This Poor Story…

This poor story has gone through so much and so many names. The very first scene I wrote for it, the one that inspired the rest, was a meant to be a stand-alone story (it failed) called “What Makes a Man”. Then I expanded on the story and it was called “On a Mission”, then that story became a section of the novel-in-stories called “Swamp Story”, which was then renamed “Blood and Stone”. I eventually decided it didn’t work as a novel-in-stories and ripped it apart. This story got the title “There” with its sequel (which is now part of the same story) being called “And Back Again”. Interestingly, another part of that novel-in-stories was recently published as “Shades of Green”. But I digress.

I”ve got a new title. A good title. This tale’s forever title. For better or worse, till death…you get the idea.

The title is

Continue reading This Poor Story…

Poetry FTW!

In the midst of all my novella title angsty I totally forgot to mention that I sold a zombie poem to Illumen yesterday. “Prank Call?” is going to be in their Spring 2011 issue. Yay!

Also, a while back a group of us from NaNoLJers worked together on a group poetry project. The result is the poem “Alone“, which we sold to Sorcerous Signals. That poem went live at the beginning of the month. For anyone who reads Niteblade the style of the artwork accompanying our poem may look familliar — it was done by Marge Simon. I love her work so it was an honor to have her illustrate mine (again 🙂 ).

One of the best parts about writing “Alone” and getting it published is that it is the first paid publishing credit of a couple of my fellow poets. It made me happy to be involved in their first publication. Very happy.

If you write what was your first publication?

Mine was a short poem, a rictameter, in a little magazine called ‘The Storyteller’. They didn’t pay anything, in fact the publication cost me money because my ego demanded I buy a copy of the magazine*. The poem was called ‘Snowflakes’ and was sweet little piece about walking in the snow. The thing is it wasn’t until after it was published that I realised the syllable count on the poem was wrong. Oops.

*Note to self: This is a good topic for a blog entry in the future.

Just came from a wonderful meeting with my critique group…where we pretty much decided that the story currently known as ‘There’ can not really stand on its own and it needs the sequel in order to work.

All this time I’ve been struggling with the question ‘What is this story about, really?’ and the question I should have been asking is ‘Whose story is this? Colby’s or Xavier’s?’ The thing is, my critique partners (one in particular) has been asking me that for ages now but it never clicked in my brain until tonight. The short spoiler-free version of the answer is, this is not Colby’s story it is Xavier’s story. Colby’s mission is the sub-plot, Xavier’s escape and the man who held him are the real plot.

That changes things. A lot of things.

I’m happy to have come to this realisation now as I’m beginning another round (hopefully the last) of revisions and not once I was done them again, but at the same time, that means I need to come up with a title in very little time, and the wonderful suggested ones may not work.

I know that flexibility and change are pivotal to writing and revision and I know this is the right thing to do, but I feel a little bit flakey…and not a bit silly for not figuring this out sooner and for wasting everyone’s time and creativity today. Thank you for the suggestions, I am keeping them all in mind as I frantically brainstorm for the right title for my now, much longer, story.

Muddied Waters
Heart of the Swamp
Lost and Found

Those are the ones I still think might work…or they might not.

I’m going to go take a bath, they help me think and right now my brain could really use to stop spinning quite so quickly.


I need a title for the novella/novelette/story I’m working on, and I need it soon. Like, by the end of the day. *sigh* Titles are irksome, sometimes they come really easily and other times they make me fight tooth and nail and even once I have one I’m not sure it’s the one I want.

In this case, the working title is “There”. The reason it is called ‘There’ is because its sequel was called ‘And Back Again’ and I thought that was quite clever, he he ho ho. However, the first story kinda gets screwed name-wise in the absence of its sequel, and that’s not cool.

I don’t have a polished blurb (or even an unpolished one for that matter) for the story, so let me just tell you a little bit about it. This is an Aphanasian story (like Shades of Green or Sister Margaret) about a sixteen year old girl named Colby and a tentacled man named Xavier. Colby goes to the Aphanasian swamp to find the reptar’s magic stone, Z’thandra’s Heart, which she thinks might cure her brother’s illness. In the swamp she runs into Xavier who has just escaped from the man who held him captive and performed expiriements on him for years. Together they struggle to find their way to the Reptar and the stone Colby so desperately needs, while simultaneously running away from the mercenarys sent to recapture Xavier.

Yeah. That description needs work LOL I hope, however, there’s enough there for you to help me out here. Some title ideas I’ve had included the following:

A Bit of Heart
In the Swamp

… Yeah, see how I’m drawing blanks? So far my favorite is ‘Heart’ because it refers to several things including the name of the magic stone and the relationship that grows between Colby and Xavier, but… I can’t decide.

Do you have any ideas? Suggestions from not in my list will be greedily accepted. I know ultimately I have to make my own decision, but I’ve been struggling with this for a good, long while now and I thought it would be good to look for some outside help. And did I mention I have to title it by the end of the day?

*sigh* Yeah.


ETA: “Heart of the Swamp” and “Lost and Found” are two titles that were suggested which I think have potential.


I’m just posting this to test and see if WordPress and LJ will play nicely together if I schedule posts ahead of time. They used to, then they didn’t…I’m hoping they are friends again. I would like to blog on an actual regular basis but my time comes in weird chunks. If I can plan ahead, however, I’ll be good to go 🙂

In theory….