Archive for April 2011 | Monthly archive page
Once you’re done watching the romantic spectacle that is the Royal Wedding, visit me there to debate the qualities of a good hero.
I just read — and enjoyed — Christina Dodd’s blog post on her funniest mistakes. My personal favorite from her list:
In INTO THE SHADOW, my heroine stumbles onto the hero sitting in the Japanese garden. He jumps to his feet and says, “Is this your private place? Should I leave?” and she says, “No, it’s okay, my private place is big enough for the both of us.”
I can’t think of any doozies like that in my own writing. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t sold yet — I haven’t caught those big, hilarious mistakes. Maybe there are agents out there, reading something I wrote and laughing their @s$es off.
That’s a little sad, actually, because I get paid — not the big bucks, but a few bucks — to catch errors like that before they make it to print. Yep. You heard correctly: As a copy editor, I get paid to have a dirty mind.
It started in college. When we were putting together our “welcome back” issue of the Crescent, I remember much debate on correct wording for a headline on the new “No Parking” signs on campus.
It was 16 or more years ago, so I don’t recall exactly what we said, but discussion amongst us editors went something like this:
“You can’t say ‘erected.’ That’s dirty.”
“Well, ‘Mounted’ is out, too.”
Eventually, we settled on “posted.” But not before cracking many jokes about erecting and mounting various items. I believe that was the same issue for which our photographer snapped a picture of someone on the groundskeeping crew holding a hose in what appeared to be a compromising position.
Newsrooms actually provide great fodder for the dirty-minded. I’ll never forget a headline that ran in my old paper’s sports section: “Bigger balls don’t slow pros.” (The story had something to do with tennis players. I don’t know if the sports editor thought he was being clever or he just didn’t notice. Back then, I was just a reporter, and not privy to the ins and outs of headline writing.)
A few other funny headlines, intentional or not:
- I remember thinking ‘Oh my God, it’s huge’ (on a story commemorating the anniversary of a giant tornado)
- Lady Jacks off to good start (a college newspaper on their women’s basketball team, I believe. That one made Jay Leno’s show, if I remember right.)
If you’re on Facebook, check out “Overheard in the Newsroom.” There are some doozies sure to make you laugh.
Now it’s time to cough it up: Have you ever stumbled on a hilarious headline? Or a funny mistake in your own manuscript?
Now I remember why I’m so glad to be off the dating scene. Rejection hurts. A lot.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to equate the search for an agent to the search for Mr. Right — but it’s an apt comparison.
You try to make a good impression on your dream man/agent. If — against all odds — a connection is made, you hope he feels the same spark you do. If not? The big “R.”
Rejection. You might feel worthless. You probably question your appeal … your talents as a writer.
I ought to know, having just received two agent rejections in two days. (Being a Golden Heart ® finalist makes for much speedier replies.)
At least they weren’t all negative: Each one featured good with the bad. They both had an element of “I like you but …”
The bottom line? “Beauty and the Ballplayer” wasn’t quite right for either of them. The hero and heroine didn’t speak to them. (Whether that’s an inherent flaw in the MS is up for debate. I might have some revising to do.)
In the meantime, I’ll continue the search for Dream Agent. Somewhere, out there, is my perfect match … the agent who believes in my work as much as I do.
That’s right: Distraction is whupping my rear in a big way these days. If there’s a down side to being a Golden Heart® finalist, that would be it.
Until recently, I had a routine: A little writing/blogging before and/or after work. Now, with all the new and ramped-up tasks on my to-do list, I spend way too much of my time trying to focus on any one thing.
And the task at hand is rarely writing.
This morning, it was updating my website. I just switched from wordpress.com to wordpress.org so I can make better use of the arlenehittle.com domain name I purchased last year.
While it was relatively easy to make the change, I still have to rebuild a lot of things, like my blogroll. I also must figure out how to get a cool stats tracker in my dashboard and get on the phone with the webhosting folks to figure out how to configure my computer … I kept getting an error message involving a firewall and it was like it was written in Russian. I’m not even sure where to find my firewall.
Yesterday morning, I managed to write a couple hundred words. On Sunday I eked out a full thousand … and then decided to scrap them all and start the scene in a different place.
I’ve heard other writers say that they spend very little of their time actually writing new stories. I now know exactly how they feel.
Well, it’s off to accomplish something before bed.