Monday, January 27, 2014

Match Game Ten

For this Monday's ten things list let's play a game. See if you can match the writer to the fact:

The Facts:

1. Wrote with a goose quill pen and blue ink on blue-gray slips of paper measuring 8-3/4" by 7-1/4".

2. Never revised. If something didn't work this writer trashed the entire manuscript and started over again at the beginning.

3. Burned a first/unpublished novel after a friend said he didn't like it.

4. Died at forty but wrote fifty novels.

5. Wrote a 60K book and designed its cover art for the publisher in seventeen days.

6. Invented a glass harmonica.

7. After going blind, composed what is considered the greatest epic in the English language.

8. Once wrote in a letter that the world will end in the year 2060.

9. Had only 500 copies of the first edition of their debut novel printed because the publisher was afraid it wouldn't sell.

10. After graduating Harvard this writer didn't think the diploma fee of $5.00 was worth it, and so left without the diploma.

The Writers:

A. Jack London

B. J.K. Rowling

C. Evelyn Waugh

D. Benjamin Franklin

E. John Milton

F. Sir Isaac Newton

G. Henry David Thoreau

H. PBW

I. D.H. Lawrence

J. Charles Dickens

(The correct answers will be posted in comments at the end of the day.)

11 comments:

  1. Fran K11:27 AM

    I got the first one because I googled it but as I'm at work I'll have to leave the rest until later. I confess to great curiosity as to which one was you... I'm hovering between 3, 5 & 9.

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    Replies
    1. To give you a hint, I'm not #9 -- my publisher printed about twice that many copies for the first edition run of my debut novel. :)

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    2. Fran K4:03 AM

      With your creativity I'm going to go for #5. I think you could definitely do it. I think J K is 9, Franklin is 6 & Dickens is 1. And now, without google, I'm stuck. I'll stop now before I embarrass myself with my ignorance.

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  2. I'm going to be completely honest and admit to being stumped. I'm betting you dumped an entire MS if it wasn't working. But I dunno.

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    Replies
    1. I am not #2, although I came close once when I dumped 175 pages of a manuscript in progress (all I had written, in fact, except one chapter) and rewrote it from scratch. :)

      Delete
  3. Keita Haruka1:21 PM

    I think I got all of them, but I must admit, I only knew two of them without looking it up. I look forward to seeing if I'm right, and if I am...I take my hat off to you!

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  4. I think I got all of them, but I must admit, I only knew two of them without looking it up. I look forward to seeing if I'm right, and if I am...I take my hat off to you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm totally going with #5 for you, and had already ruled out #9 as a possibility, because I'm pretty sure I know who that was. at

    Rotten thing is, I know I've read/seen/heard nine of these - so I SHOULD know - but I'm still not sure on which are which of the other eight!

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  6. I was so tired last night I forgot to post the answers before I went to bed, so my apologies to everyone. Here they are:

    1. J. Charles Dickens wrote with a goose quill pen and blue ink on blue-gray slips of paper measuring 8-3/4" by 7-1/4". He must have had tiny handwriting.

    2. I. D.H. Lawrence never revised. If something didn't work he trashed the entire manuscript and started over again at the beginning. Talk about shutting up your internal editor!

    3. C. Evelyn Waugh burned his first/unpublished novel, The Temple at Thatch, after a friend said he did not like it. He also tried to kill himself by drowning, but an attack by a jellyfish made him change his mind.

    4. A. Jack London died at forty but wrote fifty novels. I always wonder what more he would have written if he hadn't died so young.

    5. PBW wrote a 60K book, Master of Shadows, and designed its cover art for New American Library in fifteen days.

    6. D. Benjamin Franklin invented a glass harmonica -- but not the harmonica you're imagining. Back in Ben's day it was popular to play music by rubbing your fingers on the rims of wine glasses filled with different quantities of fluid. Ben created a mechanized version of this and called it the Armonica. Btw, he also invented bifocals, lightning rods, and possibly the first urinary catheter and furnace stove in America (separately, of course.)

    7. E. John Milton composed Paradise Lost, considered the greatest epic in the English language, after going completely blind. He didn't handwrite it but dictated it out loud to secretaries and friends.

    8. F. Sir Isaac Newton once wrote in a letter that the world will end in the year 2060. You can see the actual letter here: http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/06_02/NewtonPapers2AP_800x1041.jpg

    9. B. J.K. Rowling's publisher printed only 500 copies of the first edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone because they were afraid it wouldn't sell.

    10. G. After graduating Harvard Henry David Thoreau didn't think the diploma fee of $5.00 was worth it, and so left without his diploma. God I love Henry. :)


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry, J.K. Rowling's first novel is actually titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; I knew I should have double-checked that before I posted the answers.

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  7. Well, I got seven. :) Good enough.

    And you were right, sort of - it was first published in the U.S. under the Sorcerer title, though since you had been asking about it's first printing altogether, using Philosopher's makes sense. (I've rarely heard anyone here in the U.S. call it that, though.)

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