The oldest advice ever given a wannabe writer was probably,Write what you know. Well, okay the second oldest advice following, Just shoot yourself and get it over with.
A few weeks ago, in one of those moments of insanity for which I am locally infamous, I agreed to participate in the A to Z blog challenge and write a post a day. I agreed to do this for two blogs. The one you’re reading right now and for my newer wounded warrior wife blog.
Seriously, what was I thinking? Two posts a day and write on my newest novel and organize and promote my upcoming book tour to Humboldt County. In the middle of this I could not miss the opportunity to travel with my friend Jan Morrill to the dedication of the Japanese American Internment museum in Rohwer, Arkansas. Jan’s novel The Red Kimono, much of which takes place in the Rohwer internment camp, was just released and watching her sell out of books was priceless.
So, after the dedication, I sat cross-legged on the motel bed in McGee, Arkansas and tried to come up with a post for the letter ‘O’. First of all, let me just say that, at my age, cross-legged rather quickly becomes bent completely and totally out of shape. Here’s where it would have been good for me to have remembered that write what you know advice.
But Nooooo, I wanted to write about George Takei, the guest speaker at the dedication.
Okay. Well, first of all, I got Mr. Takei’s character on Star Trek wrong. For Trekkie’s this is tantamount to misquoting the bible. No less than five people very politely emailed so as not to embarrass me by pointing out my ignorance in public. Evidently Takei’s character on The Enterprise was Sulu, not, as I claimed Zulu.
Seriously? I’ve had that wrong all these years? A terrific example of how an author doesn’t look up and fact check what we think we already know. In this case, wrongly.
And, if that wasn’t sacrilege enough, I said that Sulu’s character was an engineer when, in fact, he was a Bridge Officer. Holy crap. It’s like I mixed up Sadducees and Pharisees.
So, let this be a cautionary tale to all you bloggers and writers out there. Write what you know and if you must stick your toe in the waters of the unknown, for the love of Spock, double check your facts.