Tag Archive for: funny

A Typo Honesty

by Bethany Maines 

Recently, I was going over the edits from a beta reader on my forthcoming mystery novel – Against the Undertow (sequel to An Unseen Current). I was excited to read over the notes because the reader had been pretty enthusiastic verbally about the book and I was looking forward to easy edits (for once).  Beta readers usually give critiques on story elements, spot plot holes, and generally let an author know if something is working or not. They can do line edits and spot typos, but frequently that’s a separate gig because the mental focus for each job is quite different. Because of that, I usually tell my beta readers to treat typos like terrorists on the train in New York – if you see something, say something – but don’t go looking for them. Which is why I laughed when I got to this note:

I didn’t take note of typos except for one I thought I’d mention: on p. 76 you meant perennial and instead wrote perineal. 

That is indeed a typo worth mentioning and I promptly laughed and shared it with about eight people. But it got me to thinking about some of my other slips of the fingers. Here’s a couple that I thought worth noting.

He knew he would get some carp for it. Yes, because fish are often given as a sign of disapproval.

Stalking feet. Because he has those feet that just will not stop violating restraining orders.

I’m going as troll. Many problems here. Including missing the word “for” and a misplaced space around the S. But if you want to go for a stroll as a troll, apparently I will let you. Gotta look out for those trolls.

Desserted is not, repeat not, the same as deserted. I wish it was. I wish I could be desserted ALL the time. But cake is not a healthy breakfast choice.

As I continue to write, I’m sure I will make many more typos. I hope that at least a few are as good these ones. What about you? Have you spotted any awesome typos lately?

 is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery Series, Tales From the City of Destiny, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous
short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some
serious butt with her fourth degree black belt in karate, she can be found
chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You
can also view the Carrie Mae YouTube
video or catch up with her on Twitter and Facebook.

Hiss. Hiss. Hiss!

by Marjorie Brody

It started about two weeks ago. A sound. At night, when the house was quiet. A hiss. Just a single hiss. Enough to make me look up from the book I was reading, yet not loud enough for me to be sure I even heard anything. But the next night, I heard it again.

The hiss was definitely not my imagination.

I got up from my chair and checked the area in the room where I’d heard the sound. I found . . . nothing.

The hiss repeated the next night, slightly louder.  Now I was thinking a wounded cat hovered on the other side of the wall. I looked out the window, but of course, the darkness of night prevented me from seeing more than my reflection.

I gathered my flashlight and crept out the door. The sweeping yellow beam highlighted my plants, the waterfall
and fish pond, the barbeque grill, and the lawn that desparately needed cutting. But no cat in distress.

The hissing went on for several nights. Each time louder and seemingly more angry. By the beginning of the week, the angry hissing occurred during daylight as well as nighttime, at unpredictable times, and was no longer a single hiss, but a pairing—as if two cats, with arched backs, hackles raised and teeth barred, were in a stare-down with each other.

I concluded there must be an animal in the wall, although I didn’t know how anything could live in such a narrow space. Our two Yorkiepoos and one Silkie Terrier were now cocking their heads and listening to the hisses. Other people in the house now heard the sounds—but we could never predict when they would occur.

Friends told me that possums made hissing sounds and so did raccoons. I feared a rabid animal would hurt our beloved puppies.

I called animal control. They said call an exterminator. I found one that would catch-and-release–if the animals were not rabid. The inspector went into our attic, found no animal droppings, but did see a worn area in the insulation near the soffits. He also reported animal tracks (“I’m no tracker. I couldn’t say what kind of animal.”) in the dried dirt around the back of the house. The offered solution: plug up all the unwanted entry points to the house. Anything larger than a quarter. Then set traps in the attic. With the animals unable to leave the house to get food, they’d get hungry and go for the bait. Cost: Originally quoted at $1200. But because we had so few spots to plug, the price was reduced to $979.12.

I hesitated. That was still a lot of money. I needed to sleep on the decision.

Hissing pierced the night, more frequently, more strong, and more angry than ever. What if the animal, or animals, ate the insides of the walls? Or chewed the electrical wires? (We had an escaped hamster do that once when the children were young.) What if the critters had babies in the attic or inside the walls?

The inspector returned the next day. The hissing, now gnarling–something obviously was not happy living here–sounded as he walked up to the front door, but as if knowing his purpose, remained silent while he was inside our home. I gave permission for his company to rid the house of our unhappy inhabitant.

No sooner had the inspector stepped off the porch, contract in hand, did the angry, hungry, pregnant opossum my writer’s mind envisioned make another clawing, fighting hiss. Only this time, our home health aide heard it and knew how to exorcise the hissing. Without setting a single catch-and-release trap.

I’m tempted to leave you with the question: How do you think the aide got rid of the critter and its hiss? Then I could wait until next month to give you the answer, and by then, maybe you’d have forgotten I brought up this whole topic.

But I won’t. I’ll expose my sense of feeling oh so stupid. I’ll reveal my total sense of humiliation.

The hissing came from an automatic room deodorizer. The lower the contents inside the decorative container, the louder and more often and more distorted the puff being pushed from the decanter became. I could even make the sound at will, once I knew I could override the automatic timer and press a manual button.

This tale has no moral. No lesson to learn. It may demonstrate how a writer’s mind playing the “what if” game in real life can lead to a story to share with friends and colleagues. Feel free to have a laugh at my expense. My family laughed for hours.

P.S. My novel TWISTED is a finalist for the Red City Review Book Awards. It’s the third honor for this psychological suspense. And, it’s on sale now on Kindle and the Nook for $1.99. http://tinyurl.com/o6smtws and http://tinyurl.com/p8f9uw2. If you haven’t read TWISTED,  please check it out.

Marjorie Brody is an award-winning author and Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her short stories appear in literary magazines and the Short Stories by Texas Authors Anthology and four volumes of the Short Story America Anthology. Her debut psychological suspense novel, TWISTED, was awarded an Honorable Mention at the Great Midwest Book Festival and won the Texas Association of Authors Best Young Adult Fiction Book Award. TWISTED is available in digital and print at http://tinyurl.com/cv15why or http://tinyurl.com/bqcgywl. Marjorie invites you to visit her at: www.marjoriespages.com. 

Goldfish Brain

by Bethany Maines

I’m monumentally bad at dates.  The Christmas after I got married my mother-in-law got a new pair of sneakers and she said, “Oh, I wish I’d had these on XX of some-month-Bethany-doesn’t remember.”  And I said, “Really? What happened on that date?” And they all stared at me because it turned out that was the day I got married.  Which may seem a bit rude to my poor husband, but in my defense I also can’t remember what year I graduated from college.  And one time I spent an entire day being really annoyed because my friends kept calling me (I was in the middle of a project) to wish me happy birthday.  Every single call was a surprise.  So, I’m not saying that I will absolutely forget that some day (14th?  15th? No, seriously, what day is it?) in February is Valentine’s Day, I’m just saying that the odds are not in my husband’s favor.  But on the other hand that means if he remembers all that lovely chocolate will be a wonderful surprise.

Unfortunately, this type of memory blockage also means that my memory for VERY IMPORTANT FACTS related to my characters is also somewhat lacking. Like last names, eye color, the details of their backstory.   Given enough time and rewrites it all gets a bit fuzzy.  Bulletproof Mascara, for instance went through 9.5 rewrites (I’m counting the typo catching pass as .5 of a rewrite).  That means that the villain Jirair Sarkassian went from being Texan to Armenian somewhere around draft 6.  And in An Unseen Current (Available everywhere April 28! Available for pre-order on kindle now!!) I dropped an entire villain between draft 1 and 2.  Which wouldn’t be much of a problem if I didn’t insist on writing sequels.  It’s a bit of an embarrassment to have to read your own book to find out what you wrote, but apparently readers insist on continuity and well, just generally making sense.  But having just read Bulletproof Mascara and Compact with the Devil (in preparation for the forthcoming High-Caliber Concealer), I can honestly recommend my books to people.  I’m very funny and my plots actually do make sense.  I give myself two thumbs up.  I probably can’t review myself on Goodreads, can I?

Bethany Maines is the
author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, Tales from the City of Destiny and the forthcoming An Unseen Current.  
You can also view the Carrie Mae youtube
video or catch up with her on 
Twitter and Facebook.  Learn more at www.bethanymaines.com


by Bethany Maines

I was staring at an app advertisement on my phone the other
day when a brilliant idea for a novel came to me.  I’m not going to tell you what it is, because it’s awesome
and I don’t want the net gremlins to steal it.  But as I pondered the awesomeness that was my own idea, and
then shining beacon of sheer stunning gloriferousness that is my brain  (Yeah, I just made that word up.  What are you going to do about it?), it
occurred to me to wonder – what would happen to me if I didn’t have my brain?
And ok, yeah, obviously, dead. Plop.  But what about if I had someone else’s
brain?  We all look at the world
from the unique transponder of our brains. We see the world differently, if
only by a hair, than the person sitting next to us. 
For example, I have a friend who is somewhere around seven
feet tall.  That’s not an
exaggeration, that’s his actual height. 
We met in college and we had several classes, including life drawing,
together. (Life drawing, for those who haven’t been to art school, is code for
“drawing naked people.”)  For one
semester our life drawing instructor was a curly haired, 5’2” dreamer who once
suggested that zoning out while driving on the freeway was a good place to get
creative ideas.  (We don’t have
time to really go into that statement.) 
Anyway, at some point, she went around to my friend’s drawing board and
suggested that his perspective was wrong. 
He checked, he double checked, he thought about it, and then politely
suggested that he really did have it right.  She stared up at him, she stared at the model.  Then she drug a chair over next to him
and climbed up on it.  “Oh, nope,
you’re right.” Your perspective is just different when you’re an extra two feet
up in the air. 
Two feet and an entire picture changes. If I had someone else’s
brain, surely the ideas I have for writing books would be totally
different.  If I had them at
all.  But since I love my ideas, I
love my brain, I don’t think I’ll be heading to Dr. Frankenstein’s lab to test
out that experiment.  But go ahead
and thank your brain today, because it’s awesome.

Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery series and Tales from the City of Destiny. You can also view the Carrie Mae video or catch up with her on Twitter and Facebook.