In certain traditions, numbers mean more than just...well...numbers. The Bible is a good example of this. 40, for instance. It rained for 40 days. The Israelites wandered for 40 years. Jesus was in the wilderness 40 days.
Could it have been that maybe it rained 39 days? Nah, Noah probably had it right. I'm sure he was marking a niche in that gopher wood consistently and daily.
But the Israelites. Could they have perhaps wandered 41 years? I mean, they were years.
I've read that when there is 40 of something in Scripture, what the writer wants to get across to the reader is that it was A LONG TIME. So, yes, it rained a long time. Those people meandered in the desert for a long time. Jesus, he was in the wilderness a long time.
Another number that is interesting. 13. It has a bad reputation. Buildings don't seem to have a 13th floor. Somehow, I lived through yesterday (Friday the 13th) without any horrible experience pouncing upon me.
And then there is the number 7. Ah, 7. As evil and malicious as 13 is purported to be; 7 is its opposite for goodness and luck. My mother likes to brag that she was the seventh child of the seventh child. This magical distinction may even have provided special gifts as the fairies provided to Rapunzel shortly after her birth. Grace. Beauty. Wisdom. Validity.
Well, maybe Rapunzel didn't need validity. But the number 7 has sprinkled its fairy dust upon this lovely child. And that gift validates my book, for the last digit in my ISBN for The Jinx is 7.
I did a little investigating in ISBN numbers, and apparently this is the purpose of that lone last digit-to validate the ISBN number. How amazing is that? It is like being your own character witness in a trial.
Matlock: Hello, Ms. Johnson, would you say you are an honest person?
Jennifer: Oh, yes. I am very trustworthy (bat my eyelashes for effect).
Matlock: Would you say your reputation is upright?
Jennifer: Oh, yes. I have a sterling and pure reputation. Everyone loves me.
Matlock: I rest my case.
I was so excited to know I actually had an ISBN number I looked for my book. A certain bookstore couldn't find it, but they were nice enough to promise to email me when they do! Won't that be exciting? I wonder if they will find the ISBN number on the same day my book is released? I can't wait to find out.
So, this is the number I will be dreaming about tonight.
Isn't it the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen?
The first number tells the country of origin.
The second section of numbers tells the publisher.
The third section of numbers is unique to my title-how lovely!
The fourth number is my character witness, my good fairy, my "Wow, this is really going to happen, BABY!" sign.
Can you tell I'm excited?