The wheels of chance have spun, and I wanted champagne and runny cheese, or possibly money. But what I got was “natural light” and “toys”.
“Well, all right,” she said, “at least about the natural light. But that damn paddle is never a toy.”
I picked up the paddle, and slapped it on the wooden table, which really was there, just out of shot in this image. The impact of leather on wood made a noise like a Presidential assassination. With an old-fashioned 303: they were loud. It made a noise that discouraged further argument with the man who held that paddle.
“I say it’s a toy,” I said. Cockily. “Discuss?”
No. There was no more discussion.
It was time for percussion.
The title of this post includes a word I think I’ve never actually typed before. It’s there because a romance writer of modest gifts, Faleena Hopkins, took out a copyright on the word “cocky”, and is using that as the basis for sending threatening letters to other writers who’ve used the word “cocky” in book-titles.
The letters threaten to take all the proceeds from any book written with the word “cocky” in the title.
As a former magazine editor, if I got a letter on those lines I’d laugh, show it round the office so others could have a snort, and glue it to a sheet in the crank file. (We used to keep the threats we received, to look through and cheer ourselves up if we ever thought we were being boring.)
But writers who don’t have access to legal advice, and are living hand to mouth, can easily find such letters alarming.
The Romance Writers of America is now preparing a case to have the copyright over the word “cocky” overturned. But for this week, in support of writers threatened by Faleena Hopkins, my every post will have the word “cocky” in the title.
You can follow this story by checking #byefaleena on Twitter.