Maggie Robinson

Jan 17
Favorite Mistake

I know I do go on about not watching much TV, but a while ago I broke my rule and caught four back-to-back episodes of Samantha Who? This show has been getting tons of buzz and recommendations. I’ve liked Christina Applegate ever since Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead so I gave it a shot. And I enjoyed it. Probably not enough to put down a book or rearrange my life to watch it faithfully, but it has a certain charm. And an interesting premise. Samantha, a b*tch extraordinaire, has had an accident which has wiped out her memory. She finds out a little about her past in each episode and doesn’t much like who she used to be. Her steps to redeem herself are rather endearing. And her parents are a hoot.

In romance novels, the amnesia plot gets a pretty good work-out. There are only so many basic plot devices (marriage of convenience, reforming the rake, woman in danger, etc.). We’ll read a familiar plot if the hero and heroine seem fresh. Like unpeeling an onion, as we read their layers are revealed. Characters must grow and change, turn themselves inside out. Some are more appealing than others, depending on the writer’s skill and the reader’s own history. An author gets the chance to play god/dess and the reader can send the hero and heroine to the devil, or up against the wall, or onto the keeper shelf. The reader’s perception is reality.

If you, like Samantha, had the opportunity to correct a past mistake, what would it be?

Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. ~Arthur Miller

Author Paula Quinn guest blogs on Romantic Inks this Sunday and Monday, so I’m on a break there until next weekend. A huge, huge, gigantic thank-you to all of you who have trundled over there on Sundays to read or leave a comment. You guys are the bestest. The auction is about to start, so get ready!

14 comments to “Favorite Mistake”

  1. terrio
     · January 17th, 2008 at 11:18 am · Link

    Well, this is where I get reprimanded by my mother but I would never have married who I married. I mean, I have a fantastic daughter that I wouldn’t change for the world and my mother says because of her I shouldn’t say that. BUT, I like my friend’s rationalization better – she was meant to be my daughter no matter who I married. So it’s ok to regret the one I did.

    Other than that, I don’t really have any major regrets…so far. But I have plenty of time to screw up elsewhere. *g*

    And I knew if I watched one episode of that show I’d be hooked so I’ve avoided it like the plague. But don’t they even use the line about amnesia “that’s a plot device only used in books” or something like that?

  2. Maggie Robinson
     · January 17th, 2008 at 7:55 pm · Link

    Terri, the show really is pretty appealing. I’m tempting you now.:)

    And I agree—if I think of things I shouldn’t have done, I might not be where or who I am today. I guess my biggest regret is that I didn’t start writing sooner. But I’ll try to think of something juicier as the week goes on.

  3. Elyssa Papa
     · January 17th, 2008 at 9:11 pm · Link

    I think I’d choose to go to college in NYC or San Fran and major in writing.

    Oh and I totally would have talked to Starbucks guy—the hot JFK Jr. lookalike who gave my goose bumps and where I went into lust-overdrive instead of standing there with my tongue hanging out of my mouth. I definitely regret that I didn’t say hi or even shoot him my flirty smile. Because really who can resist that? LOL

  4. terrio
     · January 17th, 2008 at 11:56 pm · Link

    Ok, I regret that I don’t have a flirty smile. Dang it.

  5. TiffinaC
     · January 18th, 2008 at 9:28 am · Link

    This show sounds intriguing! I know what I shouldn’t have done in my life… and I don’t want to dwell on it 😉

    Because I might not be where I am today if anything changed… you know? can’t tempt fate that way.

  6. Janga
     · January 18th, 2008 at 12:26 pm · Link

    I regret wounds inflicted, time lost, and gifts wasted. On the other hand, I do think that every choice I have made has taught me something, and the wrong choices have taught me the most. I don’t regret that hard-earned wisdom. I really am trying to focus on the now since weeping over yesterday, and I have done my share, has proven singularly unprofitable.

  7. Maggie Robinson
     · January 18th, 2008 at 1:50 pm · Link

    Terri, I don’t have a flirty smile either. Ely, there are lots of Starbucks. It’s not over yet. Tiff and Janga, I share your forward-looking attitude. I’ve spent my share of time yearning for what probably wouldn’t have been right for me anyway. Life is too short to rub one’s hands in woe.

  8. irisheyes
     · January 18th, 2008 at 5:43 pm · Link

    Your question put a smile on my face, Maggie. I cannot for the life of me think of a past mistake that I would like to go back and rectify. Of course I would like to heal hurts I might have inflicted or spend more time with loved ones that are now gone, but not one specific thing stands out.

    I, like Tiff and Janga, tend to not dwell in the past too much and try to concentrate on the here and now. The thing is that I did spend a good deal of my life regretting what had passed. I guess that means I’m doing something right and that I’m at my healthiest right now because I cannot come up with a response. Which makes me very happy indeed!

  9. Gillian Layne
     · January 18th, 2008 at 9:02 pm · Link

    I probably should have spent more time smoozing at Nationals, and skipped a couple of afternoon naps.

    But oh my gosh, to be able to take a nap uninterrupted by kids or cats….it was worth the price of airfare.

  10. Maggie Robinson
     · January 18th, 2008 at 9:14 pm · Link

    LOL, Gillian. Try Advil PM! I can never nap in the daytime unless I’m deathly ill—was raised by early-to-rise-early-to-bed parents who viewed naps as the very worst form of indulgence. Sigh. The Protestant work ethic lives on.

    Irish, I’m glad I could make you smile. It’s wonderful to know how lucky we are, even when things aren’t perfect.

  11. Santa
     · January 19th, 2008 at 12:59 am · Link

    Regrets. I’ve had a few but, then again, too few to mention….

    Not being smarter about money but, then again, can’t miss something you’ve never had.

    Not paying more attention in eighth grade English when she was going over those pesky dangling partaciples. (Note to self: check out Schoolhouse Rock to see if they covered it)

    Not realizing that Fugly (a pet name) was really flirting with me in high school….

    Nah, I’m really stretching here. After all, I’ve got my love to keep me warm!

  12. Maggie Robinson
     · January 19th, 2008 at 9:24 am · Link

    Y’know, Santa/Frank, now that you mention it, money management (or lack of it—meet a reformed drunken sailor/TJ Maxx addict) would be my big regret, too. Funny it didn’t even occur to me to start with, so I guess it’s not really important in my little world—although more of it would be nice!

  13. PJ
     · January 19th, 2008 at 1:31 pm · Link

    I would have studied harder and partied less in college. Other than that, I’ve learned something from every mistake I’ve made and, IMO, they’ve all worked to make me a better person today so I can’t say that I regret any of them. I can honestly say I’ve never hurt anyone on purpose but I would truly regret anyone who was hurt by something I said or did.

    I like “Samantha Who?”. Christina Applegate is so adorable in the role and, yes Maggie, her parents are such a hoot!

  14. PJ
     · January 19th, 2008 at 1:33 pm · Link

    I should point out that I did learn from the college partying but I still regret it.