As a writer, the length of writing is important. Since I’m dipped in digital ink alone, I’m used to having a word count as part of the process.

Way it works.

I have exactly one friend who can still calculate “column inches,” picas, points, and so forth, but the rest of us?

Word count.

Which leads to the question of length.


What is long enough for a horoscope? What’s too long?

I got this, originally, from a professor, who I studied under, at the university, “Your paper should be like a skirt: long enough to adequately cover the subject, but short enough to keep it interesting.”

Yes, I know it’s sexist, but that was a different time, and the implication was that he knew it was sexist even then, and there was a level of merriment about the comment.

In my original publication contract, there was a suggestion that the horoscopes would run 75–100 words, per sign, per week. In the ensuing years, my horoscopes have mutated, grown, shrunk, and settled in somewhere between one and two hundred words per sign. The weeks’ average is someplace north of 2K words but seldom topping 3K.

Which brings up this quote, perhaps erroneously, attributed to Winston Churchill.

“A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subjects and short enough to keep it interesting.”

    —Winston Churchill

In all fairness, there are a few documented occasions when I’ve wrapped a cloth around my waist and called it a skirt, so, wile I’m not cross-dresser, at least one former lover said I was totally hot in a skirt.

I tink, at the time, I was just totally hot, or she was totally hot, and she liked me. Happened with more than one girlfriend, too.

So the quote stands, although, I’m unsure of the authenticity.




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