Thursday, June 28, 2012

Watch Your Speed

Tell someone you write for a living and their eyes take on a certain sparkle. As if all of us who push words around do so at the level of a Stephen King or that gal who foisted Carrie Bradshaw onto the world and made it impossible to buy a pair of Manolos on sale, when in reality writers are more or less the vocational equivalent of a Comic-Con computer nerd living in mom and dad's basement, only on occasion someone actually sends us a paycheck and no one shoves food under the door. (Yet.)

Tell them you are also an editor, though, and the sparkle dulls and they start fidgeting and mumbling about having left a bunch of wet clothes in the dryer. Now, you're really a nerd.

Hey, I get it. Writers create. They make things happen on the page that no one else ever thought of before or if they did think of it, it wasn't in quite that way. And then editors come along with their big red pencils and Cheetos-stained fingers and spoil all the fun, regardless of the fact that editors and writers need each other like oil needs vinegar and wings need wind, even if it all ends up so very Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Not to mention that whenever anything goes horribly wrong, it's the editor who takes the fall. I recently took a big one, part of a triad of FUBAR-esque ineptitude formed when the writer, my copy editor, and I neglected to pay full attention. No sauce to go with that crow.

Nor with the one I ate a couple years ago, a fork-up I will share with you because it perfectly illustrates how mistakes are very often the result of the complex wiring of the human brain, which, were I superstitious, I'd believe has a separate will of its own.

I was assigning a series of stories on a regional magazine for which I have served as editor for five years. One of them a profile on a local business person and community advocate. The publisher gave me the gal's name: Casey.

"What's her last name?" I asked.

The publisher frowned slightly and then replied, "I don't know. Jones?"

Not realizing she was being flippant, I sent the writer her contract, outlining that she would be interviewing a Ms. Casey Jones. The writer in this case was not a newbie, but the former editor of an award-winning city weekly. Which means, like any writer worth the paper their degree is printed on, they know to always, always, check the correct spellings of any names used in a story.

Writer writes story, sends to me before deadline, and I edit, noticing that subject's name is, indeed, Casey Jones.

Issue comes out. Two days later, I receive a call from a very irate Casey . . . something else. Who yells at me, "How on earth did you all get my name wrong? I told the writer several times!"

Yes, but did you tell her brain?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Peeve Petting

I know it's been a long time since I've had a driver's ed class and so maybe things have changed since Jesus last roamed the earth in a pumpkin-colored Ford Pinto, but I was taught—and so I always thought—that the far left lane on any freeway anywhere in the entire universe was for passing not hanging.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Dog Gone

Heart broke.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Why this song never became a hit.

What song makes you wonder why?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Haiku Monday: OZ

Draped in winter white,
sun-scorched or monsoonal lush.
No place like mountain.

Childhood's magic film.
Watched a thousand times.
Fetishized those shoes.

* * * 

This week's Haiku Monday host is the supremely electrifying Rafael (whom I hesitate to called Rafa because then I start thinking Nadal, and I then I start thinking of his little habit in spite of his tennis talent and then . . . oh, never mind. Boys are so weird. But Rafael's a kick.) At any rate, great, great theme, one close to my heart and probably yours. Head on over there to play, won't you?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


There's a Forest Gump quote that's applicable here, 
I just know it.
Why don't y'all supply me with it?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Haiku Monday: HURRICANE

‘84’s airwave
assault. Rock mir wie ein was?
So much for punk rock.

* * * 

Our winner from two weeks ago, the Most Interesting Man in the World is hosting this week's foray into the 5-7-5 with the timely theme of 
Head on over and see how it all shakes out.