Vapid PatterAugust 18, 2010
On the plane flying home from Orlando, I sat next to the awesome Carolyn Jewel (who had been up for not one but TWO Rita's (the Oscar of romance)), and while she wrote (or didn't write) a sexy scene (I was working so hard not letting my eyes accidentally fall on her laptop screen that now I don't remember what she said she was writing), I finished going over page proofs for HOW TO KNIT A HEART BACK HOME. Page proofs are awesome in that they are the very last time you'll lay hands on your book. This is it! You're pushing the baby bird right out into traffic!
And you always find some typos that have made it through your own editing, that make it past your agent and your editor, past copy-edits and all the way to this last draft. Now, say that I noticed things in my copy-edits that needed to be added, and say I wrote them in by hand to be changed. Now, it is NOT the production editor's job to decipher my sloppy handwriting (which I do try to make clear, I promise). They add to the text what they are told (by me) to add, and that's that. I take the blame for the below HYSTERICAL mistake.
When I read that my heroine had a vapid heartbeat, I almost choked on my peanuts. It's true, my Vs do look like Rs. I'd never noticed that before. A vapid heartbeat! Oh, lord! I've known people with one of those!
In another spot, I'd added a sentence about the pattern she'd been making. That R and N certainly smoosh up close in my handwriting, and the text read that she was knitting from a patter. (Both vapid and patter obviously passed the spell-check test.) (I just wrote "past the spell-check test." I am at word overload. Please forgive the other inevitable typos in this post as I mock myself.)
Carolyn and I started howling about vapid patter, to the point that she said, "Watch! I'm putting it in my book! Right now!" Clickety click click, and she did.
So today, I put it in my third novel because it happened to fit beee-yoo-tifully (and Carolyn practically dared me to). (That novel is coming along smashingly, by the way. I keep expecting the other shoe to drop, but it seems to be going well so far. Yippee!)
When I get a copy of Carolyn's book, she'll sign the page with vapid patter on it. And I'll sign that page in her copy of MY book.
And I here and now challenge all y'all book-writers to sneak the phrase in. It's now A Thing. Anyone who does it will get a shiny badge WITH GLITTER from me. Promise. (And when you read book three and hit that phrase, you'll think, "Huh? That sounds awfully familiar...")
Pass it on! Quick link to this post: http://bit.ly/a9Z5CJ