Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IWSG: Making Deadlines By The Skin of my Teeth


                                                                     



Welcome to the October edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be sure to visit Alex J. Cavanaugh and the other talented writers.

This month's question is "When do you know your story is ready?

Standard stories have a beginning, middle and an end. That's why I enjoy writing poetry, because often times you can make up the rules as you go along, or at least that's what I tell myself.

In writing stories for a local news website, I know my story is ready when I've told the most important details of the event or evoked emotion in a human interest story - all in about 1,000 words or less.

Once I've submitted a story to the editor after proofreading it several times, a calming affect sweeps over me. All right, sometimes I feel more like a college student cramming to complete a final paper on the night before graduation.

After I completed my latest story, I decided to drive over to my mom's for a relaxing visit.

Mom: Let me see your teeth.

Horrible Daughter: Why do I have food stuck in them?

Mom: Just smile for me.

(Horrible Daughter obliges.)

Mom: Well, they could be whiter. You could still smile, but they should be whiter.

Then it hit me. I was one day off in my story. I thought the event was October 10th, but it was really October 9th.

I texted my editor at once, and fortunately the story had not been published yet. I raced home and made the correction. Talk about making a deadline by the skin of my teeth.

Now, I'm off to a dentist to correct my other problem, but I know something else will come up, and I'll never ever really be ready.


30 comments:

  1. Well, that was one heck of a connection to go from teeth to a date!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I write shorter articles too and edit them a few times before loading them onto the company website to be published. When you have a lot of deadlines, you have to let go of some of the editing and say it's done. Glad you caught your error.

    ReplyDelete
  3. i am sure that sigh of relief could be heard in the next room.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well I guess it's a good thing your teeth could be whiter! ;)
    Glad you caught your mistake in time.

    ReplyDelete
  5. GEM JULIE ~
    Thanks for the reminder! I haven't seen a dentist since I moved to Reno. That's a lotta coffee stains that need to be addressed.

    You may not remember this, but a year ago you left a comment on my 'Battle Of The Bands' post which gave me an idea for a unique twist on a BOTB contest. (It'll really be more of a BOTW contest.) Well, please don't miss my OCTOBER 15th Battle because I'm gonna use it then. I've already got my songs picked out and it should be a pretty fun Battle.

    Of course I will be providing all the background info so people understand how your comment inspired me to concoct the Battle I have.

    Take care, Horrible Daughter. :o)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good post. Me too--about whiter teeth. Last time I saw my dentist he wanted to add a cap, an implant, replace a cap, and clean my teeth. I'm afraid to go back.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Glad you got the date fixed in time. Isn't it funny what will trigger our memory. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is my first time here. I've joined your blog now. Hitting all the main points that you wish to say is a good marker as to when to send your ms out. Thanks for sharing. All the best!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Alex - You never know when something is going to strike you! Thanks for hosting another great IWSG!

    Natalie - I haven't written about the ones I haven't caught! I'm impressed with all that you do! Thanks Natalie!

    Arlene - Fortunately, most of my mom's neighbors are hard of hearing! Thanks Arlene!

    Julie - Maybe I should forget about my teeth and just wear orange-tinted makeup. That might do the trick! Thanks Julie!

    Stephen - The suspense is killing me! I know I've made a few silly suggestions over the years, so I look forward to finding out which one you went with. Could it possibly be a whistling BOTB installment? I'll try to hold on until the 15th! Thanks Stephen!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jacqui - Maybe you can just do a little bit at a time - starting with a good cleaning. I always prefer to spread out the fun. Good luck! Thanks Jacqui!

    Connie - It's true. The older I get I notice that the strangest things come to me at the most unlikely moments. Thanks Connie!

    Victoria - It's nice to meet you and thanks for following me. I look forward to getting to know you.

    Carol - I'll tell her. Then she'll forget, so I'll tell her again. I just had a conversation with my husband about something that we did with our kids when they were little that I had absolutely no recollection of, so it's starting to happen to me too. Thanks Carol!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi,
    I smiled while reading your post because of what you said about poetry and making up rules. I have rediscovered writing my own poetry, and that is one of the things that I enjoy. I can make a rule that makes it fit.
    Enjoyed your post.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Julie - you are amazing at story telling ... and you so clearly and succinctly put what a story should hold ... beginning, middle, end and with human interest ...

    Teeth ... oh yes ... great post ... thanks Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey, girl. How goes it? It sounds like your job with the paper is still going swimmingly, but now (gasp) you kinda owe your mother big time for saving your keister by triggering the "one-off" date correction in your article. (As if you don't already owe her enough, right?) Maybe you should forget to mention it to her...?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Pat - Aleichem Shalom! It's always fun when you can make up your own rules! I look forward to reading some of your poems! Thanks Pat!

    Hi Hilary! That's quite a compliment coming from you! You always engage us with entertaining and educational anecdotes! Thank you!

    Hey Susan! My mom still gets a kick out of popping up in my stories. Even if it's only a cameo appearance, she still steals the show. It's true that I'll never be able to repay her for all she's done! Well, at least she raised her devoted son right! Hope all is well with you, my friend! Thanks Susan!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  15. That is the best when we can create without rules... and sometimes you can as long as you know the rules they can easily be bent...

    Cool that you are writing for a web publication! That is fun because it's short and sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  16. LOL - I know my article is done once I hit publish. Although, like you, I still manage to make edits. BTW - I am sure your teeth are fine. Whiting is bad for them.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Michael - Some of the stories are short and sweet while others have been about serious issues. It's been very interesting, because we never know what to expect. Writing without rules is what makes blogging fun! Thanks Michael!

    Rhonda - It is exciting to hit publish, and keep in touch with bloggers like you! I always wanted to have teeth like Chiclets! Americans are probably more obsessed with teeth whitening than other countries. Happy New Year, Rhonda!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  18. Whew! I'm glad you were able to correct it. What a crazy connection. That calm after the storm--I hope it came back after the fact.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crystal - It all worked out in the end! I've had a few close and not so close calls. Thanks Crystal!

      Delete
  19. Sounds like you're still enjoying writing for the community website, Julie!
    Talking about poetry, I wish I could write more poetry...but flash fiction hogs most of my time. *sigh*
    Keep on writing! And take care!
    (Glad to read that you and your mom are still "in sync"...)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Michelle! Yes, I've covered a lot of interesting stories and have enjoyed meeting many new people. You are the Queen of Flash Fiction, so keep up the great work! Mom and I are still "in sync," and she's still keeping me in stitches! Thanks Michelle!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  21. I know those heart-pounding moments when you discover an error and rush to have just enough time correct it. Now as to those teeth. . .

    ReplyDelete
  22. My heart was pounding just reading about your discovery. Why? Because I totally understand how you felt. Julie, best of luck, eh!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lee - It was a "heart-pounding" moment! Glad you could relate to the writing woes and can't relate to the dental dilemma! Thanks Lee!

    Joylene - I was very lucky that I made the realization before the story went online, or in our weekend print edition. Thanks Joylene!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  24. Our deadline of visiting your blog like good blog friends has long come and gone. Sorry about that! Please accept this off-white smile as an apology?

    (Glad to hear you made it by the skin of your teeth, though, even if it's weird that teeth have skin)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bryan & Brandon - I haven't been visiting you nearly often enough, so no need to ever apologize. You always brighten my day, and I'm just glad you're here. Off-off white smile back! Thanks Beer Boys!

      Julie

      Delete
  25. I'd love to know how you got from whiter teeth to the date being off. Tracking the way the mind works can be fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LD - It's true how the mind works in mysterious ways! There's no rhyme or reason to what triggers my memory. I guess I'll just have to enjoy it while it lasts. Thanks LD!

      Julie

      Delete