Hello. Good morning. It’s Thursday, and so it’s time for a new edition of my weekly blog post, such as it is.
It’s the second Thursday in June of 2022, which is not particularly interesting. The 24th of June* might be an interesting and even auspicious or ominous day for me, poised as it is at the halfway point between the 19th (which will be Father’s Day**) and the 29th, which would have been my 31st anniversary***. Also, 6-24-22 is kind of interesting as a sequence of numbers, since 6 times 4 is 24, and 2 plus 2 is 4, as is 2 times 2 (but you must leave out the “20” portion of 2022 for that even to begin to work).
Anyway, that’s all numerology of some ridiculous kind, though I doubt there is any numerology that is not ridiculous. There’s nothing inherent in the arbitrary choice of numerical or verbal designations for days. It’s all stuff made up by humans to keep track of time and events. That’s useful in and of itself, but people attach silly significance to the numbers and names, especially if thy coincide with something memorable—even if the memories are thoroughly bad, or if the numbers and names commemorate things that are profoundly sad.
Oh, but 19 and 29 are both prime numbers, and though the names we give to numbers, and the way we number our days, are arbitrary, the prime numbers are not. They are quite real**** and I’m a big fan of them. I always used to try only to put a prime number of gallons of gas (13 if I could manage it) in whatever car I was driving when I gassed up; that’s how big a fan I am. Or, at least, that’s the kind of fan I am.
I know, I need help, right? I really, honestly do. Seriously. I’m not joking. Good luck getting it, though.
I’ve written just shy of another six thousand words again on The Dark Fairy and the Desperado since last Thursday. I’m at a fairly odd moment in the story. The two title characters are in the realm the “extra-dimensional” demi-god Lucy, and her realm is…unusual. I’ve already written over sixty-thousand words on this story, which may not be all that much for me, but still is quite a good chunk in what seems like a short time.
Out of curiosity, as I reached the sixty-thousand mark, I looked up the number of words in an average novel, or at least the average number of words in a novel (it was on Bing, not Google, so take it for what it’s worth), and found the answer quoted to be about ninety-thousand words. That surprised me. I can’t easily recall the last time I would have read a “novel” with only ninety-thousand words in it, except for Japanese “light novels”, which are really never complete stories in themselves, but are parts of series, like the manga and anime that are often produced from them.
Otherwise, possibly the last time I read a book that short was when I read Harry Potter book 1, which supposedly only has a bit over 76,000 words. No wonder I thought that story was so short! But that was, ostensibly, a book for children, and thankfully, the rest of the series rapidly developed into real novels, with enough space and time for interesting things to develop.
Hell, I’ve written “short stories” that have sixty-thousand words in them. Admittedly, they really don’t count as true “short stories”, even to me, but it feels pretentious to call them “novellas”. Still, how many of the truly great novels of all time have been anything close to that short? What chance would one have to develop memorable characters and build interesting worlds?
Incidentally, The Dark Fairy and the Desperado will probably be no more than ninety-thousand words long, but it’s specifically intended to be the first in a series of books and will have much in common with the light novels I mentioned above. This isn’t too surprising, since it’s a story I originally conceived as a manga*****. I’m probably even going to put some of my old illustrations in the story; it would be a shame to waste the opportunity, and I already have the illustrations.
I posted the latest section of Outlaw’s Mind—a story that is already well over ninety-thousand words long—this week. You can find it here (not at the Hotel California). If you’re looking for the first section, in case you want to read it but—weirdly enough—would like to start at the beginning, the first section is here.
That’s about it. There’s literally nothing else worth noting going on with me. At least, there’s nothing else interesting to me going on with me. Of course, people I know are doing interesting things and having interesting experiences, and I fully support those and the fact that they are interesting. But those interesting things would and will go on with or without my knowledge or input, or even my awareness of them, or even my existence.
Such is life. I cannot unreservedly recommend it.
*Which, I think, is a Friday, not a Thursday, though it would have been a Thursday last year, since the 10th was a Thursday last year.
**Not a very happy day for me; I literally haven’t seen either of my kids (in person) in just shy of ten years.
***And which will mark the anniversary at which I will now for the first time have been divorced for longer than I was married. What a dubious and lamentable achievement.
****I’m not referring to the real numbers in the mathematical sense, though the prime numbers are members of the “real” numbers.
*****To be fair, Mark Red was also originally conceived as a manga, and it’s well over ninety-thousand words long…more than twice that. I just checked.