January 30, 2013

Oops, It's Okay - Susan Barclay

If you're like me, you've probably made more than a few embarrassing mistakes in your lifetime. But have you ever made the same mistake twice, in reverse?

Travel back in time with me to 2009, the year my short story, A Bonny Blue Christmas, is published. I think it's for a Christmas romance anthology, but just a couple of days before it's to go to print I discover it's actually for a Christian Christmas romance anthology. Oops! Although my story doesn't contain anything I'd be ashamed of - I write for the gentle reader, after all - it doesn't contain anything overtly Christian either. Hold the presses!! I contact the editor, admit my faux pas, and ask if I can make adjustments. She agrees, and all is fixed. The story could be more Christian, given more time, but at least now there's something.

Fast forward to 2012. Another Christmas short story is to be published in another anthology. This time I think it's for a Christian anthology, but as I skim some of the other stories in the book before it goes to print, I realize that it's not. Oh, no! I contact the editor - the same one as the last time, no less - and offer to retract my story. She can use it another time. No, she assures me, she wants to use it now. And she wants my story to conclude the book, to leave readers thinking on spiritual things. I think that is totally awesome!

I've been fortunate enough to catch my errors in the nick of time, but you can bet I will be more clear of expectations in future! Some gentle advice for you, too, dear writer :).  My mistakes have turned out okay, but you can save yourself a lot of anxiety by writing right in the first place!

I invite you to visit me at my website and my blog Notes From Innisfree. Also, leave a comment on my January 19 post  by January 31  (tomorrow!) for your chance to win one of my anthologies!


1 comment:

  1. Susan, I'm glad she still wanted your piece.

    But good pointer about the habit of checking and double checking.

    I enjoyed your posting, Susan.


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