I’m always looking for love in all the wrong places. As a romance writer, I read a lot of marriage-sex-and life-oriented stuff, trying to stimulate my recalcitrant muse. I came across an article in The New York Times recently called “A Date with Destiny.” Apparently every engaged couple in America wants to get married on July 7, 2007. 7/7/07 has vast appeal (far more than 6/6/06, the author Michelle Higgins noted—Satan sucks).

I got to thinking about lucky numbers, about which I obviously have no clue, or else the Maine Lottery Commission members would be on my doorstep with one of those giant cardboard checks. But eight was a big number in my family. My birthday is October 8 (write that down), October also being the 8th month in the original Roman calendar. My dad’s birthday was August 8, my mom’s January 28. They were married on March 8. We lived at 81 Lincoln Boulevard. So far 8 has not panned out for me with the ponies or Powerball.

Eight is a lovely number, looking like infinity. The No. 8 tarot card means strength. In China, it’s a lucky number because it sounds like “wealth” or “prosper.” In the middle ages, 8 was the number of “unmoving” stars in the sky, and represented the “perfectioning of incoming planetary energy.” I don’t know what that means, but it sounds good. There are a zillion interesting math facts about 8, but since I stopped teaching Title One math, I’ve shut that part of my brain down.

How to transfer all this digit data to writing? Apart from checking my word count every paragraph, hoping somehow those 250 words were really 2500, I wonder if I should set a daily numerical word goal. For the past few weeks I’ve been doing VaNo with the Romance Vagabonds and some other Vanettes. We tantalize each other every day with number of words written and snippets. Thus far I’ve ranged from a few hundred words to over 4,000. I am consistently inconsistent. Christina Dodd aims for ten pages a day. Many writers don’t let themselves leave their desks until they’ve typed 1,000 words. Keeping that pace, you can complete a book in three to four months, maybe even finish three books a year. Right now, I’m happy if I write a little every day.

How about you? Daily goals? Deadlines? For those of you who did NaNo/VaNo, is it helpful to have the pressure? Do you have a “best” time of the day to write/get stuff done? I seem to be fresher before I go to work in the morning. Do you have a lucky number or a lucky anything?