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I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


"Titles" is a recurring blog post in which we play with a single word and turn it into, what else, titles! Afterwards the object is to pick one of them and write a little something.

Ray Bradbury, in his book Zen in the Art of Writing, (an excellent book by the way) explained that he wrote long lists of nouns "that I simply flung forth on paper, trusting my subconscious to give bread, as it were, to the birds."

Learning while sitting at the feet of the master, I began to do the same, making lists of nouns and turning them into titles. They can be as simple as, The Wall, or more complicated as in The Wall Came Tumbling Down. It's great fun. Today's word is....

Humpback whales fin

"Cap't, there be whales here!"

My favorite Star Trek movie is The Journey Home. Not only does it have some really funny moments, it's about bringing whales from the past, back to present day earth, which no longer has them. What could be more endearing than that?
Whales Bubble Net Feeding-edit1

Let's make some titles!

Unfortunately Whales on Stilts is already taken, so we'll have to think of something else.

The Bubble Net Whale
Whale You Were Away
What the Heck is Whaling You?
Even Whales Dream of Flying
The Whale and the Walrus
The Whales of Middle Sea
If I Were a Whale I'd Be Big
Whales Don't Live Here Anymore
Say "Whale" Enough Times and it Starts to Sound Funny
Whales and Wales Are Not the Same
How Many Whales Does it Take to Screw in a Light Bulb?
I Whale Always Remember You
A Whale by Any Other Name is Still a Whale

I could go on and on, but I'll stop. Now, pick one of these titles OR make up one of your own and write a little something: a poem, a bit of flash fiction of 100 to 200 words, a short story, a picture book...a novel. I would love it if you shared.

Here's my contribution.

Even Whales Dream of Flying
In their dreams whales dream of flying
across the sky.

When they break through the water's surface
and push their giant bodies
towards the sunlight and the stars
there is a moment
when they feel the pull of gravity.
It tugs against their skin,
tugs against the blood and bone of who
they Are.

They shed the weight of
millions of years,
and sing
as they swim on air currents among
the clouds
or float along
the Milk Way
or siphon stardust
through baleen.

In their dreams
whales dream
that they can fly....

Got a title, bit of flash fiction, or a poem? Do share!


  1. This is a great idea and one I've used with creative writing students. Your word is hilarious. I'm in a joke look in my head now. Have you heard the one about the ice-skating whale?

  2. A lot of funny titles there, but I actually think the one you picked would work as a literary novel :-)

  3. Very nice! And that was a funny Star Trek.
    How about "Whale I Never!"

  4. Yep, good Star Trek choice. This is a great writing activity. Thanks for the idea.

  5. Hahaha awesome titles. And beautiful poem.

    Whales of the middle sea,
    When you visit distant lands,
    Will you stay safe and free?

    Pathetic attempt, but at least I tried. ;-)

  6. Great idea, which I often recommend to students. And I need it, too. I find that titles fall into two camps: Either they come with the idea from the beginning, or I can't come up with one for the life of me.

  7. Titles are full of possibilities. I love making them up. NO flash fiction for me ... I'm being a good girl and revising.

  8. The idea is fun, but your title and poem are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Lovely poem and such gorgeous pictures!

  10. I have to laugh at Alex's 'Whale I Never'. I am rubbish at titles - takes me ages to hit on ones I'm happy with!

  11. I love this post, Bish. Well, I love all your posts, so let me say I love this one REAL BIG.

    Just a few months ago there was a picture taken off the coast of Santa Cruz (CA Santa Cruz) that showed a whale out of the water, on its tail, in front of a kayaker. That whale came up, saw the situation and instead of doing its usual roll over and crushing the kayak and maybe the guy, slid back in the water without a splash. Amazing. That was caught on film by someone at the right place at the right time.

    These are the gentle giants on planet earth. Let's hope you never have to write a non-fiction piece with your title, Whales Don't Live Here Anymore.


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!