The Scariest Word: ‘Oops!’

A couple of weeks ago I was scooping ice cream out of a one-gallon pail when my hand slipped and a gob of ice cream hurtled across the kitchen to land on the floor. Not surprisingly, I yelped, “Whoa! Shit!”

Hubby looked over at the scene of the crime and said, “You know, ‘shit’ is one of those words you just never want to hear coming from the kitchen.”

That’s very true.  But after considering it for a while, I think ‘oops!’ is probably the scariest word on the planet. For instance, here are just a few of the times and places you really, really don’t want to hear anybody say ‘Oops’:

  • In the hairdresser’s chair
  • In the operating room
  • At the accountant’s office
  • At the lawyer’s office
  • Any time condoms or birth control pills are involved
  • In answer to the question, “You remember I’m allergic to (fill in the blank), right?”
  • When checking in for a flight/hotel/rental car
  • At the bank
  • In the dentist’s chair

The list (and the potential for scary situations) is virtually endless, but if you’re lucky ‘oops’ isn’t always disastrous.  I emitted a benign ‘oops’ a few days later. It was quickly followed by a facepalm, but it made me laugh because it was such a quintessentially Canadian mistake. Here’s what happened:

It’s been an unseasonably hot summer here in Calgary, and Hubby and I were driving to our garden outside the city. We had a plastic gas-can in the trunk to fuel the rototiller, and the fumes were strong (we discovered later the can was leaking, but that’s another story).

Anyway, I rolled the window down.

After a few miles, I thought to myself, “Why is it getting so warm in here?”

Uh, DUH! *facepalm*

It’s hot outside. You’re letting the air conditioning out and the hot air in, dummy.

You can tell I’m from Canada, where we always expect it to be colder outside than inside.

* * *

But that’s enough about words you don’t want to hear. Here are some words you do want to hear (at least those of you who are waiting for Book 10 to come out):

The beta readers are hard at work and I’m well into my first round of edits.  And… We have a cover and blurb!  (These aren’t finalized, so if you spot any ‘oopses’, please let me know.)

Bookkeeper-turned-secret-agent Aydan Kelly has barely begun to relax after her last mission when a shotgun-wielding man kicks in the front door of her country home. She doesn’t recognize the would-be assassin, so who hired him and why?

As evidence mounts against her abrasive co-worker, Aydan begins a deadly game of cat and mouse with herself as bait. If her suspicions are correct, the Department’s security has been breached and no one is safe.

With the lives of her dearest friends at risk as well as her own, Aydan must stop her unknown enemy before the next assassin succeeds.

More good news: I can now set up pre-orders, and all retailers will release the book on the same day. Pre-orders for Spy Away Home should be active in another couple of weeks (if you’ve signed up on my New Release mailing list, you’ll get an email when the pre-order pages go live), and it looks as though the final release date will be at the end of August. I’ll keep you posted with more details as I get them confirmed.

If you’d like to have a say in which day Spy Away Home gets released, please vote in the poll below.  Thanks for your help!

41 thoughts on “The Scariest Word: ‘Oops!’

  1. Diane,
    OK I’ll admit it I’ve been absent for a couple of weeks. (working on a grad degree in English and Creative writing) My Literature class has so much reading I literally can’t see straight and my Editing (English) class is killing me!!! All the new vocabulary associated with editing, Macro-Edit, Micro-Edit, structure, intention, character, continuity of tone, subtlety, language (tense, active verbs, adverbs and adjectives to a minimum, grammar punctuation, realistic) repetition, redundancy (apparently they are different, who knew?) clarity, and continuity. The Professor throws this at us and bang, we are supposed to do it. It’s not easy, but I love being part of the story as it comes together. I love watching the characters become distinct and see how they evolve. I love this. It is so darn much fun! And for the life of me I never thought I would say that. Editing? Yuck! But I think its fun. Am I weird? God I hope so! Who wants to be ordinary?
    Anyway, I’m really looking forward to Spy Away Home!! I just finished reading the previous 9 books again. (I should be reading Early American Lit, but it’s soooo sooo “historic” and that Jonathan Edwards gaaahhh he drove me crazy…Angry God my ass!!) Oh sorry rabbit trail…So Spy Away Home, really looking forward to seeing what is next in Aydan’s life….what I really want to know is how was John’s and Arnie’s bike trip? Will Charles Stemp find out his parents are spy’s? Will they find out Cosmic River Stone is the director of operations in Canada? One thing I wish for with Aydan. I wish she would not doubt herself so much. She’s learned a lot in the last few years, she can do this spy stuff and do it just as good as anyone else.
    So, I’m looking forward to the release of Spy Away Home. Should be a fun read!!!
    Have a lovely week Diane,
    Cait Needham; a fan!


    • Thanks, Cait! I’m so flattered that you found time to re-read the series in the midst of your literary overload! And I’m glad I’m not the only freak who loves editing almost as much as writing – the whole process is fun for me, too. But I really don’t envy you having to slog through all those literary ‘classics’. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit my lack of culture, but I hated them all. Hang in there!

      As to your questions… all things will be answered… eventually. Not all in Book 10, though… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Diane,
        OK so on Friday Sept 4th I got off of the Colorado River (white water trip through the Grand Canyon) and once I got to the Las Vegas Int’l Airport, I downloaded “Spy Away Home.” Started reading while in the airport and finished Saturday morning.
        I loved it. So glad it turned out the way it did. I won’t say what happened cause I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone. BUT I’m so GLAD!!!!!
        I really enjoy how you are continuing with layering of your characters. John, Hellhound, and Aydan have more depth to them, as well as Cosmic River Stone (I just love that name) Charles Stemp.
        Darn I want to write about what happened but I won’t spoil it for others. OH well. Great Read Diane, Great Read!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always been considered the “cautious” one by my family and friends. Never used the word “oops” to cover minor mistakes. My kids always knew however that when I DID say oops, something seriously bad had happened and I needed space, silence and most often a good alibi. LOL
    That’s what happens when you do mostly observing from the sidelines and a lot of silent planning, you know, just in case procedures need to be in place.
    I had knee surgery some years ago and the surgeon came in to talk to me. I laughed and said just make sure you do the right knee. (meaning the ‘correct’ knee) He raised his eyebrows and looked a little concerned and said we won’t make a mistake and took a marker and made a check mark on my ‘right’ knee. I glanced at hubby and back to the doc and said “you ARE kidding, right? After some short breathing, sweating and a slight chuckle he realized it was my left knee to be operated on. He tried to act like he knew it all along and was just joking. I laughed too but he knew it was a fake laugh.
    I am so excited about #10! Any day, any time, middle of the night even, I am ready!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ay-yi-yi!!! That’s terrifying! Up here they’ve developed a new system at the hospital: the doctors and nurses don’t even try to get it right (oops, ‘correct’) themselves. Instead the patients or the patients’ companions have to mark the area for surgery themselves with an indelible marker.

      The first time that happened I was with my step-mom for her cataract surgery. When they handed me the marker and said, “Mark an X above the eye that we’re working on today”, I went, “You have got to be KIDDING me!”

      Nope, they weren’t kidding. I must have checked with my step-mom about six times before I finally made the X. “It’s your right, right? I mean, correct? I mean…”

      And what a fabulous line: “…I needed space, silence and most often a good alibi”! That covers it perfectly! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Can’t wait for the new book- I see it’s time to reread #1-9.

    The release date poll is missing one very important option. I don’t care what day of the week it’s released, I just want it released ASAP-on the earliest date possible!

    Thanks, Sue Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha, yes, ‘oops’ is probably the most innocent looking word linked to the most dire of consequences.

    The cover looks great. I love that you use yourself as a model. That brings a whole new cool to it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can testify under oath that in the operating room is a bad place to hear ‘oops.’

    Last summer I was getting a knee replaced. No big deal…until I woke up in the middle of the procedure. It was the noise of the hammer driving the new joint into the bone. Yep, the anesthesiologist screwed up the epidural and I woke up. Couldn’t feel anything, but I distinctly heard the surgeon tell the moron, “Oops, look who’s awake! You better fix that!” Whereupon said moron replies, “Shit!” Then the lights went out.

    I woke up again a few minutes later when they were doing the other half of the joint, but someone had draped a blue cloth of some sort over a frame over my face. I dunno if it was so I couldn’t see them or if it was so the surgeon couldn’t see the gas passer’s screw ups any more.

    The surgeon is a wizard. When it’s time for the other knee to be swapped out, she’s gonna do it. I wouldn’t even consider letting anyone else touch it. But she doesn’t use that anesthesiologist any more. The idiot screwed up my friend’s op who had her knee done just before mine. Also some the others done that day, according to the floor nurses. Not a popular guy in post-op that day.

    Oops is definitely not the word you want to hear in the operating room. Frankly, I don’t want to hear ANY BLOODY THING in the operating room!

    And way to go, Thithter! Phabulariouth!!


    • P.S. Cover art is *very* nice. That anonymous redhead you stumbled onto for your model is totally hot. You did good, kiddo. If you happen to see her again, you can tell her I said so. 🙂


    • Thankth! But your knee-replacement story is horrifying! Glad your surgeon gave that idiot the boot.

      I was reading a while ago about a little device that monitors brainwaves so anaesthesiologists know exactly how deeply under their patients are. It lets them adjust the dosage so they don’t use more anaesthetic than necessary but there’s no chance of the patient waking unexpectedly. Unfortunately, the device isn’t in widespread use yet. Here’s hoping it’ll be in the OR by the time your next knee surgery comes up!


    • Oh, yeah! Have you seen the ‘tattoo fail’ photos of people with misspellings in their tattoos? Now that’s embarrassing.

      (It’s also embarrassing that I had to spell-check the word ‘misspellings’ before I hit Post…)

      Liked by 1 person

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