 5/07/2009 3:18 PM, Blogger Liana Brooks said...

I guess my only quirk is saying that I'm going to write and then opening every window on my computer but the word document so I can avoid writing.

That might just be a bad habit though. :s

At 5/07/2009 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dining room table is my desk. It's an eight foot long cherry-stained oak beauty with enough room for me to spread out. My cell phone is on the left side of my laptop, as well as the portable house phone and a (very important) diet cherry coke. Lying on the right side of the keyboard is the TV remote control and any notes relevant for the day. Now I’m ready to write. Of course, I've only been doing this for about seven months. Give me a little time to come up with something quirkier than clutter in my personal space. Toes socks would be groovy.

Deb from Yuma

At 5/07/2009 5:13 PM, Blogger Aubrey said...

I always play one game of Spider Solitaire before I start writing-- if I lose, I get to work. But if I win, I have to keep playing until I lose.

It's a good thing I lose more than I win-- otherwise, I would never get anything done! :)

At 5/07/2009 5:49 PM, Blogger Heather Justesen said...

I don't think I have any weird writing quirks. I write in bed, in my living room, on the back 'patio' (that is if you call the big area behind the house that is currently just covered in road base and may, someday in the next millennium, actually be transformed by flagstones, a patio), anywhere, any time, any clothing combination.

I may have any other number of quirks, but none for writing. (Unless you consider hating your chapter as soon as you read it aloud for critique group--no matter how brilliant it might have been ten minutes earlier--a flaw or quirk. But writer doesn't feel that way?)

At 5/08/2009 3:38 AM, Anonymous AChick47 said...

I have to have complete silence to write. I place my earplugs in right ear then left ear. I look around to see if everything is off then I open my computer. This may be a quirk or not. I also am OCD about everything. LOL

At 5/10/2009 10:10 PM, Blogger Suzy Toronto Studios said...

I eat mass quantities of Kara's chocolate mint truffles while writing. Then promise myself to lose all the weight before I start the next book because I don't want a fat picture of myself on the back cover.


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