The Timed Horological Epic Form

Let’s talk a little bit about the numbers.

As explained in the post introducing/making official the Horological Epic, a “timed horological epic has the end-line of each stanza (or poem) determined by the various crossings of the three hands of a clock with each book/volume of the work ending on each second the minute-hand crosses the hour-hand (my SECONDS book series is an in-progress example of this). “

This form is based on the following calculations for finding when the clock-hands cross.

Equations Readily-Available Online Before I Came Along

When I first decided to write a timed horological epic (before I’d even come up with the name), I knew  that I’d need to do some math. I had no idea how much would actually be required til I found what equations were available and what one wasn’t.

First — no equation here — all hands cross/meet at 12 o’clock/zero hour.

Second, the second-hand crosses the minute-hand 59 times every hour. The equation to find those crossings is:
with M equalling whichever minute from 1 to 60 (regardless of the hour) in which the minute-hand is being crossed by the second hand.

Third, the minute-hand crosses the hour-hand 11 times in a twelve-hour trip around the ol’clock’s face. The equation for that is:
with H equalling whichever hour from 1 to 12 in which the minute-hand crosses the second-hand.

S in all equations is the resulting second (with decimal places) from 1 to 60 in which the crossing for which you are calculating takes place.

That’s what was available when I first decided to do this crazy thing for the first time. The second-hand crossing the minute-hand and the minute-hand crossing the hour-hand.

What was missing was the number of times the second-hand crosses the hour-hand every twelve hours and how to calculate for each one.

The Equation Now Readily-Available Online Because I Found It for Myself and Now I’m Making It Available for Everyone With an Internet Connection

Fun fact: It took about six hours just to figure out what the hell this equation is, and then each calculation was breeze except that it still took a couple of days to do all the calculations because there were 719 of them to do and I was doing other stuff.

Actual fun fact: the aforementioned “fun fact” wasn’t so much for your fun as my own because I want credit for all the work I put into this without being enrolled in a math class. I did it the math for me, and for me the math was fun.

Now, the second-hand crosses the hour-hand 719 unique times every twelve hours and the equation for that is:
with H equalling the hour from 1 to 12 and M equalling the minute from 1 to 60 of where you are in the 720 minutes of a twelve-hour period in order to find S the second (with decimal places) wherein the second-hand is crossing the hour-hand.

Take a Breath, I’m About to Make This Even Easier on You

Given that I have done all of the math for this form already (including the various subtractions needed to know how many lines go into each stanza/poem of a timed horological epic), I’m going to be sharing all the answers in future blogposts.

So if you aren’t already subscribed to The Brementon Muse daily blog on Better Storytelling and want those numbers in your inbox/records, subscribe already. Plus, when you do, you get access to PDF downloads of the digital chapbook and printable zine editions of my first-ever epic project, the epic pantoum Random Bearings.

Also published on Medium.