Tag Archives: names

Names, a continuing topic: Ready, Set, Done.

Free-write: 10 minutes, plus a little:

Recently I read Barbara’s post about names that has inspired this continuation of the topic. You may be interested in Silver in the Barn’s slant on this topic: http://silverinthebarn.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/names/

Names have always fascinated me as they each have their own allure.

Plant and flower names: Aster, Daisy, Daffodil, Fleur, Daphne, Violet, Ivy, Lily, Zinnia, Magnolia, Hyacinth, Blossom, Myrtle, Willow, Tulip, Primrose and Pansy.                                             Colours: Azure, Blue, and Red. Day of the week: Sunday.                                                           Months of the year: April, May and June.                                                                                       State and Place names are particularly popular at the moment: Sydney, Alabama, Paris, Melbourne and Adelaide, and many more American names that slip my mind for the minute.

Animals come into play here. I heard of Arra and Balla, two rats, named after Arrarat, and Ballarat, two Australian cities. We had a dog called Rummy, and his litter was called after spirits. Now that we have no name cigarette packaging this will probably inspire a pair of dogs to be called Benson and Hedges. Our last pair of dogs was called Curley and Ambrose, after the cricketer.

Writing allows us to stretch our boundaries. Would you use made up names or do you prefer to stick to traditional names?

Traditional meanings may influence your choice. My own name Barbara has meanings of: barbarian, foreigner and stranger. Until a friend showed me her special name book I hated my name. In this book my name meant, ‘bringer of joy’- a far more acceptable meaning.

When my mother was born my grandparents couldn’t make up their minds for their second child’s name. An old lady visited and my grandfather, without discussing it, said, ‘We’ll name her after you!’ So Brenda was named, without a second name. All five siblings received a second name, a sore point, as Brenda missed out.

Our family tree has many name repetitions, like: Hector, Henry, William, and the careers are also repeated. I like the continuity.

With novel writing the repetition of names can be confusing, or even with the repetition of the first letter. Diversity helps.


Pondering Memoir Writing:

Antique rug taken on my i-phone

Antique rug taken on my i-phone

This morning in the shower, my mind reflected on Memoir writing. How can one be true to oneself and yet protect other people? There is a fine line between sharing one’s life and treading on others’ toes.

 In ‘Enduring Threads’ there are many things I excluded because of my own children’s feelings. For instance they wouldn’t want to know about all of my nocturnal and sometimes daytime liaisons/entanglements. In fact, many have seeped into the never never regions of my brain, never to resurface, which is probably a mercy. Phew!

 ‘Enduring Threads’ is about to be pawed over by an editor. I have feelings of relief and anxiety. I wonder how much more is necessary to get the m/s into a readable, interesting story. It is so hard to know what a stranger will make of it. When I read it, I see all of the characters in full colour. Have I made them alive to other people and are they of interest to others?

 Irene Walters shared a wonderful post about names. Should one use real or made up names to protect people? The general consensus seemed to be that most writers prefer to include real names in a memoir; firstly it makes it easier to write, and secondly it is acknowledging other people who have had influence or have been important to you. I liked Irene’s inclusion of part of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with their dilemma regarding names. If you’d like to read Irene’s post with the many following comments, it can be found on:

‘Call me anything but don’t call me late for dinner: I think not? Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

 Names are important. How many of you don’t like a name because of someone you didn’t like in early childhood, or a nasty adult? Naming children has become a creative exercise in itself. Having been a school- teacher, I found names do make a difference. If a child has to explain a name every time they meet someone new, it is a disadvantage; or names can nurture self- esteem. In story writing, it is a freedom we’re faced with. Making up names can be fun.

 I have used real names in this m/s, as I wish to acknowledge and respect the importance of individuals in my life. The symbolic threads they represent weave, or are stitched into the colourful tapestry of my life, creating ‘Enduring Threads.’

Antique rug taken on my i-phone

Antique rug taken on my i-phone