National Grammar Day Resolved (part 2)

This post closes the loop from the previous post, located here.  [Yes, I wrote Grammer in the title, and, no, it wasn’t on purpose. Didn’t catch it till after it went out to the world. Excellent blog on this here by lit agent Rachelle Gardner.]

frazzled-150x150God gave me a love of words and sentences and grammar when I was young. I read every book I could get my hands on. I spent many days riding my five speed bike with banana seat and sissy bars to the Oriole Park library — a small branch library in Chicago — where I scoured the shelves for mysteries and sci-fi. I think I kept that place in business with overdue fines. Something about reading mesmerized me. Continue reading

The Mystery of the Missing ES

He don’t want me?

I know that typos create themselves in the dead of night, but there’s no excuse for “He don’t want me” as an opening sentence. Yet there it was, staring me in the face. I laughed at myself, glad I caught it. I’ve been working on a second book, Living Large with Other People’s Craziness. This one is based on Esther. So far, I have about 140 pages complete (out of a projected 225). I figured it was time to print a hardcopy, and let my first critic (my wife) review it.

I made a nice binder gave it to Margi, only to discover that I’d messed up the opening sentence. Then, we saw I had messed up the title. It didn’t say Craziness, but Crazins. Now, I’ll be the first to crave a crazin, but that’s not what my book is about.

Later, we figured out that every time the letters “es” occurred, they were missing. Care to guess what these es-less words are?

  • ther
  • ey
  • mh
  • cht
  • don’t

46 out of 140 pages suffered the mysterious malady. What happened?

My theory is this: somehow, I opened up the find/replace window on Word. I put “es” in the find box, nothing in the replace box, and hit return. That made it suck out all the “es-es” until I clicked stop. I have a vague recollection of something like that, but don’t remember for sure.

I started fix it it, one misspelled word at a time. Then I realized that I have a backup. Two backups, actually, one on google docs and the other on my backup hard drive at church.

So, after a little cutting and pasting, problem solved. The moral of the story: backup your files. The other moral: don’t do random acts of find/replace.

My agent will be pitching this book later next month, so please pray for an eager publisher! Thanks.