By the author, Jim Doti

The Jabberwocky editor suggested the following title: 

Jimmy’s Turn to Speak: A Story about Teasing

This didn’t work for me for several reasons but mainly because I don’t think the story is about teasing.  To me, it’s about Jimmy’s experience as an actor on stage that in turn helped him develop his confidence.  That thought gave me another possibility: 

An Adventure on Stage:  How Jimmy Gained His Confidence

I emailed Marna to ask her thoughts, and she quickly wrote back that she liked this one.  So we were getting close.  The word “confidence,” though, seemed trite to me.

When I ran it by my wife, Lynne, she suggested I consider changing “confidence” to “voice” so that it would be: 

An Adventure on Stage:  How Jimmy Gained His Voice

I liked that but liked the following even more:

An Adventure on Stage:  How Jimmy Found His Voice

With that, I shot an email to the Jabberwocky editor:

Dear Kate:

What do you think of the following: 

An Adventure on Stage:  How Jimmy Found His Voice

I hear more and more about writers, filmmakers and artists searching and experimenting to find their voice.  A Chapman film student, in fact, recently told me that she is still trying to “find her voice.”  At the Sundance Film Festival, every director seemed to be introduced with the moniker:  a new and interesting voice.

The more I think about it, the book is about an adventure for Jimmy that leads to the stage, and it’s on that stage where he finds his voice – not in a literal sense but certainly in the sense of how he used verve to “find his voice.”

Your thoughts?


She sent back the following reply:

Jim, this is a terrific direction for us to take the title.  As you point out, “voice” can be interpreted many different ways, all of which are applicable to the book.  I think this will broaden the audience tremendously as a result.

The only tweak I would suggest is regarding the phrasing of the subtitle.  In children’s books, the past tense is typically reserved for works of a historical nature, and the structure of “How X Happened” is more commonly found in adult literature.  So I suggest using “Finds” instead of “Found.”

 My response:  We got it.  By George, we got it.   The title will be:

An Adventure on Stage:  How Jimmy Finds His Voice

 Now that that’s settled (I hope for good), I can turn to something that has bugged me, namely my poem in the story:

“We love to sing our song
      as we sew shoes all night long.
Putting meat pies in our tummy
      that taste so warm and yummy.”

That obviously needs some additional work.  I’ll cover that in next week’s blog.


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