Friday, February 10, 2012

Annoyance and a Title

So the next day after I was so happy to have finally decided on a title, I was humming a song at work, and realized that it was a refrain that goes "take these broken wings and learn to fly again, and learn to live so free", which works perfectly with the theme of my story, but which really removes the Beatles bluesy slant from it.  Sadly, most people will remember the Mr. Mister song instead of the Beatles Blackbird song.  And that might be okay except that the Mr. Mister song is really upbeat, and has that '80 vibe that I really did not enjoy (I pretty much moved from the '60-'70s music to the late '90s and the current scene.  I really love Linkin Park and Staind and DeathCab and Adele, and so on...).  Needless to say, Mr. Mister does not fit with my story, or my mindset, no not at all.

But I crossed my fingers and thought, okay, let's see if anyone else notices. 

Today, my friend Ann-Marie emailed me, and asked me if I realized that the lyric is also from the now --in my mind-- repugnant Mr. Mister song.  To Ann-Marie, I replied yes. I wish she could have seen the hangdog expression on my face.  Of course, I'd rather catch it now than have a whole Mr. Mister revival because of my book. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it could happen.

Basically I have to change the title, again.

I replied to Ann-Marie that I had thought about changing the title to On Broken Wings, which occurred to me as I was writing up a query letter. At the end of the synopsis section in the query, I wrote: Maggie learns to fly (metaphorically), even if it is on broken wings.  Ann-Marie liked the change.  She sent this response: 'Oooooh, "on broken wings" is good too.  I think I like it even better.'  (Love you AM, for that response!!)

I don't know what I'm going to do, but at this moment, I'm seriously thinking of writing a hate letter to Mr. Mister (or whoever they are now, if they are) and saying thanks [I hope you can feel the sarcasm oozing from that word] for ruining my title.

Dear Reader (I always wanted to say that), if you feel so inclined, let me know what you think of the new title: On Broken Wings.  Comments or emails.  Both work.


  1. On a whim, did a search for "Two for Mirth" - orginally looking for the crows poem and came up with some Scottish folklore of Two Magpies for Joy.... thought it was kind of cool since Maggie is one of your characters....

  2. One of my teachers suggested "One for Sorrow, Two for Mirth", but I'm a little afraid of using numbers, even for something as good as "Two Magpies for Joy", because it may be thought of as a series book, like with Janet Evanovitch's books. But keep thinking. I'm open for suggestions.

  3. Although I am familiar with the song, the Mr. Mister version never entered my mind. In my world, "Take These Broken Wings" could ONLY be The Beatles. But then again, I'm old.

    That said, "On Broken Wings" sounds pretty darn good too!

  4. Funny - after reading your previous post, and thinking about it while driving to work, I wondered why you didn't use "On Broken Wings". I thought it was shorter than the "Take These Broken Wings",and rolled off the tongue easier. I just didn't have time to write to you. And Yes, this is Andrea O (don't have any of those allowed id's so can only be anonymous) so you know I wasn't born in the Beatles era and don't really know the Blackbird song you are talking about. (if it isn't a yellow submarine...) And since I am pretty much country these days, I have no idea who Mr. Mister is...

    So, on one hand, I would suggest that if your market is 25-40 year old women, they may not know of either song. But on the other hand, I like the shorter "On Broken Wings" better.

    battery is dead - goodnight!