Monday, December 05, 2011


Image by Jeff Dahl -

CC BY-SA 3.0

I was renewing my driver's license at the BMV the other day, when I realized something irritating: my vision isn't what it used to be. I had to take that stupid eye test four times, and you know what? It was embarrassing. I don't know why. It wasn't like I didn't know my alphabet well enough to read the letters--my eyes were just having a fail moment. We're allowed to have those, right?

(I eventually passed, by the way. Your roads are unsafe again.)

The problem was my pride. 

It's kind of like getting a critique back. It can be embarassing when we can't "see" that typo or plothole until someone points it out to us, but it happens. We just hate to admit that we're flawed. That we're human. Well, guess what? It's time to get over it. ♥

...What? I'm allowed to be blunt today. I have birthday immunity! :) 
Have a great week, guys!

Image by TheCryptiaFiles


Maria Zannini said...

Happy birthday, Carrie!

I've also suffered from post-traumatic memories (in crits). This is when a CP tells you some awful thing you did in your wip and you dismiss her like she was an idiot.

Days, weeks, and sometimes months later, you come to the cold, hard conclusion that she was right after all. Oy.

Hope you have a wonderful birthday. :)

JeffO said...

Hey, happy birthday!

I don't know about your state, but here in New York, you'd now have another 8 years of visual degeneration before having to get your eyes checked again. Scary thought.

Yeah, those plotholes, etc., are head-smacking moments, but we're also glad to know someone caught it who isn't the agent/editor of your dreams.

Have a great day.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Carrie, happy happy birthday, baby. (Me singing, neat eh!) Okay, a little scary.

Never mind that. Have a great day. It's Monday. Monday's are new beginnings. Monday's are the first day of the rest of your life. Haha. I know, too corny.

Lisa Regan said...

It only gets worse after this . . . mwah hah hah! Anyway, happy birthday to one of my favorite authors on the planet!

Angela Ackerman said...

Carrie, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you have a great week and POO on getting older. We're all just getting better, I say. :)

Have an awesome week!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Cassie Mae said...

Happy Birthday! And be blunt always, sometimes I need to hear it. ;)

cleemckenzie said...

Great idea you just gave me! I'll get some glasses and that should get me over those plot holes much faster. Glad you passed the test. I hate those things.

prerna pickett said...

Ahh, good old pride. I've learned to put it aside when it comes to this writing thing. But it took a while.

Emily R. King said...

I don't blame you for feeling the sting of pride. I haven't gone through that experience in a long time (my eyesight has sucked since I was 8), but I get the critique part.
Happy birthday!!!!!!!!

Iain said...

Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes :o)
I think I'm going to use that excuse to be blunt: I'm being blunt today 'cos it’s Carrie's birthday and I'm allowed to.

Lydia Kang said...

Aging sucks.

Happy birthday! Try to ignore my first comment by having a celebratory glass of wine. Or piece of cake. Or the whole cake, LOL

Peggy Eddleman said...

Aw, Carrie-- you can be blunt anytime! Happy birthday! I hope your day has been full of party hats unicorns.

Botanist said...

Uh-oh...failing vision is the pits. I struggled reading fine print, then normal print, for ages before I admitted to myself that I needed specs :(

Angela Brown said...

Well Happy Birthday! Birthday immunity is not needed. Being human is...well...human darn it!

Melodie Wright said...

It wasn't your fault. The DMV is making those stupid test cards smaller just to mess with us. I swear every five years the letters shrink. ;)

Happy birthday!

April Plummer said...

Happy Belated Birthday! I hope you enjoyed it and didn't worry too much about your eyes. You are, after all, human. :)

Laila Knight said...

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you!

My vision isn't what it used to either. I'm told 20 40, whaever the heck that means, but I refuse to wear glasses. It's our own fault for spending too much time gawking at computers. :)

Carrie Butler said...

@Maria - Thank you! Oh, don't you just hate that? It makes you second-guess your judgment a little! ;)

@Jeff - Thanks! Eight years? Wow. Ohio is only four. New York sounds a little scary, in that respect. ;) Oh, good point! Better a critter than an agent/editor.

@Joylene - Aww, it was great! I think everyone enjoyed your singing, and I'm always up for a new beginning. Thank you! :D

@Lisa - Hah! You're always ready to hit me with the truth, aren't you? *grins* Thank you!!

@Angela - Thank you! POO, indeed! I'm all for getting better. :)

@Cassie - Duly noted! *grins* Thank you!

@Lee - We should all get a pair of those plot-hole seeking glasses! ;) Me too. If it weren't for the fact that the male clerk was very lenient, I might've been in trouble! *grins*

@Prerna - It's one of the hardest things to put aside, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by! :)

@Emily - Aww, man. Sorry to hear about your eyesight. Things like that are such a bummer, aren't they? Oh, and thank you very much! :)

@Iain - Heck yeah! I hope you used that excuse to the fullest. :) Thank you.

@Lydia - Thank you! If only our little writing community were more like a classroom. I could've brought in treats for everyone. (And yes, wine. Lots of wine!) *grins*

@Pegasus - Thank you! I'm so using your permission as an excuse, the next time I have to be blunt. ;)

@Botanist - Ugh. Don't you just hate that? Thanks for stopping by!

@Angela - Heck yeah! Thank you! :)

@Melodie - I KNEW it was a conspiracy! *grins* Thank you!

@April - Thank you! Hmm, you know, that's a good point. ;)

@Laila - Thank you! Same here, when it comes to computers. I guess that's life, huh? :)

C D Meetens said...

Happy belated birthday! I've decided my eyes just want to concentrate on close things (like writing), rather than distance, and they've been that way for years. It is kinda alarming to go into the optician's, take off the glasses, and realise that I can get to the third line down on the chart, if I'm lucky :o.

Nancy Thompson said...

Happy birthday! Mine was the 5th, too! Though I think I am many, many years your senior.

Ah, the eyesight thing. Yes, well, things change after age 30, but after age 40, you find yourself squinting at everything. It's ugly, but not embarrassing. That's life.

Now those typos, well, they can be very embarrassing. I had a typo in my first paragraph in chapter 1 when I sent it out to one agent as a request. I was mortified!! I spent the entire evening crying as I texted back and forth with my writer friend, Jenny Hillier.

But with critique partners, not so much. It's our job as a CP to point out those instances of insanity, and as writers, we are much better for it. So no worries there. But definitely proofread that first chapter before you submit!

Melissa Pearl said...

Congrats on passing the eye test. I can't stand doing those things!!

and Happy Birthday - I hope you had a fab day :)

Carrie Butler said...

@ C D - Thank you! Hmm, at least your eyes know what's important, if they're concentrating on writing. ;)

@Nancy - Thank you! Really? Happy Birthday! We can be almost-twins. ;)

Oh man. Sounds like I have things to look forward to. *grins*

Ack! I bet that's a lesson you'll never forget. I don't think I'll forget it after reading about it, either! You make an excellent point.

@Melissa - Thank you!! They're the worst, aren't they? :)

Laura said...

Happy birthday and well done on passing!

Jenny S. Morris said...

That happened when I went to get my license the first time. Who knew I was blind as a bat. Glad you passed. Happy Birthday, again. Hope you've had a good week. ;)

Carrie Butler said...

@Laura - Thank you very much! :)

Carrie Butler said...

@Jenny - Don't you hate those things? I think they enjoy watching us struggle. *grins* Thank you! :D

Jennifer Hillier said...

I always get so nervous taking the vision test! I'm always afraid they're not going to let me drive, even though I can see just fine. But it's like my eyes know they're being testy and go wonky just for those few moments. Sigh.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Time to get over it, indeed. And it doesn't get better from here, dear. Although Lasik is a wonderful thing.

Carrie Butler said...

@Jennifer - I'm full of irrational fears like that! I think it's because we're writers, and we're a little too used to charting out the worst case scenario. *grins* The new photo is super cute!

@Donna - Hmm... I've never met anyone who's had Lasik, but it sounds amazing. :)

Unknown said...

I just got bifocals three weeks ago. They take some getting use to :) And Happy belated Birthday

Patrick said...

Your eyes were just tired from all that reading! I am sure they will be as sharp as a hawks once you get some _sleep_! Happy belated birthday!

I have to get my drivers license renewed next year :(

Carrie Butler said...

@Trisha - Oh, I bet! Hopefully they're working out for you now. :) Thanks!

@Patrick - Yes! That must be it! *grins* Thank you! :)

Golden Eagle said...

Congrats on passing!

I hate those eye tests--my vision in my left is relatively good, but my right isn't, and it's always frustrating to see things with one eye and not the other.

Happy belated Birthday! :)

Carrie Butler said...

@Eagle - Thank you! Ugh. That is frustrating! It's not like you're going to be driving around with one eye closed, just for kicks. Sometimes I wish they'd just take you outside and be like, "See that stop sign? What color is that light? Okay, you're good." ;)