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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: Because of One Little Typo
By Sharon Henderson


There it was in black and white. It was her first article written as a junior reporter for the Smithfield Local, a small-town newspaper that mostly covered sporting events and regional politics. She should have been proud of this accomplishment. Instead she sat embarrassed that such a typo could have made it into print.

It was bad enough that her dad was the local Baptist minister and everyone expected her behavior to be above reproach. She lived her life knowing that every move she made was being watched by someone and any slip up would certainly be reported back to her dad. Then her dad would certainly use it as an ‘illustration’ in some future sermon.

How would Dad react to this? What would people say to him or about him since his daughter wrote an article that had this word in it? The sentence was supposed to be “Matthew’s hit ended the game.” What happened to the apostrophe and how did the ‘s’ get bumped up next to ‘hit’? She could not be more embarrassed at this moment. Surely the whole town would get a laugh at the expense of her reputation. One little mistake not taken care of and now she’d be doing damage repair for years.

She checked the original copy that she had on her PC hoping that she could blame the newspaper for the mistake. No such luck. She knew that she should have proof-read the article but she didn’t have time. It was due to the paper the same day as the big high school dance and she needed most of the day to get ready. Who had time to stop and check the article that closely? Wasn’t that what an editor was for anyway?

Now she remembered. She was so overly confident of her writing skills that she had told the part-time freelance editor not to worry about checking it for errors. Now one little mistake that could have been caught before publishing was sure to bring about more negative attention than any one person of her age could bear.

What was done, was done. All she could do now was to resolve to pay attention to the little things as soon as possible in order to avoid the inevitable that comes through neglect.

She stood up and spoke to no one in particular, “I guess I better get to Dad before someone else does.”

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This article has been read 742 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Catherine Pollock01/10/08
Great story - wonderful illustration of this week's proverb. :)
James Clem 01/10/08
A great life lesson - when the S hits the fan.
Good story, nicely done, and perfect on topic.
I'm willing to bet the writer is also a preacher's kid huh? (No one else really understands the constant scrutiny.)
Debbie Wistrom01/10/08
How right on topic, so glad she learned from her mistakes. Keep it up!
Temple Miller01/10/08
I loved this story. I loved the humor as well as the message. And I agree, I bet the narrator is a PK.
Marita Vandertogt01/11/08
And not even spell check would have picked that one up. This is a good take on the topic.. and a good chuckle!
Jan Ackerson 01/11/08
Oh dear oh dear oh dear...I'd qant to crawl in a hole. This was awesome!
Nathan Perkins01/11/08
I've got to say, you really did apeal to this audience of writers. We know how the characters in this article must have felt.

By the way, I have to pay my kids a dollor if I mention them in a sermon.

Great writing and very riveting. Keep it up!
Kristen Hester01/11/08
This is wonderful, funny and perfect for the topic. You done good, girl. Bravo!!!
Debbie Roome 01/14/08
Well written. It's funny how those typos always become obvious when it's too late to do anything about them.
Marita Thelander 01/14/08
LOL! Oh the fishbowl life of a minister's family. Well done.
Sheri Gordon01/14/08
This is very good. I am especially impressed with the way you made the mistake clear without having to use that bad word or ***'s. Great job with the topic.
LauraLee Shaw01/15/08
I'm cracking up. This petite-length piece packed punch! Excellent job writing this story.
Catrina Bradley 01/15/08
I'd hate to be a pastor's kid and be an example in a sermon! Really fun article, good flow and progression. Just the right amount of build up had me wondering What? What? - and the last line is great.
Dee Yoder 01/16/08
It would have to be a mistake in a small town newspaper, too. Everybody reads those! Believable story and right on topic.
Holly Westefeld01/17/08
Congratulations! This was among my favorites this week.
LauraLee Shaw01/18/08
Congrats on your 5th place, Sharon! It is well-deserved!
Paul Potenza01/18/08
From those of us who make our living with words...Let me extend to you that you are among friends.

Your title drew me to read your article.

Your panache lead me through.

Your candor held me captive.

Your ending of honesty made me weep.

Don't we all go to the Father at the end?