Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.
I’m not the sensitive type, but I notice things to which others may be sensitive. Everyday, in an attempt to entertain commuters, the PATH runs a ‘Guess the word’ (among other things) on the in-train monitors. Today’s word was eeoxpdl – explode.
Yes, explode. On a train.
Obviously the person who’d put that up didn’t think anything of it, but in recognizing the unintended impression it could make, I reflected on something I wrote yesterday. No, it didn’t contain an explosion, but it did contain Chupacabras (stick with me, here). I’d outlined a monster story for an upcoming anthology submission, where the main monsters are threatened by encroaching Chupacabras. Without delving into every scenario my mind considered (read – panicked over), I arrived at the question:
Had I written something someone might consider racist?
If you know the origin locale for Chpacabras (if not, click the link above, silly), and consider the current political climate, you can see where that thought came from. There was no racial motive involved; I’d selected Chupacabras because they’re cool and scary. That they are from non-European folklore is a bonus, or so I thought before seeing that stupid eeoxpdl.
In the end I came to the conclusion I was being a paranoid nut (like that’s new for a writer). That brings us to this week’s FYI:
Writers should just write. Forget everything else and finish your story, then listen to your beta readers, agent, and editor after. Simple.
Thanks for reading,
PS – After my initial hand-to-forehead reaction to that word scramble, I realized it might not be a person who selected it. Software may have been responsible, pulling a random term from the dictionary using some algorithm based on length, popular letters, google searches (sad), etc. *shrug*