A Most Edifying Conversation with Dearest Mum

It is Friday afternoon. Self has been writing all day, and her neck aches something awful. So, she had this brainstorm: she’d call her Cebuana auntie in Las Vegas. Tinkle, tinkle. Message says auntie’s mailbox is full. Oh, too bad! Self loves chatting with this auntie! She’s the one who keeps telling self to use more make-up! Then, self tries Manila, and Dearest Mum is of course not home. But for some reason, as self is dialing another auntie who lives in Laguna Beach, she hears someone saying, “Batchoy? Batchoy?” And there is only one person in the whole US of A (aside from Zack, Stella and immediate family) who call her this, so she figures it must be someone from Manila. And sure enough, it turns out to be Dearest Mum. Whereupon, the following conversation ensues:

Self: (mumble, mumble, moan moan moan)

Dearest Mum: What are you doing, frittering away your time with so many things? You’re so kalat! (Kalat = scatterbrained)

Self: Well, ah, in the past year, I have written: a 250-page novel; almost enough stories for a new collection; 50 pages of what will hopefully be a new novel; and completely re-wrote an old novella. Which is why my neck is killing me, I may actually finally have to purchase a neck brace (and so forth and so on: moan, moan, moan)

Dearest Mum: Buck up! You should have written six novels in the past six years! Don’t come around crying and saying Because of this, because of that! You’re the only one who’s to blame for not finishing a book!!!


Lucky the battery of self’s phone runs out just then (Self has a very cheap cordless phone — to go along with her ultra-slim household budget, of course! And it’s the kind of phone that is perfect for a writer, for it runs out of battery after 15 minutes of conversation, so one cannot fritter away one’s time, as self is now doing on her blog!!!) Self puts down the phone and feels so refreshed. Because she realizes Dearest Mum is right. And she better GET CRACKING!!!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


  1. Kathleen J. Burkhalter said,

    May 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Conversation with Dearest Mum: Priceless. Keep it coming, Batchoy!

  2. May 5, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Ha, ha!

    I was thinking of you as I wrote it!

    Happy Writing 🙂

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