Thursday, November 3, 2011

Four Hundred Twenty-Five Words

Actor portraying Your Capable Correspondent on a difficult day

Do you see what I did there?

Obviously, I would never pad my pitiful premium-quality manuscript by using double names (the character of Mary Ann clearly requires that name, and was not chosen because every time her name is typed I get two words for one. Please,  the very idea!),  or by writing out words for simple numbers which are conventionally written as numbers (which, by the way,  the Powers that Be of the word processing world have diabolically rendered non-words when calculating word counts!  Those villains!).

So, yes, my manuscript is currently only 425 words in length,  which some might say means it is hardly in existence at all.  Those in the Know, however,  are well aware of the magic that Your Faithful Scribbler can create out of 425 words!  A mere kernel of a story, to be sure,  but never forget my friends: War and Peace was once a manuscript of only 425 words!

Besides, I have a very good reason for this slow start apart from my usual laziness, procrastination and lack of talent quite apart from my usual busyness, industry and brilliance needing to be applied in other arenas (I am,  you ought to recall, a very busy woman™!):  yesterday, I was summoned to the big city for my citizenship interview!

I am thrilled to report that I passed with flying colors!  I am nothing if not modest,  but TITK will not be surprised to hear that the officer who interviewed me practically asked, "What took you so long?".  Actually, she did, literally, ask me "What took you so long?".

I was immensely flattered, of course, that the United States of America was so eager to welcome me as a citizen (although obviously, Those in the Know are probably not surprised at all - I simply do not realize my own value!),  but I gently wagged a finger at her and smilingly reminded her that I am a Very Busy Woman™.  As much as I try to fulfill the hopes and expectations of my legions of admirers (including, it now turns out, the United States of America itself!),  from time to time I must put aside the wishes of others and devote myself to wasting time, procrastinating and endlessly putting things off which ought to have been done years ago  other stuff.

The officer looked taken aback -  as well she should have been! I am the last person to point to the shortcomings of others,  but - while TITK will completely understand her excitement at having me as a fellow citizen at long last - how could she not have known how lazy busy I always am?   She repeated the question - a little testily, I might add*.

I replied truthfully (of course) that, since I have three children who likewise were not born in this great country, I waited until the last of them had gained the age of majority before applying for citizenship myself,  thus preventing them from acquiring automatic citizenship through me and allowing them to consciously choose citizenship for themselves as adults.  I am sure everyone will agree with me that a momentous decision such as choosing to become a citizen of this great country ought to be a conscious and enthusiastic one made by informed adults.  Sure, it would have been easier to have saved my children the trouble when they were younger,  but it is a responsibility that I am sure they will claim joyfully.

The interview moved along swiftly after that.  I even managed to give the officer some helpful hints for decorating her office in a more elegant and inviting manner,  although I must say she was not as appreciative of my efforts as one might have expected.  Perhaps it was merely an unfortunate natural expression, but she looked utterly nonplussed  somewhat confused ( clearly, a difficulty which might have been considerably ameliorated had she the benefit of my advice years ago and beautified her surroundings which would have promoted a restful and composed attitude at all times).  Oh well, c'est la vie!  One can only offer!  The interview concluded rather abruptly shortly thereafter, and I was escorted out to the waiting area with a haste which I thought was entirely unnecessary.

Since I was in the city, I had made arrangements to meet Kiki for lunch,  so I sent her a little flurry of texts letting her know I was ready, where I was,  how poorly decorated the federal offices were, how annoying the construction out on the city streets was, and various other irritating interruptions to her day  delightful details about my day until she texted me back begging me to stop!  inviting me to come to meet her as she was still at work.  How exasperating!  How nice!

I must say,  my talented and industrious daughter has a very impressive job at a bookstore right in the very heart of the city.  While I waited for her to finish her shift,  I made it my business to point out to the other customers that the paragon of wit and intelligence manning the information desk was my own amazing offspring.  I am pleased to report that I saw Kiki's  jaw drop in appalled embarrassment  delighted smile of modest appreciation as her co-workers all looked on admiringly.  This is the sort of motherly boost for which I am justly notorious  famous!

We had a wonderful lunch at a little Italian place near the store.  Visits to the city are so invigorating!  And visits with my daughter are the highlight of my month!  But alas, it was soon time to head back home.

Needless to say,  after such a full day,  writing of any description was totally out of the question.  Sure, Kiki went on to write several thousand more words, even after a full shift at work, homework and probably a class or two,  but I am a very busy woman and must pace myself!

Today,  I plan to move mountains!  Good day to All!

*The moment I become a citizen, Those in the Know can rest assured that I will waste no time before sending off a complaining  helpful letter to our state senators and representatives.  It is about time for the United States of America to enjoy the benefit of my wisdom and guidance! No need to thank me.


  1. Congratulations on the citizenship test! :-)

    I really should go for it, too.

    Keep up the good work with the novel! :-D