So, when Chicken and I were signing the wads of paperwork for her car, I was appalled to see she had her father’s exact signature. I mean, I knew they thought alike, but this was scary! Anyway, I started talking about signing things, and how if you’re going to be signing a bunch of stuff it’s a good idea for your name not to be Linathien Thay Agnes Lucretia Stromboli, because then your hand would cramp.
And today, on Twitter, I made the observation that Newt-Dewey had now transmogrified into Honey Baby Sweetieface. Because that’s what we call him. “Where’s the cat?” “Which one?” “Sweetieface.”
I’ve talked before about the power of names. When I’m going for a particularly powerful name–especially for a character in a paranormal book–I want the name to have a sound and a power and a meaning. So, for example, Calladh in Deep of the Sound meant harbor. Keir meant darkness. Teyth meant, of course, Silence, while Diarmuid means “absence of envy.” And there was always the conflagration of Naef and Knife and Naif.
So yeah. I like playing the name game.
And nowhere is it so apparent than in the Little Goddess books.
I’m editing the second volume now, and it’s occurred to me that the whole “name transmogrification” idea behind what you call your pet or even the pet name for your kid is just as real in life as it is in the story.
Lady Cory goes through some identity changes as she learns and grows, and her name–already complex by Bound, grows with her. Just like Chicken’s cat has gone from “Valkyrie” to “Val” to “Mrs. Poopie Butt-Hole” to “Mrs. PB” to “Dammit cat, stop barfing!”, so Cory has gone from “little college student” to “Lady Cory” with a lot of stops–and identities–in between.
And so do we all.
I like the idea that the older we get, the more we grow, the more hats we get to wear, the harder it is to pin us down with just one name. Personally, I’ve always wanted to do ALL THE THINGS–doctor, nurse, auto mechanic, daredevil, housewife, teacher, writer. When I was in college I took a class for prison guards–I thought, “Hey, I could go into law enforcement!” and I wrote the movie for that life choice. (And then I saw Cool Hand Luke, and realized that I was Luke in that movie and not the man behind the mirrored glasses. Some names will never be ours–but it’s important to realize that too.)
And now that I”m approaching middle age (or I’m in the middle of middle age or, you know, I’m not a kid anymore) the only perk I can see to all of the sagging and the health stuff and the “Oh my God do I have to amputate a limb to lose some fucking weight!” is that I get to add more hats and more names to the cloak of who I am.
I like to think that everybody embroiders more complex patterns of their own cloak as they grow older. What’s the use of growing older if the embellishments on our soul don’t grow more glorious as time passes?
Anyway… there you go. I’ve pondered about names.
Time for Amy Lane to go write, so her alter-ego can sleep. And thus remember her own name in the morning 😉