The other day I got sassed by a Walmart employee wearing a name tag, and I immediately thought two things:
1) What is this, Miami all over again?
2) I am going to name a character after you, and he’s going to be stupid and have body odor issues. And you will never know it because you probably don’t even know how to read, you cranky jerk you, but I’ll know it, and I’ll smile every time I think about the fact that I’ve slandered your name in my own petty and permanent way.
So after thinking for a while about how awesome that was going to be, I started imagining how I could expand that concept to punish everyone who has ever annoyed me. Like that kid in junior high who teased me for being a goody-goody and then ended up in juvie for stealing a car in eleventh grade—I’m changing one of the names in my WIP to his name. Yeah! How ya like them apples, Paul?
Just to clarify, I’m not obsessed with revenge across the board, I just really enjoy naming characters. It’s like naming babies, but better because I don’t have to convince my husband of anything, or try to figure out how the other kids are going to twist it to mock them. Sometimes I switch up the names several times during the writing of a story, just for fun. I look at nationality, age and popularity, meaning, all sorts of stuff, but often it just comes down getting to use one of the names I wanted for my children but got veto-ed. I have a long list of those. It’s not because my husband is picky, but because I like old lady names. I’ll admit it. I’m not ashamed. And should I ever have another girl, she just might be Penelope, or Josephine, or Georgianna, if I can convince him that his opinion doesn’t actually matter.
Right now I’ve got a very likable character with the same name as one of my nieces. I may end up changing it, but for now it’s a little “thank you” to her parents who helped me out with my research for the story. I asked my brother and sister-in-law for some experiences from their childhoods (the aforementioned Paul was right, I was a goody-goody so I’ve got nothing but lameness to draw on), and they provided me with pure gold—long lists of their delinquent teenage activity. I don’t know if I can even believe half the stuff, but it’s very entertaining. Based on my niece’s gene pool, it’s kind of miraculous she isn’t building a pipe bomb in the basement right now, but she’s only eighteen months old.
Anyway, the moral of this story is don’t cross me people. And if you buy me something really nice for Christmas you just might end up a main character.
On a less psychotic note, my agent, Mandy Hubbard, has some VIRTUOSITY stuff up on her blog! She shows the query I sent her, then the pitch she sent out to publishers, and finally what’s being printed on the book jacket.
Parting thought: See the “follow” button to the right? When I originally set up the blog I took that off thinking now why would I want to advertise the fact that nobody actually reads this blog? I have since had it explained that people “follow” blogs so they get email updates when I post (I know, I’m an idiot for not knowing this.) Anyway, I just want you all to know that it freaks me right out, having it up there. And if the number never climbs out of the single digits, I’m going to be indiscriminately hating everyone I know. That’s all.