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Picturing a World

Department of Titular Confusion

This was the image I used for my first blog post back in 2012 because it leads readers directly into the studios of Where the Light Falls. Women’s friendship in the 19th C art world; a model; work clothes and fashion; touches of Japonisme; gold-framed pictures; canvas on an easel—it’s all there. I’m posting it again today to reiterate that this is my Where the Light Falls. I must ruefully report that another one is out there.

In July, Allison and Owen Pataki published a novel set in Paris with the same title. When I learned about it, I thought, “Oh gosh, that’s going to cause confusion.” And I think it has. A review published for my book at Amazon last month is very negative. It derides overused modern language and points to an old countess in her closet talking about boundaries in personal interactions. Say, what? I can accept that someone might not like my use of language, but it is dismaying for her to prove the criticism with a character and phrases that aren’t even in the book—but might be in a novel of the French Revolution.

Now, I realize that there are huge problems in the world; and people are threatened, endangered, and ruined by garbage on the internet. This is only a tiny mishap, but it has taught me two things. First, it does really hurt when something that cannot be remedied will be on the net in perpetuity. Second, don’t use somebody else’s title.

The provisional title for my work-in-progress has been “Anonymity,” which I thought up years ago. In 2013, however, a novel set in contemporary Austin, Texas, was published with that title. There is far less room for confusion between that story and mine; but, believe me, as much as I hate to give it up, I’m ditching “Anonymity” for something else if my novel ever makes it to publication!

Okay, I’m whining this morning. Thanks for letting me vent. (And do click on the Stevens painting to see the zoomable image at the Met. It's gorgeous.)
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