This Blooper Reel is Disappointing



I didn’t really have a blooper reel for Girlish.

I invented a word, “gack-worthy” which I used in the introduction. I knew it wasn’t a real word, but for some reason while I was waiting to receive my edits I obsessed over whether my editors would let it fly or force me to change it to something more conventional, say yack or gag. I spent an inordinate amount of time considering how I felt about the word “gack,” and why it was so important to me to keep it.

In the end, my editor asked if that was really what I meant, and if so, they needed clarification on spelling (gack versus gak). This made me incredibly happy—it was validation that I had trusted my story to someone who wasn’t going to alter it in any substantial way. In retrospect, I care very little about the word “gack” and changing it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal.

I had a few garbled sentences, certainly. I liked how sweetly my editor pointed them out.


“She needed a boy to make the exploding light sweat hips thrusting harder deeper.”

Editor’s comment:

[AUTHOR: Please edit sentence for clarity. It seems like something is missing (comma, word?) or maybe two sentences were combined accidentally.]

I’m sure when they read it they said to each other, “WTF does that mean and how did it get through so many revisions intact?”

It’s in my ARC, so all the cool people read it—at least all the cool people that read my ARC. Certainly, there are many cool people who didn’t read my ARC and probably some readers of my ARC that aren’t all that cool.

True confession—it wasn’t actually a mistake. It was an attempt at a stream of consciousness poetic moment that worked just fine when spoken aloud:

She needed a boy to make the exploding light


hips thrusting



If I could go back, I’d format it that way.

Or maybe like this:

She needed a boy to make the exploding light/sweat/ hips thrusting/ harder/deeper.

Or maybe I wouldn’t, since there are no other places in the memoir that devolve into fragments. Maybe I should re-write the whole book and add in more of those moments. The whole book could be cooler, or more irritating, depending on who you ask.

At any rate, what I wound up with was:

“She needed a boy to make the light explode with their sweaty hips thrusting harder and deeper.”


Author: Lara Lillibridge

Lara Lillibridge sings off-beat and dances off-key. She writes a lot, and sometimes even likes how it turns out. Her memoir, Girlish, available for preorder on Amazon, is slated for release in February 2018 with Skyhorse Publishing. Lara Lillibridge is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. In 2016 she won Slippery Elm Literary Journal’s Prose Contest, and The American Literary Review's Contest in Nonfiction. She has had essays published in Pure Slush Vol. 11, Vandalia, and Polychrome Ink; on the web at Hippocampus, Crab Fat Magazine, Luna Luna, Huffington Post, The Feminist Wire, and Airplane Reading, among others. Read her work at