Finally, an upside of Covid 19 with Sam returning home because the world famous Gleneagles resort has been shut until February 2021.
Waiting for him at Gatwick airport this week I felt ambivalent. Excited of course to see my Sam but saddened to experience a once bustling airport now so deserted and desolate; a metaphor for our economy and I fear the enduring impact that 2020 will have on so many people.
But let’s not dwell on this here – the Holland family is now swollen to four and quickly more normal family life resumes with Nikki and Sam having great fun conceiving a new nickname for the head of the Holland household.
Er, this is me btw, not Nikki and certainly not Tom. Not yet anyway.
This new name for me is “TWD” – pronounced TWOD which they find hilarious but I think works less well than the moniker it has replaced which was SD.
I should explain all this and I am about to.
TWD is an acronym for THAT WILL DO – to represent my Slap Dash attitude (SD) to too many things in my life.
It infers that I am inclined to just get things over and done with… so to not bother reading instruction manuals and not using things properly or to their full potential.
Just make a start. Get things done. And move on.
Or in other words, that’ll do.
I don’t refute this. Guilty as charged. Certainly, there is not much order in my life. An example being my email inbox – with 5,419 emails currently waiting for my attention. Most of these mails should never have got through and need to be deleted. But no doubt, some will be important emails that I have missed. Gigs that have come and gone. Too late now, of course. Anyone who has emailed me and might still be waiting for a reply, this blog can serve both as an explanation and an apology.
However, I am not TWOD in certain areas of my life – and particularly so, my writing. In spite of the typos that define my work, I am pedantic about my writing and particularly so, my books.
Much toil goes in to my writing. Because I want my books to be readable I spend uneconomic amounts of time to make them conversational and easy to read. That said, this lofty claim is laid bare by a glaring error in my latest book, Takes on Life – which some readers have gently brought to my attention.
An egregious error and in the introduction, no less. On flipping Page 1. Before the book even properly starts which is unforgivable. It is SD and TWoD in the extreme and perfectly sums up my character and my life.
I’ve been minded to address this error since it was first highlighted to me but I do so here because getting home after a gig this week, Nikki was watching the film and the very scene in question.
You probably know it. Iron Man is chatting to Peter Parker. It’s the concluding scene that all super-hero films have after the villain has been vanquished. A humorous and light hearted scene to dispatch the audience home with a warm glow.
Iron Man (RDJ) has invited Mr Parker (TH) to join the Avengers and he would like to make the announcement to the world’s press who have gathered.
“Real writers Peter, not bloggers.”
This line made me howl when I first heard it. Whether it was scripted or not I don’t know, but it has all the hall marks of a Downey Jnr ad-lib; just one of the many reasons RDJ is such good value and integral to this franchise and the Marvel renaissance.
I used this scene and line in my introduction to Takes on Life – as an insult to me (a blogger) who wants to become a proper (or real) writer.
But I attributed the scene to Spider-Man Far From Home – when in fact it was Spider-Man Homecoming.
No research then on my part, just a reliance on my notoriously unreliable and fading memory.
A better example of being SD (or Twod) I cannot think of because I could so easily have checked and avoided this error. There are no excuses. We have the DVD’s at home. I could have asked any of my boys. Damn it, I could have called Tom.
Or I could stick with my hunch instead – Far From Home. It was one of the Spider-Man films anyway. That’ll do.
A 50:50 chance and I got it flat wrong, of course. Good job, Dom.
And I could correct the error easily enough. Too late for the people who have already bought Takes on Life (thank you) – but for the millions of people who are intending to buy it (utterly delusional)…
But I have decided to let the error remain and not because I am so SD or Twod.
But because it is an error that typifies me. And because Takes on Life is fundamentally a book on the quirks of life, it is a perfect error and maybe even a deliberate one?
You can decide which of these scenarios is correct.
We could do a poll – with your answers in the comments below.
Is this an honest error of an urgent slap dash/that’ll do man…
Or is it the cynical manoeuvrings of a manipulative and cunning writer?
However you answer this question, you can experience this error for real in Takes on Life – the best book I have ever written (in Lockdown) – 31 essays to make you smile and sometimes think. Hardbacks are available via this site which I can sign and dedicate if you wish. Paperbacks are available from Amazon and elsewhere. Thank you.
17 thoughts on “Slap dash or Cunning?”
Another great blog! Happy Sam is home and hope you all have a great Christmas!
Oh! I read the book, and didn’t notice the mistake! I would say I am ardent fan of Marvel, but details are very hard to remember. So, I guess others won’t notice it…
“TWOD” made me laugh! I believe we all have a little “TWOD” in us.
This was so lovely to read! Glad Sam is back, and I hope you all have an amazing Christmas
Also I believe it was an honest error haha
The error was definitely intentional!
Hope all your family have a wonderful Christmas and that 2021 is a better year than 2020 for everyone!!!!
Option #1 TWOD definitely
And this from someone who proudly told his daughters he’d met Superman’s Dad after chatting with you a couple of years ago!!
Intentions of the error aside, from the first page you are witnessing a strong reaction from the readers and is that not the true intention of good writing? At least you know they are reading attentively in contrast to the TWD mentality. Hoping my copy is under the tree as I have dropped somewhere between 3 and 3000 hints about it! All the best!
BDD Big Dom Daddy
Glad to hear the family is well and Sam is home. I also appreciate the explanation for the untouched email chain, though I have formed the habit of reminding myself that “Dominic is a lot of things but he is not rude.”
To answer the question, though it may have been an honest error, I’d prefer the mischievous take of a writer having a bit of fun at the potential expense of confusing a reader. After all, if we as writers continue to obey by all the burdening rules of the author-reader contract (i.e happy endings, no breaking of the 4th wall, errors removed, etc etc ), then how will we ever come to the point of producing what is really on our minds and write something that means more than the money or the copies sold? Whether intended or not, I’d say this route is much more appealing.
Hahaha, you’re the writer, you get to choose! (I’d pick cunning manoeuvering and let people wonder.) Either way, it made me laugh, because it is totally a mistake I would’ve made as well and I appreciate the relateable-ness. Happy Christmas to you and yours!
Delighted to hear that Sam is home for Christmas Dom. Enjoyed the blog and also the podcast with Sam. I’m a bit SDat home but not in work. I sometimes wonder how I function day to day but I get there eventually have a great week. Looking forward to the quiz on Saturday.
Here again, from Argentina. a pleasure every Sunday. Fully identified with the number of emails to read / delete. Error / intention? Go ahead with your head held high !! The pandemic will make us continue to reflect and take advantage of unexpected moments. I hope all Holland can be together for these parties CONGRATULATIONS
I am a writer, I like to think I am a real writer. Although, I am yet to publish or finish a book. I get into one, and get so deep, then my imagination takes me elsewhere and I then start that one. No wonder I cannot finish an actual book. I wish I could write like a blogger, simple and easy, just writing about my life, myself and everything else in between, but it’s not actually so simple and easy. You seem to write with such ease, but maybe because you’re an interesting man and people want to read your blogs, that’s why I have to take myself away to the fantasy world, the land of make believe because I fit comfortably there, I find it flows, it’s easy to not be myself and I think that’s one of the reasons why I find it so… well I’m not sure of the word I want to use there, but I find it flowing. Yes, flowing.
As a writer, it’s easy to miss mistakes you’ve written, mistakes that have come and gone. I am very cross that you got the Spider-Man’s mixed up though, two absolute incredible films, with a cast that is phenomenally incredible too, how could you forget that?
No, actually, it’s okay, it’s okay to make mistakes even after it’s been published and I admire the fact that you kept the mistake in your book, I like that, most would recall all books and change it, but this shows that we are human, and all humans do make mistakes!
I think I’ll go with the second answer, a cunning writer.
I must be honest, I’ve not long started to follow you over here in instagram. I donated to the Debra charity quite a few times now, and it’s only there I seen your name pop up. It intrigued me, I may have to pop to one of your gigs one time, well I’m hoping too, sooner rather than later but Covid and all that, making life so much more difficult.
I’ll take your 5000 emails and I’ll raise it to 40,000 emails. How absolutely awful is that. It’s mostly things that I’ve subscribed too, either on purpose or accidentally but I could of missed a lot of emails from that number. It reminds me that I must sort through them, but when will I have that amount of time?
I enjoyed this blog, so I’ll be sure to keep an eye out and read more of them.
Hope you & family have a wonderful Christmas and get to celebrate the best you all can. We all deserve a great Christmas after the uncertainly of this year and the places it’s taken all of us. Family really is where the heart is, where all of our homes lay within them. Enjoy and cherish each moment.
All my love,
Definitely a genuine error not SD – it comes with age I think Another great blog though Mr H – wishing you and yours the happiest of festive times and here’s to a wonderful 2021
Giggling while reading this line; “a new nickname for the head of the Holland household”
Lovely blog, Mr. H, I’m glad Sam is back home. In my family, we never gifted my dad a nickname for being the head of the household, however he does have a catchphrase, “ Real quick” and when he says those famous words we know this projector the day will take all day long,lol
Mmm… is a perfect accident an option? Because it seems to fit quite well