Name My Book

bad plant jokes

Photo credit If it has a deeper credential than that, let me know.

Last night, Carey and I lay awake past bedtime discussing titles for my book. We got quite creative. Remember that the dominant species in the world of my book is a plant, and I think you’ll appreciate that we have finally nailed down a few really great options. My top pick (you ready?):

The Odysseed

What? What?? No? Okay. You like Shakespeare, right? Try these then:

As You Lichen It
Mulch Ado About Nothing

What? No? Okay… more options…

Trees a Crowd… East of Seeden… Sprout of Africa… Apodcalypse Now…

Vine Kampf


The May Twigs (say it out loud… again… faster…)

Dangit. The kids didn’t think so, either. Fine. You’re just going to have to do better, then. In fact, I challenge you to do so. Today your job is to come up with a great title for my book. You can post your ideas in the comments, or on the Facebook post associated with this entry, or mail it to me on the back of a small humanely harvested whale. Whatever.

Hey, if you are the first to suggest the title under which the book is published, I will mention you in the acknowledgements and send you a signed copy when the book comes out. It’s practically like winning the lottery. Go, you.

Ready to get started? Read this information about the book first. I know it’s not the same as reading the whole book–I’m sorry about that. Just do the best you can. And don’t be afraid. Put it all out there. Go big.

Like we did last night. Oh, you think those titles were bad? Listen to the jokes we told:

Q: What did the Gramen father tell his son to do to enrich his mind?
A: Reed.

Q: What did the Gramen mother tell her daughter to do about her abusive boyfriend?
A: Leaf

Q: What does the Gramen parent do at the Gramen child’s soccer games?
A: Root

We did that for hours. I laughed so hard I couldn’t even breathe. (Especially every time I said, “The May Twigs” out loud. I can’t help it. I’m laughing again). We’re considering quitting our careers and becoming comedians.

Okay, so those were meant to be bad, right? Here’s something that’s not meant to be bad: The list of in-all-seriousness current title candidates for my book. Not meant to be bad. Oh, but most definitely bad.

Take a look, and see if you can’t come up with something even worse. Or better. It’s all good. Here’s our list so far (seriously embarrassing. I KNOW they’re bad. Stop laughing. Seriously, stop laughing. Think you can do better? I hope so), broken down a bit by type to make it easier to slog through. Not that it’s going to be easy. They’re bad. Did I mention that already?

Based on the idea that the Gramen & humans can’t hear each other talk–or scream–and all the problems that has caused:

Speak to Me in Silence
The Flowers Speak to Me in Silence
The Sweet Scent of a Scream
Scent of a Scream
Howling Silence
Silent Screams
Whispering Screams

Simple titles with our young (12-15 year old) audience in mind:

Raising Humans
The Captive Ones
The Plant’s Pet
Patch of Turnips
Like a Patch of Turnips
Digging Roots
Listening to the Meadow
Waking Up Hungry
What Jed Did

Dark titles foreshadowing the war that will take up much of the second and third books but is only beginning at the end of the first:

Whispers of War
Whispering War
Incursion at the Lab
The Marshalling Fields
Fields of Battle
War of the Reapers
Jed’s War
The Silent Wars

Rain/storm imagery based on imagery throughout the book:

Rain Falls
Grasping the Rain
Storm Bringer
Thundering Silence
Tempest in Tow
Tempest Harbinger
Storm Harbinger
Harbinger of Storms
Tempest Forerunner
Forerunner of Storms
Forerunner’s Undertaking
Harbinger’s Undertaking
Forerunner’s Charge
Unintended Storms
Accidental Storms
Running Before the Storm
Silence Before the Storm
Meet Again in Thunder
Meet In Thunder
Silence of the Storm
The Storm Inside the Silence
Inside the Silence
The Storm In the Silence

Harvest-themed titles:

Waiting for the Harvest
The Harvest Storm: The Fields Awaken
The Storm Reaping
Harvest Storm
Harvest Rains
Harvest Storm
The Harvest Pendulum
Harvest Wars: The Skirmish at the Lab

Miscellaneous others:

The Hunger of the Gramen
Rooted Sorrow
The Secret Life of Plants
The Plant’s Abattoir
Season of the Gramen

It is also possible that the book will have two titles: A series name and a book name. Think Game of Thrones(Thorns…I’m killin myself) or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (Peach)Stone. Could be, for instance, Harvest Wars: The Harbinger’s Undertaking. Only better. Go wild. I’m looking forward to it.

P.S. Please also make lots of bad, bad jokes in the comments, or wherever. I intend to steal them and use them in our world-famous comedy routine. Thanks.

19 thoughts on “Name My Book

  1. I like “what Jed Did.”

    Maybe “what Jed said”?

    Others: “As Ye Sow” — allows you to play with variations on reaping in the war sequels.

    “Revenge on the Vegans.”

    “‘Our Vegetable Love Doth Grow.’” [or even more obscure, "'Vaster than Empires (and More Slow.)'"]


    • Those are good! I kinda love “As Ye Sow”–plays into quite a few of the themes of the book too, and you haven’t even read it!

      Vaster Than Empires is good too, and I think might appeal to our young audience, even though most would have no idea to what it refers. Our Vegetable Love… these are good. Thank you.

      Yes, please, when you get done with (butchering) your (innocent, harmless) broccoli, please do come back and play some more.

  2. How about using “Gramen” as the series title? This first book could be “Gramen: Harbinger” or “Gramen: As Ye Sow” – and we’ll be happy to help you with the sequels as they sprout.

    Of course, since you say that Jed can talk to plants, there’s always “The Plant Whisperer.”

    • :)

      That’s good, Kate! I like Gramen: As Ye Sow. The Plant Whisperer makes me smile–Monty Roberts is one of my personal heroes, the original ‘Horse Whisperer’ (although he does not endorse the movie by that name, even though he was the original inspiration for it–they departed wildly from his methods to sensationalize it… anyway, I digress)…

      Thank you!

  3. I too thought of “The Plant Whisperer”. It also reminds me of an old Roald Dahl story in which a man can hear plants cry when they are cut or pruned. “Fields of Children: A story of the Plant Hearer”. That gives me a bit of a creepy thrill, which might appeal to your age group of reader.

    • Oh, my goodness–thank you for the book recommendation. I adore Roald Dahl and can’t believe I don’t know that story… maybe I read it as a girl in England (where Roald Dahl filled a full shelf of the children’s section in the library). It’s kinda cool to think I might have unconsciously been developing on a forgotten Roald Dahl theme from my childhood. Oh, Abe Books, here I come again…

    • Also, I love “Fields of Children”–definitely a creepy thrill there. On first reading, I thought you meant that was the name of the Roald Dahl story. Is this the one: “The Sound Machine,” the tale of a botanist who invents a machine that translates the sound of plants into speech? I’m tickled and awed to find a kid’s story with a related theme (and that it’s by the marvelous and inventive Roald Dahl!). The only other book I know of that features a sentient plant is The Ruins by Scott Smith. It’s a horror story written for adults (def not kid material!). New (used) Roald Dahl story collection on its way… YES. :D

      • Yes, I think that’s the story, I guess it’s more an adultish story. He wrote a lot of short stories directed towards adults with the same sort of whimsical and macabre sense of humor as in James and the Giant Peach, etc. It’s good to know the name of it!

        I do think Gramen: As Ye Sow,is a very good idea.

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  5. Having skimmed the comments too, I like:

    Jed’s War as the series name.

    Then some subtitle. The Captive Ones is nice. It doesn’t imply anything about plants, but “Ones” implies some alien something.

    • Jed’s War has a nice irony to it, considering a war is never what he wanted. And The Captive Ones has been my favorite all along. Thanks for the comment–it’s nice to see you around. I’ve been thinking about you & hoping everything’s good for you.

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