It has recently come to my attention that there is a holiday called Towel Day. No, I’m not joking. It’s a real holiday. If you’ve ever read Douglas Adams’s infamous sci-fi series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you’ll know what I’m talking about (and if you didn’t get the towel reference at first glance, you do now). The infamous lines, “Always know where your towel is” and “DON’T PANIC” come from him.
In Douglas Adams’s own words: (from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost.” What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.”
On Towel Day, which takes place two weeks after Adams’s death (May 11 2001), fans carry towels with them in order to show their appreciation for the author and his works. Other than the towel-carrying, however, there is no “official” way to celebrate. However, many people tweet, blog, post, or throw parties in honor of Towel Day.
As most people know, December 25th, known in many homes as “Christmas Day,” commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most widely-celebrates holidays in the world, in fact.
However, many people in the United States today believe that Christmas is not just about Jesus’s birth. It’s simply a day for family, friends, hope, joy, and plentiful holiday spirit (it’s also an EXCELLENT way to get gifts… although in my home it’s more about Getting Things That You Actually Need In The Disguise Of Presents).
For Christmas, this year, I decided to write a short anthology of short stories for my family and friends. I stayed up until twelve last night formatting and printing it in the right size, and binding it in a folder. It turned out pretty good. Well, okay, not that well. I learned today that I have about a four-in-eight chance of producing writing that is not Complete and Utter Uselessness. That’s about 50%.
I wrote eight stories or poems. From there, it got cut down by my mom (who is my editor, since I don’t really have a REAL editor… but she has an English degree, so that kind of makes her qualified) to four. I also added in a couple more poems to flesh it out a bit.
For a thrown-together-in-three-days wreck, it turned out pretty good. Of course, I just wrote about two things that actually got PUT in the finished work… the rest of it was cut out completely. The other things were old stuff. It turned into a length of approximately 30 pages, and I want to add in the other four things, either by editing or completely rewriting them. I have been thinking about self-publishing, actually, but it’s actually kind of expensive in the long run, though I can make my own cover art well enough. The thing is: YOU NEED A COPYEDITOR TO PUBLISH A BOOK.
A copyeditor is basically the person who reads through your work and says, “This comma is out of place according to….” and basically does your grammar for you (tenses and all that fun stuff). Content is actually pretty easy on your own with a large group of writing friends. But I’d still consider self-publishing without copyediting, just to put my book on the market (for free, of course). I’d just like to see how many people would like to download it or what ratings it gets.
It’s also my dream to be a published author.
But anyways…. I’ll be posting often until January 6th… if you see some weird posts/pages/widgets/things come up on either of my blogs, that’s because I am hosting a class on using blogging softwares tomorrow and need to demo on my main blog. Thanks!