(Lesson learned from my end-of-the-year screw up, as I turn a new page in 2012.)
Valentine’s is one of those holidays that rarely works out for me. I usually spend it feeling moody and unloved and mad at the media and Hallmark for putting me in such an unnecessary funk. I still haven’t forgiven the fancy pants restaurant that, 11 years ago, failed to deliver my husband and me the complimentary chocolate covered strawberry they were presenting to each guest at the end of the meal. Everyone but us! We were the youngest couple in the dining room that night and I got the impression our waiter was age biased. (BTW: Chocolate covered strawberries happen to be one of my favorite things in the whole world – I used to request them over cake for my birthdays. So this was like being a kid whose house got skipped by Santa Clause.)
Somehow, this season, Heart’s Day managed to mess with me before the day even came around and Screw Up My Writing! (Capital offense!)
As I went through my first round of edits on my latest YA paranormal romance, I noticed I’d mixed up my sister’s birthday, February 9th, with Valentine’s Day.
Should have been an easy fix, right?
The timeline in this novel is meticulously planned. This is the first book I’ve written with a calendar open beside me. The main character dies on Valentine’s Day (it’s such a crap day, why not?) and is brought back to life on April Fool’s (now there’s a great holiday).
I spent an entire day cursing, trying to make it work. I considered altering time (ie: being lazy) and pretending Valentine’s Day was on a Wednesday while April Fool’s was on a Friday even though that’s NOT HUMANLY POSSIBLE… EVER.
But I knew it was incorrect and once I know, I can’t relax until the problem is fixed. And you just know there are diehards out there who take time to fact check these things so they can ridicule your idiocy.
In the end I had to let go of Valentine’s as the day of death. It was more important to bring my character back on April 1st.
Sometimes we simply can’t have our strawberry.