After my desperate plea for help on the Small Stuff Digest, Becky Winsor came to the rescue. I found her email quite helpful, so I asked her permission to reprint it on the blog:
Your question about short circuits hit home with me as I think I've made every mistake possible with wiring. I only use the tape wire and the most common error is not making sure to connect the pink side to the pink side and blue side to blue side when putting in the little brads at tape intersections. You really have to be sure the brads are going through ONLY pink or ONLY blue tape. The second most common mistake, at least by me, is allowing the little light fixture wires to touch once they're connected to the tape. That will definitely short circuit the system. Fortunately, neither of these problems will ruin a system. Once the problem is corrected the system should work just fine.
Best of luck with it,
As I was reading the email, I was mentally checking off the possibilities. Since I have a single strip of tape wire, I will not need to worry about connecting blue to blue and pink to pink. But I will definitely double check the fixture wires again to make sure their positive and negative ends aren't touching. Thank you Becky for your tips!