Thursday, May 1, 2008

Title role

Every now and then I dream up what I imagine will be a SUPER title for a novel or short story, and write it down in a lovely notebook. It tends to happen after I've popped a paracetamol, oddly enough. For a headache or a cold. Or, if I have the remnants of a song swishing about in my brain. Which could explain things.

I was skimming through said notebook earlier, looking for the number of a handy-man (it's not all observations and whimsy you know. Sometimes I write shopping lists), and on various pages came across the following ...

Poss. novel title -

Marmalade Days
Whistling for Lettuce (??)
Elephant Moon
Truth for the Jellyfish
Radio Happy (ahem)
Harriet Gets a Life
Glitterballs and Gladrags (hangs head in shame)

Good SS Title (Short Story, not German combat unit)

Under the Gumbo Tree
Office Politics
Old Faithful
End of Season
Hats off to Harry
Over the Rainbow
Silly Season

As far as I know I haven't used any of them myself so, please. Feel free to help yourself...


Kerry said...

Hahaha - I actually really like whistling for lettuce. It's totaly unique.

You are very brave letting us glimpse into your note book! I would protect my mad meanderings with the International Act of Secrets if I could :)

Jumbly Girl said...

Great titles - they would make interesting story prompts (especially like the lettuce one). Next time I have a sore ehad I will try your paracetamol approach to title inspiration - I still haven't got one for my novel (in which there is both lettuce and jellyfish but sadly no glitterball)

Calistro said...

I love 'Marmalade Days'. I've got no idea what it means but I love the way it sounds. It just rolls off the tongue...(unlike marmalade ;o))

kallioppe said...

Too funny. Thank you for the laugh. You are brave indeed, but you'll have the last laugh when 'Whistling for Lettuce' wins the Orange Prize.

Annieye said...

Brilliant Titles, Karen.

I've got a special notebook for titles too, but they're no-where near as good as yours.

I 'lost' your blog. Has someone abducted you and put an alien in your place? I need to change the link because there was a verrrry strange Karen Clarke in your place!

Debs said...

I also love 'Whistling for Lettuce'.

I also have a notebook full of possible titles.

HelenMH said...

And I'd like to offer up 'Malcolm's Mind Experiment' to add to the list. I don't think I'll ever work out what I meant by it.


Clarkey,'Whistling for Lettuce' Who’s your lead character Thomas the Tortoise? :) Tommox

Paul Capewell said...

That's quite fascinating that you think of titles like that.

When I had a notebook for trying to write lyrics (I was 18, trying to learn the guitar, forgive me) I seemed to be able to come up with fair enough lyrics but they were all written to the same 'beat'. Which was weird. Maybe I should've been a poet instead, haha.

Anyway, that motley selection you posted is a thosand times better than anything on the romance spinner. The Mills & Boon titles take the biscuit for giving away the plotline in one title. "The Sultan's Virgin Princess" or something. Ick.

FPDuck said...

I like to think of titles before the plot... the title itself can sometimes bring inspiration.

And I love Under the Gumbo Tree and Hats off to Harry. They sound like wayfaring stories. Not necessarily in length, but in life. In the sense that Wind in the Willows was a wayfaring story. If that makes sense.


P.S. I'm not dead. I'm not employed (yet) either. Thanks for the nudge! I think I've been asleep for a month!

Maddie Moon said...

Oh, they're very good titles. I sometimes find the titles much harder to come up with than the actual stories.

KAREN said...

kerry - I don't mind revealing my madness to the world, now and then!

jumbly girl - I'm sure you can shoe-horn a glitterball in there somewhere, if you try really hard!!

calistro - I like it too, but have no idea what it could mean. I heard it somewhere, along with 'Roast Dinner Sundays'!

kalliope - Whistling for Lettuce was, er, inspired? by a friend who told me her guinea-pigs make a whistling noise whenever they see the lettuce leaves come out for lunch!

annieye - Thank you!
I was actually elbowed out by another Karen Clarke, so had to change my domain name - not a bad thing as I'm now a little bit annonymous :o)

debs - I just think I ought to at least use one of the damn things!

helenmh - I love that!! That's the trouble though, trying to remember what on earth inspired them in the first place :o)

tommo - That's not a bad idea, actually. At least you didn't mention gnomes... :o)

paul - I often chortle at those titles. My current favourite is Desert King, Pregnant Mistress ??

mike - Nice to 'see' you! I do rather like Under the Gumbo Tree and am determined to think of a story to go with it :o)

maddie moon - Me too, which is why I rush to write them down as soon as I think of them - trouble is I promptly forget about them afterwards!

Lane said...

lol at SS:-)

Marmalade Days is great. I like Radio Happy too. Not so mad me thinks:-)

Maybe you meant Lettice in your paracetamol moment? Another interesting title!

Hope you found the handy-man's number:-)

Edward said...

Don't you mean "Whistling for Lettice"? Come into the house, Letty, your crinoline is covered in mud.

Anyway, they're great titles - and you've done the difficult bit. Now write 'em ;¬}

Edward said...

D'oh! Just noticed Lane's comment which rather took the wind out of my sails!

Yvonne said...

Ooh drugs do it every time! ;) Those are great titles, I've never even thought of keeping a list of titles but what a great idea. Will have to start soon.

Tam said...

Bagsy "Glitterballs and Gladrags"!

Dunno what I'm going to use it for but I will do something with it...

KAREN said...

lane - I rather like Marmalade Days too, but I haven't a clue what it means!
It's definitely Lettuce. It's what guinea-pigs do when they're hungry, according to a friend of mine. They whistle!

The handy-man will be here tomorrow, hopefully :)

edward - I suppose writing the titles is the easy bit. Maybe I could write an entire story incorporating them all?

yvonne - Don't do it! You'll forget why you thought of them in the first place. Or is that just me...?

tam - You're welcome to it...I'll be intrigued to see what you come up with !!

Fiona said...

Request please for Elephant Moon for your novel and - oh God,can't remember and if I turn back I'll lose this won't I? Along with my marbles it seems.

L-Plate Author said...

I flick through old CD song titles for my book titles (not that I've used any yet!) and they do give me lots of inspiration.

Unfortunately, I have a tendency to have to listen to something I haven't heard for a while and worse, dance around the living room with it on at full blast. A bit similar to an earlier post of yours I believe...x

KAREN said...

fiona - I see those marbles...they're nestling in the corner with mine!

l-plate - That's a really good idea, but I'd definitely end up doing the same thing as you :o) Can't beat an afternoon shimmy...

wordtryst said...

I do that too! Wouldn't dare reveal the entries, though. Embarrassing, some of them! To give you a taste: Avocados and Lilac Panties, the title of a short story I actually submitted to a magazine.

**hides face in shame**

KAREN said...

wordtryst - lol! Spongecake and Fishnets was another of mine, but that one actually won a small prize a couple of years ago!

Milla said...

yes, exactly, I got that diff Karen too, to do with being in a band, most confusing. Sweet titles, good mood titles, and that can't be bad.

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