The Mystery of Being a BIG Dummy
May 8, 2016
I’m a big dummy. My dad pointed it out. On Mother’s Day and in the midst of our life-craziness (Read about that here in my Going Coastal Blog) My mom had returned my call and Dad got on the line - not to tell me how much he was enjoying my book, like I secretly hoped, but to let me know that he’d found a mistake in Luna-Sea. And I’d done it twice - so far (he’s only like fifty pages in).
I put sunset over the ocean!
Ugh! It was a glaring, obvious, dumb mistake and I did it throughout book two. Yep. I’m a moron. And, I know better. The sun sets over the Cape, not the ocean. The sun rises over the ocean. I’ve seen it myself a zillion, trillion, billion times. Well, at least a couple dozen times. One of my most treasured vacation routines is to get up, sit out on the balcony, and watch the sun rise.
How could I have been so stupid not to remember the thing I'd seen and gotten up so early for so many times - well, that's a freaking mystery!
I spent the rest of the night fuming at myself (Happy Mother's Day!). I had to. I had checked and rechecked every fact I spilled into those books to the point of neurotic obsession. But, I failed to catch the sun setting in the West?
I wanted to fix it. Right then. Pull the entire thing off the internet and do a complete overhaul. I thought of Sigourney Weaver's lines from Aliens after the team had just gotten beaten by the creatures and weren't sure what to do next. She said, "...Blow the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
Likewise, I wanted to yank the books from orbit and start over. It was the only way to be sure I'd eliminated all the mistakes, mostly.
But, after two novels I know that mistakes happen. And if I went back and changed every mistake or single thing that didn't work, then that’s all I'd do - I'd be in a constant stage of rewriting. I don’t want that. Publishing is about letting go, come what may.
My main character Delilah Duffy’s the expert mistake-maker. Hello! She got it from me, her creator! Can’t help but enjoy the irony. A hint of a smile broke through my anger that night. Maybe I’ll keep the mistake, just for that reason. Better to smile about it, than to cry.
No book will ever be perfect. All I can do is hope to get it pretty damn close.