Um Um Um Um!

19 September 2002

Last night I was talking on the phone with Scott, and one of the neighbors was screaming at some kids out in the courtyard. She was trying to threaten them with what the apartment complex management would do if they caught the kids doing whatever they were doing. But she couldn't come up with a good threat. So, without lowering her volume, she screamed at them, "They gonna um um um um um um!" Scott could actually hear her from Chicago, and wondered why someone was hollering "Um um um!" here. I can't say that I understand it myself.

We tried a kiwano last night at dinner. It's a spiky yellow fruit, and they had a bunch of them on sale, so Timprov and I thought, why not? And this is one reason to try new things: so you know why not. In this case, it tasted very much like banana, only more bland, and it was composed of slippery green seeds that had a tendency to dribble out. I'm glad we only bought one, as I don't really sit around thinking, "I want a banana, only not so flavorful, and more messy."

I finished two more sections of "Things We Sell to Tourists" yesterday, and did edits on the whole lot. I'm not sure what I want to do with it now. It stands at five sections. I could send it out that way, or I could write up to four more sections. I don't like six. A six-section piece here is right out. Six is the wrong number. I'm not sure beyond that. I think five is enough, but if I get the urge to write the other four shorts, they'd go more or less well with these five. Or two of them would, or three. Do any of you have a numerical preference on this sort of thing, on series of linked short-shorts? Is it better with more? Is it better with a balance that makes most sense to the author? I just don't know. I don't usually do this kind of thing.

I'm afraid that they're not pretentious enough for a series of linked short-shorts to sell. I don't think that all such series are pretentious, but...well, it happens sometimes, you know? Some people want "different" forms to be lit'rary. Even though this form isn't all that different and has been done dozens of times before. I don't claim that this linked short-short thing is a brilliant, inventive notion of my very own. But as form experiments went, it seemed to go pretty well, so. Anyway, we'll see who likes them, if anyone does. I like them. I've had fun with them. I like them separately as well as together, and I think that's one of the problems I've been known to have with linked short-shorts: when they don't work separately well enough.

Also I worked on the book, did some laundry, read some more of Warchild, but not that much. I think I'm going to make more of a concerted effort to finish it today, because I'm ready to move on, and it's been getting more scattered attention than it really deserves.

But the list calls, first off. Of course, of course. Always the list.

(P.S. Wendy and Daniel: did you get my book and e-mail? I don't know if I have the right address for you-plural now, since I have an address for Wendy that may not reflect her job change and no address for Daniel at all.)

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