For Limit 55, Davis songwriter-musician Rick Palkovic had to think small. As in a miniature book that measures only 2 inches by 2 inches. It contains 26 55-word stories with 26 accompanying illustrations. Its best-described as quirky.
Not 54 words, not 56 words 55 words exactly, said Palkovic. Think Twitter for the literary set.
I was intrigued by the challenge of getting the classic elements of a short story into 55 words, he said. Each story stands alone, with a protagonist, an antagonist and a problem to overcome. Theyre all quite different. Most are lighthearted, but some are serious. If theres room for a clever twist ending, all the better.
One of the tales goes like this:
She came into my office with the same sultry swagger that worked on me before.
Its after noon, she purred. Can we have a drink?
Im a detective, I said. Not a barkeep. You hired me to recover your pictures, and I did.
She arched an eyebrow. How?
I cant tell you in 55 words.
The mini-book project was a family affair. Rick Palkovics brother, Mark Palkovic, published Limit 55 at his Flying Pig Press in Cincinnati. Hes a miniature-book collector, and board member and past president of the Miniature Book Society. Their siblings, Tim Palkovic and Carolyn Palkovic Evans, drew the illustrations.
Meet the family at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Avid Reader, 617 Second St., Davis; (530) 758-4040. Only 100 copies of the hand-stitched book were printed; theyre $30 each. Watching the Palkovics autograph them should be interesting.
As a bonus, Mark Palkovic will display books from his collection, including a copy of the worlds smallest book. Its 0.75 millimeters square and must be read under a microscope.
Call The Bees Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.