19 August 2010

Delusional Thursdays: A Concise History

I was going to start this post with a shocking revelation: our blog schedule. That’s right. We have a blog schedule. We are not seven authors who just happen to synchronize perfectly, like ants or Apple products.


As exciting as it sounds to start with a shocking revelation, though, I changed my mind halfway through (I’ll give you a hint where I changed my mind, in case you’re interested).

The reason I changed my mind about how to start this post is because a) the revelation is not all that shocking. It has never really been a secret. After all, we do have labels where our schedule is prominently displayed (just check out the label cloud in the sidebar here). We also usually mention the topic of the day in our posts. Also, b), Tara and I had something of a mind melt this week – she posted almost exactly the opening I meant to post in yesterdays (brilliant) post. Oh, well.

Reading Monday and Writing Tuesday are self-explanatory, I think. Tara covered Random Wednesday yesterday. Motivational Friday will have to be experienced (check back in tomorrow to see what Jason has to offer on the subject). Delusional Thursday, however, have a history.

Delusional Thursdays originated in the HPANA era. Several of us were part of a hard core Harry Potter theorizing group where straying was not allowed. A little straying was nonetheless achieved, but the only officially recognized non-canon discussions took place on Thursdays. Thursdays were the days when no theory was too crazy. This was when you could suggest that Harry Potter was not a wizard; he was an alien. Or you could claim that Professor McGonagall was Hermione’s grandmother. Or that Snape once washed with permanent shampoo so that he never really needed a bath ever since. (Actually, that last one was probably too delusional even for a Thursday.)

Anyway, the point is that many of our best theories were born on Thursdays. When we went outside the box, wrung our brains to come up with silly and half crazy ideas based on random details from the books, we formulated the most hilarious (though rarely the most accurate) theories.

I believe this is also often the case with writing. Sometimes it is okay to be delusional because it allows us to put into words ideas that otherwise might be discarded as ridiculous. I’m fairly sure JK Rowling herself more than once wondered if she was being delusional in thinking that she could actually get away with writing seven several hundred page long children’s books about a kid whose dead parents were famous wizards. Similarly, I think many other successful authors have (or should have) felt the same. I have put together a selection of authors I suspect one time or another thought to themselves “Have I lost my marbles or can I really write this?”:

Stephen King. As if high school wasn’t delusional enough without telekinesis…

JRR Tolkien. Inventing a world inhabited by elves, dwarves, and tiny people with hairy feet. Not delusional at all…

Virginia Woolf. Did she know when she started writing about Mrs Dalloway’s efforts to plan a party that it one day would be considered an important work in world literature?

H.G. Wells. Sure. Not only are there aliens out there – they are evil and about to invade the Earth!

Dante. Oh, yes, write a book about travels in Hell. That’s got to be popular!


So yes, sometimes it goes a long way to be a little delusional.







(This is where I changed my mind regarding the beginning of this post. No, I am not delusional. This really is halfway through. Because when I realized I had to change the intro of the post I had to go back all the way to the first paragraph, didn’t I? So the end really is halfway through. So there).

13 comments:

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Are you telling me Mc Gonagal is NOT Hermione's grandmother? That's not delusional- that is fact. How else would a witch hide in the Muggle world unless she pretends to be a dentist?

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Great point! I like to go on those flights of fancy, too. I discovered that my phone has a voice recorder and for some reason these delusions come to me in the car...a great time to hit the voice recorder and get some fresh ideas. :)

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary said...

Does delusional only happen on Thursday or is that the best day?
Love the end being half way!

Mary

LTM said...

OMG... love this post. Esp. how you were going start one way and then didn't but really did...

Did you notice I have TWO theories on my Thursday blog (today)??? It's TRUE!!!

I think this is good, and I think sometimes you can tell yourself something and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yes?

Like I always say: Whatever works! ;p

Cruella Collett said...

Natasha - and you try to pretend you are NOT delusional?!? Tsk, tsk...

Elizabeth - delusional caught on tape? That's a GREAT idea! I might have to try that sometime...

Mary - tee hee, no, definitely not only on Thursdays. Unless you, like me, count all days as Thursdays...

Leigh - I love self-fulfilling prophecies. I am going to make one someday, and then make it come true (but would it then be a self-fulfilling prophecy, or a me-fulfilling one?) And I was wondering when someone would point out that I did start with what I planned after all...
I'm heading over to read your dual-theory post right now! :)

RosieC said...

The craziest theories--the one so far outside the box that it's hardly a dot on the horizon--are the ones that are original enough to sell, no? It's fun to create these ideas.

I think there could be a serious market for perma-shampoo, especially a no-tears formula for that 7yr old boy in your life who refuses to take a bath. Ingenious. It would be so much fun to make a faux-commercial for it and post it to YouTube :)

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Mari - delusional? Me? Surely you have the wrong person!

Leigh - you do know why it is Delusional Thursday, and not any other day, don't you? Because a certain Cancer-Gemini cusp was born on that day. And neither of your theories is at all delusional

M.J. Nicholls said...

In my vision of a perfect bookshop, there is a section called "The Imagination Unbound", consisting of works of lunacy, madness and delusion authors were too frightened too write. We could get rid of the celeb bio section and take back the freedom of the imagination!

It's a shame bookworms are too shy to cause a revolution.

Alexandra Crocodile said...

I'm going to be really nerdy and quote Ibsen; Hvor utgangspunktet er galest, blir tidt resultatet originalest.

You get the most original result from a strange starting point. Smart man.

Hart Johnson said...

Fabulous, Mari! And I too loved the twist of starting in the middle and ending at the start. I'm pretty sure my most delusional theory was that Snape was good, though I DID always say 'but only on Thursday.

And yes... this Thursday baby was responsible for the day choice. Thursday is just FULL of possibility.

Mark, if they were too afraid to write their ideas... then how did they get written? *spooky music*

Alexandra-Ibsen! PERFECT! Definitely takes a Norwegian to jump FULLY outside the box, eh, Mari? Me? I'm only Norsisima.

Deb and Barbara said...

You are so right, Mari!! Outside the box is an excellent place to begin and explore (and often end). Delusional: good.
B

ViolaNut said...

Wasn't it Arthur Dent who said that he could never get the hang of Thursdays? ;-)