Skip to content

I’m An Idiot Who Doesn’t Do Details

Yesterday, I wrote a post about Vikings in the Mississippi River. I got the link from a reader, and in my word-addled haze of revising, I didn’t even check the source or determine whether it was legitimate. I just wrote a story and hit ‘Schedule’ because I was fried.

The Viking article came from an Israeli version of The Onion. Only it isn’t called The Onion.

If you read The Onion, like I sometimes do, you savor the manufactured stories and delicious satire. This news outlet didn’t look Onion-like to me. I thought it was real news.

Please forgive me for spreading garbage on the internet, Dear Reader. Offline, I have a book that’s almost ready. I’ve taken a manuscript from embryo to edited final draft in three months. My beta readers have stepped up their game. My editor is a saint. My publisher says, “ARCs October 1.”

Offline writing is eclipsing my online life. I want to be a writer who blogs to interact with readers. Yet, I’m mostly known as a blogger who’s written a book. I’m grappling with how to change that, because I don’t want this site to get the dregs.

For now, I’m headed back to Charleston this weekend.

The British are coming.

Kate Shrewsday and her family are invading for three glorious days. She’s already anticipating it on her site. I hope you’ll tune in this weekend and follow our stories.

I promise they won’t include Vikings. Well, hers might. But if she slips a Viking in, the story will be true.





Merry used the word ‘neighborhood’ a lot in his expedition journals. Every bend in the Missouri brought the Corps of Discovery to a new neighborhood, and he noted the differences in them. The grass in this neighborhood……..The water in this neighborhood……..The bears in this neighborhood……..

I adapted some of Meriwether Lewis’ actual language to build his voice. The word ‘neighborhood’ is sprinkled throughout Merry’s narration in To Live Forever.


To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is just $2.99 on Kindle during August in celebration of Meriwether Lewis’ Birthday Month.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Or click below to buy it.


To check out the entire Meriwether Lewis Birthday Month Series, follow the links below:

Lewis and Clark: Screwing Their Way Across a Continent
Lewis and Clark and Sex Bombs
Who Was Meriwether Lewis Godfather?
If Meriwether Lewis Had Lived to be 80
Lewis and Clark and Old Blue Eyes
The Lion Will Lie Down With the Lamb
My Natchez Trace Walk Featured in We Proceeded On
Dead People Follow Me And They Talk To Me
Is Suicide the Final Arbiter of a Life. For Robin Williams. And Meriwether Lewis.
WordPress Is Killing Me
Fate’s Fickle Fingering
Happy Birthday Meriwether Lewis
I Just Can’t Come
Guardians of the Neighborhood
Did the Vikings Walk the Natchez Trace?

53 Comments Post a comment
  1. that is so funny and no worries on my part) have fun with your visitors )

    August 22, 2014
    • Forty-five minutes from departure. It’s hard to leave the mountains and go back to 100 degrees and humidity……..

      August 22, 2014
    • I don’t feel so bad now. Thanks, Vera. Looking forward to giving you a big hug tomorrow.

      August 22, 2014
  2. I liked that post, even if the article wasn’t true. I considered doing a write-up myself, except I’m not in a position to blog during the week anymore. Don’t beat yourself up over it — it’s not the worst pseudo-news a person can spread; and besides, we may never know where all the Vikings went. Say hi to Kate for me, would you?

    August 22, 2014
    • I’ll make sure she sees this comment, Rob. 🙂 Really, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they went that far. They were a hearty lot.

      August 22, 2014
  3. The mistake is hardly ever the problem. The cover up is…ergo: This is not a problem.

    August 22, 2014
  4. michaelcarnell #

    It was me! The “reader” was me. I posted it on Google+ because it looked interesting. I never bothered to check the veracity of the original post because, well because I wasn’t that worried about it. Unfortunately I linked Andra to it because it looked like something she would find interesting / amusing. Again, I should have warned her that I hadn’t checked it out and that it was one of those stray things you wander across on the Internet. Mea Culpa.

    Totally my fault. My to blame. That is how junk gets spread around and I, as an IT person and security person and sometimes writer, should know better and shouldn’t do it. But I did because it just looked interesting and amusing. Sorry.

    And again, my fault!

    August 22, 2014
    • It was nobody’s fault. I really enjoyed reading the article, as you knew I would.

      August 22, 2014
  5. OMG …. I think I might have been the guilty party! Mea culpa, Andra! Usually, I recognize satire, and I almost always vet suspect email before I forward it; but it never occurred to me to check that article. I am embarrassed and very sorry to have put you in such an awkward spot!

    August 22, 2014
  6. I think pie on your face is a good look for you, darling! I went and read the article you were referencing, and WOW — such straight-faced satire — easy to miss.
    I’ve got Vikings on my mind anyway, having just finished binge-watching season one of that series Vikings.

    August 22, 2014
    • wait….was that pie on face reference meant…wait….no…..I mean……no, right?! lol

      August 22, 2014
      • ????
        It was a metaphor for embarrassment. I’m not sure what you’re reading into it, darling.

        August 22, 2014
      • I wasn’t sure if your entendre had been of the double variety! 🙂

        August 22, 2014
    • Kenneth is trying so hard to take this conversation in a bluer direction………

      August 22, 2014
      • Did you know that a few years ago, our Prime Minister at the time, Jean Chretien, got a cream pie in the face? No joke, in Canada, we don’t shoot our leaders, we just let them know that we could if we wanted to.

        August 22, 2014
      • ok, she said cream pie in the face…I just can’t…. lol

        August 22, 2014
      • michaelcarnell #

        I knew he was going going for the cream pie joke. I could see it coming.

        August 22, 2014
      • nah, that’s all Helena right there. I’m just a bystander repeating her words.

        August 22, 2014
  7. Getting in the cab at DC right this minute 🙂 Thanks for everything and see you soon!

    August 22, 2014
    • Here’s to smooth travels, Kate. You might just pass me on the way. I’m traveling a different interstate today.

      August 22, 2014
  8. Oh, Andra! I’m sorry that happened to you. Kate’s visit has come at a great time then. It will take your mind off that article. 😉

    August 22, 2014
  9. *shakes fist at Carnell*

    Well at least we all got a chance to look at handsome Travis Fimmel, so that ain’t so bad.

    August 22, 2014
    • I can’t believe he hasn’t started a serious hairstyle trend.

      August 22, 2014
  10. But there are lots of stories about the Vikings in North America well before O’ Chris…in what is now Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, Maine, Minnesota, and there is real evidence to back it up. Their own accounts of fighting “the skraelings” and legends ensuing from that. Finding a dragonship on the Mississippi isn’t all that far fetched.

    August 22, 2014
    • I knew about the confirmed Minnesota story. That’s what made the Mississippi River story completely believable.

      August 22, 2014
  11. Hey, it happens. It’s not like this was over-the-top Onion-esque.
    Have fun with your visitor this weekend!

    August 22, 2014
    • I haven’t seen Kate and Phil since Thanksgiving, 2012. I’m getting the lovely cadence of the British voice this weekend, and at the end of September, I’m having other British visitors for a week! (And certain Canadians in between. 🙂 ) Fitting that I’ve decided to rewrite my first book, because it’s set in England. I can immerse myself in their musical voices before attacking a revision. Publication for that book is set for March 1, 2015, though it won’t have the fanfare/book tour/appearances of the memoir. If I have to publish 8 – 10 books to start making a living, then that’s what I’m gonna do. 🙂

      August 22, 2014
      • Good for you! You’ve got the plan, now go execute! (Something I’m sure you used to coach your consulting clients to do in the past!)

        Ed may give you a hint of the “Canadian accent”, but apparently mine is California-y, whatever that means. 🙂

        August 22, 2014
      • I’m really happy to hear that you’re going to publish your first book. I think that it is a charming story and I thought it was well written that first time.

        August 22, 2014
  12. tarakianwarrior #

    Not sure why, but WordPress refused to take my first comment. Anyway…basically what I said is that I enjoyed the Viking talk – very much. Also, you are a writer who just happens to blog and I’m very glad that you do blog. I wish you could see yourself through our eyes, but alas, you are human, just like us, and see yourself through cloudy eyes. I’m proud of you Andra. I’m honored to call you friend, and I’m looking forward to meeting you next year. I’ll meet you on your trip west. 🙂

    August 22, 2014
  13. Too late. it’s been optioned as a TV show already. Okay, it hasn’t, but wouldn’t it be hilarious is you got a call to write that pilot?

    August 22, 2014
  14. I think of you as a writer who blogs to interact with her readers. Just sayin’ 🙂 Have great fun with Kate and the crew!

    August 22, 2014
  15. Funny! I’m kind of bummed though… I was looking forward to learning more about this development. I agree with geelw above. No doubt you’ll be writing the TV pilot soon!

    August 22, 2014
  16. lol….oh dear. I was so hoping it was true 🙂

    August 22, 2014
  17. Had I read the article I probably would have fell for it hook line and sinker. Sigh. Yes, I fell for the Onion articles several times before I was rescued from my ignorance and stupidity. Just the other day there was ANOTHER satire type site that I actually passed along to my readers BEFORE I realized what I had done. Love having to apologize and look like an idiot. LOL Oh well, after all these years I am pretty good at it I think. Loved all the comments. Enjoy your weekend Andra with your guests.

    August 22, 2014
  18. It was Dr. Benjamin Rush. Wasn’t it?

    We love the Onion around here, after being introduced to it years ago by our older daughter, who left it around for us to find it and get all excited about it until we realized what it really was.

    August 22, 2014
  19. A – sometimes only the Onion gets it right and B – have a wonderful time with your visitors.
    Also, you are a machine, and I can’t wait to see this latest book.

    August 22, 2014
  20. Well, it happens to everyone, according to this report I saw on a web site somewhere …

    August 23, 2014
  21. Hmmm…I like most of your readers, enjoyed your story…I will admit though i didn’t click on the link..hehehe.

    You know, I had a professor once who used to always say…”Anything is possible” 😉

    August 23, 2014
  22. Cate Russell-Cole #

    Accidents happen in the best of families.

    August 23, 2014
  23. Oh 😦 I thought it was rather fascinating about the vikings.

    August 26, 2014
  24. Kir Piccini #

    Even your mistakes are classy and cool.

    August 26, 2014
  25. Aw, I was so excited! But maybe it’s true. As you know, many of us believe that Elvis never left the building!

    August 26, 2014

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Friendship Makes the World Go Around | The Accidental Cootchie Mama
  2. The One Where the British Ate Frogmore Stew | The Accidental Cootchie Mama
  3. Submit Your Favorite Walking Song. Or Road Trip Song. | The Accidental Cootchie Mama
  4. The One Where We Took the British to War | The Accidental Cootchie Mama
  5. The One Where We Took The British To The Beach | The Accidental Cootchie Mama

Talk Amongst Ourselves

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: