If I tell you that something happened on a certain date, I've probably have inverted a number. Jamestown, for instance: was it settled in 1619 or 1691? Was the Magna Carta signed in 1215 or 1521? Right now the teacher I teach New Mexico history to 6th, no, 7th graders is quaking in her boots because she just realized how much misinformation I put out. If I'm lucky, my students will manage to forget everything I mis-teach.)
If the number isn't a date, but a quantity or a price, I've probably added or subtracted a 0. If I was a realtor I'd probably get in trouble for accepting a check for twenty thousand to pay for a two hundred thousand dollar house.
Once (a number I can count to with some assurance of getting it right) my husband asked me to buy fertilizer for the back lawn. The guy at the store insisted I tell him how big my lawn was. I prevaricated. He suggested I guess. So I did. I guessed that my small suburban yard was a hundred yards by thirty yards. We didn't need to buy fertilizer again for 8 years - and when we did you can bet my husband didn't send me to buy it.
Good thing that was pre 9/11, or I would have had fed agents stalking my garage and wondering if I was building a bomb.I want to talk numbers with you, beginning with the fact that I have a love/hate relationship with them.
But even though I'm awful with numbers, I'm fascinated by them, especially when they are related to statistics or standings or one kind or another. After every race I've ever run I've studied the results, trying to analyze my performance. Even with my limited mathematical powers I know that if I was 2,347th out of 5,328 overall, I was middle of the pack. But I still wonder how I placed among women 50-55 who were named Jennifer and happened to have three sons. Race statistics are never specific enough.
I have won 1st in my age category. I did it once, during a 5K for Alzheimer's. Ironically I don't remember what my time was.
So here are some recent statistics for my books. Code: Elephants on the Moon is currently #877,464 among books in the paid Kindle store. The Bent Reed is 1,368,709th and On Fledgling Wings is 1,006,140th. I have no idea how many books there are in total. For all I know, the Bent Reed might be the worst selling book on Amazon, but I suspect there are many more underneath it.
There are currently 12 reviews on Amazon for Code: Elephants, 5 for The Bent Reed, and 2 for Fledgling. They average in the 4s, a number I am both proud of and grateful for. A more experience writing friend tells me that the "magic" number of reviews is 20; when a book gets that many, the good folks at Amazon pay attention a little differently to the title. I'm not sure what that all means, but if you've read any of my books and and liked it, would you help me attain 20 reviews?
To sweeten the deal, I'm going to be offering a little incentive. Check back here soon to see what.