Monday, February 8, 2016


Of course I noticed it in an art book. Whilom. That, I thought to myself, is my new word.  Better start using it. Betty, the whilom photo model, was now confined to the stables. Whose selfie was it? That was the question. Betty didn’t win the prize for best selfie; the man in the picture won a four figure number but the horse, or the horse’s owner’s, did not share in the prize money. Imagine, not your selfie.  Poor Betty.

“It’s flash fiction.”

I grunted, trying to sound happy about it. I was calling it postcard shorts, after my postcard short about Malta got published online. “Your book,” a friend said looking over the manuscript, “I didn’t know what to call it.” Her husband informed her that it sounded like flash fiction. He’s, in a way, right. “Your quotation mark use is incorrect.”

Hmm…I even used to put the periods outside the quotation marks. I dunno why, it just felt to me that the line was finished in silence, the terminus. Now I learned my capitalization has some idiosyncrasies.

“People like mistakes, they make us human.” I was gazing at a big digital board in the Conservatory. The idea did not soothe me, but did make me think the way out of my mistakes was to advertise and own them.

Right.  I would that my punctuation be regulated to whilom. I can imagine, because most writers write their own PR, stating, “Such whilom mistakes were a marked feature of Persephone’s development towards a muy recherché manner of finer expression; with so much linguistical tottering about, she was finally rendered comprehensible at a base level.”

Websters online politely requests readers to send in information where they found the archaic word whilom. I have half a mind to submit my sentence about me, but they most likely would object. My selfie unrewarded.

“Would you,” the man on the Muni bus leaned towards the passenger sitting next to him, “be friends with my cat on Facebook?”

It was a classic and told to me by a friend who had been to California on vacation. How much more San Franciscan could you go? Ah, when I lived in the Bay Area, I learnt to be most polite, and defer to whims o’ whilom with a smile.





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