September 16, 2009

With All My Usual Aplomb

I email back and forth all day with a few of my writer friends. We whine in the morning, then shut down the internets and go to work. Quite often we do “virtue checks” in the afternoon to see what kind of progress each of us has made. If someone comes up ROSY at a check----ploughed out a couple thousand words, worked out a tricky plot problem, figured out what was blowing the pacing of a key scene and fixed it---they are petted and feted and made much of.

It is water cooler camaraderie for those of us who work alone. In our pajamas.

Yesterday afternoon, I was making my way through a SLOUGH of e-mails, answering and deleting, boomboomboom. I came across a virtue check from Sara, mentioning she had met a goal in her revisions, but not, in my opinion, crowing enough about her triumph. Much too understated---she had had a win, and a win deserves a fanfare.

SO, I shot her back an email that said, "Oh! That is SO SEXY! Tell me again, slower, and just let that Flashdance home-cut sweatshirt slip off your shoulder the TINIEST BIT."


I was answering a lot of e-mails very quickly in a row, and I did not send that email to Sara.

Instead, I had clicked and hit reply to a Barnes and Noble community relations director who was asking me for an author photo and cover shot of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming so she could get the word out about an upcoming event.


I NEVER WOULD HAVE KNOWN. I assumed it had gone to Sara, and a couple of hours later I get a very HESITANT sort of ahem scuse me was this for me? E-mail from this poor B and N director, saying REALLY all that was needed was a high rez jpg.

AT LEAST A THOUSAND TIMES A DAY I say to my 12 year old, “Son,” I say to him, “Most beloved son, I pose unto you a question: Is it better to do something ONCE, slowly and correctly, or is it better to slop and shoot through on a speed high and have to go back and redo it a thousand times and clean up the mess from doing it wrong.”
He rolls his eyes and says, “Once. Slowly. Correctly.”

Maybe next time I should LISTEN to him.

Posted by joshilyn at September 16, 2009 5:20 AM

LOL! Don't you just hate when you do what you are always scolding your kids for doing???

Lucky you, you didn't do it in front of him!

I'm sure the B&N person will just chalk it up to your artistic personality.

Posted by: Jen at September 16, 2009 6:24 AM

Hee hee hee, whew! That is too painfully funny (painful as I can too easily see myself doing the same). ;-)

Posted by: Brigitte at September 16, 2009 7:40 AM

Hehehehehe. Maybe you should send the B&N person a link to this post, by way of explanation. Then they wouldn't think you were weird, just one of the funniest, most honest and self-deprecating authors around.

Posted by: Eleanor at September 16, 2009 9:02 AM

Made me laugh. Again. I am SO guilty of the same thing.

Posted by: Roxanne at September 16, 2009 9:09 AM

Personally, I think that you should email the B&N girl back and say, "So, no sweatshirt, then...?"

Just go with it. ; )

Posted by: Jill W. at September 16, 2009 11:03 AM

OMG! I just had coffee spewing out of my nose and mouth and onto my computer from laughing so hard. I have done this too - obviously not with the same exact words, but still. LOL. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: c.a. Marks at September 16, 2009 11:11 AM


Posted by: Avallia at September 16, 2009 11:15 AM

I used to always tell my daughter - Do as I say, not what I do. In the interim more than likely I was going to do the stupid thing.

I accidentally sent a reply to a friend, that had given me news she didn't want anyone else to know to another friend. Sigh. That took months to smooth out with the friend the reply was originally suppose to go to.

So now I just let most of the people I deal with know, I'm a writer. The only thing I know is whats written in front of me. Anything else goes.

Works for my partner. When people ask what he does I tell them he's a musician. So really what does he do - like around the house. *Blink* He's a muscian, that's it.

Posted by: Indigo at September 16, 2009 1:25 PM


You need to go check out Carrie Newcomer's song, "Don't Push Send"

(P.S. You don't allow hidden links? The preview function erased my html code.)

Posted by: Katrina Stonoff at September 16, 2009 4:00 PM

Oh, this made me laugh out loud. Love, love, love when I do the very things that I scold my son over. Isn't that why God makes our kids so much like us? To teach us a little something about ourselves? That's my theory at least.

Posted by: Lori B. at September 16, 2009 4:13 PM

Haha. Good work Joss. I wish I had got that email - it would've made my day ;)

Posted by: Heather at September 16, 2009 5:32 PM

You know, this reminds me of a situation in which i was working with a costume designer creating a specific screenprint graphic. She had sent me a bunch of research images of kinda sorta what she wanted but not quite, and i had gone through a couple iterations of trying to draw an image based on her research. On my third try, i sent her a response saying, basically, "I reworked the design again as per your feedback, see attached." Then, instead of attaching the .jpg of the new graphic i'd drawn, i attached the one right next to it in the images folder, which happened to be a .jpg of me making an angry-pirate face, gripping a beer and giving the finger.



Posted by: Rachel at September 18, 2009 8:18 PM

I love when you do that! ;) I saved the email congratulating me on making the NYT Bestseller List ... Totally Makes My Day EVERY time I read it!

Posted by: PattiH at September 19, 2009 9:46 PM