Some days my #family shares amazing #writing #inspiration. Other days, not so much… #marriage & the #writinglife

In posts past I’ve mentioned I get inspiration from my kids–something they say, for instance, or a struggle they’re facing in school. 

There are other times, however, when inspiration is the last thing I get from my family.

Take this month. Writing’s been a tough racket, what with preparation for a new term, snow days, and teachers cancelling school for “professional development.” But I am a hearty Midwesterner and shall prevail! I continue working on the third Fallen Princeborn novel while prepping the first novel, Fallen Princeborn: Stolen, to go on sale for ALL OF FEBRUARY.

(Oh yeah. Watch out for that price drop. Tell your fantasy-lovin’ friends!)

I’m also brainstorming up some fresh’n’FREEΒ Tales of the River VineΒ and a few other stories to be shared exclusively with newsletter subscribers.

(What? You’re not subscribed to the monthly newsletter yet?

*GAAAAASP* Fix that now!)


So I’m developing another project, one I alluded to a while back: a fantasy adventure story featuring twins who need to learn the strengths of brotherhood. (Can’t imagine where I found the inspiration for that story…)

There goes Bash of the Yukon on another expedition…

I had an epiphany about what to name the brothers, but realized the names would require permission from a big-time person in order to pull it off. That meant having a title and rough synopsis worked out. Typing up a wee synopsis was one thing, but the title…ugh, the title. This is a title that must reflect fantasy, adventure, and NOT romance. For once, let’s have a story where protagonists don’t find love and/or sex in the plot. The title needs to reflect that absence. Something strong…otherworldly…

I poke the back of Bo’s neck, for surely Blondie’s math homework doesn’t have to be reviewed right this minute.

Hey. You’re a guy.


I need your take on a title.


Race the Bronze Breath.

Bo’s face twists. He stifles a laugh…then gives up and lets it out. “Seriously?”

What? It’s racing. It’s fantasy.

Bo’s still laughing. “What’s that even mean?”

I…I dunno. I just thought it sounded cool and steampunky.

“Well racing’s fine. Racing says something’s got a time limit, and it’s, you know, tense. But what’s bronze breath?”

Okay, I get it, it doesn’t work. What kind of fantasy adventure title would work for dudes?

Bo without blinking: “Not Game of Thrones.”

That is not a title.

“Says you.”

I think about my brainstorm of race names, the current YA titles out there that are really long, a touch blunt.

How about Break the Centurion or Die Trying?

Bo throws down the pencil: “Again, what…are you trying to be Sergio Leone?”

Well then YOU think of a cool dude title.

“Racing Adventure with Marathon Quest.”

O-kay. But that doesn’t sound really dangerous.

“Super Killer Race of Deathly Death.”


“Bloody Hearts of Death Kill the Dead.”


Blondie looks up from her fraction muddle. “Bloody Heart of the Dragon’s Throne!” 

Hush, that doesn’t…well, hmmm. I write it down anyway, even though I wasn’t planning on having any dragons this time round. Time for a squeeze and a kiss for my eldest.

Thanks, Kiddo. Now back to those fractions!

A picture of Blondie and her bottle snowman, just because. x

Bo follows me as I scribble in my notebook, all the way down the hall where I plop down on our bed. I click the pen in that fast, annoying fashion Biff adores, and say:

The problem is I do want a bit of camp to it, like Death Race 2000. Suppose I can’t call it Lethal Prix or Killer Run.

“Not if you don’t want Roger Corman to sue you…oh hey! Let’s Get Sued! Great title. And then I can get an autograph.”

That would be first on your mind, wouldn’t it?

BloodDeathKillQuest. All one word.”


A Good Day to Die Hard…oh wait. That’s kind of taken.”


Killing Starfighters of Justice. Keep it vague on purpose so people question if the starfighters are killing people, or if we’re killing the starfighters.”

The grammar humor of Airplane! likely ain’t gonna translate to the teen male audience.

“Well then there’s only one title that’s going to reach those readers.”


Amazonian Thrill-Whores.”

Boob Race.”

Okay, okay. I give up. Forget I asked–

Outpacing the Inevitable….wait for it…Boobs.”


Sooooo I’m still working on that title. It’ll come to me. Hopefully without the aid of Amazonian Thrill-Whores, but who knows…

Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!

51 thoughts on “Some days my #family shares amazing #writing #inspiration. Other days, not so much… #marriage & the #writinglife

  1. Sometimes you need to laugh and play around with ideas that are *totally* ridiculous before you get to what works — and hey, looks like you have a lot of help for that technique! Good luck finding the *real* title. Probably in the middle of the night, and then you don’t write it down and forget it, right? πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Master Steeden. I’m sure it’ll come to me, probably when I’m driving the kids around and then someone will start fighting and I’ll totally forget while I yell at them to pipe down. Sigh. πŸ˜‰


  2. “A fantasy adventure story featuring twins who need to learn the strengths of brotherhood. ” You could do worse than look into myths and legends that feature twins: Castor and Pollux (Gemini, the Dioscuri), Romulus and Remus (though one killed the other, as with Cain and Abel), Esau and Jacob (in the Old Testament), Brennus and Belinus (legendary barbarian brothers who ravaged the Roman Empire). And aren’t there sets of twins in Native American mythology whose stories might prefigure the qualities your fictional twins are meant to show?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a crack up. I lost it on β€œSuper Killer Race of Deathly Death” and it was all downhill from there. Titles are hard, aren’t they? I’m struggling with them too, though I don’t need them for a few more months. I promise not to use “Amazonian Thrill-whores” just in case you end up with that one.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Aah, the title conundrum. So often I find myself working through several working-titles, just on a short story. So good luck with sorting out a novel title. Should be an interesting journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh noooo… you can’t use Amazonian Thrill-Whores! Amazon might sue – and trust me, you don’t want to upset those blokes. Other than that – I LOVE the title. Death Race Thrill-Whores? Just a suggestion…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hahahahahaha!!! First, hilarious. Second, love the concept of twins and showcasing the importance of familial bonds — something I’ve been preaching to my kids since forever (“no one is going to have your back like your sibling; no one is going to know you as well as your sibling; no one is going to go through so much of your life with you as your sibling who will be here long after we’re gone;” and on and on until they roll their eyes and walk away) and I think it’s a concept that doesn’t get enough positive iteration. My offering: Blood Brother Bonds. Tagline could be: When your worst enemy is your best friend.
    HeHeHeeeeeeeee! xo

    Liked by 2 people

  7. First of all, I soo love your photographs!
    Second – I am completely overcome by the marvelous portfolio of titles presented in this post. As the word ‘race’ seems very appropriate, what about ‘Parallel race with Death’? Sorry, I just couldn’t resist πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, right? I made a similar mistake today when I was going through potential names for an important female character. Of course the name I liked was apparently awful. (sigh) I did find a better name in the end, but still, being told “not THAT one” doesn’t help much. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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