Mutti Mutiny


The egregious error jumped to attention. Though it did not quite sink me to the bottom of the ravine of despair, it left me nearly there. How could I have missed a capital word in the middle of the sentence, misspelled as well?  Certainly the rick rack red line notification of spell check would have alerted me. Editor Abby would have noticed. I slammed the book shut, my random glances through it over for the day. Depression changed to amusement with a middle of the night revelation. Of course. I hurried to test my reason for the error.

“The worst is over, men,” Timothy told them, pushing Martin away for a turn at the faucet. “We’ll do the books and the bookcases in the morning after the wagon is loaded. Pastor Schutzler said half a dozen men or more were coming to do that part of the job.” Timothy was full of encouragement.
“Except,” Phil snorted, “except for the books and the fact that we’ll be sleeping on the floor and most likely listening to the sermon we heard you preach last week.”
“And the week before that,” Martin added.
“I could give it to you now if you think you need to hear it more,” Timothy offered. His cousins’ faces threatened Muttiny. “We can take the extra beds down in the morning so we won’t have to sleep on the floor,” Timothy conceded. He motioned around the nearly empty rooms. “As long as we’re done here for today and neither of you wants to hear me practice my sermon, we could get in some fishing. Pastor Schutzler is leaving the shed untouched for the new man—tools, odd horse harness, even fishing poles. Used to do quite a bit in his younger years. He told me where and how to find his favorite fishing spot.” Suddenly the cousins felt that the heat was not intolerable” (Steeple in the Distance, Chapter 51 p.532)

Sure enough, the text I had sent to Nate for layout had read, “His cousins faces threatened mutiny.” Lower case “m” and spelled correctly. Neither Abby nor I had missed it. The reason for the error was simply a case of computer search and replace. Between layout and publication I had a panic attack. Had I correctly spelled the German word for mom, Mutti, with two ‘ts’ throughout the manuscript? Vati was only one and the difference often tripped me. Obligingly Nate did a search and replace. Mutiny got caught in the net. 

A lesson learned, an unintended joke, a laugh to share. Would I rather it not be there? Of course, but the comment from a friend does give pause for humor. “Picturing a rather comic cartoon bubble of a mother mutiny! 🙂 I’ve experienced that a time or two!” Thanks Ellen, maybe I should have chosen a picture of my own children in a MuttinyI have more than a few. Perhaps for one particular picture which comes to mind, Mutti muteny would best describe it!

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