Daily Archives: December 7, 2009

Our First Post Written By Carol About The Name of Our Blog Which Ann Dee Still Thinks Is A Lame Name and If You Can Think of Something Better It Would Be Rude Not to Say

So Ann Dee Ellis (This is What I Did, Everything is Fine, both out from Little Brown, both very well received) and I have been talking for some time about writing a blog together. We’ve tried to think of a new way to approach this blog writing—a way to make things interesting, a way to capture a few people’s interest. And while we’re not so sure we’ll do that, we do know working together—and with other members of our critique group—will be fun for us.

But what to name this blog?

  • Girls Writing Together (Plus One Boy)
  • Critique Group Circle
  • Five Days, Five Voices

Okay, I stink when it comes to making up titles. Here’s the proof—titles I submitted my books under and what they were changed to.

Before After

Me and Kelly = Kelly and Me

The Healing Place = Adeline Street

Ode to Salsbury Hill = The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson

From the Diary of Emily Donaldson = If I Forget, You Remember

Pretty is as Pretty Diz = Pretty Like Us

The Sixth Bride =  The Chosen One

A Glimpse is All I Can Stand = Glimpse

That’s more than half my national titles, changed. So when Ann Dee came up with the blog name Throwing Up Words I thought—well yes! How many times as writers, during the writing process and everything that goes into putting out a book, do we think we’re going to puke? Here a few times when I’ve felt queasy (I promise, only book related incidents).

When I realize I’ve gotten past the romance of the first chapters of a new novel and now I have to write the icky, murky middle.

When I realize that maybe I can’t make the changes that my good editor wants (and I do have good editors) and I’ve already spent the first part of my advance.

When I realize that, yes, I have a book coming out, but now a lot of reviewers are going to tell me what I did wrong in my novel.

The truth is, for me and my weak gag reflex, I spend a lot of time worrying—unable to let thingshappen. Like my friend Sara Zarr (Story of a Girl, Sweethearts, Once was Lost, all three out from Little Brown, all three very well received). When I heard that Story of a Girl was garnering praise at my MFA program, I sent her a quickie email telling her so. “Not thinking about it,” she wrote back, and then thanked me. Later, out together at a lunch she said, “I don’t pay attention to what bloggers say. I think it can get in the way of your writing.”

How does she do it? How does she not look? It’s not fair. Sara can come up with great titles for her books and not look at what people are saying about novels therefore avoiding the watery-mouth feeling that I get right before you-know-what. Or does she get that icky feeling? Sara, if you read this, let me know.

This blog isn’t to keep you from throwing up or gagging or feeling sick to your stomach. It won’t help anyone come up with a terrific title, either. What we hope is that this blog will help writers—especially ourselves (by having interviews with other authors, editors, agents, and readers. We also want to have weekly writing challenges). Ann Dee and I will be the main contributors, but readers will be able to catch up on stuff going on with other writers from our critique group—some published, some quite close to publication. Different points of view. Different experiences. And, of course, different things that make us all wanna puke.


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