When I was working on my MFA degree, my poetry mentor, Brian Barker, used to say that titles are like little hats that poems wear – they tell you a little about the poem without revealing too much. But they should match the personality of the poem, so to speak. Well, I need a hat for my memoir.
I am ALMOST done first drafting . . . it’s kinda sad to think that I’m only almost done with the FIRST draft when technically I’ve been working on this thing for 3 years. But I’ve really only worked REGULARLY on it for about 10 months, plus my life is already pretty hectic. It’s rough finding the time and sanity to write when you’re working full time and parenting 2 kids. Anyway, I have a goal to be done with the first draft by June 1st, and I think I’m gonna make it!!! P.F. Chang’s thinks so, too, based on the fortune they gave me yesterday:
Anyway, I have adjusted my outline a bit and now have four sections: Believing, Questioning, Becoming, and Looking Back (that last section may have a title change yet), with each section having 13,000 – 18,000 words. The sections are (roughly) divided into chapters. I have already finished the first section, Believing, and am working through the second section by adding a little new material and revising a little.
But here’s the thing: I need a title. The best title I’ve come up with is (TA-DA!) “Conversion.” I know. BORRRRR-ING. Seriously. I’m a writer. Can’t I come up with something better than that?
No. I can’t. Seriously. The muses have failed me here. “Metamorphosis” is too cheesy, “Journey” is too common, and “Why The Hell Did You Leave The Nazarene Church?” is too crazy. And it has the word Hell in it. This is where YOU come in! My story is about a Nazarene missionary kid – turned Orthodox Christian. That’s it in a nutshell. I know, that sounds a little – yawn – boring, too, but I promise (I hope) it’s not. When are you going to get Buddhist monks, treacherous trips up mountains, outhouses, Coke in Sunday School (the soft drink kind, of course), and Orthodox liturgy all in one book? And what would you name that book??? I promise that whoever comes up with the name I end up using will get a thank you in the acknowledgments if the book ever gets published. Okay, peeps! Give my book a hat!