I was sitting looking out of the window and waiting for inspiration to strike, which it seldom does. But if it did, I would want it to be more like a Eureka-type moment rather than getting slapped in the face. One thing that happens while I am waiting for inspiration is that I do get to see some interesting wildlife such as the blue birds that I believe are calling jays, but in my mind all I can think of is mocking jays from The Hunger Games, which I believe is due to watching it too often thinking how academic life often resembles The Hunger Games. So then my thoughts wandered to what I should title my book. Here is what came to mind:
Title Possibility 1: Are you there, Tequila? It’s me, Mo.
I liked this title. It has a nice ring to it. Now, I know what some of you are probably thinking, “But Mo, Chelsea Handler has a book called ‘Are you there Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea’ and she might be mad if you do a spoof on her title.” Well, I appreciate your concern dear readers, but I’m not worried. If Chelsea has a fit and wants to meet me in the back parking lot of the university and have a little “chat” about it, I would be happy to oblige. And if that chat happens to escalate a bit, I am confident I can take her. After all, I have spent at least two month’s worth of my time at the “Imperial University” hiking up and down the stairs when the elevators aren’t working. I have calves of steel. Additionally, I can bench press 2 boxes of graduate catalogs. Just because she lives in Hollywood and has her own personal fitness trainer, that doesn’t mean a thing. For Pete’s sake, anyone who has ever watched Rocky knows that the underdog wins. Obviously in such a contest, I would be that underdog.
Then I started thinking about Downton Abbey. That’s when the Muse came up and struck me across the face with her gloves of inspiration and the idea of A Victorian Advisor was birthed. After that burst of thought, I was tired and had to take a break. So I went back to looking out of the window where I watched a coyote run down the middle of the street as if he had the right away. Finally, I came back to pondering book titles.
Title Possibility 2: Do or do not. There is No Try. – The Memoir of an Academic Advisor for the Imperial University
This led me to contemplate memoirs in general so that the next title idea that popped into my head was
Title Possibility 3: Eat, Pray, Drink
Then the Muse whacked me again and my startled brain thought, “Wait a minute, that could be an instructional book!”
Eat, Pray, Drink: The Mo Solo Advising Method
The ideas began to flow.
1. Eat – First you must go to the Student Union cafeteria or the building coffee cart or the office break room (as there is usually some free food lurking). Eat selected food items, which could be a chocolaty, sugar-laden doughnut, a greasy, cheese-covered, artery-hardening, breakfast, so-called power sandwich, or a 2-day old bagel, which still lingers unclaimed by either GA’s or professors.
2. Eat selected food item, washing it down with copious amounts of tea or coffee to jumpstart brain.
3. Pray – Go to your office and pray that your 2005 desktop computer with Windows 95 will actually boot up.
4. Pray that the space heater to defrost your chair doesn’t accidentally flip a breaker thereby deleting the 500-page manuscript from the computer of the professor in the office next to you.
5. Go to the bathroom and pray that the chatty student assistant will not be in the stall next to you talking to her third boyfriend of the month.
6. Pray that the hot water works when you go to wash your hands.
7. Go to the library on the pretense of seeking out research for an article so that you can have a few moments of peace and quiet. Pray that no one figures out that you just like to hang out with the cool librarians, eat some of their tasty and non-stale snacks while pretending to get their literary jokes that you really have no clue about, but want them to think you are cool too.
8. Drink – Bring your own water bottle filled with vodka or clear tequila. Be sure to keep a bowl of Skittles or other yummy smelling candy on your desk to help disguise the potential scent of alcohol and bribe people with.
9. After work immediately head to an academic function where you know they will be serving alcohol. Pretend like you belong there by immediately helping yourself to a drink.
10. If you are unable to find an academic function, head to one of the local pubs known to be frequented by administrators and senior faculty and accidentally-on-purpose bump into them, preferably after they’ve already had a few drinks. They will usually then take pity on you – a mere academic advisor – and offer to buy you a drink or two.
Well, that’s as far as I got with my inspiration for book titles (and possibly a new book). Maybe once the Muse slaps me a bit more, I’ll have some other ideas.
I’d love to hear some of your ideas!
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