Sunday, February 3, 2013

Effing Perfect

 Well hello there. It's been a long strange trip, but I am back in the saddle and probably ready to leap out of it again at a moment's notice. But no matter. It's 2013, boys and girls and all the rest. I've been absent from blogger-land far too long and I'm not even going to try to catch ya'll up. Let's just say 2012 was an interesting year of out-of-character behavior and out-of-the-ordinary happenings, but also extraordinary new connections and a whole lotta new hope for what's next in my life. For one, I graduated (YAY!)...finally. Yup, one more useless certificate under my belt. Ya'll want fries with that? Heh, just kidding. Yay for liberal arts education, for real. I was lucky, after all. I got to move to an incredible (if incredibly COLD, brrrr) city and have worked under several writers I admire. Though longer than the norm, my college experience was very...varied. And now I am looking toward grad school, an eventual career in libraries, a completed final draft of my novel and...who knows? Despite the present circumstances in my life (as I summed it up to a friend recently, “I'm doing good despite a sore throat, a failed romance and empty pockets”), I'm looking forward to a brighter tomorrow, as they say. Whoever “they” may be. 2012 left me with more and deeper friendships than I thought I would ever have and 2013 is looking up more and more.

 And now I am sitting in my room, nursing the aforementioned sore throat with ginger green tea and listening to Binki Shapiro & Adam Green in the background as I write this. Thinking about music and the final edit of my novel brings me around again to rethinking the title. When I wrote the first version, back in 1996 – when it had too, too many characters, a dozen subplots and a completely different main plot and was very obviously written by an amateur – I gave it the title Ordinary World based on the Duran Duran song of the same name. It was the '90s after all, the song had been fairly popular and it was a favorite of mine. The words rang true to the plot and though that plot has significantly changed, it still does: “What is happening to me?/Crazy, some would say/Where is my friend when I need you most?” It's very, very Emma Parker. But the times, they are a'changin' and I think not so many teenagers today would be familiar with that song. They'd be more likely to know Duran Duran's '80s hits instead – her name was Rio and she dances in the sand. Or maybe Girls On Film. 

So for a few years now, I've been contemplating a new title. The one I've liked best is one that a former girlfriend actually came up with, during a time when I was hyper-focused on the novel in order to avoid various problems I won't get into. The title she came up with was F***ing Perfect or, as an alternate spelling, Effing Perfect after the song of the same title by pop star, Pink. I kind of love it – the song and the title. The video is rather poignant, too:


But I've also heard the criticism that I should drop the whole idea of using songs as titles. Except...I suck at titles. And plenty of other writers have used song titles as novel titles. Case in point:

She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
 Across The Universe by Beth Revis
How To Save A Life by Sara Zarr
Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Girlfriend In A Coma by Douglas Coupland
 In Between Days by Andrew Porter
 You Must Remember This by Joyce Carol Oates
 Tomorrow Wendy by Shelley Stoehr
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Sympathy For The Devil by Jerrilyn Farmer
 Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin

 I'm fairly certain that the list could go on. I hope that at least puts to rest the idea that naming a book after a popular song is a bad idea. So I'll continue, and perhaps, when it comes down to it, the title of my novel will be out of my hands anyway. But for now, I'm thinking that Effing Perfect fits...if only I can decide on how to spell it.

In other news, it's cold, I'm on the verge of a busy week and therefore, I'm signing off with no empty promises to write again soon. I'll be back...eventually.

Carry on, world.

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