Monday, May 19, 2014

Numbers: A Writer's Phobia

I admit I have a general math phobia. My finished WIP features a protagonist who struggles with math. And to top it off, his arch nemesis loves math, lives for math, excels in math. But I want to be more specific in my phobia. I'm saying I have a weird phobia--of even numbers. For some odd reason, I only pick odd numbers. In my debut, I used the number 3 several times. Three was my volleyball number and the number of the cute quarterback I had a crush on in junior high. In my finished WIP, 13 was my special number. But for good reasons. A thirteen- year-old boy is trying to solve a thirteen-year-old crime. In my current WIP, I started using only odd numbers again. But I'm trying to conquer my phobia. I've slapped my hand so many times as I try to change my ways. Two security guards (three sounds more believable). Four squad cars (back up should be at least five). Six minutes on the clock (why not seven?)

On the other hand, I love to photograph numbers. As I was searching for number 13's around town, I found the high school football stadium had spray painted numbers on their parking spots. I jumped out of my Jeep to take a photo but noticed I had parked in the even spaces. Numerophobia or arithmophobia is the fear of numbers. Is there a phobia for avoiding even numbers? Give me three minutes and I can find the answer. I have a long road to recovery.

Do you have any phobias as a writer? Do you enjoy math? What always creeps back into your novels? A certain number or word or phrase?


 NEWS ALERT:

If you happen to be cruising down the river on a river boat, barge or raft on Saturday, July 19th, hop off at the Hannibal port and swing by The Mark Twain Museum and join me for a book signing. I'd love to meet you!
Time TBA


Photo Credits: All photos are mine and found on my Instagram.


23 comments:

  1. Can't think of any phobias, number related or otherwise.
    Book signing at a museum - that's very cool!

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    1. Thanks! I hope it's the start of more signings:)

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  2. Wish I could be there, Jennifer. Sounds like fun. Interesting post, I don't think I have any phobias - I'll have to think about that.

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    1. Thanks, Janet! It's a quaint town just like where you are from with loads of small town charm.

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  3. I have the "13" thing to a degree. I won't stop writing or reading on page 13. Stephen King takes it a step further--he won't stop reading or writing on page #s that add up to 13! I'm also really hesitant to have a 13-chapter book, although with edits, sometimes it can end up that way even when you don't mean for it to.

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    1. Call me crazy, but I embrace the number 13. I can't help it. My entire finished WIP is based on this number and it's a MG mystery where Edgar Allen Poe makes a unique impact on solving the case;-) I'm not superstitious. I tend to be reluctant to embrace even numbers. So strange.

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  4. OMG - signing at the Mark Twain Museum sounds awesome! I hope you have a wonderful time! No, I have no phobia about numbers. I know my lucky number is 6 (I'm expecting good things 2016!!), but I don't pay much attention to my unlucky number (8).

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  5. I wrote some flash fiction that would probably drive you nuts! Within 1000 words, it brings up numbers 16 times. Not all of them are odd. :)

    Grats about the signing! That sounds like a lot of fun.

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  6. I count by threes...

    I don't know if there's anything wrong with avoiding even numbers. Artistically, things look better when you have them in odd groupings.

    As for math, well, I'm pretty good with numbers actually.

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    1. I used to (okay, I still do) count stairs, mostly by twos. I agree things look better in odd groupings.

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  7. No, I don't have any phobias, but yours is sure interesting!

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  8. Welcome to the club! I have a biscuit can, jack-in-the-box, and balloon-popping phobia (unexpected loud noises), also a clown phobia (I didn't even need to watch Killer Clowns from Space or Chuckie to get that one) and a black cat phobia because black cats have repeatedly come into our yard to attack our cats (high vet bills phobia?). Weird. There's a story in there somewhere...

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    1. p.s. Every time I try to join your site, GFC says "try again later." Add that to my phobias!

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  9. You know, I think I have a phobia about odd numbers! I always gravitate towards even ones instead. How funny - I never really noticed until I read this post!

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  10. I like math. I don't notice anything special about numbers in my writing, although I tend to do things in threes plot-wise as suggested by some CP's.

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  11. I'm horrid with math, but I'm fascinated by numbers. As for phobias as a writer, the only one I actually have is being ridiculed. That can make a person never want to write again.
    I'm visiting from the A to Z list. One of my team's blogs is Poetry of the Netherworld.

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  12. LOL! I took several art courses as a teen, and the power of odd numbers has been permanently impressed in my mind. That said, I might be slightly OCD. Things HAVE to be symmetrical, especially numbers, and if they aren't, I start this mental balancing system--a visually way of making things even out. Yup, we've all got our own brand of crazy, right?

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  13. Loved this post. I have a quirky genius who's obsessed with numbers, especially primes. It really gives him a lot of character.

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