Piphilology for $3.14 please

Pi constant

Image via Wikipedia

Like many of you, I have endeavored to pen decent prose for numerous writing prompts, word count challenges (ahem….Nanowrimo comes to mind) as well as short story, novella and novel slogs. Flash fiction? I have tons of them. Heck, I have even entered a few lines in an ekphrastic poetry event once.

You want a real challenge? Try writing a piem.

A piem is a literary structural challenge that is a tenet of piphilology, or the use of mnemonics to remember the digits of pi.  Yes, that pi.   3.14 etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Sorry, Yul Brenner channeled for a moment.

How does it work?

Each word must have a letter count that matches the corresponding digit in pi.

The most often quoted piem, attributed to James Hopwood Jeans, is “How I need a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.” This equates to 3.14159265358979 (if I counted correctly.)

Give it a go. I am still working on mine, and if successful, will use the pilish writing as a clue in my next novel!

Happy Pi Day, fellow writers!  I made a chocolate mousse pie and posted about the experience on my other blog. Check it out if you are hungry.

Lastly, before I get back to revising “the novel” I want to say thanks to all for reading. I know there are many shiny things out there to attract your attention and my posts are not always glittery. But thanks for stopping by, thanks for coming back, heck – thanks for reading all the way to the end of the post!

Special thanks to my new subscribers: Corey, Samie, and Marsha (your new? I must have been living in a Google alternate universe for a while…) and also Rebecca (an awesome editor!) and poet Mira. And I can’t forget Emma (another Emma!) and today’s hero – Stella!  You all have marvelous stories inside just waiting to hit the paper, and I can’t wait to read all about it!

Now to figure out what happens to Witt Kepler. And have more pie.


14 thoughts on “Piphilology for $3.14 please

  1. I can already tell you I want do this one because I hate any and everything to do with math! Pi? No way! LOL

    Now chocolate pie? Yes…right up my alley 🙂

  2. After a piece of chocolate mousse pie to stir up my brain cells, I have come up with my own “Piem” which may figure into my next novel. (So many ways to go with this new type of clue!)

    “Sal, I took a plain milkshake to Martha; dried her tears outright!”

    And to think, someone wrote a 10k word story in this fashion? Puh-shaw!

  3. Couldn’t help myself. Had to finish it.

    ‘Why’ I said, a query revealing in itself. Three old women answered ominously, ‘because believers die.’ [3.141592653589793]

    Too much fun. You should see the sheet of paper covered with random words with letter counts beside them. Hilarious.

  4. Pingback: And the writing challenges get stranger and stranger… | Jody Moller on Movies, Manuscripts and Mayhem

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