I’ve been lax about updating my blog for the past few weeks. First it was The Moth and now it’s the interminable task of updating my website and figuring out how to market Raising John and the next book, and generally get my name out there as a writer of painful but redemptive stories about family dysfunction.
One of the things I need to do is come up with a tagline. See up there under my name, where it now says “please excuse the dust?” Well, someday that space will contain a tagline – a short phrase that captures the essence of who I am as a writer.
Coming up with a tagline is harder than it looks. After rolling ideas around in my head for months, I’m, if anything, more confused about what I’m trying to say than I was when I started. So, I’m throwing it out there for feedback. Here is what I have so far.
The idea I’m trying to convey is that in my writing, I tell stories about really horrible situations between people, but I bring out the positive aspects of these stories. For example, in Raising John, yes, someone dies, and yes there is domestic violence and addiction, but in the end, the characters believe that life is good and worth living. Yes, we do stupid things, and people to terrible things to each other, but in the end, we fight to live and we find joy in life, despite the difficulty.
One idea I had was “finding the beauty in life.” But, this tells only half the story – it refers to the beauty, but not the pain. So, then I thought of “beauty from the ashes.” The problem with this is that I’m not saying that I resurrect the beauty, I’m saying I find it already extant, but amid the rubble.
Then I thought about “beauty from the shattered pieces,” but again, it’s evocative of creating the beauty in life, rather than finding and highlighting it.
So THEN I thought “discovering beauty amid the fractured pieces,” but even though that kind of captures it, it’s too wordy (anyone remember the old Microsoft slogan “Your potential inspires us to create software that helps you reach it?” Yeah … most convoluted, clumsy corporate slogan in history.
Then I thought “reclaiming beauty from the ruins.” It’s closer to what I’m trying to say, but … I’m still not crazy about it. I thought about simply “beauty from the ruins.” That’s closer, in that it’s spare, but it might be too spare because I’m not sure someone who doesn’t know what I’m trying to say would know what it means.
It might be that I’m approaching it from the wrong angle. Maybe beauty isn’t really what I’m finding. Would love to hear readers’ thoughts.