Monday, February 8, 2016

Novel to Designers


I'm rather woozy. Don't know what to do with myself. I feel weightless. Like on a bungee jump or parasailing. Today I'm sending the final draft of the sequel to Dust on the Bible to Stanard Design Partners. The story is over. Now it's in the hands of Stanard Design for a cover and lay-out. Though I'm fed up with rewriting and revising, now that the manuscript is leaving me, I'm also sad. As the song says, "It's time to say good-bye."

Finding a title was a challenge. Obviously a good title will either reflect the tone of the book or refer to something specific in the story. I thought about “Dodging Eternity,” for Lily is puzzled by eternity, and she worries about an uncle in Germany who might be facing eternity (as in death). However, there’s a glut to titles on Amazon with the word eternity. On Amazon’s first page, there are four different books titled simply Eternity. In addition, there are a number of series (e.g. Eternity Springs), and the word pops up for every book in every series.

Then I considered “Smoke Beyond the Branch” because a chapter deals with a fire that is first seen as smoke above the trees beyond a swamp, which is called a branch. However, the word branch more often means a tree limb rather than a swampy area.

After that, I settled on “Beyond the Farm Is Foreign Ground,” which refers to the insular nature of life on a farm. It also relates to the grandmother’s fear of her son dying on foreign ground (in 1945 Germany). That title bit the dust when my son pointed out that foreign signals a story set outside the USA.

The title “Until a Prayer Comes Home” refers to Lily’s prayers for her uncle to come home from the war. Much of the plot plays out while waiting for letters from him. 

My elation and sadness will subside by this afternoon. It's been a long time since I submitted something to a journal. That's such drudgery, but it's high time I got on with it. 

In "Until a Prayer Comes Home," Lily goes swimming 
in Ma George's pond. It might have looked like this.

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