A year ago at Christmas, my husband bought me The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing by Alice LaPlante.

It’s a great text with excellent writing advice and practical exercises for writers. One task was to create a “Harper’s Index on a personal level,” to demonstrate how one’s details/statistics help describe us as individuals.

It’s reminicent of, but a little different than the trendy 25 Random Things About Me list that goes ’round and ’round the internet (tune in for mine later this week).

Harper’s Index for an Individual

Number of sisters I have: 1 (and 1 sister-in-law)

Number of kids I have: 2

Number of kids who are currently wanting my attention: 2

Number of pets I have: 0

Chances that when my husband goes to the store on a grocery errand, he returns with a toy for himself: 80%

Percentage of times when watching Steel Magnolias, I cry during Sally Field’s breakdown after the graveside service of her daughter: 100

Percentage of times when watching Mr. Holland’s Opus, I cry when Mr. Holland’s son, Cole is in the kitchen with his mom and she is angry and frustrated that she cannot communicate with her young son, who is deaf: 100

Number of times I have popcorn for a meal each week: 1

Number of times I make salsa each week: 2

Size shoe that I wear: 6

Inches high that I stand: 61

Number of seconds it takes my toddler to devour a sippy cup of milk: 8

Number of seconds it takes me to devour a few chips and a bowl of salsa: roughly the same

Chances that, at the end of the day, one of my clothing items will end up on the floor instead of the closet, a drawer, or the hamper: 100%

Chances that I will return a phone call or email within 1 hour: 99%

Number of times I have paid a bill late: 4 or 5

Number of times I have turned in a work assignment late: 0