Imagine, for a moment, that you built a house. You bought a lot in a nice suburban neighborhood, you laid the foundation, you put in all the walls and the plumbing and the electricity. You installed all the hardwood floors and caulked all the baseboards yourself. You even laid sod in the backyard. Since you're working alone and you've got a day job, it takes about three years for you to finish the house.
Finally, the time comes to show the house to a prospective buyer. You hired a realtor and had them show the house to a dozen families. Finally, curious as to why the house hasn't sold yet, you dropped by the house and walked through it.
The house has great curb appeal--as it should, since you did the landscaping yourself. You walked in the front door and were immediately dazzled by a chandelier. There were hardwood floors throughout the living room and kitchen. But then, you arrived in the master bedroom.
And you found your problem.
See, you'd been extra careful and decided to touch up the paint. To do so, you had to take off the outlet covers and light switch plates. And you'd forgotten to put them back on again.
In a similar vein, I just found an error in Where the Clouds Catch Fire.
How no one's pointed it out to me yet, I don't know. I'm quite mad at myself. What happens--and I've done this more than once, unfortunately--is that, in the final surface editing stage of writing, I try to change the sentence structure in a paragraph. And then I decide not to change it, but I've already taken out a word or two and I forget to put them back in. A simple read-through of the book would have fixed things, but reading your own writing is something like hearing your own voice on a recording. It hurts, almost physically. And when Where the Clouds Catch Fire was put on Amazon, I'd been working on the book for something like five years on and off. That's about 20% of my entire life so far. I was ready to be done.
No, there's no excuses. Yes, I'm working on correcting the mistake. And I beg your forgiveness.
Mistakes like this keep me humble. I don't mean to fly too close to the sun. It just happens. One minute, I'm talking about my book at a party, relishing the attention it gets me. The next minute, I'm spiraling down to earth as my waxen wings begin to melt.
But such is life, I suppose. And I know that I'm not the only writer to publish a book with mistakes in it. A couple of years ago, I read a book by Terri Blackstock--a well-known and well-respected author--in which the word "Caucasian" was misspelled. I know there's about a zero percent chance that Terri Blackstock will ever come across my blog, but if she does--thank you. You don't know how encouraging it is to hear that even the best authors make mistakes.
Well, I've got a house to clean. I'm hoping to donate blood tomorrow, and I'll let you know how that goes. God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.