Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Rose by any other name would be called Tara

Above is one of my "goofing around with my new touch screen" pictures done with Paint. (I had Photoshop on my normal computer, but that computer fried. C'est la vie. It's minimalistic to have to work with a program meant for so little use. Yeah. That's it.)

So, I'm trying to pick a new name for my Dystopian's MC. Her name is currently Tara, and I don't know why I picked it because it just didn't fit her.

I've been going through IMDb looking for better names for her and for my NanoWrimo entry. I'd read somewhere recently about someone doing this, but I can't remember where. I've always previously gone through baby books... which isn't a big help for surnames... for the record. It's really fun to look up some of the bigger Hollywood movies and get down to the make-up artists and mix and match first and last names.

That's basically what I've done with my day. (I know--it's pathetic, but I'm sick, so I'm pretending it's not.)

Okay... back to my monologue on names:

Speaking of names, my son, T, has decided, at six, that he would like to go by the nickname "T.J." from now on. We haven't quite established if we're to implement this immediately or if he'll be doing this on a case-by-case basis. T was initially going to be called T.J. until he was born and we decided not to initialize because he didn't look like a T.J. He likes the way it looks-- two letters--side by side. I don't know what the expectation is, but it feels a little strange to suddenly start calling our son a different name. One of my brothers was known as "Dave" at work whereas we'd never called him that a day in his life. It was strange to hear that he was a "Dave." He didn't look like a "Dave" in my opinion. (I find it strange that we have these preconcieved notions of what "So-and-so" looks like based on names. I found out that Diana doesn't look like Wonder Woman today. I know... weird, huh?)

I don't have a nickname or a pet name even. Not really. I keep trying to get the husband to call me "bug" or really anything sweet, but he isn't like that. My mom calls me Wen-weet, and I really keep trying to get her to stop. (Wendy makes retching noises.) The kids call me "Mom" and "Mommy" and that's as close as it gets. Sigh. I call the kids all kinds of nicknames as does the husband--they're more pet names, though, not anything you'd put on a form as a "I go by this sometimes" sort of thing. (Wendy snickers to self and considers putting "Sweetie" in the next 'fill in the blank" that comes.)

I want to have a nickname. I wish it was as easy when an adult to get a nickname. Nicknames make you feel special like you mean something to someone more than you do to other people. I think other women get that, but I don't really think guys do. I shorten the husband's name (for that reason) and he gets annoyed, but doesn't say anything. He only lets me do that... which makes me feel special. I won't say all nicknames are like that or are something that one would choose, but some nicknames are like that. It's not like Wendy is easy to shorten into anything and rats on that, but still... I want a nickname.

Wow. This is so completely random.

So, as I was picking my names for my characters I was also thinking along the lines of "but they'll go by this" and picking nicknames for them. I like the process of naming characters. I also like the find and replace function for when I name people the wrong thing and I realize that half-way through.

Okay, I need to buckle down and pick a new name for Tara.... Poor thing. It's a good thing this doesn't happen in real life to people. ("Sorry... your father and I hate the name we chose for you fifteen years ago, so now we'll be calling you Penelope. Cheers.")

Okay, then... Wendy needs more sleep and to stop talking about herself in the third person.


  1. Hey! I like your blog. I just found it by way of Silver Lining.

    Names suck. In real life they're almost always wrong. I was Chris for three days, but my parents changed it. I've been having an identity crises ever since.

    Be careful with nicknames. Remember what happened to George Costanza? AKA - Coco?

  2. I don't remember that Seinfeld. I might have to do a hulu search.

    Do you really think names are almost always wrong? How did you come to that conclusion? I'll need to see some data there, Chris... I mean Matt. I mean, statistically, it makes sense that we've all got the wrong names--one name vs. how many million possibilities, but that also is based on the assumption that there are right names. I just don't think that's a defensible position.

    My right name is Beth, for the record.

    So, what convinced your parents that Chris wasn't the way to go, if you don't mind me asking?

  3. Hey, Matt, if it helps, my son was Baby Sandoval for the first few hours of his life:)

    Wendy, I feel the same about nick names. They are so important. My father made sure I had several. Now...sadly...I have none. I'm like you. Wishing for something I will never have.

    Good luck with Tara. You really should make her tell you what her name is.

  4. I am now calling you Beth. Or Dee. Which would you prefer? LOL!

  5. I've never considered Dee--nor has anyone else for that matter. We're very one-track minded and keep acknowledging that Wen would make a stupid nickname. :) For some reason, Dee sounds like the name for a waitress.

    I've got Beth Somath listed as the author name for my Dystopian. I keep trying to name characters Beth in all my books and my family keeps pointing out the repeats. When I started the Dystopian, I just decided to quit pretending I don't have some strange psychotic fascination with the name. Anyway, that's my top choice for a Pseudonym. Although, I might flip Somath inside out again so it's Thomas. (It was a bizarre wild hare idea of the middle of the night, and I won't guarantee it wasn't the result of not enough medication... if you know what I mean... wink wink.)

  6. George's boss gave everyone a nickname, based on some quirk. He was afraid of what his nickname would be, so during a lunch meeting he ordered a T-bone, in the hopes that would become his nickname. Unfortunately George inspired someone else to order a T-bone and that person became T-bone. George pulled the guy into the hallway, and yelled at him in such an animated fashion, the boss, watching through a window, thought George looked like Coco, the sign language gorilla.

    You asked.

    I think my parents used the old, washed up, I didn't look like a Chris excuse. I suspect, at three days old, I didn't look much like a human either.

  7. LOL. Ahh... the wisdom of Seinfeld.

    I wanted T's name to be Jack, but the Husband nixed that. (Pirates of the Caribbean came out about four months later. For the record, getting ANYTHING in Disneyland with the word "Sparrow" on it is difficult. Apparently my last name is copyrighted per the staff of Disneyland. With my driver's license, I was able to get things printed with my name on it. I may be one of the few people who was carded in the Mad Hatter hat shop.) I also liked the name Seth... until the Husband had me say it out loud with our last name. Poor child would have sounded like he had a perpetual lisp. It turns out that no "nouns" can be used with our last name or it becomes a cartoon name... and requires the middle name "the." Actually, adjectives are off limits too.

  8. Ha; this was a funny post. I have the same problem right now except mine is about the town where my book takes place. I had the perfect name for it and then yesterday found out there's apparently a brand new tv show by the same name. *Sigh*. At any rate, I've been doing the same soul-searching for another, right name. It's annoying.

  9. Hey, My son's name was Salvador, didn't work for me. He was Coughlin baby for three days, poor kid. PS Helped my daughter write a paper last year, her final English paper, she got a 67 and she was pissed. Says I did it on purpose so I didn't have to help her anymore. As If!