Thursday, October 2, 2014

Butter–Side-Down: Of Glitches and Newsletters

by Catherine Giordano
bread falls butter-side down
It's Murphy's Law:
 What can go wrong, will go wrong.

Bobbie Christmas is the owner of Zebra Communications and very well-respected editor. I’ve met her several times because she frequently lectures on “How to Edit.”  Every writer knows that it is next to impossible to edit your own work—it takes a trained editor to find all those pesky typos and inadvertent grammatical errors.   

(You can probably tell that my blog posts are not professionally edited. No matter how many times I proofread, errors remain.) 

Bobbie has a free monthly newsletter, The Writer’s Network News, that every writer will find useful. It’s two or three pages a month chock-full of editing tips and other information. Recently Bobbie wrote about the misuse and over use of the word “awesome.” She also did a little blurb about a form of wordplay called “lipograms.” I write for HubPages and I was inspired by her comments to write two pieces: The Naughty Grammarian: Literally Awesome Hyperbole and Word Play: What is a Lipogram 

I emailed Bobbie to thank her for being an inspiration, and she emailed back to tell me that she liked my work and was going to link to it in her next newsletter. What a nice break for me. Lots of people would learn about my work. All month, I eagerly awaited the newsletter. Finally, it arrived in my in-box. I clicked on the links to my articles just for the pleasure of seeing my pages pop-up. The links didn’t work.   

I was beyond upset. I thought I had made an error. I hadn’t. It took a while, but I discovered that there was a glitch with the HubPages servers and some links wouldn’t work. Why does the bread always fall butter-side down? Why did the servers fail just on the same day the newsletter came out? Why were my links among the affected links? Murphy's Law. 

(By the way, the links work now. So if you tried to use them and got an error message, try again. The links above should work now. Also, Bobbie was nice enough to say she would reprint them next month.) 

You can learn more about Bobbie Christmas at or You can also follow her blogs, Rx from the Book Doctor and Write in Style 

I said a little prayer to Loki, the Norse god of mischief, and asked him not to mess with my links so I’m sure all the links work.

P.S: I have done a whole series of The Naughty Grammarian posts. Which of these issues do you need to brush up on?