Soon  I hit the road again, and this week I will be at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC, 7 PM Wednesday. Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC, 7 PM Thursday. Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL, 3 PM Saturday. Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL, 2 PM Sunday.

Next week---Tuesday, 4/27---- I'll be at the Brookline MA Public Library at 3:30 PM.

As you can tell, this is a very busy spring. Yesterday I took a break and Martin and I went with friends to see the Argentinian movie "The Secret in Their Eyes"---good movie, but I had to go  back just now and look up the title, which means it is not a good title.  You should be able to remember and say a title instantly, like JAWS.

Years ago---actually, 32 years ago!--- I wrote a book called FIND A STRANGER, SAY GOODBYE.  Ever since then I have had people say to me, from time to time, "I loved your book, ah, 'Say Goodbye to—' or some variation thereof.  See what I mean? Unwieldy title.


Later it became a very bad TV movie, but fortunately they changed the title so very few people knew it was related in any way to my book.

I find titles very difficult, often. Not always; sometimes the perfect title is obvious. But when it isn't---yikes; you fumble around and try different things, and after a while they all seem wrong and stupid. I do like the title NUMBER THE STARS a lot.

I originally wanted to call the book that was eventually GATHERING BLUE...simply THE GATHERING. It seemed to go well with THE GIVER, to which it was a sort of companion volume.  But when I checked, I found that Virginia Hamilton had written a book called THE GATHERING. Titles are not copyrighted and so it isn't against the law to use a title that has already been used, and very often that happens. But it seemed disrespectful to Virginia Hamilton, whom I admired, and also unwise, since it might confuse readers or buyers.

Peonies are up in my yard in Cambridge---nowhere near blooming yet, but it is a promise of something wonderful. And in Maine---my driveway is completely lined with peonies and for the brief time when they are in bloom it is spectacular.  Soon. Soon.

Garden 6:07 #2

Not peonies, but here's a garden-in-Maine photo.

"Peony": a novel by Pearl Buck. Now there's a title.