That’s what it says in a little text box as I type in each new post: “enter title here.” So that’s what we’re gonna do today. Ooooh, this one ought to be fun.
As many of you know, as long as I’ve had a draft of a book (two and half years now), I’ve been calling it Whoosh. I chose this word for a few reasons: 1) It played a role in the early cancer story when my friend’s mom used it as the title of each of her Carepage messages, meaning the sending of a wish off into the universe. 2) For me it came to symbolize the suddenness with which our lives went from completely normal to — whoosh — anything but. And then, back again (and back again and back again). And 3) there was that little moment in 2008 when I was rocking Austin to sleep and thinking about what to name my about-to-be written book when I looked down at my beautiful sleeping baby to discover he was wearing pajamas with tiny airplanes surrounded by the word “Whoosh.”
I like the word. And I like the title. But (there’s always a “but”), it is hard to say out loud. No, not hard to say but hard to hear. I find that when people ask me in person (as opposed to on the computer) and I say it, they inevitably look at me like “Huh?” and then I have to say, “Whoosh, you know, W-H-O-O-S-H. It means blah blah blah.”
When I go to the conference in one month’s time, I will have three minutes with each agent: 90 seconds to pitch my book and 90 seconds of feedback. Trust me when I say that I don’t want to waste any of those precious seconds spelling out the title of my book!
Soooo, here’s your chance: Enter title here. I’ll take any, no editing necessary. Of course, I’ve toyed with others over time. The Luckiest is a natural option. I forget why I didn’t go with that from the beginning, maybe it’s already been used. I went through a brief period of calling it Little A and Big Wilm (“Little A” being one of our nicknames for him and that book my mom and sister-in-law made us for Christmas a few years ago was titled Little A Climbs Big Wilm). But that seems very cancer specific. I like Eternal Spring (already used, for a Holocaust book) and The Wrong Side of the Window (where we’ve spent so many of our days). Ordinary Miracle, the name of the Sarah MacLachlan song used for Austin’s first Miracle Story is great, except that my anti-religious stance makes it sort of hypocritical. I read another mother-of-a-cancer -patient memoir a while back (which wasn’t any good, except for the title) called Cancer’s Gift. I do like that — for all it’s taken away, cancer has given us gifts. But . . . already used.
So, start that brainstorming. I’m willing to consider any and all suggestions. And I’ll be sure to thank you on my Acknowledgments page if I choose yours! Of course, I may end up going back to Whoosh. Or this may also ultimately be decided by an agent or editor, but I have to be able to call it something when I pitch it. “As Yet Untitled” just doesn’t have that great a ring to it.