Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Questionable Decisions


  • Choosing hydrogen as the gas to inflate an airship.
  • Introducing rabbits to Australia. They had no natural predator on the continent and rabbits breed like…well, you know. 
  • Rejecting the first Harry Potter book. You have to wonder if those 12 publishing firms have gotten over it yet. You also have to wonder if the acquisitions editor responsible at all the firms is still employed. 
  • Ireland. After conquering England, a Norman stood on a west coast cliff, saw a distant shadow of land and thought, "Close enough. Let's have it too." 
  • Deciding the aesthetics of uninterrupted deck space was of greater importance to its first class passengers than the number of lifeboats on the Titanic.
  • Invading Russia. For some reason, armies tend to forget that it's a big country and winter is coming. Russian winter.
  • Vietnam. Enough said, really.
  • Deciding to follow George Donner and James Reed and abandon a well-known wagon train route known as the California Trail in favour of a unknown 'short cut' through the Sierra Nevada mountains during the winter of 1846-47. 
  • Choosing to open your city gates which have kept you safe for 10 years and drag a big wooden horse inside your city walls because the Greeks suddenly appear to have given up and gone home. 
  • Passing on the patent for the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell offered it to Western Union, but its president decided to pass, writing to Mr. Bell, "We have come to the conclusion that it has no commercial possibilities.” 
And speaking of presidents…it’s election day, America. Don’t add to the list. Please.

Elspeth Futcher is a bestselling author of murder mystery games and playwright. She has been the top selling author at host-party.com since 2011. Her British games are published by Red Herring Games in the UK. Elspeth's 'writing sheep' are a continuing feature in the European writers' magazine Elias and also appear on this blog from time to time. Connect with her on Twitter at @elspethwrites or on Facebook at Elspeth Futcher, Author.

5 comments :

  1. Not buying Microsoft when it first came out. Or McDonald's or Facebook, or... Hindsight sure is 20/20. Interesting post, Elspeth. Off to vote.

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  2. Staying home from the polls and letting a minority of Brits vote for Brexit.

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  3. Bad decisions make for great fiction, but terrible history lessons.

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  4. Thank you for the clever and entertaining distraction. Very helpful today!

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  5. History has obviously been fraught with questionable decisions. A good reminder to look before we leap, think twice before deciding on a course of action -- you know the drill. Good reminder, Elspeth. :-)

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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