How does this strike you?

You can help me, if there's help to be had, by giving your honest appraisal of the following title, subtitle, and brief book description ("handle").



A story of confronting ultimate questions, by a fisherman-preacher's daughter who scrambled to avoid seeing ugliness in herself and beauty in people who didn’t fit her religious ideals.

Please let me know what you think, by commenting or emailing me at deannahershiser[at]

Be brutal. Really. Better you than them.

Plus, if I ever sell it, I'm inviting you all over for one of these apiece:


fresca said…
I will think more on it, but the first question that struck me was:
do you mean:
"Loving and ACCEPTING Love"
rather than "being loved"?

I mean, we don't really choose if we are "being loved," but we do choose if we accept it, yes? (We can refuse grace.)

But I don't know your book or if the point is choice or not, of course.

My second question is: can I have a grilled cheese sandwich instead? (I don't really like fish, though that one does look nice and crunchy!)
Good luck!!!
Deanna said…
Grilled cheese, definitely, Fresca! (I usually prefer cheese to fish, myself.)

This helps so much; just what I'm after. I shall ponder your insight. Thanks for asking in previous comments about the book. I've posted mainly about my progress with it, to a tiresome degree, I'm sure. It might be best described as a memoir in essays(?). You can see I'm working on descriptions. I've had one essay published and another is forthcoming in Relief Journal. And I'm rethinking and reworking and hoping to make it a book about compassion for others and self, in light of God's compassion, as I see it, despite screwing up.
fresca said…
I don't write much about this on my blog these days, but your theme(s) have been and are central to my life, which is full of screw-ups (a kind term) and grace nevertheless.

I've never been to Oregon, but when your book comes out, I'll show up for a grilled-cheese sandwich! : )
[Just kidding--I'm NOT a stalker!)
Cherie said…

Headless and Tasty in Eugene. (Does THAT sound like the title of book?? Ha.)
teal! said…
can I have fresca's fish in addition to my own?

I like the title and subtitle. The handle doesn't flow well out of my mouth. I think it needs work. (I think it's mostly the last clause that doesn't sit right)
Deanna said…
Hi Deanna, 2 cents..although I do not qualify as a writer..but I do read. ;-)
I'm not sure I like the word 'scrambled' in the text.

I do like the title.
Deanna said… I am finding myself..writing and rewriting the description in my head, almost as if it were the tagline for a movie.
I'll let you know when I've hit upon a best seller. LOL
Deanna said…
Thanks for the help! You've each given me good food for thought, and I appreciate company as I take this course of study in (bleh) marketing.

Fresca, I have no worries about someone who likes Firefly and Star Trek.

Teal, the fish is yours, and, seriously, if you want to go catch your own, I'll talk to my dad...

Deanna, the two cents of a reader are worth thousands, at least. Just let me know the best-selling tag line when you hit upon it. But, see, you're thinking here like a writer, yourself. ;o)

Cherie, your title's the winner, I know it!! Too bad I only wish to step inside the foyer of the writing world and find a tiny spot on a shelf in the far corner where my work might fit; otherwise I'd HAVE to write a book to go with that name. :o)
jodi said…
that's the only way to do it. Think of it as a tagline. The bit that stays in your mind when you think of a particular movie.

I dunno...


---I don't know about the title, because I'm not a fan of longer titles unless they're sentences or refer to something that goes click.

However, I do like imagery, and I like the title as simply


because it refers to life, how you deal with life, things beyond your life, and things unseen, and things that might be in the water.

Or if you like the rythm? (darned spellcheck!) DEEP WATER, ENDLESS MERCY or something along those lines, bright just doesn't work for me, it sounds a little jarring


Maybe flip flop these? Depsite getting it wrong, loving and accepting love (or being loved)

you can reject grace, but I kind of like being loved because it implies an ongoing struggle to accept it

depends on what you're trying to get across, whether it's a story of triumph, or a story of an ongoing struggle.

A story of confronting ultimate questions, by a fisherman-preacher's daughter who scrambled to avoid seeing ugliness in herself and beauty in people who didn’t fit her religious ideals.
...., I don't like the blurb. Sorry. I wish I could put it better, but it's late and I'm tired. So let me back it up and tell you why

Not a bad blurb in all, but a blurb sells your book. It needs more voice. It needs to be very very strongly "you".

It needs to avoid ambiguous and be very specifically concrete.


A fisherman-preacher's daughter confronts her prejudices, and struggles to accept God's grace.'s late (see above)

what I would suggest is writing a short three paragraph (or a page) synopsis and use that instead of the blurb. It'll give more info, let you expand on your idea, and ...sheesh, can't think. What I am doing is sending you the pdf file of this years lecture handouts.

There's one for how to create a blur/synopsis. Or simply browse the whole thing. It's a good reference point.
cecily said…
Hey Deanna...I haven't been around for ages and I'm trying to catch up on things but thought I would start here. I think I have a bit of a cheek showing up from the dark and making comments! That said - I'm thinking this over. They don't really grab me, but I've copied it into word and ponder and fiddle around and see what I can come up with. I have no education in this kind of thing, but I love doing it...

How are you by the way? (Or should I read the rest of your posts to discover that???!!)
Deanna said…
Thanks, thanks! I have much to keep me busy now, and the chance of coming up with something good - I mean, this trying to figure it out cleverly was getting way beyond me.
fresca said…
Hi, again--

I pretty much agree with Jodi--the title feels a bit clunky to me, (though it is a lovely image). "Bright" doesn't contrast with "Deep," so it doesn't as she says "click."
I do like "Deep Water" on its own, since she pointed it out.
Or some other word than bright? Deep Water, Boundless Grace. Deep Water, Springs of Grace. Deep Water, Sparkling Grace... Um, just playing around here.
The other thing is, though, it's your book and you get to name it what you want!
Anyway, you are close.

One other thing--the description of your father "fisherman preacher" throws me off. Is this a book about him and/or your relationship with him? If not, this gives emphasizes him a whole lot more than you. (+ why do we need to know he's a fisherman in this blurb?)
You are brave and good to struggle through with getting this to be as excellent as possible!
Good work!

(And you know, I rather feel that way too about people who like Star Trek.
You know I'm going to the Las Vegas con in 10 days or so, my 1st ever, and I would be very surprised if people were less than nice. Strange, maybe, but nice. I mean, I expect to be among friends. Hope I'm not wrong!)
Deanna said…
Thanks again, Fresca. I wanted to see if anyone was not thrilled with the fisherman part. I'd like to portray my dad and fishing and the water theme, but it may not all work this book.

We went to one day of a Star Trek con here in Eugene years ago. My hubby works for a local TV station, and we got comp tickets to see Uhura, Scotty, Sulu, and a few random crewmen (I know they have real names, but I'm tired). It was a great time. We have a few pictures somewhere... I hope you have the best time in Vegas and only meet gentlemanly Klingons and so on. I'll bet, as you say, they will be a fun group.
Mike S said…
All good suggestions. Let me think on it.