This past weekend, while hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail with my wife, Debbie, I found myself contemplating the title of my new middle grade novel. On a school visit to Wilson Elementary in Corvallis, Oregon a few days before, a fifth grader had asked me the name of my work-in-progress. I told him, and he nodded. That was it, just a nod, no, “Cool!” or “Wow, that sounds great!” So here I was in the middle of a wilderness area trying to figure out something better.
Maybe it was the rhythm of my feet on the trail, or the clarity of the high altitude sky, or the fact that the natural world has a rejuvenating effect on the brain (really, I am not making this up), but suddenly an idea popped into my head. Which I then began to tweak, and rearrange, and just play with. By the time we stopped at the top of a ridge for a break, I had it: “Don’t Forget to Put Your Pants On!” and Other Amazingly Brilliant Tips for Middle School Coolness. True, it’s a mouthful, but I’m kinda liking it. What do you think?