Just a couple of writers on a road trip through life. Hop in, hold on, and don’t forget your rain boots.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Your Name Here

Sometimes I think--no, I know--that I am some kind of special. In other words, I’m a weirdo, oddball, fruitcake, odd bird, crazy, strange. Basically I’m exactly what this blog claims: a freak.  I am really okay with this and, as a matter of fact, if someone called me one of these things, I would probably thank them because being normal is on my list of things I never want to be.  Normal sucks. It’s boring and would make for boring stories to read. I mean, how many times would you read a story about a woman that woke up, ate, worked and went home, all the while feeling happy. The answer is none, zero, zilcho, nada, squat. Nobody would read that. It's our quirks that make us interesting and provide great writing material. I choose to wear purple, not black. I choose to embrace my inner ice cream flavor and that isn’t  vanilla.
One thing I love to think about are names for characters. Okay, just names in general. It is one of my many, many quirks.  I love names that mean something. I love names that are funny. I love names that rhyme. I love names. Really, it’s true. One time, Writer Freak, Julie told me about a time when she was picking up her child from school. There was another parent there yelling out her child’s name to get their attention. What was that name? Emesis. Yes. That’s right! Emesis. At first I laughed. Then, I started to think about the poor kid. Finally, I wondered if the mother’s pregnancy centered around massive morning sickness.  Whatever the case, this was one of the most epically bad names I have ever heard. It BELONGS in a book!
©2012-2013 ~BaconOfFury
Now that you know that I love a good name, it is about time I let the proverbial cat out of the bag.  I name everything. Seriously. EVERYTHING. Okay, not everything. My wood stove is still the wood stove (thought? Maybe I name the wood stove liar. As in, liar, liar pants on FIRE. I will revisit this later.). But I name a lot of things. Some names I stole from television and books, other names I came up with all by myself. I’m fairly certain it drives my husband crazy. My TV is named Stevie; this one is stolen straight from an episode of FRIENDS. My laptop has a green skin and I named it Kermit. Our big desktop is named Scooter the Computer. My green Hummer has two names: General Waverly (from my Favorite Christmas flick, White Christmas) and Sarge. My husband’s truck is named Newbie, because it was the first brand new vehicle we have ever owned. My Kitchen Aid is named Julia (after the great Julia Child). My leaf blower is named Rubin (after The Hurricane himself). I even let other people join in the fun. My mom named my iPhone Irene. My nephew named one of my chickens McQueen. My husband named our oldest dog, Remington. Okay. So a dog needs a name, but he still named it before I could, which is impressive. I named our second dog Scout, after the main character in my favorite book, To Kill A Mockingbird. Her middle name? Sonner (sounds like honor with an s). Now say the two names together. I’ll wait for you to figure it out. Funny, right? Well, that one backfired on me because she is JUST like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, full of spunk and energy and a total Tom boy. Plus, she is such a weirdo and a funny dog. I blame my naming skills. So as you can plainly see, I like to give things names. And I suppose that given my profession, this is a good skill to have.

It takes me months to land on a good name for a character in one of my books. It just HAS to fit and sometimes those characters develop over time. So, inadvertently I change a character’s name a few times before I find the right one.  It makes me wonder if I am the only one name-obsessed in the writing industry. What is the “normal” process for finding a character’s name? Or is there one at all? Do I want to be normal? My way seems to work for me. And normal is boring. I’m thinking that a normal name would be something like Bob, Steve, Mark, Mike, Jane, Ann, Mary, etc. Those names are great. Really! They are! But not for my eccentric mind. I would choose something like Hoyt, Magnus, Colonel, Kennedy, Lara, Charlize…you get the picture. 
So my challenge to you? Do something weird! Be eccentric! I recently read a quote from a 90 year old woman columnist somewhere on Facebook that said, “Don’t wait until you are a senior citizen to be eccentric. Wear purple now.” What’s your purple?
Stephanie D. Birch is the nuttiest flavor of ice cream of all the 31 flavors. She wears purple when everyone says she should wear black. She stands up when she sould sit down. She tells the truth when others would remain mute. She is bold, creative and just this side of crazy. If you want to join her, comment on your eccentricity. To contact her, visit www.stephaniedbirch.com or email her at birchwordnerd@yahoo.com 


  1. Names are important! People of the Bible were given names that meant something that was unique to them, like Indian names are given. Maybe you name things because they mean something to you (although I question how meaningful a television would be). Or you name things because you are a freak and calling your belongings by something other than what they are normally called is way to prove you are unique!! BRAVO! I'm a rule follower. If I am asked to sit, I sit and I have a closet full of black. I believe everyone has their own version of 'purple'. My purple is wearing multiple earrings and things that jingle! I am challenged to find more purple!

    1. Bravo for wearing things that jingle! That's awesome! It has taken me years to learn to embrace wearing as much purple as I currently do. You have to practice being outside of your comfort zone a lot. It is super uncomfortable for a while, but that is where the magic happens. I encourage you to add some purple to your black. :-) Join that dark side. It's the side where we are proud of our freakdom.