Sunday, November 15, 2015

Weaving a Title for the Memoir

Today I was feeling a bit of despair.  It feels like weeks since I've written anything new.  That's not true of course.  I wrote a poem in early November, and I've continued to blog regularly.  I've also been feeling bad because here it is, mid-November, and I haven't sent out any submissions.

That sentence, too, is not strictly true.  I've sent out some poems here and there.  But compared to past years . . . of course, in past years, I wouldn't have been in an office for 40-55 hours a week, plus teaching online.  Sigh.

So, this morning, I wrote a poem--hurrah.  And I started revising my letter to agents; I need to start working more seriously on getting my memoir published.

And then, my stumbling block.  I need to commit to a title.  But I don't really LOVE any of my titles.  Or I do, but I worry that no one else will.

And yes, I've stumbled on this issue before (see this blog post).  Why is this so hard?

I adjusted the query letter to the next round of possible agents.  For one, I had to create a project overview.  I wrote this:

These essays explore what it means to be an administrator in a for-profit art school, which puts me at odds in some ways with traditional academia, as does much of my writing. But I do the work for which I am paid while also staying true to my Christian values. Those values, which skew towards liberation and feminist theology, often put me at odds with various aspects of church life. Along the way, I’ve found kindred spirits and groups of fellow artists who provide support and encouragement.

 I’ve written these essays about my struggle to stay authentic, to avoid alienating huge swaths of the populations in my life, and to do all the different kinds of work that must be done while staying employed and married. I suspect that I’m not the only one who dances this way throughout the day. My goal is to provide the solace of knowing that we’re not alone.

Then it was back to thinking about the title.  I doodled.  I took out some recycling.  I shaved my legs. 

And then this title floated up:  Monk or Marxist:  Ministries of Interruption in a Corporate Climate. 

It weaves together the various strands, except perhaps for living a creative life.  How about this:

Monk or Marxist:  Creating Ministries of Interruption in a Corporate Climate


Monk or Marxist:  Creation Amidst Ministries of Interruption in a Corporate Climate


Monk or Marxist:  Creation and Other Ministries of Interruption in a Corporate Climate

Too long a subtitle? 

Let me sit with this awhile.

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