Today is the magical day making this a Leap Year. But as I thought about this once every four-year occurrence, I realized February, in itself, has been choked full of eventful days, and an out-and-out busy month. We’ve had –
Beginning of Lent
Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday
Black History Month
My mom’s birthday
My father’s birthday; and finally
Isn’t that a lot for one month? So, in honor of today, let me offer up some trivia. Did you know someone born on February 29th is called a leapling or a leaper? Are you on this list? Now, I don’t want to honor a really bad relationship, therefore, I’ll simply mention, quite some time ago I dated a leapling. All I can say is, what a learning experience.
Moving on, most recently, we’ve had the movie “Leap Year,” sort of commemorating this particular time; a cute rendering of a young woman set on garnering her man in a year when it’s “allowable.” From the past we have the forever popular “Pirates of Penzance.” The one opus, for which I have never been able to develop a fondness. I must say, however, no matter how much I’ve tried, I can’t even force myself to the halfway point of this piece. And, reading it – all I can hear is that dreaded Major General tune, done in patter song style. I’m sorry Gilbert & Sullivan, forgive me. However, since it is a Leap Year, how fitting to remember that poor fellow Frederic. How ingenious of Gilbert from that team to come up with a plot whereas this character’s birthday fell on Leap Day. And, yes, also funny. More history on Leap Year tells us this wacky fork lure did not begin on these shores. However, there is much doubt as to where it did take root. As far as the algorithms used to calculate this extra time in the universe, I definitely do not understand any of it. I simply know it has to do with equaling everything out, and to be truthful most of us don’t give a hoot, am I right? Well, that is, if the day of your birth doesn’t fall on this date.
Thinking of the unfortunate Frederic, and the characters of “Leap Year,” the movie, it takes me to my own writing. Recently, I posted a quote on Twitter by Stephen King, who said, “I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.” That would be a terrifying thought for real life, wouldn’t it? But, it assures us that life and fiction really are two different things – most times. I mean, I would hope no one’s existence played like some horrifying King novel; sympathy or not. We do know, however, putting many obstacles in the way of the character makes for a good read. And, depending on what direction you are going with the plot – reveals the size of his/her frijoles, if you get what I mean. Yeah, yeah, I know that a bean is a little thing. Anyway, I remember back to my first novel. It took me the longest time to realize the protagonist needed mountains, and once my female reached the halfway point – throwing her back to the base, would mandatorily produce even larger frijoles. I literally walked around conversing with myself, because I couldn’t imagine designing such a hostile environment. You see, I had to learn this made for the fun in creating these stories – allowing that person you’ve fashioned to reveal what he/she’s got. But, as for my character overcoming her mountains or poor Frederic finding he has to serve until his 21st birthday and not his 21st year, Leap Year is simply folk lure; something dreamed up by someone’s ancestor. And, you want to know why? It’s called electricity. My husband and I concur that before that neat invention, people sat around making up these stories due to boredom. Wouldn’t you agree?
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Info courtesy of Wikipedia