Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Girl Who Cried Title Change

Well, well, well. Now I come to you, somewhat sheepishly, to say that after further consideration, the folks at Random House have decided that the original title of Riding with Larry Resnick is the best fit for the story.

Here were some alternates I came up with, just in case:
  • Not Quite a Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
  • A Million Little Reeses Pieces
  • A Mechanical Bull and an Inflatable Jesus Walk Into a Bar…
  • Ice Water for Women Who Feel Like Elephants
  • There May be a Reference to a Vagina (Somewhere Around Page 182)
  • Stuff your Piehole, Worship, Feel Affection for Many Things
  • The Threatening Book for Women in a Certain Demographic

In other news, I’m making progress on the next novel. I have one—maybe two—weeks left to crank out as many pages as possible before I return to work. (Doesn’t the phrase “cranking out pages” really exemplify the care one gives to the literary craft?) I’m at the 54,000 word mark, which is just over the halfway point. This is the place in the journey where little imaginary cheerleaders are lined up along the route, dispensing refreshing Dixie cups of water and clapping as sweaty writers plod past, their faces etched in desperation. I’m the one gasping and wheezing towards the back of the pack, waiting for my muse to break (second) wind.

I am also mere days away from being an aunt, and I have a front row seat in the delivery room. My sister has authorized us to speak to the medical community on her behalf should an issue arise and she’s too busy, oh, I don’t know, screaming in agony to reply. (By “medical community” I mean whoever earns a paycheck to catch the baby when he skedaddles into the world.)

At our house, we don’t have to worry about little people traipsing out of hoohas, or things like breast milk storage bags. (Speaking of, did you know that the breast milk of vegetarians has a slightly greenish tint? It’s true! This is certainly not knowledge gleaned personally, but you can rest assured that I'm not lying.)

The most urgent issue at our house is a surplus of monarch butterfly eggs in the milkweed patch, which led to the insect version of a scene from Schindler’s List in the yard the other day. I simply don’t have room for them all—painful decisions had to be made.

It also led to me asking my mom last Sunday, “Hey, do you want me to send some eggs home with you?” Which cracked me up, because over the years, my mother has asked me the very same question, only in reference to eggs laid by their chickens.

Mom declined the eggs, but I can’t blame her. They would have made a very teeny-tiny omelette.

Butterfly release count so far: 9
Chrysalides on deck: 6
Caterpillars still chew-chomping away: 9
Eggs yet to hatch: 4

Cute video of a monarch release from Sharon the Birdchick in Minnesota, who captures the grand finale much better than I could have. (Love her background music.)


  1. Hey, In all the years I've been reading you, and yes, it's plural, I don't think I've ever garnered first-comment status! Too cool! (Unless someone is typing faster than I am right now and hits PUBLISH before I do!)

    Anyway, traipsing out of hoohas cracked me up!

    And I have just become an aunt again, last Friday, to a little Madeleine Grace!

    Here's to OPBs... Other People's Babies!

    I'm Out!

    (of my freakin' mind!)

    Oh, and congrats on the no-title-change!

    AND OMG, I swear to you my word verification is: ckragopb...

    see the LAST THREE LETTERS...

    OPB and I Just made that up!!! too freaking crazy--what are the odds I would make up an ... what are those called, like SCUBA, not an aneurism... an annnn... whatever... what are the odds....

    I'm odd.

  2. OK, I really, really like There May be a Reference to a Vagina (Somewhere Around Page 182).

    Perhaps I should be embarrassed to admit that. ;)

    54,000 words! Holy sh*t, woman! If you can write 54,000 words, you can certainly write 54,000 more.

    I'm just sayin'.

  3. Anonymous11:06 PM

    Well, I'm still going to call it "The Book Surcie Can't Wait To Read!"

  4. I can't wait until your book comes out because I know I'll love it. Your alternate titles cracked me UP! Funny stuff.

  5. "There May Be A Referemce To A Vagina" made me laugh so hard that I scared The Baby.
    I found a stray bag of breastmilk (not greenish at all, from which you can gather that I'm not anything like a vegetarian) in the freezer YEARS after weaning The Girl. I briefly considered making sourdough starter with it, but then I didn't.

  6. I would definitely be unable to resist picking up a book titled "A Mechanical Bull and an Inflatable Jesus Walk Into a Bar…" I would have to at least crack the cover and find out what the book was about! :)

    I decided to take Manic up on the suggestion to comment on each blog in her blogroll, but you're on mine, too. I won't comment twice, though. :)

  7. Why am I not visiting here every day. You NEVER fail to make me laugh - out loud. I loved, loved, loved the alternate titles. Most excellent.

    Seriously. Are you ready for the fame and fortune, because it's going to hit you like a brick tossed off a building. Yes, you're that gifted as a writer. I'll be first in line at midnight - Harry who? I'm here for LARRY!!!

    Hi from Brew City where we are in the midst of Brewer panic mode.

  8. I canoot believe that a possible title change was in the works. Gah! That's like changing the name of you child so it might be more popular in school.

    The screams of labor are of joy only. Only! The tears are tears of happiness. The cursing of one's husband is the reminder of a thousand ways in which owes you BIGTIME if you ever (joyfully/happily) pop that damned baby out. Really.

  9. Hey, I didn't know novelists got to have cheerleaders! Did you see me standing there on the sidelines too yelling "You can do it! You can do it!" cause I know you can.

    I think we deserve a brief synopsis of your inspiration for your alternate titles. Those are way too funny to just let sit there.

  10. I'm here from Manic's site, but it definitely won't be my last time here. My friend, Marianne is having her own "Pillar Place: Monarch" tales going on. They released their first one today. A few of them caught "black death" or something.. it was sad.

  11. So funny... a friend told me to come over here because I've been running "Pillar Place" at my blog -- about raising black swallowtail and Monarchs. I had the same problem with monarch eggs -- ended up taking in 15, and left about the same number outside... then felt back when only three pillars showed up. And, had to take them in...

    We released four yesterday, three today! They're amazing!

  12. I don't care what they call it; I just want to read it! And the next! And the next!

  13. "Teeny-tiny omelette"...ROFL!!

    I do like "A Million Little Reeses Pieces" as a title for another book. Maybe about someone addicted to chocolate? I can give you some firsthand source material.

  14. I like the indeterminately hostile nature of the last title.

  15. Diesel, it's actually a lame play on "The Dangerous Book for Boys."

    Which is a great book, by the way.

  16. Wow...Manic Mom needs another Scotch.
    : )
    I like the fifth title in the list...references to vaginas always sell books. And why did my spell-checker highlight "vaginas"? Has no one ever used the word in plural form before?

    We have a chrysalis in the kitchen and two wormies eating and pooping. I HAD 16 eggs! Where did everyone go? I think I need to check the silverware drawer.

  17. "Skedaddles"? Oh, how I wish...

    Whatever they call it, I'm ready to read it!

  18. Anonymous1:02 PM

    Thank you for answering a question that has nagged me for years. How many words in a novel? 108,000.

    You are in for the experience of a lifetime in that delivery room. It's amazing.

    My best wishes to your sis.

  19. Anonymous11:43 AM

    Damn. I would read some of those alternative titles. For sho.

    Perhaps the subtitle could be, "There May be a Reference to a Vagina"?

    I'm just sayin'...