Thursday, January 10, 2008

Adventures in Titling the Memoir


My memoir -- once titled Riding Lessons: Learning by the Seat of My Pants -- is presently being copied edited for its Fall 2008 publication date by the University of Iowa Press.

But the editor and the publicity department didn't like my title. A committee met. I made suggestions. I heard nothing. Until yesterday.

We're meeting next week about it. It is indeed a big thing, so don't be diffident. One of my colleagues suggested SEVEN WHEELCHAIRS with some sort of kicky subtitle, to be determined; I'm not sure what I think of it but it's catchy. What think you? I don't want to portray you as Gary = wheelchair. But it's a hook.

I replied "Well, I'm the one who suggest The Man Who Wore Out Seven Wheelchairs as a title. How could I be offended?

Now we're off to seek a sub-title. My suggestions?

SEVEN WHEELCHAIRS: A LIFE LIVED DOWN BELOW

SEVEN WHEELCHAIRS: In a Fine Frenzy Rolling

which is from Shakespeare, Act 5, A Midsummer Night's Dream, which I must admit not knowing from study but rather found by seeking quotations including the word rolling.

SEVEN WHEELCHAIRS: Like Stones Rolling Down Hills

another phrase researched, this a Jose Marti quote about inevitability of idealism.

SEVEN WHEELCHAIRS: Rolling Hard, Rolling Fast, Rolling By

from one of my favorite Robert Earl Keen songs, Rolling By, which would require seeking permission but may appeal to the editor because she's from Texas and a REK fan to boot.
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