Debut

Last fall, I gave myself a deadline of September 14, 2011 (my 33rd birthday) to write a book– a memoir in 33 short essays or vignettes. In January, I enrolled in a proper Creative Nonfiction course, and I’m now in my second session of that course. Last week, I submitted my first essay for publication in a local lit mag. I’m not sure whether to expect it to be accepted, but I’m proud of this personal milestone that subjecting my work to the possibility of (gasp!) rejection represents.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m a writer.

And now that I’m a practicing writer, and it’s 2011, it seems the appropriate step to take to have a blog. I suppose I could wait until after I’m published, but as I previously mentioned, it’s 2011.  Lately I’ve been feeling a little sheepish that I didn’t have one. Plus, this way, when I am published, I’ll have a blog address to include with my author’s bio, and when readers visit, they will be delighted to find that the blog is extant, if new.

I sweated bullets over naming this thing, and was ready for my inaugural post to include a list of potential titles (finalists) and encourage readers to pick their favorites. That is, until “Mira, Mi’jita” popped into my head, and I knew it could be named nothing else. I did not make the decision lightly: this is not jut a blog, it’s a brand. And it’s a brand that’s affiliated with Melanie Madden, Writer, so it has to be of a piece with what I’m here to say, what I write about.

I’m glad that I found the right title (or that it found me), but because it’s fun, I now present the list of rejected blog names and my notes on the sort of blog direction I figure they implied:

False Start 2.0
Tongue-in-cheek: its melancholic humor is characteristic of my style. I want to distill and express all the amazing truth and beauty that I can get my hands on, and get my language on. I tried once before, but the route I was taking led me, personally, to a dead end (academia is not for everybody, but it is for some people), so this is my second attempt: False Start, 2.0 as a challenge to myself to remain a contradiction. To stick with this enterprise, this life of being a practicing writer, no matter how awkward it seems, no matter how delayed I feel.

Also, it looks cool abbreviated: FS2.0

Themes I Deem Seemly
I like to play with language, to the point of silliness. Themes I Deem Seemly points to that impulse: to play with English, to put on characters, to slather heavy coats of literary technique in places it doesn’t necessarily belong. Strong internal rhyming in a blog title, to wit. Alliteration is another atrocity (as is assonance).

Themes I deem seemly might cover a lot of ground. There are a number of topics that interest me, paths of inquiry that I hope to explore in my writing. I’m just one writer, and I can’t pursue all of them, but I will pursue the ones that I’m most driven to tackle. Right now I am working on a memoir, so issues of family and self-discovery are forefront on my mind. So you’ll probably be seeing a lot of that in this blog.

Also, it looks cool abbreviated: TIDS

If Enough of You Read This, I Can Quit My Day Job
Dripping with self-consciousness and hipster irony, I position myself as literary kin to all the cool kids in the blogosphere and contemporary letters. The blog becomes my real-life inspiration to turn writing from a part-time passion to a full-time profession.

Awkward to abbreviate, at best: IEOYRTICQMDJ
The abbreviated abbreviation isn’t bad, though: ICQMDJ

Ad Nauseum, Limited
Ad Nauseum:To a disgusting or absurd degree
Limited: 1. Confined within certain limits 2. Mediocre or qualified: A limited success.
Again, I like the playfulness of the oxymoron, the self-consciousness and humility. I promise to go on and on, to cover an exhaustive litany of topics… within reason.

I’m ambivalent about its abbreviation: ANL

Border Blender
This title acknowledges my culture and heritage as a half-caucasian, half-Mexican American, and the influence of Gloria Anzaldua, whose Borderlands/La Frontera is the most important book I’ve ever read. One part baseball and one part beisbol, half Halloween and half Dia De Los Muertos, one part missions and one part cathedrals. Blender to conjure refreshing slushy mixed drinks, like margaritas.

Can’t fault this abbreviation: BB

And here is the first draft of the possible blog title list, in its entirety:

Potential, Realized
Writer in Progress
Literacy for the Functionally Illiterate
Not-Boring Childhood Stories
Weird Shit I Notice
False Start 2.0
Life: A Miraculous Celebration
Themes I Deem Seemly
Define “Dream”
Love in an Elevator
If Enough of You Read This, I Can Quit My Day Job
Emotions Unleashed
Ad Nauseum Unlimited
Ad Nauseum, Limited
Walking Reverie
Prose and Portraiture
Border Blender
Stroke and Mirrors
Point on Pointe
Cocktail Hour for Your Conscience
People Prose
Nerve Tonic
Voice and Flow
Point of View to a Kill
Mel Verbs Words
Smarty Spice’s Soapbox
I Was on Jeopardy, Bitch
Making the Memoir: A Manual By Melanie Madden
Putative Poetry

* * *
That’s all for now!

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