Always appreciative of feedback

By Karl Terry: CNJ columnist

Writing has always come easy to me. Sometimes research and fact checking haven’t been as natural.

A good example of that was last week’s column about animated movies.

It was easy to write and came together quickly. Several people told me they enjoyed it and agreed with me. Several wrote to tell me I was wrong and “Shrek” was a Dreamworks film and not Disney.

They were right. I assumed since the Disney characters were parodied in “Shrek” that it must have been made by Disney, anyone else would have surely had their pants sued off. Never assume when you’re writing a newspaper column. Especially when that column goes out on the World Wide Web.

Fortunately I haven’t been contacted by either a Disney attorney or a Dreamworks lawyer yet. If they call or e-mail I’m going to suggest the better target might be the other animation giant not the poor hometown columnist.

I really appreciate the e-mails I received on the subject from alert readers even though I dreaded reading them after my wife alerted me to their presence in my e-mail box. I guess you have to be a little full of yourself in some ways to ever try writing a weekly column so it hurts when your mistakes get pointed out by some smarty pants.

Mostly though when I get feedback from readers it’s exciting. At least I know they’re reading.

Since the advent of the Internet and the posting of my column in cyberspace the correspondence has become more immediate and weirder.

All someone has to do is set search alarms on names, subjects or phrases with a search engine and a link to my column could immediately pop into the e-mail in box of some strange person in Bangor, Maine, or Butte, Mont.

I’ve gotten corrections from all over. I’ve had requests for permission to reprint. I’ve had authors and song writers contact me after I mentioned one of their titles. I’ve had advocacy groups contact me and thank me for my support when the last thing in this world they had was my support, instead they had just misinterpreted something I’d written tongue-in-cheek.

I use this space from time-to-time to inform or throw out an opinion but mostly I write this stuff just to entertain. Granted, sometimes the only one I may be entertaining is myself but we established earlier that I am a bit of a narcissus.

I’ve known for a long time that what I write is not always going to please everyone. I’ve actually made people mad with columns that were just meant for a laugh. I’m going to make a few mistakes now and again but I promise if you catch me in a mistake I’ll own up to it.

So now each of you is charged with a task — let me know when I slip up. It’s easy. If you have any questions about how it’s done just contact my wife.

Seriously, each and every piece of feedback, whether good, bad, indifferent, spoken in person, e-mailed or sent registered mail is important to me. Keep ‘em comin.’