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Brought To You By The Letter A

I often get asked where I got the inspiration for AlphaOops. It’s true, it did really come out of a discussion at Orson Scott Card’s Boot Camp, but the seed of the idea has been germinating inside me all my life. If your name starts with “A”, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Those of us whose names start with “A” get special privileges. We get to be first in line. We get picked first to give our reports in school. We’re not shelved first in the bookstore, but that’s okay, because we get called first when the one we ordered comes in. And as “L” is in the first half of the alphabet, only Abigail, Adelaide, and Agnes get their books before I do.

We’ve heard the intimate moments and jokes at business dinners when you’ve accidentally pocket-called us. And while I will never tell the now happily married couple that I cried when I heard them arguing in the car, I have called my father back and asked him to repeat the punch line so I could tell it to a friend.

We get all the invitations on Facebook. ALL the invitations. I get so many freaking invitations I can’t block the applications fast enough. I’m okay with it — some of them are fun, when I have the time…which is rare. But if you ask me to be a fan of your page more than ten times, I will defriend you just because it’s easier. No hard feelings — they just haven’t come up with a better way to block that yet. Or maybe they have. The new Facebook interface hasn’t rolled out to me yet.

The most fun, though, is the emails. I get accidentally emailed all the time. Most of the time, I just ignore it and delete it. If it’s a newsletter, I’ll simply unsubscribe (you should ALL have an unsubscribe option in your newsletters). If I notice that it was misdirected, I will email the sender and mention that it should have gone to someone else.

But sometimes…I’m torn.

For instance, a friend of mine is a teacher at a university here in the US. A few weeks ago, I got an email from him with the subject line “For Tuesday.” Attached were two powerpoint presentations. I thought perhaps he had taken a trip and was sending us slides…until I opened it and realized I had accidentally been put on his class email list. I forgot to tell him, and laughed when the next one came in, with everything I needed to know for the test. I couldn’t think of a great joke to send back…and now it’s too late.

I received another one today. I kind of like getting them. They’re very informative, and for a writer that’s pretty valuable. It’ll only last a semester anyway.

So the question is…do I tell him?

8 Responses to “Brought To You By The Letter A”

  1. John Klima Says:

    I think you should confess…but only after the class is done. Who knows what you might learn?

  2. John Klima Says:

    Ooh! A quick follow-up, when I was working for Tor I was planning a cookout at my place and was inviting several office mates. One of them had a last name that starting with a “Y” and I was just typing in the first letter of the last name to add people to the e-mail, etc. I ended up inviting Jane Yolen, who unfortunately wasn’t able to make it as she was in Scotland at the time.

  3. Princess Alethea Says:

    LOL — I did that once and invited one of the senior staff to a barbeque at the house. I would MUCH rather have invited Jane!!

  4. Stephanie Says:

    Could you word it in a way like you did here? Like: I wanted to let you know that you may have accidentally put me on your class mailing list and I want to thank you because I’ve really enjoyed the e-mails. If you take me off the list, I understand but if it’s all the same with you, I like the free workshop 😉

    I think if you tell him after, it might make him feel like a goof. After just a couple of mails, it’s a simple mistake. It all depends on him, you and your relationship. Maybe he wants your opinion 🙂

  5. Princess Alethea Says:

    Based on our relationship, I’d like to make the BIGGEST JOKE POSSIBLE when I come clean. Possibly involving beer.

    Ideas welcome.

  6. David Klecha Says:

    When the kids got the book Christmas Eve (and they love it, btw), we took it to Christmas Eve with my dad’s family. My cousin-in-law, of the last name starting with Z, LOVED the book and read it repeatedly to his daughters.

    You should totally wait until the end of the semester. If it were me, and geographically possible, I’d show up for the exam.

  7. Princess Alethea Says:

    HOORAY! xoxox I love it every time I sign a book for someone with a Z name. Or a Q name. Or, heck, just about any name. 🙂

    I so wish I could show up for his exam. I’m thinking I’m at least going to send him a shiny apple.

  8. Jackalicious Says:

    I keep my copy of AlphaOops right between my George Orwell collection and The Martian Chronicles. More often than not, I use it for inspiration…

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