Whynot, Mississippi

Why, Arizona. Whynot, Mississippi. Sweet Lips, Tennessee. Lonelyville, New York.

Names matter. When fledgling author Harvey Mackay was writing his first book, he came up with scores of possible titles, then polled his employees, friends, and family to see which one they liked best. The hands-down winner:  Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. I have to believe this sizzler gave sales a boost, because the book went on to become a best seller. This led me to think about titles of creative works that really speak to me. Here are a few from my list of favorites:

A Street Car Named DesireTender is the NightLook Homeward, Angel• The Heart is a Lonely Hunter • The Grapes of Wrath • Joy in the Morning•
Of Human Bondage The Angel That Troubled the Waters To Kill a Mockingbird Singin’ in the Rain A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Just for fun, I took a little poll of my own:

My sister Stephanie:           The Temple of My Familiar • The House of MirthThe Age of Innocence • A Pagan Place • Shadow in the Wind

My son Alex:       For Whom the Bell Tolls • The Remains of the Day

My friend Janis: Long Day’s Journey into Night • From Here to Eternity • The Long Hot Summer

How about you? What titles would be on your list? What feelings and associations do they spark for you? Please send me a few! By the way, my original title for this blog was “Naming Names;” then my friend Janis came up with a much better one: “Ode to a Title.” But I just couldn’t resist “Whynot, Mississippi” – so much more hopeful than “Lonelyville, New York!”

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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