I love it when synchronicities happen that confirm something I sense or am in the process of doing. This one is simple but direct.
Several months ago, I woke from a dream about aliens and thought, Wow, this would make a cool novel. I didn’t remember much of anything about the dream, so I just started writing and called the folder HER. The title sucked, I knew that, and our daughter confirmed there was a movie called HER, so I knew the title would change at some point.
The premise is simple. After dozens of people on Tango Key sight a UFO plunging into the Gulf of Mexico, the elderly custodian of the Tango Key lighthouse finds an alien body on the side of the cliff where the lighthouse sits. The alien appears to be dead and the custodian and his friend, who works for a private UFO research group, stow the body in a floor freezer. They hire a psychic who once worked for this organization to read the body and glean whatever information she can.
She picks up that the alien was amphibious and as she reads it, her feet and hands become webbed, just like the hands and feet of the alien. The story takes off from there.
There were things in this story – like the amphibious stuff – that bewildered me. But since it had appeared, I kept it. Intuitive storytelling or something. Two hundred pages in, I realized the amphibious elements were the story and started casting around for the right title. Water Dancers felt right. But because these aliens are NOT nice guys like Spielberg’s ET, I thought the title might be too poetic or something. So I texted my Colombian friend Leiny about the title,
What do you think about this title for a novel about aliens? A random question. Her response was my confirmation.
Leiny and her family are preparing to move to Minnesota, where her husband is from. Here’s what she said:
The place I am going to live is named Dancing waters. The community name is Dancing Waters, in Woodbury, Minnesota.
“Hey, Rob,” I called out when I saw this message. “What do you think of this?”
“You got you confirmation,” he said. “That’s your title,” he said. “Water Dancers.”