I have a travel blog – a digital notepad, a set of online postcards, just a scrappy thing I write in every day when I’m away which happens to be online. It exists chiefly for two reasons – one, so my mum knows I’m not dead and two, it’s so useful for this blog because I’ve scribbled down all the little details that I’ll forget within a few days. My mum not quite having mastered the art of subscribing or bookmarking or anything, the easiest way to tell her when to read it is to stick a link on Facebook every time I post something new and that means other people I know sometimes read it as well.
The net result of this is that a few people at work have told me in high excitement “you should write a book!” I’ve been shrugging this off because no, I shouldn’t write a book. But then a couple of months ago, Alexander Armstrong (him off Pointless) did a trip around the Arctic Circle, which resulted in a three-part ITV series and a tie-in book and I began to think, well, if he can do it…
My trips around “mainland Europe” have been nothing especially exciting but I could write a book about Scandinavia and the Arctic Circle. So I did. The fact that it’s not quite even twenty-five thousand words and therefore more a leaflet than a book is neither here nor there. It’s still a book and it exists, even if it’s only very much a teeny-tiny first draft. I need more on Norway and therefore I want to take the Hurtigruten to Tromsø from either Harstad or Bodø (it depends whether I think I can cope with twenty-three hours on a boat or only six) in January or February – I’ve wanted to travel by Hurtigruten ever since I discovered it in Trondheim in May 2011 but the fact is, it would fit in beautifully in the book. I may also need to go to Greenland – another thing I’ve wanted to do for a while (but can’t afford because Greenland is expensive) to fatten it up a bit.
The major problem is that it still doesn’t have a title. The proof copy of what exists thus far has “The Little Book of the Arctic” on the front cover but that’s not a title. “Something Cold” was the working title for a while but I’m not keen on that either. I’ve looked at films with West in the title and tried replacing them with North – “Once Upon a Time in the North”, “A Million Ways to Die in the North”, “Wild Wild North” etc. Those don’t work. “[Something], Sleigh, Gloves” – I like that, but I can’t find a first word better than Fleece, which isn’t the answer. I’ve scoured Shakespeare and the Bible in the hope of finding something I can steal or adapt but nothing.
So… help? Any suggestions for a title for this thing?