Sorry, but it looks like you are just stabbing in the dark. This isn’t at all how one does what you seem to be trying to do. There are a number of tutorials available that explain how to edit the frontend design, step-by-step. Are you following one of them? If not, you should get one of them and follow it carefully.
However, you might try the following to get a little closer to what you want:
(1) Delete your specials.xml. Magento is not reading it anyway. You would have to do more configuration to get Magento to process your new config file; and what you have in that file won’t work anyway.
(2) Change what you put in page.xml. In the <default> section, within the <block type="page/html" name="root ..> block definition add the following block definition.
<block type="core/template" name="specials" template="catalog/product/specials.phtml" />
This makes the “specials” block a child of the root block and associates it with a template.
(3) Create a template file, app/design/frontend/default/default/templates/catalog/product/specials.phtml. The path might be
somewhat different if you are not editing the default frontend design. This template file should look as follows:
<strong><?php echo $this->__('Monthly Specials') ?></strong>
(4) Leave your edits to 1column.phtml, though this will put the “specials” block on every page that uses that template, which is probably far more pages than you imagine.
This approach will give you a block of “core/template” type, which uses a template to generate the HTML. This is the base class for all template-based blocks, including “page/html”. This is probably not what you ultimately want, since I imagine you want to do more than just display a “Monthly Specials” heading on a page, and you won’t want it on all the many different pages that use 1column.phtml as their template.
To display product specials you are probably going to need to use a block of type “catalog/product” or perhaps even a custom block, such as in your original code. For the latter, though, you need to do a lot more work to define a new “catalog/product/specials” block type that is a subclass of “catalog/product”. But the approach I’ve outlined will at least work, and will get you rolling.