Monday, December 15, 2014

Eight Terrible Titles and Battle of the Bands ~ We Three Kings

Before we get down to Battle of the Bands (which is still Christmas)... I want to do something fun with my WiP, titled right now as Out of Touch. It will be brief, so take a time-out with me. Here's the dealio...

I got tagged by Marcy Hatch at mainewords in a game called Eight Terrible Titles. Here's how it works. Scroll through your manuscript at random, letting your cursor wander over the pages. Stop. Select the phrase it lands on and–BAM! You’ve got yourself one terrifically terrible title! Repeat this 7 more times. Let the good times roll. Tag eight others (or whoever you want!).

I am going to include the whole sentence, but bold and use caps on the phrase where the cursor landed (see The New Title for my book). Let's see how good or bad this turns out!
  1. "Not one of my Finer Moments," I agreed, though it was extremely satisfying at the time.
  2. I searched the floor for The Pencil, but it was not there.
  3. "What else? One Misplaced Cufflink, and my life unravels."
  4. He pulled out of the lot, and I contented myself with the fact I was Riding in a Car I'd only dreamt about until this moment.
  5. I landed Flat on My Face.
  6. "Well, yes. I yelled at him and ran down the street, but he was Too Fast For Me." Grandma sighed discontentedly.
  7. "A Shot To The Head. Was anything stolen?" I asked.
  8. Without thinking, I Touched the Victorian-era divan, and the vision enveloped me completely.
Well, that didn't turn out quite as terrible as I thought it might. Touched isn't half bad. Maybe the name for the sequel???

If you're a writer, and this looks like fun, I invite you to give it a try. Only takes a few minutes, and it's interesting. So, I'm not going to pick on any of you. Just blow a kiss your way and an offer to run with it.

Now, let's get on with Battle of the Bands, part two of this Christmas edition.

Up until a few days ago, I was still undecided on what song/artists to use for this battle. I love Christmas songs. Just about all Christmas songs. The number of artists for any given song... well, the list can be endless. I spent nearly an hour (maybe more) shuffling from song to song on YouTube (or the Great Time Suck, depending on your experience) before landing on We Three Kings. I have no idea if anyone else is using this song today, has used it in the past, blah blah blah. But the chances of posting the same two versions of this song... I'd be shocked. So, let's get down to it. You get to vote on your favorite after listening to them both... so please give them both a listen and vote in the comments!

We Three Kings by The Piano Guys:

If that wasn't up your alley, maybe this will be...

We Three Kings by Celtic Woman:

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles:
If you are participating in Battle of the Bands, and you are not listed here, leave me a note in the comments. Thanks!

Now, is the critical moment. It is time to vote for your favorite version of this song. I even encourage you to leave me long comment explaining all the ins and outs of why you voted as you did! 


  1. I think I like The Piano Guys' version best. No singing, but it has lots of energy.

  2. TOUCHED would actually make a decent title for your book!

  3. The Piano Guys are definitely up my alley. "We Three Kings" is a melody that lends itself so well to many interpretations.

    I've become very bored with all of those Celtic shows on PBS--they're all starting to sound the same. I loved "Riverdance" but now tend to quickly turn the channel when another Celtic extravaganza comes on the tube. The rendition of "3 Kings" by the girls sounds pretty but is also pretty boring to me.

    Give me the Piano Guys. They're not as attractive to my eyes as are the gals, but they sure know how to play and they made the song sound original and interesting.

    Tossing It Out

  4. Interesting mix of lines, Robin!

    I really like the Piano Guys version (but I wonder how long the cello player has to be in the band to get his instrument listed in the title?). I like their go at the ol' "put-the-band-in-a-weird-place-and-have-them-pretend-to-play-their-song" thought of video production. Musically, there is a lot to like here. The only thing I might offer as a criticism is that if you didn't know what song they were doing, you might never know -- you have to really listen for the melody. But it's got a great groove and some excellent playing.

    The Celtic Womans (not "women"?) version is much more traditional, with a few Celtic elements sprinkled in. Everything is quite good, but it somehow doesn't quite come together for me -- it's too bland. Maybe they've played it so many times they've become bored with it or something; Maybe it's from trying to get a huge orchestra and choir together that there's very little room for variations on the beat -- everyone has to be robotic to stay on time with everyone else. Whatever it is, there just doesn't seem to be much life in it to me.

    So I give the edge to the Piano (and Cello) Guys.

    Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

  5. Give me the Piano Guys. I love Celtic music, but like Arlee said, it sounds a little boring. Much of the same. I like the uniqueness of the Piano Guys.

    Regarding your title stuff... Weird, Flat on My Face is the title of my next novel. I guess I need to change it now.

    I'll spare you eight, but for kicks, here's four, completely at random, from our upcoming comedy spy novel.

    I used to shop at that fancy dollar store adjacent from it, but I found that as a government employee I wasn’t exactly Made of Dollars.

    Hey, don’t ask me why, but Terrorists Are 150% More Likely to Watch Late Night 1990s Softcore Erotica than your average person.

    Today of all days I didn’t Bring My Gun to the Grocery Store.

    I had also read in an online forum somewhere that romance novels were a psychological indicator of Latent Sexual Insanity indulged in by women whose mothers had been exposed to high levels of toxic radiation while in the womb.

    1. I think you can still use Flat On My Face. I don't see that it will ever correlate to this series... or am I totally wrong about that???? Hmm... well, I still give you my permission to keep your original title. It's yours... Merry Christmas! I like Latent Sexual Insanity. Was I exposed to toxic radiation in the womb? It would explain a lot!

  6. When I first saw the participants in this BATTLE, I thought; oh,my this is gonna be a tough one. I have a love/hate relationship with bagpipes and generally enjoy Celtic music. I also really like the Piano (cello) Guys. In the end it really wasn't that hard

    The bagpipe intro on the Celtic Women piece was really nice and I started to sit back to enjoy and then they started signing. Something about those high pitched voices just seemed wrong. I'm sure it's just me, but this song seems better suited to a deeper tone (male voice). Their back-up was nice, but not nice enough to sway my vote.

    The Piano (Cello) Guy (Jon Schnieder sp?) on the other hand never fail to entertain. At first listen I wasn't too keen on the jazzed up version of 'Three Kings', but after hearing the Celtic gals, my vote goes to these two very talented and entertaining guys.

    With respect to your 'Terrible Titles'; 'Touched' is actually quite good and fits the novel perfectly, almost better than 'Out of Touch'. Also, I think people tend to gravitate toward one word titles for some reason.

  7. Ooh - I really liked the Piano Guys. Though I typically really like Celtic music. The title game cracks me up! How entertaining! On Misplaced Cufflink made me laugh. Well done. So great to bump into you Robin!

  8. Hey Robin,

    Have you missed me?

    You certainly are having fun with your creativity. As for that Battle of the Bands stuff. Sorry, but both versions made me want to violently puke. Let me know when the Christmas fiasco is over :)

    Take care, my kind friend.


  9. You came up with some great titles, Robin! Though "The Pencil" doesn't sound like it's very plot driven, you could probably combine it with another title to create "Lead In The Head!" The Piano Guys by a landslide!


  10. Oh I love these Celtic Gals and they do a lovely version of the song and more in keeping with the song, to me. I enjoyed the Piano Guys but it just didn't ring true to me. The titles are quite funny:)

  11. The Piano Guys were exactly up my alley! So much fun and upbeat. I was tapping my toes and wishing I had a pair of skates. However, the song was barely recognizable as We Three Kings.

    Celtic Woman really sang this well, and the bagpipes carried the recognizable notes. Celtic Woman gets my vote.

    My fav title is One Misplaced Cufflink. Now there is a unique story title :)

  12. I have to agree with Fae, I think this song is better suited for a male voice. I love Celtic Women overall, but their angelic voices can't do this song justice in my opinion. Now, I love The Piano Guys and although it's totally different ~ an instrumental, jazzy arrangement then I cliched my heart chords instantly. Give The Piano Guys my vote, please! Have the merriest Christmas yet!

  13. Part 1 Of 2:

    Where the hell have I been?!?!?!

    Actually, that is EXACTLY what I was WONDERING ABOUT YOU!!!

    I was just about to send you an E axing why you didn't post a BOTB yesterday. I saw that you had voted in several Battles, so I couldn't figure out why you hadn't posted one of your own. I thought: Well, she's probably just scrambling to come up with something and she'll post one in the late afternoon or early evening.

    But I checked again just before I went to bed around 9:15 PM or so, and STILL you'd not posted a BOTB. Now I was worried that maybe you had dropped out of the BOTBfest and neglected to mention it to me.

    So, just now, when I saw you still hadn't put a Battle up, I was about to E you, but a little bird voice in my head said I should go directly to your blog first before starting to write the E. So I came here and - LO AND BEHOLD! - here was a BOTB installment that had been up since 11:07 AM your time yesterday!

    You must have been wondering why I was voting everywhere else but ignoring your Battle, huh? Well, here's where the confusion came in: If you go to my BOTB blog and check the sidebar where I have all the BOTB participants listed in a blog roll, you'll see that for some unknown reason the title of THIS Battle of yours never appeared in my sidebar. It's still (as of 10 minutes ago) showing that your most recent post was titled "CONVERSATING". Everyone else's new BOTB titles are showing, and THAT is the place from where I click and visit other BOTBers. (But I won't be doing it THAT way anymore!)

    You saw me reply to you on your "Conversating" post yesterday, because I clicked on the title from my blog's sidebar. Now you know why I wasn't here early yesterday!

    It's funny that while I was composing that long, 2-part comment on your 'Conversating' blog bit, I had NO IDEA that just above it (but invisible to my eyes) was this BOTB installment. SORRY! I simply did not know because a nasty Blogspot bug faked me out.

    First, the book titles: You got some GOOD ONES by doing that. Not necessarily good for whatever story you're working on right now, but good as potential titles for future books. Below are my thoughts on them.

    Finer Moments - This sounds almost too much like some overly sentimental Romance or Victorian Era story, but it's not bad, really.

    The Pencil - Not too good, But, hey, 'The Notebook' sold like lemonade on a very hot day. Maybe you should write a novel about the Nicholas Sparks story 'The Notebook' but you could write it from The Pencil's point of view. Ha!

    One Misplaced Cufflink - The imagination runs wild with speculation of what the significance and importance of it might be!

    Riding in a Car - Just add the words "With Boys" and you've got a winner.

    Flat on My Face - Seriously, that's a really good potential title!

    Too Fast For Me - Another really good one.

    A Shot To The Head - Mmmm... Sounds too much like Sinatra's movie 'A Hole In The Head'.

    Continued Below...

    1. Part 2 Of 2:

      Touched - Nah. Too generic and mushy girlie-sounding.

      I really like this Christmas carol A LOT! It's one you don't hear as often as some others but I really like it. (And I hear it every year when 3 old bums sing it in the old Christmas episode of the TV show 'Dragnet', which I listen to on tape every year. It's one of my many Christmas traditions.)

      I flat-out LOVED the version by THE PIANO GUYS. Great, interesting playing that had so much going on for such a limited musical palette instrument-wise.

      The second version didn't thrill me much. I don't usually like soprano lead singers. I like soprano voices in a choir to add texture and more sonic harmonic elements, but not as the featured vocalist in a song. I also think, as others here did, that their rendition was a bit too tame. Yeah, "bland" is the less-nice word.

      Easy and very enthusiastic vote for THE PIANO GUYS.

      Hey, Robin, my Sweetheart, I saw your comment note at my blog last night. Two things: I am crazy busy but I WILL get to my reply at my blog first (maybe today, if not tomorrow for sure, and you can bet your house on it... unless The Good Lord mercifully takes me first).

      I still have about 4 videos I need to watch at your HTYT post before I can comment there also, but that too WILL be done if not today, tomorrow - bet the house!

      Today though, I have to wrap some gifts and take them to the post office (an A-list job in itself) and finish decorating this house. Then tonight we have a TRT movie scheduled. (And, incidentally, if you think you'd ever like to join FAE, Beer Boy Bryan, and myself in our TRT activities, you have an absolutely open invitation and open arms to join in any time you'd care to.)

      One last thing for now...
      It almost makes me cry to think you'd been going back repeatedly to my blog to see if I'd found the time yet to reply. GIRL WONDER, do you not use the "NOTIFY ME" method? Below the window where you type your comment there's a small box which says "Notify me" beside it. If you click that box, it will put a checkmark in it, and then anytime someone submits a new comment to that particular blog bit, you will receive an Email in your InBox. The Email will show you the entire comment and also include a link you can click that will take you directly to that blog bit's comment section, should you want to add another comment.

      You can click "Notify Me" before or after submitting a comment and it works either way. I don't use it on all blog bits, but if I want to make sure I don't miss a reply to me on a certain blog bit, I will click it and receive E notifications anytime some new comment appears at that blog bit. It's a very handy little device which saves a person from having to continually go back to a blog to see if anyone there has responded to them yet. (I would never use the "Notify Me" device on a blog like ABFTS or Susan Swiderski's blog though, because they receive so many comments your E InBox would get swamped with, like, 70 to 125 Email notifications.)

      Please forgive me for my lateness here, there, and everywhere, Robin. Life is hard right now and time is short and I'm doing the best I can. (Last night, while trying to fall asleep, I was running through my mind some of the things I will say to you when I finally get a chance to reply to your A-list comment on my final F-FFF blog bit. I probably should have just gotten up then at 3 AM and started typing what I was thinking, but I was even too tired to get outta bed and into the cold.)

      Yak Soon, GW.

      ~ D-FensDoggTiredADayLateAndDollarShort

    2. I saw that my blog hadn't updated in the sidebar of your BoTB blog. I didn't think to tell you that I'd posted. Bah.

      I, too, really like The Piano Guys' version of this song. I think I just got tired of looking for any more versions of We Three Kings. Celtic Woman was the best I'd found (but obviously not good enough based on the voting).

      Regarding "Notify Me:" I thought I'd mentioned this in a comment to you before, as I vaguely recall you telling me about this already... but, maybe you weren't "notified" on that blog bit... and missed it. Here's the dealio... I set up this blog back in 2010 using an email address that I really don't use any longer. It started getting overly spammed (as all email addresses will... unless you're very careful) and I got sick of it. So, I started from scratch elsewhere. I could have a notification sent, but only to that email address, which I don't read anymore. You can see the problem, I'm sure.

      Eight Terrible Titles... Actually, I was thinking of using Touched because my MC touches things with an emotional fingerprint attached and is launched into a vision of the event that left it behind. I'd say it's "Women's Fiction," but Bryan has already told me that is unnecessarily cutting my audience. He said he liked it. Although he did say really manly men, like you, probably wouldn't care for it. So, take for what it's worth.

      My own commenting... I was struck down with flu in the late hours of Monday night (as was my mother and half my church). This is the first I've logged onto the computer since then. I made the error of eating five little pieces of pineapple about a half hour ago. I won't go into the details, but my stomach has made it clear that even though I feel significantly better, the virus is alive and well in there. It's back to liquids for me!!!

    3. ROBIN ~
      I do remember you telling me about that "Notify Me" problem before (and not long ago, which gives you a clue about my current graveyard shi[f]t mental condition).

      Don't be surprised if I forget it again, soon, and ask again why you don't use "Notify Me". Yeah, I'm a mess right now.

      I hope you feel A-list good (again) real soon.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  14. I expected to favor the Celtic version and was surprised when I didn't, at all. I vote for the Piano Guys because it made me want to get up and dance.

  15. Hi Robin. First I'll tell you why I didn't vote for Celtic Woman's version. I've watched them for many years - too many lovely voices are gone now. Voices that would have balanced those high notes. Harmony that would have bonded and blended in tone upon tone, note upon note. They are wonderful singers but no longer the Celtic Woman. She was a singular voice.

    The Piano Guys are old friends. I have to be careful to be fair. But I've grown accustomed to their face - accustomed to their antics - and, though some thought their version was a bit all over the place - I've grown accustomed to their play. This is they way they play, child-like, free-spirited, love-filled.

    Piano Guys.

  16. Also I have some questions about joining BOTB. How long do you display each battlr. I have thee blogs but one id closed right now. It the display is more than one day - I might consider re-opening that one for this,specifically.
    Not wanting use your comment space - you can email me:
    In the title/subject, type BOTB
    By the way - I just found your post today too. Another time then. :)

    1. If you want to join Battle of the Bands, make sure you notify Stephen T. McCarthy so that he can add you to blogroll of participants on his page. Most of the other participants include links to everyone participating.

      I think using your currently-closed blog is a good idea. BoTB posts on the 1st and 15th of every month. Most people keep the voting open for a week and then post the results. Some people create a separate post and others post in the comments with the results and their choice. You can do it however you want!

      Stephen T. McCarthy created a blog specifically for Battle of the Bands, so he'd say that having a blog devoted to it... good idea!

    2. Thank you, Robin. I appreciate you help and information!

  17. After having heard The Piano Guys' version, I didn't figure there'd be any contest, then Celtic Woman comes out with a piper...

    Still, The Piano Guys' version was a lot of fun to listen to, it was a unique arrangement, and the irreverence put it over the top. They're my choice.

    John Holton
    The Sound Of One Hand Typing

  18. You surprised me with this one. I love The Piano Guys, and while I don't dislike the Celtic group, it's not one that stands out. So going in, I knew who I was going to pick... but I was wrong. The girls blew the guys away on this one, I vote Celtic Woman.

  19. I kinda liked Flat on my Face but agree that Touched is probably a pretty darn good title.

  20. My vote goes to the Piano Guys but I really love both.I think I would be intrigued by a book by the title Flat On My Face. Dragon Hugs!

  21. Hey! Your "titles" sound pretty darned good!

    As for the battle, I really liked the first version, but expected to love the second. I did love the intro, but the singing part, not so much. Much to my surprise, I'm voting for the piano dudes. (cello guy, too...)

    Merry Christmas, Robin, and all the best in the new year.

  22. The sound of the second one is more remarkable. Celitc Woman gets my vote.

    Have a safe, warm and loving Holiday season, dear Robin. xo

  23. I'm gonna go with Dire Straights.

  24. OK, I don't know what the hell just happened. Did I comment on the wrong post? I have no idea.

  25. Robin .. I say that they are not to be compared, it is not possible to give preference, are two very different kinds of music, the variables that can influence the vote may be many, the number of years and the lifestyle of the people who have judge, can influence the vote.

    I personally my vote is for the Celtic "also The piano guys is very nice" just because it is a "work" full it goes appreciated the orchestra, the chorus, the text speech, and very important to "revive" the old traditions.

  26. Great songs for the season! I apologize for not voting!


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Dazzle Me!