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Title Rejects

You know you're a writer when... you've spent more time brainstorming the title for your novel than writing.

To title a novel is a process.  Every successful author has one and I’m pretty sure my process -while fun- is flawed.  I don’t know.

It usually starts with a glass of wine, after I’ve had a shot or two.  I complain a little bit about my upcoming task to anyone who will listen…so, my dogs and the one cat who’s too lazy to run away.  Then I sit down at the computer and start typing any title that comes to mind that’s even loosely tied to the novel I’m working on.  Any words or phrases that pop in there.  This strategy works well because there are no rules, nothing is off the table in this moment.

I usually keep going until I find myself typing things like “You’ll Never Pick a Good Title” or “Just Give Up.” At that point, I’m just being negative and clearly a refill of wine is necessary.  But what I’m left with are some great ideas for a title that I get to choose from.

I mean, I haven’t actually chosen any titles that present themselves during these brainstorming sessions, but I figure, if I just keep with it, one day it’ll work.  Maybe.

Here are a few rejected titles from my upcoming novel.  It’s a vampire romance set in New Orleans.

Suck It ……………………………………….I like the blunt approach, but it seems a bit rude.

Bite Me (A Vampire Romance) …At least it’s to the point.

Eat. Drink. Prey. ……………………….Get it?  “Prey?”

Bae in the Bayou ………………………This is just dumb.

I Thought He Drank Wine ……….She made an honest mistake.

My Boyfriend Can Fly ………………Not really the point of the story.  At all.

Love Can Be Draining ………………Too pessimistic.

This Book Has No Title …………….Too honest.

Just Read This ……………………………Too bossy.

There should be a profession where people get paid to read a book and come up with a title for it.  I would pay good money for that service if I ever had any good money.

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Things I Would Rather Do Than Title a Novel

My favorite part of writing a novel is creating the first draft.  With reckless abandon, I can type out anything I want, no matter how stupid it might be, because I know the first draft will never be seen by anyone but me.  I can unleash the creative monster in me and then reign in the insanity little by little with each rewrite.

I’m not a fan of editing.  Like, at all.  While I’m very particular about “your” and “you’re,” “there” and “their,” or “to and too,” everything else pretty much goes to hell in a handbasket.  I’m fairly decent at making crap up, but grammar and punctuation are not my strengths, and as an indie author, I don’t have thousands of dollars to pay a real actual editor.  (Which reminds me, how much are kidneys going for on the black market?  Asking for a friend…)

But figuring out a title for my novel is, by far, my least favorite part of being a writer.  Now, I’ve done some difficult things in my life.  I’ve squeezed some rather large-headed babies out of my teeny tiny girl-parts.  I’ve been through a divorce and I was a single mom for a bit.  I had to leave my newborn in intensive care for just over a month.  I’m a Marine Mom, I’ve had teeth pulled, and I survived Catholic school. I’ve even watched about thirty minutes of The Royal Tenenbaums, and believe me, that was extraordinarily difficult.  But every time I need to come up with a title that sums up a novel I’ve written, it’s just too hard.

So here is a list of five things I would rather do than title my novels.

  1. Vaginally deliver a giant, breech porcupine.
  2. Solve an algebra problem.  Sober.
  3. Lick a U.S. dollar bill.
  4. Get an enema.
  5. Get kicked in the face by a donkey wearing baseball cleats.

What do you hate most about your job?

The Search History of a Writer

I’ve always searched any topic without a second thought while writing my novels. Because who wouldn’t search “how long would it take to bleed out if your wrists were slit and you’re hanging upside down?” (A little odd for a romance author, sure, but I needed to know.)

It wasn’t until I searched “what kind of explosives would most effectively blow up a church” that I realized I might be red flagged by almost every U.S. federal agency. For the record, the church in my novel was abandoned, save for a vampire meeting that was taking place.

So I took a moment to review my search history. Here are a few things that might look bad if someone didn’t know I write fiction.

– Best blade to effectively decapitate a head

– Amount of explosives needed to blow up a brick building

– Where can you buy detonation cord (Quick shout out to the ATF- in case you’re watching!)

– Are feral pigs dangerous

– Can you ride an alligator (This one was just for my own curiosity.)

– How much blood can a person lose before they die

– Does a severed human arm float in water

– Can a vampire have babies with a human

It’s amazing, the things you learn while writing a story. I know a lot about airboats and how to drive them. I’m not sure what to do with that. I know what to do in the event of an alligator attack. I’m not sure why an alligator would be hanging around the Midwest, but you never know.

When I die, I’ll need someone to clear my search history for me. On second thought, leave it there. It’ll be more fun that way.

What’s the oddest thing in your search history that you’re willing to admit? Share in the comments!

Best Nook to Read a Book

The left is all me, but I’d be happy anywhere! How about you?

The Girl in the Rain

TGITR Cover 1 JPEG

 

She walked along the city street, in a sea of strangers, on a cloudy day.  Thunder crashed violently overhead, but she didn’t flinch.  In fact, she barely even noticed.

She was always disconnected from the people around her, never really belonging in any place or situation.  Maybe it was the way she viewed the world, or just the way the world viewed her.  Most of her existence was unnoticed and insignificant.  She was easily forgettable, which she tried to see as an advantage, but it didn’t feel like one.  All around her, people laughed and connected, but she always stood on the sidelines, just outside of the action, watching it unfold but never participating in even the slightest sense of the term.  She watched, and wished that she could find her place, but eventually realized there was no place for her here.

A stranger bumped into her without so much as an ‘excuse me’, and for the millionth time that day she wondered if she existed at all.  People often looked through her, and she worried that she had in fact died but not realized it yet, and that nobody could see her because she no longer existed.  She felt truly invisible, and the emptiness inside was so deep and so dark that even a black hole itself could be overtaken in the vacuum of nothingness that resided within her soul.

It’s not that she didn’t want to connect.  It’s that something inside of her, woven into the very core of her being, couldn’t connect.  She was one to ask, but never to be asked.  She was one to care, but never to be cared about.  She was one to listen, but never to be heard.  She was called mysterious, but she wasn’t mysterious at all.  She was practically screaming, “I’ll tell you anything you want to know!”  But that’s the thing.  No one really wanted to know anything about her.  She worried what people thought of her, but eventually came to understand that nobody thought of her at all.  She had so much to share, but nothing to offer.

Sometimes she hated herself.  She knew she was a broken-down mess of a soul. She just wished the others couldn’t see it so well.  If she could have cried, she would have.  But the emptiness ran so deep that she no longer felt sadness.  Just an overwhelming numbness overtaking her very essence, what made her who she was.  She felt nothing.  She was nothing.

She’d never been popular, and she pretended it was by her choice, but she knew that wasn’t the reason.  It was because no matter how hard she tried to connect, she just couldn’t.  Nobody really cared, not the way she did.  And in the end, maybe that was her own fault.  Caring too deeply and thinking too much.  This kind of existence could torture a soul.

It had been raining, but she barely noticed.  Even though her hair was dripping, raindrops hung off her lashes and her clothes clung tightly to her cold body, she barely felt it, had barely felt anything in so long she’d almost forgotten how to feel at all.

She stopped in her tracks, on the city sidewalk and looked up into the dark, gray skies.  The ice-cold rain slammed across her face, invoking a numbness upon her skin that matched the numbness inside her soul.

Maybe she wasn’t meant for this world.  Or maybe it was her purpose to walk across the Earth like a ghost.  Unnoticed, ignored and easily forgotten.  To be looked at, but never truly seen.  To be listened to, but never truly heard. To be there, but never to belong.

She closed her eyes against the onslaught of lightning, and as everyone else ducked for cover she held out her arms and prayed Grimm would come for her.  But in order for death to take her, she would first have had to live, and she never quite made it that far.  She rarely felt anything anymore, just went through the motions in a world that was too bright to notice her insignificant, dim light.

She would never belong to this place, to these people.  She would never be enough for this place, for these people.  Her quiet voice would never be heard among the shrieking of the others, and anymore, she wasn’t sure she wanted to belong here anyway.

She put one foot in front of the other, water filling her shoes and sending a chill straight to her tired bones.  If she felt anything at all she would’ve shivered.  But she didn’t feel anything now, and she didn’t shiver.

She turned down a dark alley, the grayness and rain obscuring the view of her silhouette as it disappeared around the corner, and just like that…she was gone and forgotten.

The hustle of the city street forged ahead, and nobody missed a beat.  One was left to wonder…did she ever truly exist at all?

 

 

 

 

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