Thursday, April 26, 2012

Call Me Ishmael...

Turns out that the smack going down was all terrible vicious rumor, and malicious lies (I’m totally relieved). Still, it’s made me think a ton about names. I always read about protags who were named so specifically for this or that story. It always makes me jealous because I wasn’t named so I could be the protagonist in my own life. I was named to honor a beloved aunt. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but for the record, my name has four letters and four thousand mispronunciations. I suspect people with the derivative of name Anne hate the Annas, Annies, Ahnas.

Mispronunciations aside (and it’s ree-nuh, in case you were starting to wonder), I grew up very under-appreciative of my name. My name didn’t fit right, but I was a teenager, nothing about me fit right. My sister always tried to shorten it (to reen, yeah, that’s appealing, but if my mother can put up with being called Die instead of Diana, I guess I can muster on under the burden of reen), and my friends tried to hide behind clever nick names: Kit (didn’t catch on), elffy (oh boy, internet inappropriate story there), and of course Sasquatch because I have enormous feet. Nothing stuck. Never did they find a name that worked. To this day I’m not sure if I was relieved or disappointed.

Then I went to college. I went with Rena there too, I mean, nothing else seemed to work. I got some interesting titles there (Ice Queen of the Universe and High Executioner of all she Surveys), but nothing seemed right. I wanted a name that hinted of the mystical without being silly. And then I got to be a horseback riding instructor at a camp. At camp, no one goes by their names, and they didn’t warn us until we were there. We had two days to pick then we had a naming ceremony in the hours before the kids showed up. I was completely stumped. I knew better than to pick my old fall backs because they didn’t work. I already knew that. So I picked Draco, for the constellation.

Little did I know, a very popular book featured a villain named Draco, and everyone asked if that’s who I was naming myself after. Now that I know who Draco Malfoy is, I’m glad I didn’t know at the time. But what was terrible, was that name fit even worse. And by even worse, I mean it started to be a relief when the other counselors would use my real name.

Fast forward to now, and I have to admit that the idea of a pen name has much appeal, but what to choose? As awkward as I am with my name, I doubt there’s one much better suited. I was watching a you tube channel and came across someone who was talking with a bunch of drag queens and they were talking about drag names. Apparently, your drag name is your first pet’s name as your first name and the street where you grew up as your last name. Mine then is Bridgett University. Or if you go with the first pet from my college days it would be Mithryl Ellwood.

Then there’s your blues name (the name you’d have if you were in a blues band, and for the record, I’ve been in a blues band, and I have never once been called Skinny Liver Brown).

My Jedi Name? Forre Fihop.
Pirate Name? Nancy the Mauve
Gangsta Name? Loose Gat Slinger
Ninja Name? Gisaku Ogata –san
Stage Name? Miranda Ashbourne

Obviously, this could go one, so I am going to have a contest, the Call me Ishmael contest. It'll start on Friday, so make your suggestions for pen names now, and I'll post all the rules. The prize is even better, it'll be the prize of your choice (I'll post the list of possible prizes in the official Contest post).

And definitely share your drag/pirate/jedi/gangsta names in the comments, my friends and I are have a huge laugh right now.

p.s. Crits for Water is going on right now, so head over and make a bid or just donate.


  1. Replies
    1. Yeah, I kind of like Mithryl too. She was such a wonderful kitty.

  2. I like Bridgett...maybe not University! :) You could combine some of the other names... Miranda Falcon is kinda cool.

    My interview with Tricia Lawrence is up, and yours was one of the questions I asked her! You can check it out here!

    1. I'm also pretty fond of Bridgett. She was the most incredible ornery pony known to man, but she taught me a lot (and I agree, University doesn't work as a last name).

  3. Nancy the Mauve is HILARIOUS!!! I kind of think Reen has a cool ring to it.


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