Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Question of the Week

The Artful Dodger, cruelly rejected by Mrs. Dickens, would live again.
'She's not Miss Pomfrey,' said Peter.  She's Mintie.'
'Indeed?' He looked amused.  'You have rechristened her?'
'Well, of course we have, Uncle.  Miss Pomfrey isn't her, is it?  Miss Pomfrey would be tall and thin, with a sharp nose and a wart and tell us not to get dirty.  Mintie's nice; she's not pretty, but she smiles...'
Nanny By Chance

We've talked about names before.  I like to think that La Neels had all these names she loved and not enough children/pets to spread them around--or maybe, like me, her husband vetoed her all her most inspirational names (Don't you agree that the world is diminished by lacking a Maximilian Santiago van Voorhees?  I do.)

So, my question is, what name (for a pet or child, perhaps) were you ever thwarted from using and are planning to secret into a novel?

Question Two:  (Oh yes, Bettys...I'm going off the grid.) In Nanny By Chance, Araminta talks out loud to herself a LOT.  Sometimes it gets her in trouble and someone overhears and sometimes it's just her talking smack to her reflection.

I am a big fan of talking out loud to myself.  I'm always finishing conversations I'm in the middle of or conversations I'm worried about. (ie., cornering my kids' teachers about whatever...)  About a month ago I was running errands with my croup-y baby.  I had been in self-imposed quarantine (for the public good) for about three weeks as 5 of the 6 members of the household came down one at a time (why not all in one go?!) with a barfing flu.  They were finally all puke-free but it was wretched.  So, the Littlest van Voorhees is in the cart and he's coughing up a storm and it's loud and, worse, I know I'm bending the rules of polite public behavior (but I needed (needed, Bettys) to leave the house) but I wasn't going to be out for long.  That's when a woman came up to me to diagnose my child, sum up the entirety of my character and called me selfish.
It was awesome.  I drove home crying.
I'm not about to assume she is a horrible person in real life.  She's probably fine.  Maybe she had a medically fragile child at one point for whom croup was life-threatening instead of mildly irritating.  Maybe she'd been sick for three weeks and had finally come into public to be confronted by Typhoid Mary and her Croup-y Spawn.  Maybe I was to her what she was to me, the last straw in a very bad month.  I don't know. (shrug)
I do know that I wasn't over it (the crying and the anger and the hurt) until I had stopped running through retorts (kind and unkind) while brushing my teeth in front of the mirror or driving the car or sitting still. (Two days if you're wondering.)

Question: Do you talk out loud to yourself?  And when?


  1. I love Maude, yes, Maude.
    I realize it is hopelessly old-fashioned to most people, but it makes me think of lovely turn of the century Gibson girls with big hats.
    I also love Eleanor (again with the old-fashioned names) and there's quite a few spunky women in history with that name. Unfortunately there was also a very unpopular member of my family with the same name. She's passed on, but using that name would be a slap in the face to all the people who put up with her for years.
    Also, I talk to myself all the the time. It works. Hope all the van Voorhees are feeling better!

  2. It's funny. I seem to pick really "normal" names for my characters: Alice & Elizabeth (twins) whose nicknames are Lissa and Libby (they named each other as kids), Rand (short for Randall), Phil, Jack, Dan, Elise and Meghan. Of those, maybe Rand and Elise are odd.

    One author, Julie James, gives all her heroines "guy" names: Peyton, Jordan, Taylor, and Cameron. And not just "guy" names, but FOOTBALL guy names.

    But mostly, I find that authors these days go for the sorts of names they wish they or their beloveds had: Zach, Cord, Colton, Damian, Gia, Samantha, Ariana, etc.

    The one thing I know I can never do is name a character after my mother, who was in turn named after her grandfather. She hated the name "Josephine" and swore she'd haunt anyone who used it! I could probably go for a character named "Jo" without bothering to say what "Jo" was short for.

  3. My father, when I was pregnant, never hoped to sway me in any way about names so it was all the more surprising when he commented on a list I was thinking over. He said, 'Not Cecelia. Too close to Celia.'--I think he had an aunt and some not fond memories...

  4. At some point, I will find a way to write about an Amelia. Gosh I love that name.

  5. I am so happy I found this blog!

    I talk to myself all the time. And I love old fashioned names for girls...alas, as the mother of boys, I have to use my girlie names in the romance stories I write in my head.

  6. Welcome, Betty Artemis (Pig?)! I think Betty would love the name Artemis. Or, have I forgotten that she has used it?

    I once had a teacher who said he always talked to himself because he enjoyed intelligent conversations.

    As my older three point out to the baby, if we hadn't had her then a new dog would have gotten her name--when she has lost their stuff for the umpteenth time they are wont to point out that they got the raw end of the deal not getting the dog.

  7. I really liked the name Jocasta (all right, by the third girl, I was running out of girls names) until hubby reminded me who Jocasta was. Struck that one off!

    As for talking to myself, I think it's a perfect way to work through a problem. Hearing something said out loud tends to give it perspective.

  8. Names:
    Molly - Betty Megan (Mary Margaret) would have been Mary Louis with this nickname if Prof. Vue de Plane hadn't heard some awful rhyme about Molly Brown going to town in his misspent youth.

    A few of the names I loved but couldn't use became the names of my miscarried angels.
    Matthew Lawrence - unfortunately this 1st name is my brother who molested my sister when little.
    Philomena - my mother hounded me to name Betty Ariel this but I thought she'd get teased. So I named a little one I lost this name. Little did I know that Disney was about to wipe out the originality of this name. And Ar took Philomena as her confirmation name and wants to name a daughter this. LOL Go Figure.

    Gemma- I always liked this but liked others more. So I suggest it for G-Daut #1. #1 Son scoffed. DIL liked Emma and he didn't. He thought I made Gemma up and was pandering. He wanted all Celtic names (shades of the Pomfrey parents) picked Keelin (Anglicized version of Caoilfionn - all the O's and F are silent, I guess!) And as Keelin has D.S. the simplified spelling was a good call! We call her Kee Kee!
    The other two are Big Bro Aidan and Baby Brynn.
    Celilia was my grandmother's name and I picked that for my confirmation name.

    I don't do much self talking, but I do random sing quiet a bit, and that gets as many odd looks in public!