Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Free Book

Lois Greiman

On March 24th my fifth Chrissy McMullen mystery will hit the shelves. The people at Bantam Books have decided I need a whole new look and title. (Notice cover--it’s totally different than the others.) Which got me to thinking; editors, sometimes you love ‘em, sometimes you hate ‘em, but you always need ‘em. At least I do because I have no idea how to punctuate. Never have, but these days I’m worse than ever. And I’m blaming the simplicity of email.

For example, the other day I was trying to send my bio to a guy at a conference in Chicago. He didn’t receive it, so I tried again. When I didn’t get a response I sent a message that read, “I resent. Did you get it now?”

A couple of hours later I got a note back from him that said, “I am so sorry if I offended you. I looked through my emails and didn’t find where I wrote, ‘did you get it now?’ But please forgive me. I assure you I did not mean to offend.”

I sat there flummoxed for a few seconds and finally knew what he was talking about. Laughing and blushing at the same time I assured him that he had not offended me. I had just been too lazy to put the proper hyphen in re-sent, giving him an entirely different meaning than I had intended.

How about you? Have you ever completely misrepresented your meaning when you dashed off an email or am I the only one who does this sort of thing with stunning regularity. Tell me your silliest cyber mistake. I’ll send an advance reading copy to one blundering commenter. I promise I have a top-notch editor who catches most of my mistakes.






www.loisgreiman.com

27 comments:

ArkieRN said...

I got athlete's foot of the tongue cause I stick my foot in my mouth so much.

D Twomey said...

I can't remember specifics, but I once received an email from a co-worker that I then forwarded to a different co-worker to make comments about the email/emailer. Only problem? I hit "reply" and not "forward". Realized it about the time I hit the send button..... Boy, did I have some back peddling to do!

Kylie said...

Laughing out loud at your email mix-up, Lois! I can only figure that the guy on the receiving end is not as used to using email as some of us, who are on countless loops and regularly dash off responses while multi-tasking. I took the word in context and didn't even think about the punctuation or lack there of.

I'm getting very lazy in those quick emails I sent. Sometimes I don't even capitalize! But since I can be, let's face it, a bit of a smart ass, my biggest fear is that my email is going to end up other than where I thought I sent it. I can't tell you how many times I've hit send and had this moment of panic, certain it went to the wrong person.

I have a good relationship with my principal so I can, ahem, be myself with him. And once when an incredibly stupid decision was made by the administration, I fired off an email questioning it. At the bottom I included one of my pithy observations. Imagine my horror when he *forwards* the email to the decision maker for further input. Complete with my comment!

I went storming into his office saying didn't you READ what I wrote? When he went back through and read the whole thing, he discovered he hadn't read the bottom. But he thought what happened was hilarious.

I've since learned to keep my email about work related topics a bit more professional!

Cindy Gerard said...

Love the new cover look, Lois. Of course, I like the old look too but this one is really eye catching.

My most recent e-mail blunder was a note I intended for my agent only that I managed to also forward to my editor. Gulp. Fortunately, it wasn't anything too horrible and in fact was a question my agent would have eventually forwarded to my editor but, like Kylie, I sometimes 'editorialize in living color' and the end result could have been disastrous. Magic fairies were watching over me that day.

lois greiman said...

My biggest problem is generally when I get emails addressed to a number of people and hit reply all instead of simply reply. Like Kylie, I usually don't want TOO many people to read my stupid remarks.

Liza said...

I really like the new cover Lois. I usually mess up and hit reply all instead of just reply. I'm really trying harder to make sure I hit the right button, but sometimes I just get too busy.

Playground Monitor said...

The only email funny I can remember is that a few years ago I sent Cindy an email and mentioned I was having computer problems. I told her my motherboard had died.

I got a reply from her telling me how sorry she was to hear about my mother and extending her deepest sympathies.

I emailed her back and gently told her she'd misunderstood my email and my mother was alive and kicking. We both had a good laugh. If I remember correctly, Cindy had just had eye surgery so her vision wasn't quite back up to par.

Email is such a handy thing, but I'm always worrying I'll send the wrong thing to the wrong person.

Marilyn

P.S. Love the cover! And congrats on the upcoming release.

Betina Krahn said...

Lois, great cover-- should carry you up another notch on the publishing ladder! It's good to have a cover re-do. . . means they're really behind the book, which at Bantam is a very good thing. Nobody can "get behind" a book like Bantam.

As for e-mail oops's. . . my most frequent one is forgetting to attach something that was the whole point of the e-mail in the first place. DUH. Makes me feel like an idiot and probably look like mental-lite.

My agent is now used to double e-mails from me. . . one with the subject: "Ooops."

Helen Brenna said...

I love the new cover, too Lois!

Honestly, I had a hard time figuring out the whole resent re-sent thing. I knew what you meant the first time and couldn't get that out of my head.LOL

I love arkiern's response. I'm a foot in mouth person and email only makes it worse!

lois greiman said...

Thanks, Liza. Glad you like the cover. I wasn't sure what to think about it, but it's getting great responses from everyone else. I just got so attached to the last type.

lois greiman said...

LOL Marilyn, you could write a short story about that...Death of a Motherboard. Too funny.

Arkansas Cyndi said...

I always keep my toenails short since my foot spends so much time in my mouth! Funny, but when I read your email response, I "read" it as "re-sent", not resent. LOL

Love the new cover. It's different and very hot.

We were discussing "foot in mouth" this past weekend. This didn't happen to me, but here is how I got the story...
My sister and I were at the mall and passed by a store that sold a
variety of candy and nuts. As we were looking at the display case,
the boy behind the counter asked if we needed any help.
I replied, "No, I'm just looking at your nuts."
My sister started to laugh hysterically, the boy grinned, and I
turned beet-red and walked away. To this day, my Sister has never let
me forget.

Playground Monitor said...

That's like the woman who walked into a hair salon and asked what they charged for a shampoo and blow job. ROTFLMAO!

lois greiman said...

Cyndi, a couple of months ago I was looking for the latest romantic suspense by a friend of mine so I walked into a bookstore and asked, "Where do I find romance?" The woman replied, "I don't know, but when you figure it out, you tell me." :)
No kidding. Some folks are a lot quicker on their feet than I am.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, man. Have I ever. Some of our Riders will remember the time I hit reply thinking my e-mail was going to--was it you, Lois?--and it went to our local published authors group. We were having a little group disagreement. And, yes, I offended. No bad words or personal attacks, mind you, but I was more candid than usual--and I'm usually pretty candid. It caused hard feelings, and that's the part I shall regret to my dying day. Will I ever do it again? Lord, I hope not. But probably. I used to worry a lot about the finger on that Big Red Button. (The Big Bomb button is red, right?) Now we've got these little black buttons at all our fingertips...

Arkansas Cyndi said...

LOVE the story, Lois. Oh to be able to think on my feet like that!

lois greiman said...

Betina, thanks for the encouragement. I hope Bantam is planning good things. :)

Michele Hauf said...

Purty cover. Can't wait to see it on the book shelves!

Keri Ford said...

My latest email oops. Eek. Makes me cringe remembering it. My mom will print off my manuscripts at her work (we're not stealing, parents own the place). She can print 400 pages faster and cheaper than I can print 5.

Had my latest WIP. It was terrible. I had some problems with it and needed to see it on hardcopy. My mom is Leisa so I typed in Lei and yahoo automatically brings up her name so all I have to do is hit enter and the address is inserted.

The email went. Next morning mom tells me she didn't get the email. I go check my sent file and realize I sent my crappy wip by accident to Leis Pederson of Berkley!! I had just inserted Leis's addy in my address book for a contest she's judging and totally forgot.

No wait. It gets worse. I rush off an appology. I'm typing along, and I don't know what happened. I hit a quick key or something and the email sends! There's only about 3 words in that email. So I now have a second 'sorry' email I've got to send. Leis, thank goodness was really cool about and assured me that mistakes like that happen.

Unpublished author that I am, I just knew I'd blackballed with a reputation of being absentminded!

catslady said...

I too have hit what I call the "ohno" button. My sister (who doesn't like to IM and is also interested in blogging and books etc.), some days we send 20 or 30 emails back and forth. She would send me a copy of an email from someone else and at least a dozen different times I hit reply which meant it went back to the original sender and not my sister. Most of the time it wasn't horrible but twice I was critizing something - I think I said something about not liking someone's contests because you had to do so many things and go from site to site (I was on dialup). I apologized profusely but she didn't accept my apology.

lois greiman said...

:)Keri and Cats, I love you guys. You make me feel so much better. I'm on dialup too; it should come with a standard apology.

Estella said...

Great new cover!

flchen1 said...

LOL, Lois! Great new look (although the original look was eye-catching, too!) Like Arkansas Cyndi, I did automatically read it as "re-sent"... I tend to over use hyphens, maybe from when I worked as a copy editor. I remember questioning the hyphen in co-worker, and having an office mate explain that otherwise we might be talking about those pesky "cow-orkers"--I'm still not sure what a cow-orker might do...

lois greiman said...

That's so great. I'll never be able to look at the word co-worker the same again.

ddurance said...

I'm normally a wonderful speller but I sometimes get in a hurry and leave off a letter or something. Also, it's hard to convey tone of voice on the computer, so it's pretty easy for what you say to be misinterpreted. LOL

Deidre

Sean and Anna said...

I am not the most computer savvy person ever born, and I have definitely made mistakes. The worst- I sent a personal email to my husband at work when I meant to send it to his phone (face turning red here)

lois greiman said...

Anna, you might as well share with us what the email said then. :)