What’s up with the name?

I’m a curious person; I think that’s a given for writers. Today I’m curious about the “names” you go by: your blog name, user name, Twitter handle, email identity, whatever. Why did you choose them? What do they mean to you? Do you wish you had chosen differently, but now it’s too late to change it?

I’ll go first. My blog name: Out of My Mind is meant to refer to where my writing comes from, not my mental state. I was new to the blog world when I started mine, which I’d already determined would focus on my experiences as a writer, so it’s appropriate in that sense, but now that I’ve seen so many other thoughtful, funny, or evocative blog names, I wish I’d given my blog name more thought.

My Twitter handle: Since we’re aiming for name recognition, I tried for the obvious, but Twitter said no. So, cassidylewis is the closest I could get. What can I say?

My WordPress user name and biz email identity are the same: lindacassidylewis … surprise! For personal email I use my studioelle account, which is one I created several years ago when I worked as a part-time portrait artist and website designer. I used just my first and married names for those personas (Linda Lewis) so “Studio L” it was.

Humor me here on this Fun Friday post. What’s behind your names?

[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]

39 thoughts on “What’s up with the name?

  1. My actual name is Dana. Big Surprise, I know.
    My full name, actually my last name, is too rare so I don’t use it. It would make me too easy to find, as I’m sure I’m the only one in the US.
    I use dayner because it’s a nickname my friend Laura uses for me. She’s a writer who doesn’t write, but she sparked the desire in me.
    I hardly see her anymore, we try to get together for lunch every couple of months.
    She doesn’t know I have a blog or that I’m writing. She is so talented I guess I’m worried she’ll be disappointed in my attempts… 😦

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    1. I didn’t know your name is Dana, so it is a surprise to me. An unusual last name … how fortunate. When you’re ready to publish, your name will be memorable.

      Most of my old friends had not a whit of interest in my writing, so I made new friends … all writers. On one hand, I understand your reluctance to “come out” to your friend Laura, but on the other hand, I think you might be cheating yourself out of support and camaraderie.

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      1. I have no doubt that she would be supportive…but I do doubt her ability to be completely honest with her opinion and I don’t want to force her to lie. 🙂 I would always wonder if she her giving honest praise or if she were just being nice.

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        1. Yes, there is that risk. That’s why I don’t ask any family members for feedback. I hate putting people on the spot. I only ask for feedback from critique group members … though that’s not really asking, it’s a given.

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  2. When I first started the blog, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to remain anonymous or not. I didn’t know who I’d meet, didn’t know if they’d have their names out there, didn’t know if it would be a good or bad risk to get mine out there.

    So, I chose something else. “Owl and Sparrow” kind of just came to me, but I wanted to have some reason for it. It’s been so long since I came up with it, I’d almost forgotten I’d chosen it for a reason, haha.

    I chose the “Owl” half because they are viewed in conflicting ways by different cultures. Some see them as a symbol of death and evil, others see them as a symbol of wisdom. As a writer who was just beginning to put her opinions out there, it was a good reminder for me that not everyone sees things in the same way. Some people might take offense to what I write, others might think it’s the best thing ever.

    The “Sparrow” half of it, well, it’s also a reminder of conflicting images, and hope. Sparrows are common, nothing terribly special about them. In the Bible, though, Jesus says God knows and cares even about the sparrows – “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid; for you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matt. 10:29) This was a reminder of hope and worth, despite insignificance.

    Putting the owl (wisdom/death) with the sparrow (humility/hope) seemed like a good thing to do. Plus, I just liked the words and how they sounded.

    So, there you go. 🙂

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    1. Kayla, I’m happy to know the origin of your blog name. I was going to ask you the other day, but decided that since I’ve been curious about a lot of the name my virtual friends use, I’d just make my question a blog post.

      I like your reasons for choosing Owl and Sparrow. You are indeed a thoughtful person.

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  3. I try to use my pen name everywhere to increase my name recognition (that’s the boring marketing side of me talking!).

    My first name is Kirsten – I kept it so that I wouldn’t get confused when people address me at conferences & workshops. The last name is a bit romantic – a writer ancestor of mine married into this name.

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    1. Kirsten, I didn’t know you used a pen name! I love that you thought ahead to use your real first name to avoid confusion. 🙂

      I had a pseudonym for my horror writing: Liz Ravenscroft, which is the name of one of my 4thgreat-grandmothers. (Btw, my horror work is not published either, never even tried.)

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    2. I haven’t decided on a pseudonym yet. I can’t get past the thought of using something early or in the middle of the alphabet–you know, so my books are at eye level in the bookstore… 🙂
      Of course, that depends on how many books have been published by names earlier in the alpha. I know for sure I don’t want my maiden name, it starts with a W.

      Liz Ravenscroft is an awesome pen name!

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        1. Or to keep the fiction of life, out of my life. LOL!
          My name is just too unusual to ever hide with it, and if I’m anything, I’m private.
          It’s not strangers I worry about. I would rather not have long lost family or past boyfriends be able to look me up so easily.
          If you googled my name (or my husband’s), you would find me. It’s not hard at all!

          BTW: Lovely new award!

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  4. I love these kind of things. You learn so much about people! 🙂

    My tag is usually “islesam” but was removed because several people were calling me Sam! It is the letters of my name – Melissa – all jumbled up. My maiden named started with “Sam” as well, so I thought it was really fitting at the age of 16. I think I found it through some website that makes words out of an existing. It was the only one I liked for my name.

    On Twitter, I’m @melissaiswrite… because >I< thought it was funny. And writery enough.

    As a side note, I totally want a pen name, but have no idea what it would be. If I ever decide on it, my screen names will most likely change. Til then…

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      1. Haha, yeah… it was a common assumption, & justifiably so. I figure at this point, I’m big enough to use my name instead of fearing internet predators… so I can go back to using Melissa.

        isle.sam is my screen name for EVERYTHING though. & my email address. & my personal twitter account (since deleted). I think I’ll always love it.

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  5. My blog name, Writing Under Pressure, came about because with two young kids at home, every time I sit down to write, I feel pressured.

    I should stop clickity-clacking on my laptop, I tell myself, and fold that laundry, referee that argument, cook that dinner.

    My twitter name, bbetty? A long story. I signed up for Twitter long before I ever used it. So, yes, that’s one I wish I would have chosen a little more carefully.

    The name I use professionally is my own. However, I often wonder if I should add a middle initial or something. There is another Christie (with an “e”) Craig who writes romance novels (with titles like Divorced, Desperate, and Delicious). Someone mistook me for her once already. I wonder if she’s ever been asked about Wednesday’s Word of the Day? 🙂

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    1. Your blog name makes perfect sense. I admire all you young women with children who write. I don’t think I could have done it. However, even without little ones around I write instead of doing housework. 😉

      Okay, so I still have to be curious about your Twitter name. I only use Twitter as a writer, so I didn’t have an account until two of my writer friends made it sound like so much fun I had to try it. Some days I curse them.

      There’s an author who writes YA and MG named Linda Lewis, that’s why I added my maiden name, which I had already been using in my genealogy research. It’s probably too long … and definitely boring. Maybe I’ll end up with a pseudonym after all … and have to start my “branding” all over!!!

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  6. I use a nom de plume because I don’t want people getting confused between my writing and my business. I chose a very distinctive avatar (the duck end) that I use on all social media sites.

    If you’re going to brand, start now! You don’t want to be changing it pre-book launch 😉

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    1. So you’re not Merilee? It’s a bit disconcerting to find out some of you are not who I thought you were. (Like I knew you. :D)

      If I were a genre writer, I think I would have picked a pen name fitting with that genre, but since I’m not, nor do I have anything to hide or a business persona to protect, I guess I’ll stick with my real name.

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      1. Well, in a way I am Merrilee. I’ve been using the name for long enough now that it feels like me. And it’s not like I have a different personality to go with the name – this is just me 🙂

        L C Lewis is a fine name to publish under 🙂

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        1. I thought of that, but when I say L C I hear Elsie and that’s really not me. 🙂 Also, when you go by your initials, what name do people call you? I could go by Lydia, which is what my husband calls me, but that’s not really any better than Linda. My father called me Sissie. My aunt called me Kitten. Oh heck, maybe I’ll just go by L. No, wait! I’ll just use some hieroglyphic instead of a name. 😀

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          1. I didn’t mean to imply that you should only use your initials, just that L C Lewis would look good on a book cover 🙂

            It comes down to what you are comfortable with.

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  7. My blog started out as Nancy Drew Too because that’s been an alter-ego for many many years. But as my blog has moved almost exclusively toward writing (with an occasional recipe thrown in for good measure), the sub-heading: Write Brain::Left Mind fits better.

    I will probably use a pseudonym for my *break-away novel* — should this ever occur! My real last name is unusual/hard to pronounce/hard to spell. I picked a pseudonym I really like and then discovered that there is already an author with a similar (but not identical) name. Sigh.

    The short fiction and poetry I’ve had published is under my real name.

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      1. Not really. Contemporary fiction with a dash of humor (I hope) and some quirky characters muddling their way through life, looking for meaning, love, and outstanding fish tacos. (I just made that up about the fish tacos — now I have to stick it in somewhere!!)

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        1. So, is there a reason why you want to use one name for your short fiction and another for your novels? Will you continue to write short fiction under your current name or change after you’re published as a novelist? Sorry, I told you I’m curious. 😉

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  8. T.A. Olivia is a pen name. I write under one because the sensative nature of my husbands employment and his security clearences. Only a handlful of people even know my real first name. I don’t really like using a pseudo for the most part. It makes me feel like a fraud at times.

    The identity Darksculptures is one I’ve had for years. It’s left over from when I used to paint and Sculpt as a means of emotional relief. It has tagged along with me since then. I’ve had the same email accounts for so long with this name I figured why bother to change to something else. Of course at the time I didn’t think anyone would actually read my blog. 🙂

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    1. Thanks for interrupting your sabbatical to respond to my question. I’ve been especially curious about your names. I had no idea pen names were so popular! So, since you’re using initials, after you’re published, how will you ask people to address you? Is there a first name behind “T”?

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  9. Trista Olivia – I just thought it had that writer feel to it. 😉

    But after playing with fonts I realized T.A. looks better on the book spine. So, that is what stuck to the wall. — T.A. Olivia. I’m sure an agent will have me change it at some point.

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  10. My name is actually Indigo. Thankfully not a lot of people go by that name.

    My blog title : Shattered Prose, came about due to the fact, I didn’t want to write like anyone else…therefore shattering an image.

    My email is a take off from my last name Ravenwood – ravensquietscreams. I’m deaf so that’s kind of self explanatory.

    My twitter name sageraven is an anagram of my middle name and the first part of my last name.

    Eventually I imagine some of these elements will have to change in order for me to be more prolific, but for now that’s the gist of it. (Hugs) Indigo

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    1. I love your name, Indigo. And you apparently gave a lot of thought to choosing your blog, email, and twitter names; they’re perfect for you. Whether your prose shatters an image or not, you write beautifully.

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  11. In reality, timesspring is a silly little ditty of a song of backwards phrases my best friend and I made up in high school , timesspring being springtime.

    Then, after my mother died, I used the word as the title for a book of poems I put together. I explained in the intro that after she died, something had gone out of the world. I noticed that though they were still as beautiful, flowers had lost their fragrance. But I understood that in time, it would return, in time I would heal, in time, Spring.

    Personally I also like the backwardsness of it. It’s very me, a late bloomer. And I had to put 2 “esses” in the spelling because the correct spelling dot com was taken.

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  12. Oh Linda, Spring has indeed returned for me. I am experiencing much healing and joy. Thanks for hoping so. I am so excited about your novel and cannot wait to read it!

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