HERE'S THE BLOG I WROTE LAST FRIDAY:
My two-year-old goes through movie/TV watching phases. It started out with the Fresh Beat Band. Every day, she wanted to watch Kiki, Kiki, Kiki (Kiki is a member in the Fresh Beat Band, btw). From the Fresh Beat Band, we discovered the Color Crew.
Then we moved on to Alvin and the Chipmunks. She watched the "Meet the Wolfman" chipmunk movie so much, she began to quote it. Her favorite part is when Mr. Talbot snaps out the words "GOOD...NIGHT!" She'll still use that same tone of voice he does in the movie just for fun when saying good night to us. She also likes to quote Alvin when he's watching the Madame Raya commercial, and says "Too late!"
After the chipmunks, she moved on to Mickey Mouse. Then there was a brief stint with Tom and Jerry and The Little Mermaid. Currently, she's all things Big Bad Wolf. We cruise YouTube for any hint of family-friendly big bad wolf teasers.
Anyway, to the point of my post! My "too late" title just reminded me of the kiddo's love for quoting movies and how she mimics the line so well, which got me off onto my distracted tangent. Sorry about that!
So I was going through my edits for The Color of Grace, and my editor informed me I spelled somersault wrong. No, I was never a spelling bee champion. I had spelled it summersault, of course! Good to know how it was really spelled, huh? We patched that up and moved on to the next error.
Weeks passed. My manuscript moved along in the production process and was turned in to the senior editor. I thought nothing of my somersault/summersault faux pas until I was playing around on the living room floor with the kiddo on evening after work.
"Hey, let's do somersaults," I suggested, which now I wonder WHY I did that. Somersaults freaking hurt when you start to age a little and haven't done them in a few decades. But we rolled around on the floor regardless, mama whimpering every time her back cracked.
In the middle of all the rolling and groaning, I was reminded how somersaults was correctly spelled...when it struck me: Why in God's name had I used the word somersault in the first place? GASP! In the context of the story, the main character is attending a high school basketball game and her friend announces she is going to take pictures of the cheerleaders doing somersaults and back flips.
But why in the world would high school cheerleaders be rolling around on the floor doing somersaults? What I really wanted them to be doing was cartwheels or maybe handsprings! Anything but immature somersaults. Major palm-to-forehead moment. And now, in the voice of my two-year-old, it's TOO LATE!
Okay, I realize this is a minor thing in the world of anyone who is not me. Really, who else cares? But I care, and this is my blog, so I'm ranting!! It bugs me. I want to go back into my story and FIX it, but it's already sent out. Too late. Story published. Almost anyway.
This is the reason I can't go back and read my own book after it's really published. When I find one little glitch out of fifty thousand--or how many other--words there are, I worry and stress for days, wishing I could go back and change that one thing. I'd be so quick and harmless about it. It'd be so easy to fix. But it's too late.
Or maybe not. My fingers are crossed that I'll get the manuscript back just one more time before it's finalized and published for one last read-over. There's still a month before the big release. It could happen.
What stresses me even more: I sent an ARC off to a reviewer to read the book and one of her most recent tweets says, "that moment when you're reading an arc and you spot a mistakes, and then you spazz for hours." So of course, I'm like OH MY GOD, she's talking about my somersaults, when in all honestly, she probably hasn't even gotten to my book yet, or maybe she IS on my book and it's some other glaringly huge problem I no doubt missed. Who knows? Well, she does. But I certainly don't!
The truth remains: I simply cannot read my published works because ignorance is bliss. I'd rather be happy and totally unaware...unless there's still a chance I can fix something!
What about you other authors out there? Can you read your finished, unable-to-alter products? Do you worry and obsess about the problems you do find? Or am I just a total freak?!
...AND HERE'S WHY I DIDN'T POST THIS LAST FRIDAY:
I couldn't handle it; so I straight-out asked Miss Blogger if it was my story. It was not. Whew.
Then, that evening, I received my book for one last read-through. Double-whew. And guess what. I was totally wrong. Somersaults wasn't used in context with the cheerleaders doing backflips at all; it was used in the context of the character's heart doing somersaults. Geesh! I'm something else, aren't I?
But I did find a few other errors like an "over" that should be "oven" and "turning" that should be "turned. So, that's all good and fixed.
SEE! I told you there was nothing to worry about. :)