Friday, March 24, 2017

What's In a Name?

I’m back from Hawaii. I managed to get sunburned feet - not all over, just where my shoes were open on the top. I look like I have red boxes on the top of my foot.

It is all because one of my big joys in Hawaii is sitting on the balcony outside my room and drinking my morning coffee. The problem was that no matter how I shifted my chair, there was sun on my foot.

I did put sun block on my feet when I realized how strong the sun was even in the early morning. But it turned out to be like shutting the barn door after the chickens have already escaped.

I am afraid that I’m rather tired at the moment and can’t think of anything exciting to write about. I spent the day babysitting for my grandson. It fascinates me to think that all that he is going to become is already locked up in that tiny body. He is smiling now which encouraged to me to do silly things and sing silly songs so he would flash it.

I also told him he could call me whatever he wants but I would prefer not to be called grandma. I can’t shake the image of an ancient woman with gray hair and a cane. My son has always mostly called me by my first name, much to the consternation of his fifth grade teacher. She almost spun her head around Exorcist style when she heard him refer to me as Betty.

I’m still name characters in the book I’m writing. I mean, I already gave them names, but now I’m starting to change their names as I get to know who they are. I like to find names that feel like who they are. I named someone Dexter, but I don’t think it fits, so he’s going to become Allan. Dexter is too much of a standout name and this guy is blend in the background - at least in the beginning.

I collect cool names I hear in real life. I loved that someone had the name of Paisley and gave that to another character, but then changed her name to Sheree. Maybe her daughter will be called Paisley. It sounds like a young name.

I just finished proofreading the typeset pages of A Tangled Yarn. I had fun with one of the names in the book. He is a young guy with aspirations to be a writer and his name has a T. in front of his given name to be memorable. But he has developed a nickname, T Dot which is a way to say T with a period after it. That was probably a very awkward way to describe it, but deep tiredness is setting in.

Names can definitely give a feeling of the character’s age. I don’t think anyone would think Bertha was a young character.

Now that I think about it I don’t think Allan is a good name for formerly Dexter. Maybe I’ll call him Leo instead.


ldosborn said...

Ah, sunburned grandma! So glad you spent the day with Jakey. He must be getting pretty big by now, moving up a size in clothes no doubt! My "foot tops" have permanent tan stripes from the shoes I always wear to kid soccer and baseball games. I do note that you are tired, that's good in this case! One question, why are your blogs always posted in the middle of the night? Maybe you just don't sleep enough! Did you run into Barry and either Molly or Heather in Hawaii? We never did know if he took someone on his wonderful trip!

Monica Ferris said...

There is a website - I wish I could remember what its name is! - that lists names by the decades in which they were popular. I often struggle with naming characters, though my Name Your Baby book helps. But knowing the age of a character and picking a name from the year/decade he or she was born helps tremendously and also gives more variety to the names. Olive is old, Wendy is middle aged, Tiffany is an adult, Sophie is a child.

Betty Hechtman said...

ldosborn, it appears that I post in the middle of the night because it uses eastern time. Actually, it was only 12:30 here. I am blessed with being able to sleep well and what I don't get at night, I fill in with a nap. I always think about Barry and that proposed trip when I go to Hawaii. People seem so happy and sweetly romantic there. You see all these couples holding hands.

Since you mentioned the trip, I'm going to bring it up in the book I'm working on and you'll find out who he went with.

I'm going to post a photo of Jakey on facebook. I just adore that little guy!

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, I did a google search for names by decades and got a social security site that has records of names by decades in the order of popularity. Thanks for the suggestion. What a great resource.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I always have a fun but strenuous time coming up with what I hope will be the right name--and then sometimes wind up changing it. Names are important to the story! Hope your feet heal and turn flesh-colored again quickly.