A couple of weeks ago, in my post on "A Good Blog is Hard to Find," I sent out a CALL FOR NAMES for one of the characters in my novel-in-progress. It was both fun and helpful receiving all the comments on the blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, and even a phone call I received from one enthusiastic supporter! As a result, I settled on "Mare" for the lead character (full name is Mary Katherine Henry at this point, but that's subject to change.) I had settled on "Emily" as the name for the abstract expressionist painter/professor, but I'm going to work "Mary" into her name somehow. (I actually have a plan for that, but it's part of the plot.) And the third character is historical: the fifth century prostitute-turned-desert hermit, St. Mary of Egypt.
And so here I am wrapping up chapter one and a page or two into chapter two, and I'm still feeling a little sluggish in my writing. I think it's because I don't have a TITLE for the book yet. I know the title could change during the course of writing the book, or in working with an agent or publisher, but somehow naming it will help the creative process, I think.
To that end, I just spent the morning looking over what I've written so far, and researching a few books and articles (including two of my own published essays) that deal with some of the subject matter explored in the novel, like:
childhood sexual abuse
psychological, emotional, and spiritual healing
And so I've come up with a few ideas and would love your feedback, on these ideas and any new ones you might come up with! Of course I Googled all of these to be sure there aren't already published books with the same names, and I did find three that had already been taken:-(
The Girl With No Shadow by Joanne Harris (author of Chocolat)
Colors of the Soul by June McLeod (on color therapy and healing)
And the title I most wanted to use is "Cherry Bomb," which is a Jack Daniels thriller, so I wonder if I could use it anyway? Especially if I named it, "Cherry Bomb: A Novel," and it's in a different genre? (The reason I want to use it is because the graffiti artist in the book, one of the three main characters, uses "Cherry Bomb" to sign her graffiti tags, because the term "bomb" is often used to describe a graffiti piece, as in "the wall was bombed" with graffiti....)
So, here are the other names I came up with this morning. I know you don't know the whole plot (and I won't tell you) but I'd still love your input. DO keep in mind the three main characters all have "Mary" in their names. So, if you walked into a book store and saw a book with one of these titles, which one would you pick up, and why? Here goes: (in no particular order)
The Hidden Palette
Tagged: A Novel (when walls and trains, etc., are painted with graffiti, they are "tagged")
Painted Windows (icons are often called "Windows to Heaven")
Mary's Shadow (icons don't have shadows; and think shadows in a Jungian sense)
Saving Mare/Mary ("Saving Grace" is my favorite TV show)
Finding Mare/Mary (as in finding her authentic self)
Painting Mary (as in painting St. Mary of Egypt's image, her icon)
Please leave a comment! Thanks! Now, I've got the afternoon to clean up my writing sample for the 2010 Yoknapatawpha Summer Writers Workshop (June 18-20) where the first 12 pages of the book will be critiqued by faculty and participants, so bye for now. I'll check back later to see what you brilliant readers have come up with!
P.S. The bottom three images in this post are by contemporary graffiti artist, Shepard Fairey.