My fingers hover over send. This is the last real creative interaction I’ll have with my second novel. The next time I see it, it will be in the form of galley pages, ready to go to print.
I think one of the few entries here is about saying goodbye to Laughing Down the Moon before zipping its little jacket up to its chin, kissing its papery check, and waving a tear-dampened hanky at it as it boards the bus. Do I have issues with completing projects? One look around our home says yes I do.
This novel, formerly known as … is now going by the title, Tilt-A-Whirl because its old title gave away the entire plot. Don’t go looking it up unless you want a spoiler. If you already know its old title, wipe it from your mind. We never had that conversation; you never saw it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Bella Books. What an interesting experience it has been to rename it. I’ve known the story and its characters for years, since 2010. That’s like living with a sweet, responsive dog for over three years and calling her…uhm, let’s call her Banjo. So for years, she’s answered to Banjo. When you think of her, you think of her as Banjo.
Then, one day you take her to the vet, and the vet says, “Wow. Banjo, you say? Her name doesn’t really work. It gives her no privacy, so you must change it in the next week or so.” And you’re standing at the counter, Visa in hand, jaw on the mostly sterile floor, going, “Huh?” And so for the next week, you wander around in a daze, speaking (out loud, unfortunately) as you try out new title after new title. “Leapfrogs,” “Leapling,” “Chasing Down the Tilt-A-Whirl—no, people will think it’s a sequel to Laughing Down the Moon,” “Bodoquito—no, English speakers will avoid it and Spanish speakers will be let down.”
Well, what then? The name I really wanted, Tilt-A-Whirl, was already used in 2006 by another writer. Wouldn’t having another dog in the neighborhood with the same name be confusing? I consult the vet. No. Happens all the time. Look up the name Rover (she actually told me to look up the title Indiscretion.) 629 hits. Okay. Tilt-A-Whirl it is. And it’s nice that it’s a shout-out to Minnesota, too. I wonder if Herbert Sellner ever thought his ride’s name would be the title of a lesfic novel? Chances are, no. Here’s this from Wikipedia:
Herbert Sellner, a woodworker and maker of water slides, invented the Tilt-A-Whirl in 1926, at his Faribault, Minnesota, home. Over the next year, the first 14 Tilt-A-Whirls were built in Herbert’s basement and yard. In 1927, Sellner Manufacturing opened its factory in Faribault, and the ride debuted that year at the Minnesota State Fair.
Family legend states that Herbert experimented with a chair placed on the kitchen table. Herbert’s son Art sat in the chair, and Herbert rocked the table back and forth.
The earliest Tilt-A-Whirls were constructed of wood, powered by a gas motor, and featured nine cars. Today, the ride is constructed of steel, aluminum and fiberglass, is powered by seven small electric motors, and features seven cars. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilt-A-Whirl
So, good then. Come, Tilt-A-Whirl. Sit, Tilt-A-Whirl. Good girl. It works for me. Let’s try this one: Go get printed, Tilt-A-Whirl, go to Productions… Good Girl.
I hit send.