Guest Post + Giveaway: Bookmark Blues By Sinead MacDughlas
People make mistakes all the time. Sometimes we ignore them, and sometimes we don’t. It often depends on the size of the mistake, and the vocation of the person making it.
Seldom is a writing error by an author ignored, especially in spelling/grammar or punctuation. I don’t know why we expect them to be flawless, but we do. I was an avid reader long before I was an author. I’ve dabbled in writing since I was eight years old. Even as a writer, though, I expected technical perfection in authors. That perspective may be a key factor in my years of procrastination, before finally diving in and writing an entire novel. If I couldn’t write it impeccably, I shouldn’t write it. Somehow I managed to completely disregard the editors in my philosophy. Absurd, considering I spent time as a student-reporter, when I was younger, having to answer to an editor daily. Now that I’ve written a novel, I’ve been granted a new perspective on practical errors.
Possibly, as a result of being such a picky reader for years, I’ve developed a condition unique to many writers. Alright, so it isn’t an official condition, but it should be! I call it WCD, (Writer’s Compulsive Directive). WCD is what gives writers nightmares while they’re writing, insomnia while they’re editing, and panic attacks after submitting their work to agents and publishers. It’s what has us sneaking back to our manuscripts at three o’clock in the morning to “just tweak that sentence that’s been bothering me”.
This condition can make us hyperventilate when we post a comment in a social network with a typo in it and can’t edit it, or correct ourselves, fast enough to stop us from wanting to ‘pull a Don Music’. (http://gifsoup.com/view5/3056957/don-music-head-bang-o.gif )
So what happens when a minor gaff throws a writer a financial curveball?
Let me tell you a story…
I was very excited about the bookmarks I’d put together from the cover art for Learn To Love Me. However, being extremely particular about the design ended up causing an error I didn’t catch until after the bookmarks were delivered to my door, signed for and opened. There was a typo (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/typo ) on the back!
I went into immediate panic-mode. What was I going to do? I’d paid a fairly hefty sum for the bookmarks. The error was entirely my fault. I’d designed them and submitted the design. The printer wouldn’t reprint them for free, and I couldn’t afford to buy another batch!
I came up with some options. I could burn them in the bonfire pit in the backyard. (Please remember, I was emotionally distraught and prone to melodrama.)
I could give them out anyway, and hope no one noticed. (My WCD was already screaming at the thought.)
I could try to fix the error with a marker. (It was only one letter, after all.)
Or, I could admit the mistake and give them away as “Special Edition Misprints”. (Lemonade anyone?)
I’d be interested to hear which you would choose in the same position. I asked several of my writer friends, and received a variety of opinions. Most thought I should give them out as they were, or fix them with a marker, and hope no one noticed. A few who suffer more overwhelming WCD, nearly fainted at the prospect. One friend was appalled by the very idea that I’d even consider using them.
Once I’d calmed down a little, though, I realized that I really had no reason to panic. Why? Well, because I never, not once in my entire life, claimed to be perfect. In fact, if you had the time a read my blog posts over the last year, you’d find that I’ve always made a point of sharing the foibles in my quest for authorship. I’m no expert, and I can’t bring myself to pretend to be one. Early on I decided that, since I’m going to make blunders as I fumble along, the least I can do is help other aspiring authors avoid making the same mistakes by sharing them. The three “Fs”, (family, friends and fans), had yet to give up on me, despite a number of missteps on the journey.
So I chose the lemons-to-lemonade approach was the best choice for me. I had announced that the bookmarks had arrived, and that I was going to have a contest on my page to win signed bookmarks. Once I had a small audience at the designated time, I told them about my mistake and my reaction, posted a photo of the bookmarks, and invited them to find the typo. The first ten people to find the error would get a signed bookmark by mail.
I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who attended, and more by how difficult finding the mistake turned out to be. What was most uplifting, though, was how supportive people were about my decision to ‘come clean’. An hour after the contest had begun, I was responding to private messages congratulating me on my honesty and optimistic attitude. So, honesty really is the best policy, just like Mom always said. Thanks Mom!
Now for the giveaway . . . Sinead has graciously set aside 5 Learn To Love Me bookmarks for 5 lucky commenters to win. All you have to do is post a comment as to what would you have done if you were in the same position as Sinead wherein you found a typo in the bookmarks you had created. Don’t forget to leave your name and email address so that we can contact you in regards to your prize should you win.
Good luck to all those entering!
Despite her secret past, Emily O’Shea was finally living a normal life. There had been some arguments with her husband, Trevor, lately, but no marriage is perfect. At least the column she writes for the local paper is going well…that is, until one of her interviewees goes missing, and a monster from her past resurfaces.
Within a week Emily’s life spins into chaos. Missing girls, a telephone stalker, murder, a monster, and an intense ex-lover; it’s turning out to be one hell of a summer!
Her husband is acting erratically, her boss is threatening to pull her column, and the police suspect she’s the muse for a murderer. Can Emily save her marriage, her job, her life and her sanity? More importantly, are her darkest fears justified? Does Emily already know who the killer is and, if she does; can she do anything to stop them?
About The Author:
Sinead MacDughlas is a Canadian writer with an addiction to the written word. Though she’s been honing her craft for over thirty years, Learn To Love Me is her debut full-length novel, and the result of over two years of intensive work.
Her favourite writing fuel is coffee, with the music she loves playing in the background, and the inspiration of a lifetime of people watching. Sinead plans to continue writing as long as there are readers who enjoy her work.