Doing laps in the LA Fishbowl

Still Browsing…

Things are proceeding on the book front, though it’s still in the “getting the book publisher-ready” stage. Got the first graphic novel section completed and delivered from Sungyoon Choi, and I think it looks marvelous. Heart-breaking, but marvelous. While we’re waiting for rest of the artwork to be completed, Agent J would like to see if the manuscript could be trimmed down a bit and tightened. Sounds reasonable. I hope I’ll have better success at trimming pages off my novel than I’ve had at trimming pounds off my frame this year (damn you, apple-bacon-cornbread stuffing!) Agent J will be looking over the manuscript this week and offer edit suggestions. This isn’t unfamiliar territory; years of whittling novels into plays for Lifeline Theatre in Chicago (with half the company members looking over your shoulder, benevolently) should stand me in good stead.

And then there’s the title… The book, Liberace Under Venetian Skies Untitled, has thus far Teflon’d itself against any new name applied to it. We’re getting closer, though. The following is a few titles I’ve been monkeying with these days. Feel free to weigh in. Remember, the graphic is only there to give the context of it being a book. It’s a shot I took at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Much of the book is set there, and in the neighborhood behind the neon of the city.

Okay, go:

Lots of meanings for “departures,” all of them apt.
This one is Doug’s favorite. 
Coincidentally, it’s one he came up with, too.

This phrase gets used a lot in the book.

The main character returns, over and over, to a pivotal moment in his life, trying to replay it in different ways but unable to arrive at the truth.

Kinda grand, ain’t it? God figure prominently in the book. 
Suggested by Christina Calvit, playwright extraordinaire.

This one was suggested by my friend Amy Hill,

who discovered it in the Wordle art of my manuscript.
Works however you say it.

Kind of active but whimsical, don’t you think?

I like this one because it uses screenplay syntax, 
and screenplays figure into the novel. 
It also encapsulates the illusion of Las Vegas. 
I noodled with this one a bit. 

What about:

Or this?

Damn it, I’ll get Liberace in there somehow!

December 3rd, 2010 - Still Life Las Vegas


10 responses to “Still Browsing…”

  1. Julia says:

    I like This is How it Begins … a lot …

    And all the interior, blue sky variations …

    Please tell me my favorite This is How it Begins section is going to survive the current cuts!!!

  2. I like these – in no particular order – Departures; This is How it Begins; Still Time. I only read a small part of your manuscript and it was a long time ago, so I'm not sure which of these fits best – I just know that these sound like titles I would like to read.

  3. Harry says:

    I like, in no particular order:
    This Is How It Begins
    Interior, Blue Sky, With Accordion
    The Gods Of Las Vegas

    The latter two are probably my favorites, because they're a little sly, and I like sly.

  4. Susan says:

    How about 'Faux Sky Accordian'? Then Doug could start a rock group with the same moniker. I like 'This is how it begins'.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hey James,
    How about either:
    "The Muted Sounds of Life Within"
    "It Should Never Be So Hot"
    both taken from your manuscript.
    Just my two cents, the second one sounds like a winner?!

  6. Anonymous says:

    okay, my two cents: the first two are fantastic– compelling…but, "Departures" portends sadness, while, "This…" , quickens me and allows for an eagerness to turn the page.
    I want to like "Still Time". Perhaps, if it were, "still time…"
    VERY EXCITING JAMES!!!!! oxoxoxoxoxo Genevieve

  7. 1)The Muted Sounds of Life Within
    2) Interior, Blue Sky with Accordion
    3) The Gods of Las Vegas

  8. Cathy Fink says:

    I love:
    1) This Is How It Begins
    2) Interior, blue sky, with Liberace.

    I like:
    Still Time.

  9. Dorothy says:

    My total fave is: This is How It Begins

  10. StellaMagic says:

    Nice to know you're going into the Publishing Industry, James. In fact, maybe you can help. I've been working on a follow-up for JCA at called the J-Teens, about a group of teens who join with a newly reformed Drago and Hsi Wu. I want to take it out of fanfiction and turn it into a book series. How can I get a hold of Jackie Chan so I can get his permission to use the old characters?

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