Yesterday I did 1,335 words on "The Collector of Bones," which I expect to finish today (for Sirenia Digest #26). Speaking of which, yesterday jtglover wrote the following, with regard to this story:
This might be the appropriate point to ask, what are your thoughts about titles that are or have been used by more than one author? Sometimes a title seems appropriate, and then you late find out someone's used it, but how about titles that are common words? I know you've used titles that have been used by others before, but I'd love your take on this.
The original comment included a link to the IMDb page for Phillip Noyce's astoundingly mediocre film, The Bone Collector (1999). I confess that, consciously, I'd entirely forgotten about that film, as it so completely failed to either impress or disappoint. But to answer the question at hand, I think a) "The Bone Collector" and "The Collector of Bones" are not actually the same titles, and that b) this sort of thing has to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Which might be all I have in the way of a take on this. Titles cannot be copyrighted (though they can be trademarked), and most times there's no legal problem using a title that's been used before, which is good, since almost anything you can think of has probably been used by someone as a title for something, somewhere, sometime. Silk was certainly not the first book to wear that title, and Low Red Moon was a song by Belly before it was a novel by me, and, of course, Gustave Flaubert wrote a novel titled Salammbô 134 years before I used the same title for a short story. I think titles are pretty much made to be recycled, most times. As for "The Collector of Bones" (my short story, not to be confused with the Phillip Noyce film The Bone Collector), I think that the title will remain the same, as it is very fitting, and my only alternate title, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is also already taken.
The weather is cooling off to something more approximating January in Georgia.
I'm beginning the think that so much of my creative energy these days is going into the construction of various roelplays in Second Life (three stories, four characters, to be precise*), that I'm going to begin talking about them more in this journal. This sort of rp can be really good improvisational theatre, and, while I've tried to keep my second and first lives apart from one another, the lines have become increasingly blurred. So, yeah, I'll probably start letting you in on bits and pieces of those stories, including the Dune sim (where I play a Fremen Naib named Shahrazad al-Anwar) and the ruined city by the sea where it is always either dawn or dusk (where I play the sadomasochistic daughter of the parthenogenic union of a Nephilim and a cyborg). I'll drop screenshots in from time to time, and links to transcripts and such, unless everyone screams that I shouldn't.
Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. I have coffee to attend to.
* Nareth E. Nishi (New Babbage), Elenore Darwin (New Babbage), Shahrazad al-Anwar (Dune: Apocalypse), Nemo (Toxian City).