The walk got squished into the day yesterday between #2 son’s dental appointment, which was followed by breakfast at Chick-Fil-A and driving him to school, and a meeting with my bookstore client to get her website content written up. Then came book club, the actual writing up of said website, psalms class, worship meeting, choir, finishing up of the insurance broker’s website, and a look at the Democratic National Convention.
Today I must get up to the Next County for class, and then stop off on the way home to proofread the church bulletin. The associate paster asked me to do so, explaining that he wanted someone else to blame.
I understand that. It’s hard to proofread, or rather it’s hard to catch all the errors when you proofread. I always like to get someone else to check over my work, if possible, and I appreciate it when people point out an error. At least if they point it out while it can still be fixed.
Since I feel that way, I also feel fairly free to point out other people’s typos.
No, that doesn’t mean I travel all over the web like an avenging madwoman, telling strangers when they’ve put an apostrophe in the wrong place or misspelled “fazed.” But someone who is a friend or family member, a good writer, someone who I figure would like to know about their typo so they can fix it — I might drop them an IM with a little mention. I hope they’ll return the favor.
I’m trying to foster this attitude in my writing class. Respectful, collegial peer review, all us writers together helping one another improve so that we will be the finest tigers in the jungle. That’s what I’m after. It’s too early to say whether I’ve succeeded, of course.
So a couple of times recently I’ve shot a little note over to Client #2, offering an edit on something he’s posted.
I do most of his writing, after all, and he asks for changes cheerfully and I cheerfully make the changes. We have little discussions on whether to include hyphens and how the connotations of words differ in various audiences.
Both times, the posted item has been written by his new assistant.
This is embarrassing. The effect is as though I had tattled on the assistant. Not to mention the whole immediate pounce effect. We’re down to, “Every time Sukey posts something, Fibermom emails about mistakes.”
Obviously, I’m going to quit it. I just hope I haven’t already created bad feeling.
“Some people,” I said on the first day, “don’t even like to show their writing to other people, and they really don’t like to hear comments. Do any of you feel that way?”
I acknowledged the raised hands.
“We’re going to get over that,” I said confidently.
I hope we can.
Do you see, in the picture on the right, some little yellow leaves on the ground? They are the first falling leaves. Autumn will be here soon. We can see it in the slant of the light in the mornings. In the Michaelmas daisies blooming. In the few small leaves drifting past the bushes filled still with honeysuckle and roses.