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Everyone knows if you are going to write your personal memoir or autobiography, you should settle on a catchy title. A catchy title is the Vegas Neon Sign of the memoir world. It must be something deeply philosophical, lightly amusing, and encompass the essence of person, journey, past, present and future, in three words or less. To stand the test of time, it should be short, in my opinion, and not too fussy. Examples of current pop-reference memoirs include:
How hard can it be? Turns out, it's hard mostly because once you figure out a title, you need to find a domain name that’s not already taken. “Be patient, Leslie, These things take time.” I told myself. But, by August of this year, I felt like we were getting down to the wire. I want the blog to be able to launch soon after 2016, and I can't change a blog name mid-circumnavigation. That would just be silly. The pressure is mounting.
Step One(A): Chase Your Travel Buddy Around Demanding Ideas
For weeks, I’ve been carrying around my trusty Moleskine "Idea Book” hoping an idea would strike. Drives to San Diego to visit Sonrisa, a trip to the grocery store, in the laundry room...it's all fair game. I placed the weight of this task on Andrew, as he is our "idea man". Pen poised, I waited for genius to strike. "We should go with some Spanish Flare!" He declares, "You know, because Sonrisa is Spanish." Initial ideas proposed included Vacilamos.com (let'sgo.com), Desierto.com (wilderness.com) the domaine for which could be had for a cool $5,000, thus an alternative proposal for MiDesierto.com (mywilderness.com)
Step Two (A): Criticize All of His Suggestions
I did not particularly like these. They are fussy, and they don't capture much about anything. When I proposed these to my good friend chipping away at the oil industry in North Dakota, he wrinkled his nose in distaste and suggested "AndrewandLeslieGodfreyGoSailing.com" so it would be easy to remember. Too long, my friend, but I hear you.
Andrew then became enamored with ValiantSonrisa.com, nay, convinced. “She is a Valiant and her name is Sonrisa. We are valiantly sailing the ocean! Good for search requests about Valiant sailboats, too.” He swings his arm into the air every time he says "VALIANTLY!" I grumble, but in desperation I bought a domaine with this name. I sat on it for a while, and with each day I disliked it more. I don’t feel very “Valiant” at all. Mostly, I feel like a chicken running headlong down a road, feet swerving with confusion of destination. I suggested PB&Jellyfish.com, but it was already taken. Peanutbutterandjellyfish.org just doesn't have the same punch.
Step One (B): Set Aside Relaxing Time to Brainstorm
"We need a change of scenery," I tell Andrew as we drive home from Costco one evening that week. "We need to go camping."
“Hmm.” He says.
That Friday, we close up work, grab the pre-compiled camping buckets, and set off to Navajo Lake near Cedar City, Utah. Intending to conduct brainstorming sessions around the campfire from after dinner to 10:00 p.m., Max. We start Saturday morning with a long mountain bike ride to get the literal and figurative "cogs" turning, find a colorful toad, and eat a delicious burger with sweet potato fries at one of those little burger barns in Small Town U.S.A.
Step 2(B): Let it flow.
Around the campfire, the following gems were proposed "Seathewild.com", “Carpesiem.com," its cousin "Carpeseaem.com", "whirrledpeas.com" (Andrew was obviously getting drunk at this point), "Thegreatcircleproject.com", "needlessseamore.com", "upwindbothways.com," and "toadkrachen.com."
"We could make Krachen our official ship's rum!" I admit this offering is the best of the lot, but I can't break with tradition. Sailor Jerry has always been our official ship's rum.
Step 3(B): Don't Give Up, But Take a Break. Ponder Other Questions.
I was about to give up and scrap the blog completely. I figured we could just post on Facebook to our friends. That's enough. I asked Andrew why are we sailing anyway? And he said: "To do something different. Maybe we should name it something off in left field, you know, nothing to do with sailing at all."
I sigh. " Yeah, we should just call it Oddgodfrey.com because you are odd." We sat in silence enjoying the fire for a while, wood sparks popping into our lap.
“I like that,” Andrew says after a while.
"What?" having forgotten what I just said.
"Oddgodfrey.com. It's perfect. Not too long, not too fussy, easy to remember." He said. It captures the spirit of my Unicorn Alter Ego, perfectly.” I sat back with my beer, closed my Moleskin. He's right. I've met Oddgodfrey before, I love that guy.