I know I probably shouldn’t admit this, being a writer and all, but I’m a terrible speller. I also sometimes screw up on “then” and “than,” and “their, there, and they’re.” But I’m working on it.
When trying to share an idea or point of view, especially via the written word, I understand how crucial it is to pick just the right word. If I’m talking to someone right in front of me, I can simply read their face or body language for an instant check on how my words are coming across. But for readers, it’s different of course. So I get how important correct spelling and all of that truly is.
At my book signing in Montreal last week, thanks to a combination of excitement, nervousness, and being a terrible speller, sometimes I had to ask a person how to spell their name. And sometimes more than once. Even simple names.
For example, somewhere out there is a Felicity who must be convinced I’m an idiot. I had to ask her how to spell her name. Three times.
“It’s F-E-L-I-C-I-T-Y,” she patiently said each time.
But for some reason, my brain just wasn’t getting or hearing that “F.” I kept wanting to spell her name with a “Ph” for some stupid reason, until I finally did a mental smack on myself and got it right. I think. I hope.
When it came time to write the word “Librarian” in someone else’s book (long story about why) I finally gave up and turned to my daughter, who CAN spell, and asked her if it has two “i’s” or three.
Oh, and where exactly each of those I’s go…