What’s In Your Name?

So, here I am, planting an ear worm for a popular commercial in your head. Me, the writer who seldom watches tv. One of my reasons for writing is that it’s a quiet hobby for when my retiree husband watches sports (often). He’s forever grateful that I didn’t choose the French Horn as my retirement pastime.

I proudly proclaim creative writing as my ‘elegant hobby’. I write funny! (which you may take in all ways that word implies)

I’m also an insecure writer, having more time than talent, and abashed to not have an MFA. I’ve joined a new online support group that seems tailored just for me, but my blog is the 196th on the list. Affirmation, validation, conquest of fear without leaving my seat! You’ll find the group’s badge at the bottom. Perhaps you’ll want to join, too.

Today’s topic is to be a response to the questions: what’s easier/more difficult to conjure: characters’ name or the title of a WIP.

Math might indicate that the title would be simple because there’s only one… But this is not math, it’s writing.

Character names are easily accessed for me:

  1. I have a cache of former client names from my private speech-language pathology practice
  2. Hanging at coffee houses to write also offers an opportunity to hear some ultra-exotic names people have applied to their orders
  3. The news arrives via various outlets daily and, omg, people have some unbelievable names… Others are easily pictured, donchathink?

I could go on-and-on, but I have a deeper question I’ve pondered throughout my life. My mother belatedly shared that she’d wanted to name me after one of my way-back relatives: Tamsen. Instead I got monikered Patricia.

While Patricia is a lyric name, my mother only called me that when she was angry. Then, and always in my teens, I longed to be Tami.












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10 comments on “What’s In Your Name?
  1. Alex J. Cavanaugh says:

    Welcome to the IWSG! Hang around a while and you’ll soon be much higher on the list.
    Good point that there are names available if only we’ll look and listen.
    I had a Tamsin in one of my books – close!

  2. SE White says:

    I like the idea of hanging out in a coffee shop to listen in on the names. Possibly I just want an excuse for more coffee. Shh, don’t tell my husband. Welcome to the IWSG, we’re happy to have you!

  3. Louise (Fundy Blue) says:

    Welcome to the IWSG, PJ! I enjoyed your funny post. If I had been born less than a minute earlier, my first name would have been Patricia. Instead I got Myrtle. As the story goes, my mother was well along in labor on St. Patrick’s Day, and my father was standing outside the delivery room encouraging her to hang on until the 18th, since my family is Scottish on both sides. The last time I heard him tell the story, the time after midnight had gotten down to six seconds ~ a very close call. I was never called Myrtle, I was always Louise. My name just flowed better as Myrtle Louise. I’d have been happy as a teenager to be called Louise, instead of Weesie or Weeser or Weasel (which my brother calls me to this day). I look forward to future posts of yours! Happy writing in June!

    • PJ Colando says:

      would you believe…my middle name is Louise. It was the middle name of my mother, her mother, her mother, etc., the name of the oldest daughter. I used to despise the name – until my mother died, then I cherished the honor.

  4. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor says:

    I love the idea of hanging out in coffee shops and listening to what people talk about and hearing their names. Welcome to the IWSG – it’s great to have you onboard!

  5. Dorothy Edwards says:

    It hasn’t been until lately that I even accepted my name Peggy. Who names their daughter Dorothy then calls her Peggy (a life-long confusion). Ah well, reading the history of my family I find such names as Iredell Cloud Russey, Roger Bigod and Superior Williams.
    So I ponder, what’s in a name, but if you want to look me up on Amazon I’m Peggy P Edwards

  6. PJ Colando says:

    Love knowing this, Peggy – and your more-than-wonderful family names!

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