It turns out that those furry felines who can wreak havoc on the allergy systems of some people can themselves be allergic to humans. I’m a dog person myself, so while I was mildly interested in the ins and outs of cats with human allergies, I was more drawn to the syntax and word choice of the statement. “Some Cats are Allergic to Humans” sounds like it should be the title of a poem. It would probably work as the title of a short story or essay, too, but those six words, in that particular order, strike me as inherently titular.
Like many writers, I collect groups of words from various sources — snippets of conversations I’ve overheard or participated in, interesting phrasing in news stories or craigslist ads, the remaining words left from a flyer pasted to a post and only partially removed. A good number of these fragments are jumping off places for me, meant to trigger a memory or mood, and not phrases I intend to use verbatim. But some of those scraps just beg to be titles.
Yet, I’m not very good at titling my fiction. In fact, I’m very bad at it. Of my (admittedly small) body of work, there is exactly one title that I’m satisfied with. Read more »