Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy New Year! Getting Back to Work...


     My (soon-to-be-nine-year-old) friend, Alexia, and her big sister Missy are both back at school and busy with homework.  We're usually here together at my house on weekends, bent over our computer screens.  Alexia plays games that reinforce her memorization of times tables.  Missy, a student at UCLA, writes papers on international politics.  I, on the other hand, am usually combing the Gutenberg Project,  researching nonfiction from the Victorian era for a potential book.  There's an equal wealth of entertaining and appalling advice to be found.
An example of wisdom from The Ladies' Book of Useful Information:
DAYS OF THE WEEK—THEIR IMPORTANCE AT THE NATAL HOUR.

A child born on Sunday shall be of long life and obtain riches.

A child born on Monday will be weak and effeminate.

Tuesday is more unfortunate still, though a child born on this day may, by extraordinary vigilance, conquer the inordinate desires to which he will be subject; still, in his violent attempts to gratify them, he will be in danger of a violent death.

The child born on Wednesday will be given to a studious life, and shall reap great profit therefrom.

A child born on Thursday shall attain great honor and dignity.

He who calls Friday his natal day shall be of a strong constitution, and perhaps addicted to the pleasures of love.

Saturday is another ill-omened day; most children born on this day will be of heavy, dull, and dogged disposition.

    As a person born on Saturday, I object!  (Okay, maybe I am a little dogged.)   And if you're born on a Tuesday?  My sympathies to you!

   Even if you aren't writing an historical novel, the Gutenberg Project can provide endless distractions from whatever work you are avoiding at the moment.  I highly recommend it.