This week is all about oopsies and writer’s block. I’ve had my share of large, small and one now ten year old human female oopsies. (Shout out to my beautiful daughter Bella, who thank God lives up to her name. Wouldn’t it have been a tragic twist of fate if the child were butt-ugly?)
The one oops moment that will never leave my mind happened when I was a 23 year old assistant account executive at Boston’s largest ad agency in the 1980s. I know, it was a long time ago, but the oops was so big, you’ll see why it has stuck. It was so long ago we were just getting our first fax machine with the rolls of shiny paper. We used Wang word processors with a black screen and lime green cursor. The art department sent copy to the typesetter every night – and then used Exacto knives to cut and layout the ads onto large cardboard “mechanicals.” We hustled and bustled and had our share of Mad Men moments too. There was a lot of drinkiing and carousing going on. (I partook of one, and which one is none of your business!) So, back to the oops. Even back in 1986, a full page ad in The Wall Street Journal cost a LOT of money. And I ran a media insertion for a product launch for Lotus 1-2-3 software ON THE WRONG DAY. I’d put in all my insertions early, as I always did. And then the client changed the date – and I forgot to update the insertion. I almost died when it happened.
A less traumatic and more recent oops was the result of a spellcheck fail. I don’t know about your smartphone, but my Droid has a mind of its own. There are few words beyond “cat” and “cow” that it will allow me to just SPELL without making four stupid suggestions. Look Droid, I’m typing. I made it through 1st grade. I can spell. Just take my letter combinations and run them! Recently, I sent a letter to the editor of a journal in the UK to someone named “Godlee.” Well, good old spellcheck/HAL took over, and unbeknownst to me (poor review on my part) I called the editor “Godless” over and over and over. Now, she may well BE Godless, and frankly, it’s none of my damn business.. She might also be highly God-fearing. And peeved at my error. Unless she’s seen it 100 times before, which is likely the case. And there’s an oops in my book. I changed some names – really what I did was chicken out and then chicken in and use real names. During the “find/replace” I missed one name, calling author David Kirby “Doug” because I had given my ex-boyfriend that pseudonym before I decided to use real names. Buy the book here.
The writer’s block is easier. I have it 24/7 unless I’m facing a deadline. Self-imposed works just fine. A contract is better. Man, I can bust out the words like fast talking guy in the old FEDEX ads when I have a deadline looming.
Got an oops to share?