of my new book (about which I will write more soon).
In the meantime, we are on the title search. I don’t excel at this part of the book process: to wit, Feeding the Hungry Heart was called Is There Life After Chocolate? until a month before its publication—and it only got changed (and thank goodness it did!) because my beloved editor, Peg Parkinson, called and said that the Chocolate title diminished the subject matter of the book. She suggested Feeding the Hungry Heart because I’d written those words in the introduction.
Onto the next books: When Food is Love got its title because a brilliant person at an Omega workshop suggested it.
The Craggy Hole in My Heart (about my cat and my father) was a title that my publisher suggested; I didn’t love it—I didn’t even like it very much--but no one, including me, could come up with anything better. I wanted to call it Bernard (my father’s name) and Mister Blanche (my cat’s name), but my publisher told me that my idea sounded like Running into a Brick Wall. (Despite its current title, that book remains my sweetheart book; it’s the shortest book I’ve written and it’s about love, so even thinking about it makes me happy).
Women Food and God was the only title I came up with myself, and many people didn’t like it. When my agent and I went around to different publishers with the proposal for that book, we kept hearing that we needed to change the title. One publisher in particular told me that Oprah would never have a book on her show with that title. She wrote me a long, fervent letter telling me why. I’ve kept that letter as a symbol of how positive someone can be about being right when they are dead wrong. I love that.
Back here at the title conundrum, I’ve had about five different titles for this book, which I have been working on for many years. Cookies and Consciousness was a contender for awhile but I never loved that. Mostly Magnificent was another possibility. There have been so many different titles for it over the years that I can’t even remember what they were. One part of the book is about using the doorway of our food/obsession as a doorway into the sweet freedom that waits through and beyond it. The other parts, most of the book, are about what it’s like to be in a human body dealing with everyday things like comparative judgment, illness, envy, worthlessness, insomnia, self-hatred—and about using those as doorways as well. (I really will tell you more about it, once I have a title…)
So I’m open to ideas, of course, but most of all, I wanted to tell you that, like anything, the process of putting a book together has so many moving, unseen parts. It comes together word by word, layer by layer and somehow ends up as a thing we call a book. Magic!