The Big Oops!

by Zaxophone at

Yesterday, I walked into my living room, found a Christmas ornament on the carpet and hung it back on the Christmas tree.

Yup.  You heard right.  My tree is still up and lit.


My Bad.  I keep forgetting to pack it away.

We all make mistakes, right? And we all have our methods for handling it.  Some of us are great at taking responsibility for our errors; others have to run through self-defense tactics that include pointing the finger of blame.

  1. There are four people living in my house and I’m the only one who noticed the tree?
  2. I’ve been busy trying to find my damn tax information.
  3. I’ve been sick.
  4. I’m suffering from tunnel vision.
  5. I thought it was the wine.
  6. I like it there?

Of course, when it comes to hiding from the fallout of writing mistakes the bushes are pretty thin.  All an editor has to do is look at the byline under the title of your story and you are busted.  Worse, you are busted in public.

Last week, after failing to get any results on a contest entry I submitted before Christmas, I pulled the story I’d entered out of my files to take another look.   The word “Oops!” shot out of my mouth, followed by a bout of foot stomping, several head-smacks and a final “Holy Crap! Did I actually send this out?”

I’d like to point the finger at the many blogs that have declared perfectionism to be the Achilles heel of  a writer, but that would be like blaming the wine.  The truth is, I’m the one who hit the submit button.  None of the blogs said, “Go forth and submit crap.”  What they said was:

There comes a time when a writer has to let go of a story.  Perfectionism, unchecked, is the enemy of action.

The end result?

The premature expulsion of my story into cyberspace.

There are two ways to look at this mistake.

Negative side:

  1. One shoddy contest entry jettisoned into cyberspace.
  2. 24 hours of anxiety over the possibility one of the judges might have the memory of an elephant. (Jeopardizing my chances in the next contest.)
  3. 48 hours of “If only I’d noticed…”

Positive side:

  1. I got to test drive my story.
  2. I got feedback.
  3. I learned to let the manuscript cool before taking action on it.
  4. I didn’t ruin the story’s chances with an editor at a magazine.
  5. I did get the momentary satisfaction of taking action.

I’d say the positive outweighs the negative in this experience.  I’ll take the blame and accept the consequences.  Next time I send in a contest entry to that site, I’ll include a bag of peanuts.

As for the tree in the living room?   I think a little revision is in order.

What do you think about an Easter tree?

Be well.


4 Responses to “The Big Oops!”
  1. joni says:

    Wow! You’re kidding right? We’re heading full steam ahead into spring and you have a what tree up? Christmas is so far gone I scarcely remember all the vomit I spewed. lol
    And YOU???? Sent out something with an OOPS factor???? Oh my goodness, you gave me an idea for my NEXT blog post! lol 😛

    Good luck on cleaning up the mess. The one that YOU are solely responsible for young lady!

    Now, tell hubby to get the damn tree down. lol (excuse my lang.) lol OR, hang some colorful Easter eggs off of it! Woohoo!

    joni 😉

  2. ravenlaw says:

    Hey Joni!

    Thanks for dropping by. Yeah, I’m am soooo bad about taking down the tree. This is a record for me. It’s still there and the lights look beautiful. lol. To rationalize yet again, I am working on a Christmas story and it’s helping my muse. Look, I even got a blog topic out of it. 🙂 Glad you could glean a blog post out of this.

    Someday, my kids are going to tell their children all about this and the Halloween wreath I left up in the living room. By then, I’ll be senile and won’t care.

    Good writing!

  3. Ronda Laveen says:

    Oop(s) read backward is poo,which is what one gets when one gets with premature story-jaculation. But, sometimes you just have to let one fly, consequences be damned. I think it is far better to fall into the category of being too different than too same.

    Now take the tree down before you’re decorating it with firecrackers.

    • ravenlaw says:

      lol. Yes, I agree. There’s always a way to put a positive spin on a negative event. I’m working on the next challenge. About that tree…it’s been storm after storm here. I lit the tree up for them.
      But I swear, this weekend it’s coming down.


      Thanks for stopping by to read.

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