**Silk’s post # 21 —** Yes, 50 hours to go. For those of you who believe in arithmetic, rather than miracles, let’s get out our calculators.

If Helga writes two pages per hour, or 500 words, and Paula writes three pages per hour, or 750 words, how many words can Karalee write before the deadline, if she writes at Paula’s speed for two-fifths of the time remaining, and at Helga’s speed for the other three-fifths?

I’m kidding, I’m kidding!

I hated those stupid problems. It’s probably what drove me from math to English, and thence, eventually, to writing novels.

Besides, who has time for math when there are only 50 hours remaining? In fact, who has time to write posts, for Pete’s sake?

Of course, because I have not been subjecting myself to random drug testing … I mean to random word counting … none of you actually know how many words I’ve written thus far. And don’t expect me to tell you now. All I can say is that my tally is still in the two figures. That could be anywhere from 10% to 99%.

But the numbers that count now – to me anyway – are how many words I’ve written in the past week. The correct answer is eight-thousand. And that includes two full days in transit from Maui to Saltspring Island. I’m on a roll. (But I also realize that this reveal will allow my 5 writers buddies to calculate, after receiving my meagre submission on Tuesday at midnight, how pitifully few words I got on paper over the first four months and three weeks of our challenge, although I urge them not to tax themselves doing the math).

Math is cruel.

For example, today is a particularly sad day for those who still believe that a penny saved is a penny earned. Because today, the Canadian penny died. Literally.

Rest in peace.

Yes, this is the last day Canada will issue pennies. Each penny cost something like $59 to make. That’s an exaggeration, but you get the point. It just didn’t make sense anymore. As I said, math is cruel. It just killed the penny, for godssake.

Let’s all think of each penny in this world as a word. Put 100,000 of them all together and you have $1,000, or one novel. So now you see why the penny has reached the end of its useful life. Who’s going to bash their brains out writing a 100,000-word novel for $1,000?

Well, many of us, as it turns out. In fact, we write them for $0, plus a hope and a prayer. And love it.

Just a little math lesson to celebrate Deadline Eve.

And now back to writing. Every penny counts!

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Yay, the penny is dead – long live the nickel!

Helga only posted a picture, Silk. She outsmarted the rest of you. ;-}