Book Name Challenge

After reading about a book challenge that’s making it’s way around the web, most recently on In Sunlight and In Shade, I decided to flip the challenge. What about creating titles for each category. I added a couple of categories and changed one or two. This is the silly way I spent my writing time this week, looking through my little notebooks and creating titles for ideas that have been floating around for a couple of months.

This little project was originally going to take 15 minutes, but each title led to a bit of synopsis and quite a bit of brainstorming. I’ve summarized it here… I’m sure it’s silly, but it was a lot of fun, and now a few of these ideas are vying for space in my thoughts. I just might start one of them in order to add variety to my Nano editing effort.



1. A book with a color in its title.

Beneath the Beige Veneer: A wood working artisan recovering from a tumultuous affair with her instructor comes to understand her overly proper mother in full color and is forced to re-examine where she is headed and what lies behind her.

2. A book with an animal in its title.

The Buffalo behind the Butterfly: As a girl she chose a totem, a butterfly, and for much of her adult life she was committed to actualizing the creative, flighty, uncommitted inner-self she loved. When a family tragedy burdened her with responsibilities and roots that she never anticipated, this artist was forced to become the architect of a life that revealed a truer more abundant existence than she ever believed possible.

3. A book with a first name in its title.

Paisley Perkins and My Year of Yes: I was always the organized one, the practical one, the efficient one. I was always saying no. No to invitations because there was no time. No to opportunities because they didn’t quite fit with the plan. No to people because they made me uncomfortable or seemed unpredictable. Then, in spite of my plan and my efficiency and all of my nay saying, my world fell apart in a crumbley pile of economic collapse and familial upheaval. Suddenly saying no, made no sense and offered no advantages. And when Paisley Perkins moved in next door, I started saying yes. After that first adventure, when Paisley helped find me a job selling a local farm’s produce at the daily market, I promised myself I would say yes to see where else it might take me. For a whole year, I said yes whenever I felt compelled to say no, whenever I felt uncomfortable or out of my depth or overwhelmed. I can’t tell you that saying yes made all the difference, turned my life around, and put me back on top. But from the other end of my year of yes, I can tell you that 12 months did transform my outlook and help me replace the old plan with a new way of thinking

4. A book with a place in its title.

Escape from Baby Lake: Former college roommates reunite at a remote lodge for a delightful long weekend of reconnecting, only to discover that something won’t let them leave once their time is up.

5. A book with a weather event in its title.

Snowfall on Fleeing Footprints: A massive, months-long blizzard caused the evacuation of much of the northern Midwest, leaving only a few hardy survivalists to cope with a radical governmental plan to de-settle the region and reconstitute the prairie ecology.

6. A book with food in its title.

Tomatoes in January: She couldn’t tell if she was blessed or cursed. Her life resembled the perfect tomato, abundant and delicious for about a quarter of the year, but barely worth the effort in the off season. Inspired by a popular psychology author as her life cycled into a fresh tasty season, she vowed to be unabashedly mindful and present of each moment, hoping to savor it through the next dark spell. Unfortunately, when the seasons of her life were suddenly scrambled together, everything she though she knew about coping and healing and caring for herself was useless, and she was forced to find a use for tomatoes in January.

7. A book with a relative in its title

My Sister the Savior: How she came to believe she was the second coming is a mystery to our entire family. Now that she’s a second-tier celebrity, half-mocked, half-worshipped by the entire country, she refuses to answer any questions that she deems sacrilege, which means, essentially, any question I would want to know the answer to. Now, because of threats from a radical group, my whole family is in hiding over the Easter holiday and it’s entirely possible we may off each other before this is all over!

8. A book with a job in its title:

The Hesitant Healer: One woman’s journey from accountant to aura mystic.

4 thoughts on “Book Name Challenge

  1. I think that’s an excellent way to use this challenge! I would never have thought of it – I’m terrible for thinking up titles so I might have to have a play with it. Another fun way to generate ideas is the Dictionary Impossible challenge, you pick ten words at random from the dictionary, make titles from them, and then the story ideas to go with them. Lots of fun, time consuming, but you can get some really neat titles and ideas from them!

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