Girls Write Out
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

There are two topics that make my eyes instantly glaze over. Numbers and, well, numbers. Doesn't matter what kind of numbers or what they represent. The results are even worse when numbers are combined for that mind-numbing task we call math.

Yesterday I had to figure how many days of writing until I reached The End. It was a sad sight: me, a sheet of paper, a calculator, and a right brain trying to make sense of it all. It's like reinventing the wheel each time.

How many words do I average per page? How many pages have I written? How many words do I owe my publisher? How many pages do I write a day? How many licks does it take to get to the bottom--no wait, that's a different equation. Now, where was I?

I don't think I'm alone either. My suspicions were confirmed last summer at a writers' retreat when Kristin and I roomed together. You want disaster? Combine two right-brainies and an alarm clock that's set an hour ahead of real time. We couldn't figure out how to change the time. (I swear, there was no button for it.) Each night we strained our brains. We need to wake at six. Do we set the alarm for five or seven? Insert scratching heads, counting on fingers, stubby pencil and eraser. It wasn't pretty.

Imagine my horror when the alarm clock for our writers' conference in the fall put Diann and I in the same situation. Again. Not pretty. Thank God Colleen was rooming with us or we'd still be trying to figure it out.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:24 AM  
  Comments (18)
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At 9:48 PM, Blogger Melanie said...

I once wrote an education article on a problem called dyscalculia (I think that's it). Anyway, it's the math side of dyslexia, and I'm pretty sure I have it. I'm a classic case. I can enter what I think are the same figures in a calculator three times and come up with three different answers. We're not alone. It's such a widespread problem among writers, there's a link from the American Copy Editors Society website ( called math for jounalists.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

And this is the reason that I've never once balanced my four year old personal checking account.

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Melanie, I don't think I have that. It's a lot broader and more to do with math reasoning. LOL

Suzanne, I kept our checkbook for years until Kevin fired me. You never saw anyone do a hallelujah dance so fast.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

And getting ready to go to Daylight Saving Time doesn't help! Have I mentioned I HATE it? LOL I was grousing about it to Dave last night.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Cara Putman said...

See -- and I love numbers. I have excel spreadsheets to keep me on track when in the middle of writing. I'm almost many words have I written yet? Can I stop yet? Nope, 250 words to go. LOL

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

I KNEW you would get Colleen started on the Daylight Savings Time with this post! ROTFLOL!

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

I've done it now.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

It's a primary reason to move to Arizona! LOL

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Colleen, I FORBID you from mentioning Daylight Savings Time. Write to your senator. ROFLOL It's too late. I have lived with it my whole life, you will adjust.

As for the alarm clock, I plead the fifth.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Sorry, K, I will complain about it to my dying breath! I HATE it! I've written to every senator and house rep and was lied to over and over again. I'm not ever voting for any of the bums who brought it in.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Too funny Denise!

Numbers don't bother me though I hated math in school, or rather, felt frustrated by it.

I do like to figure things out, mechanically or technical.

But my eyes glaze over and roll back in my head the minute anyone starts talking about sound systems and equipment.


I don't know why, but it does not interest me at all and ya think it would considering it's a big part of what I do on Sundays.

LOL. But when the guys go into this cable and that, this frequency, that matrix, this brand or that brand. Augh! Can't take it.

Hugs, Rachel

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

LOL Rachel! I can relate.

I have to hook up my own electric drum kit on Sundays--read: too many cords--and it took me forever to figure it all out. Which plug in which hole?

Bless our sound man's heart. He was so patient.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Melanie said...

Ummm, you're supposed to balance your checking account?

Truly, I've tried every time I've moved and opened a new account, but it just doesn't work. And I don't have a husband. I would hire someone to do it for me, but I can't afford it.

Oh, and dyscaluclia goes beyond transposing figures. It has to do with understandinig physical directions, spacial relationships TELLING TIME, all kinds of stuff.

At 5:43 PM, Blogger Kay said...

Colleen, Here Here!!
I despise DST!

I can't do numbers. I cant do clocks or checkbooks. I can't even do phone numbers.

One time a friend of mine who teaches college English and I were trying to figure out how to split a check at lunch. LOL. It was ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

At 6:25 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Speaking of numbers, C and Kay, you need to give up this DST quest, I'm telling you. The reason is the country is more profitable with those extra hours. It's the economy that forces it. Don't ask me why, but I think it has something to do with saved energy in the office buildings.

Di, I looked up the actual dream into Google with analysis and got that!

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Ausjenny said...

Oh my you better not come to Australia or you wont know what day it is.
but i could help you.
I have lived near the border all my life less than 20 mins away closer to 15 and over the border is half an hour ahead of us.
So we learn how to work out time differences.
Colleen im with you and day light savings. we end the first week into April and thats to long. (thats when i get confused with the time zones in america)
i wish it ended this weekend. I hate when it does and its suddenly dark early. i would rather now when it would still be light at 7pm

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Katie said...

I'm still laughing over this post!

Katie from Albuquerqu

At 10:02 PM, Blogger hotcoffeenow said...

I'm still stuck trying to figure out if you should have set the clock for 5 or 7, lol. I have friends from Montreal who know better than to give me something in military time - I'm OK up until 20:00 - then I foget how to subtract 12. BTW, I was once a Controller (the financial kind, I still am in the OCD way) - if that doesn't give a chuckle.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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