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The Only Horse with a Coral is a Seahorse

Updated on June 28, 2013
corral for horses
corral for horses | Source

My First Short Story Had a Corral

Long ago in my fifth grade English class I wrote a short story called Cougar at the OK Corral. My teacher loved it. In those days western drama was quite popular and whatever media you pick to entertain you, you’ll find the American west as its subject line. With a wild imagination and frequent viewer of the western shows I surely borrowed ideas when I wrote this one. This was long before anyone thought about writing fan fiction stories praising their favorites.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

I'm Still Writing Westerns Today

Throughout my school years I seldom had a problem with spelling anything so long as I had a good dictionary. Personal computers and spell checkers had not made an appearance yet. The old typewriter put your thoughts to paper if you were lucky enough to have one. The new fangled ones with correction ribbons really pampered the writer and so it began the era of technology with gismos and gadgets to be at our beckon call.

Forty years has flown by me from my school days and here I am writing in my past time once again. Years of marriage, motherhood and employment in full time jobs put most writing projects on hold. Hobbies came and hobbies faded away, but of all those I gave up my favorite still is writing. Spell checkers, grammar checkers, dictionaries and reference guides have inspired me a great deal as tools to practice my craft with. I joined writing sites and took home study courses for writers. I have been learning and refreshing what I once knew years before life grabbed my ability to remember things away from me. I have written articles and poetry. My most desired interest is fiction which I stirred clear of for years until a couple years ago when I rediscovered my love for great westerns. My dad was a western lover and in my moments of missing him I glued myself to watching classic westerns and even got so much involved with them I went cross country not only once, but twice just to meet these classic western stars.

This is a screen shot of the classic western The Virginian.
This is a screen shot of the classic western The Virginian. | Source

Embarrassing Goofs

When I realized how easy it was for me to write episodes of some of my favorite television classics and fan fiction was in high demand for new stories to entertain fans like me, I was overwhelmed with joy. I can do this and I’m good at it. The practice alone is worth the time spent writing the western stories. My biggest reason is to entertain the idea that perhaps I could come up with my own good western story if I only practice enough. After all my first story I ever wrote was Cougar at the OK Corral.

I have published nineteen western fan fiction stories for The Virginian, Laramie and Gunsmoke at, seven western short stories for Lancer on the site and I have read them over and over again many times since then because I know how easy it is to miss an error when self-editing even with help from software built into my computer. I’m constantly finding little goofs to fix. I try to correct the mistake as soon as I notice it or as soon as someone else calls it to my attention. I sure do appreciate my audience letting me know if I need to revise. It can save me the embarrassment from others seeing it. This is something extra special about being a member of Hub Pages. We know when to call attention to certain goofs and when we shouldn’t.

Corral has two Rs not one.

Most people are too kind and don’t realize how much a writer needs help with editing sometimes. We don’t always catch things. It doesn’t always mean we don’t know better, it only means we overlooked an embarrassing mistake. When our friends and family read our work and applaud us it feels good. We think our work is finished, if everyone likes it. No critiques are not always what we need.

All these western stories I wrote over the past couple of years and not once did anyone say, “Corral has two Rs not one.” Coral is a sea creature not an enclosure for livestock. I’ve shared these stories with fan clubs of these western shows. They told me they liked my stories and wanted more. Many of these fans are also teachers, published writers, editors and over all smart people with big hearts. Big hearts who did not tell me I was dropping my “R” in not only one story, but almost every story I wrote that had a CORRAL in it. There are no words to describe how embarrassing it was when I finally noticed this on my own. I am still trying to get them fixed before another reader sees them. I am so sorry. Strange how easy it is to misspell a word you know like your own name and do it several times over before you ever notice the mistake. What western writer can write without at least once using a CORRAL?

coral reef
coral reef | Source


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    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thanks, FlourishAnyway. Yes, it is one word that I won't spell wrong again.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Great example of how feedback really is a gift. What a way to make that word's spelling stick. I bet you'll never forget it. People are so busy being polite and not wanting to hurt feelings by pointing out little errors that they end up causing more harm in the end. Of course, sometimes it's how it's pointed out. Delivery is everything. I'm sharing this because it has such a great message. I wish more people would invite others to please, please point out errors.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thank you, Vickiw. I tend to vent now and then. I'm glad I have fellow writers to tell my problems to. It is a good chance I won't make that mistake again. I'm still reading and fixing what I can. The site is all sent in the form of an email and I'm not sure how to fix anything there so if I miss something it stays. I will have to be more careful.

    • profile image

      Vickiw 4 years ago

      Great story about your ambition to write western stories, and your efforts to develop in different areas of writing. It really paints a picture in words as to the work needed to become a really good writer by studying things like genre, and writing techniques. I love the coral (corral) story, and bet you have that word firmly entrenched in your brain now. Good luck and best wishes!