Foolish Consistency

“Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

So wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay, “Self-Reliance.” It’s actually longer than that, and worth reading the whole rhyme, if not the entire essay. But I digress, because I don’t really want to talk about something in my book series that looks like a mistake to the careful observer.

Because the careful observer might ask, “Why are they referred to as the ‘People of the Waters’ in the text of the novels, but the title of the series is the ‘People of the Water’ Cycle?”

Well, because I thought “cycle” was a nice pun when paired with “water” (playing off the environmental process known as the “water cycle“), and even if I had chosen “series” or “trilogy” instead, it looked and sounded weird when paired with the plural noun “waters” rather than the singular “water.”

“Oh,” the careful observer might respond. The extra-careful observer might then ask, “Why is it ‘The People of the Water Cycle’ on the cover of the book but The ‘People of the Water’ Cycle in the descriptions on Amazon.com? Leaving out ‘The?’ in the single quotes?”

Well, kids, that’s what’s commonly known in the writing-and-book-publishing business as a mistake, and I don’t want to talk about it.

About W. Keith Brenton

W. Keith Brenton is a retired communication specialist, minister and passenger train conductor, living and writing in the historic resort village Eureka Springs, Arkansas. He is the widowed adoptive dad of Matt and Laura, and Pop-Pop to one grandchild. He enjoys drinking the local water, but unfortunately doesn’t look any younger than his actual age.
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