On Cloud Nine

It’s a great place to be!

Many of you already know I accepted an offer last week for a three-book romantic suspense series from Avon Impulse, a division of Harper Collins. To say I’m on cloud nine is the understatement of the year, but what does that mean exactly?

A person is said to be on cloud nine when he or she is in a state of idyllic happiness.

Not to be confused with the phrase – walking around with your head in the clouds, which implies dreaminess, intoxication or inspiration. Actually, that may apply to me a little right now too, but we’ll save that for another post!

Have you ever wondered where the expression comes from?

English: Cumulonimbus cloud with Pileus in the...
Cumulonimbus cloud (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On cloud nine has been linked to cumulonimbus clouds which, in the late 1800s, were thought to rise to a height of 6.2 miles, considered to be the highest that clouds could attain.

Before adding machines became commonplace, the number nine had significance to people doing multiplication and long division by hand, many of whom believed nine to be the most powerful single-digit number. To many, nine became the perfect number.

Beginning in the Victorian era, a person wearing the finest garments available was said to be dressed to the nines.

With the assertion that clouds exist in successively higher layers, and that nine was held in higher esteem than other numbers, i.e. the highest, the most powerful, the finest, it was natural to label the ultimate achievable height as cloud nine.

English: Cumulonimbus cloud over the Gulf of M...
Cumulonimbus cloud (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout the ages, references have also been found to clouds seven, eight, and even thirty-nine. (Maybe that’s where the expression over the moon comes from!) By the 1980s, however, cloud nine became the predominant expression to describe someone’s ultimate joy, probably due to the influence of popular musicians such as The Temptations (1967) and George Harrison (1987) who used the expression as titles to songs and albums.

I’d love to know what puts you on cloud nine. Please leave me a comment if you’re so inclined. Hint – your clichés won’t be edited out!

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19 Responses to On Cloud Nine

  1. Vonnie Davis says:

    Seeing someone I respect achieve a great milestone puts me on cloud nine. Gives me hope that if I keep trying, I’ll get there too. Reading a good review for something I’ve written puts me on cloud nine. Spending time with my grandkids. Doing something special with Calvin, my husband. Honestly? Having beaten the big “C” scare, every puts me on cloud nine. I’m a blessed woman.

  2. Vonnie Davis says:

    Ack! I meant to write “every day puts me on cloud nine.” I need to edit what I write. LOL Great post and I’m so thrilled–truly thrilled–for your big contract. Awesome. Gives me hope I might get there some day if I keep working at my craft.

  3. Dixie Brown says:

    Lol! Vonnie, you’re so great. Your bubbly, happy spirit lifts the rest of us up every day. Your writing inspires me and I can’t wait to read the next book. I seriously feel a little like I stumbled into my position on cloud nine! (But I fully intend to make the most of it.) Thanks for your wonderful comment.

  4. Congrats, DIxie! I’d be on “Cloud 9” too! Good luck with everything!. :)

  5. Dixie Brown says:

    Thanks so much, Tiffany.

  6. Sharon says:

    Hi Dixie,
    Informative and thought provoking post. I love learning how sayings came about. I try to find a little bit of cloud nine in my life every single day. Some days I have to look harder than others, but the simple joy I get from my family, pets and my love of writing usually provides a reminder I’m on lucky gal. Living the high life on cloud nine :-)

  7. Dixie Brown says:

    I know what you mean, Sharon. I only have to come home after a bad day at work and see the faces of my three ecstatic-to-see-me dogs to realize life is good. Thanks for the reminder and the comment.

  8. So thrilled for you, Dixie! I’m with Vonnie…gives me hope that while one day I’ll get there, too!

    What puts me on cloud nine? Hmmm. Well, a great review helps, but most, it’s my family, my husband and my boys, that put me on cloud nine. I have to echo everybody else, I feel very blessed.

    Love those pictures, BTW. I love pictures of the sky and the clouds.

  9. Dixie Brown says:

    Thanks, Joanne. Your books are always on the top of my must-read list so I can’t imagine you going too long between great reviews. I guess family and friends are blessings every day. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Karissa Dishon says:

    My friends and family put me on cloud 9! Thank you for another thought provoking and inspiring blog post! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for your writing!

  11. Paty Jager says:

    Congrats!! I’m happy you have a home and a three book deal. Yay!
    Great post too!

  12. Dorothy says:

    With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s a great time to stop and reflect on what does put us on ‘cloud nine’. In fact, our church today challenged all of us to keep a list handy to actually write down our blessings that we notice in our otherwise ordinary life between now and Thanksgiving. Just being aware of ‘cloud nine’ possibilities should bring us joy!

  13. Dixie Brown says:

    Thanks, Karissa. Your support and encouragement mean a lot to me.

  14. Dixie Brown says:

    Thanks for all your encouragement, Paty.

  15. Dixie Brown says:

    Thanks for your comment, Dorothy. We should probably all keep that list just as a reminder. Good idea!

  16. Congratulations! A three-book deal with Avon would put me on cloud nine, too. But so do smaller things like spending a fun day with my family, seeing a baby alpaca come into the world (we raise them), having a perfect stranger leave a good review of my newly released thriller, Mist. Or – cliche alert! – when the stars seem to line up just perfect, the sun shines, the birds sing and it feels like a skippity-doo-dah day.

  17. Dixie Brown says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Danita. Aww…baby alpaca’s are so cute! I’m going to check out your new release right now!

  18. Godwin Carmona says:

    Kudos to you for following your bliss and putting your creative voice out there. You deserve much reveling and celebration on cloud nine!

  19. Dixie Brown says:

    Thanks, Godwin. Everyone should follow their dream and see where it takes them. Don’t you think?

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