My first five stories came back from my editor Mim. We communicate by e mail. The stories go out to her as a Microsoft word document, all in black print and return to me splashed all over with red, her corrections. I quickly perused these and discovered good news and bad news.
The good news was that she liked most of them, and thought they were worth publishing. The bad news was that the one I thought would be my flagship story, Testicle Talk, she had issues with. This is a dialogue driven story in which two different pairs of people are carrying simultaneous conversations, both about testicles. At the end the two conversations converge and meld. I liked it because it is a lean, economical, fast paced story, the way a short story should be. It is also quite unique, and with a catchy title.
Mim’s main issue was with the title. She felt that if it got into the internet named as such – my last book Dogmeat was distributed to over 500 internet sites – I would end up in a lot of porn sites. I must admit the thought had never crossed my mind. This is why one needs professionals for advice.
She also thought that it might offend some female sensibilities. Mim is highly atune to feminist sentiments. With Dogmeat, as we prepared publicity material she advised me to downplay my Ernest Hemingway emulation, pointing out that Hemingway is not all that popular with women nowadays. At the time deferred to Mim on this count.
It is difficult to accept Mim’s advice on this occasion and part with an idea that I was already infatuated with. Still, I am the final arbiter of all this, and I can choose to ignore Mim if I so wish. Will I?
It is too early to tell. I myself am curious about what I will eventually do.