Friday, April 16, 2010

N is for...

NOT what you might think!

My original N post was going to be on NUMBERS. Not the show, actual numbers. I was going to start with my age--34--the number of books I've completed--7--my poems--60. The number of unfinished stories I have--70 (guesstimate--about 10 yrs ago it was 50) And maybe go from there to some personal stats. Like my husband's age--42. His daughter's age--18. The number of kids I've given birth to--5. The number of miscarriages I've had--1. How many sets of twins I've had--1. Number of pregnancies I've had--5. Then my kids' ages--12, 10, 10, 8 and 5. And their ages this time next week--12, 11, 11, 8 and 6. Number of brothers--4. Number of stepbrothers--2. Number of blood-related sisters--0. Number of sisters in heart--6. Number of sisters in law--5.

Seriously, there are a lot of numbers in my life.

But, then I got to thinking. Really, my N post should be about NAMES. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE names. Seriously. I have name books (plural) and most of my kids have names that have meaning. As do my numerous characters.

When I choose a name for my characters, I have several criteria. First of all, the name has to sound right for the character. Unless I'm really wanting to confuse my readers, I won't give my villains names that sounds heroic, or my heroes names that sound villainous. Many times I will research the meaning of names that appeal to me for that character to decide which one seems to fit best. And lastly, the name has to feel right. And that's a big one. Like with my kids, it has to be a name I can say, read or spell over and over without coming to loathe it. Some of my primary character names are: Krystal, Jareth, Gregory (obviously), Roweena, Kendrick, Cassandra, Deyanna, Lucien, Aiden, Miraya, Calum, Demetria, Caresse, Kytarina, Phelan, Chloe, Nicholas, Shannah, Donovan, Khiley, and Julienne. That's a mix of heroes, villains and secondary characters. There's even a handful of pirates in there.

That said, I hated my name growing up. My given name is Cheryl Lynn, though from birth I have always been Cheri. Except at school and church, where I had to choose to either let the teacher call me Cheryl (shudder) or correct them and insist on being called Cheri. I swore once I turned 18 (another number lol) I'd change my name. Except I never found one I really liked, or that I felt fit me. Plus by then I was writing, and needed to be consistent when it came to choosing a name that would be on book covers.

Then, in August 2006, my cousin died at age 34. She wasn't just any cousin--she shared my name. She was named Cheryl Ann, and always went by Cheryl. It suited her. It fit her. And now, I don't mind being called Cheryl so much anymore. But I still prefer Cheri, because that's who I am.

11 comments:

Shannon said...

Beautifully done! Wow you have a lot of things to be proud of! So glad you are in this challenge!

Beth said...

I love names too! I think I had a few dozen picked out for potential children though I'm content that God didn't give me opportunities to use ALL of them! :)

My parents named me Bethany but I've always been Beth unless I was in trouble. And if I heard Bethany Sue I knew it was really bad!

chris weigand said...

Wow spooky, I had a sister who was a year younger than me and her name was Cheryl Lynn also. We called her Cheryl. She passed away about 20 years ago and since then although I have thought about her and even wrote a book using her and I as the mc's I never really came across the name Cheryl until recently and now it seems to be popping up all over the place. I wonder if it is a sign, that I should be doing something with that name. Wow I'm really going to have to think about this now.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Numbers and names, I like what you've done with both of them. I didn't like my name either. There were always three or four gals named Kathi everywhere I went. Not many spelled it the way I do, but that has a trap as well because not many people spell my name correctly. I'll tell you when someone does, I instantly pay attention. Great post!

Caledonia Lass said...

Now that was a great N post. :D

Marjorie said...

Lovely post. It took me a long time to come to terms with my first name as well. In high school I made everyone call me by my middle name which is actually Cherie.

Ellie said...

I love your post and so sorry about your cousin!
I didn't like my name growing up, either. It grew on me and now I do! My real name is Ellen
but some people call me Elle, Ella or Ellie.

Great post!

AchingHope said...

Numbers aren't always my favorite, but I do love a good name. In one of the books I've been working on I did actual research on names and it was fun. I always know what someone's name starts with though. it's really weird. I associate certain characteristics with letters.

Grammy said...

Hi, Cheri,
Actually I have a cousin named Cheryl, and have always liked the name. I love my name as well, Ruby Irene, and have always enjoyed being called by both my names. In the south, it is a custom to be called by both names, so as to differentiate you from anyone else with the same first name. Of course, about the only time my mama called my whole name was when I was in Dutch with her. (Dutch being another word for trouble). Good posting! Ruby

Mary McDonald said...

I love researching names too, even though the names in my finished novel are common names. I did that for a reason. However, I wrote a story a few years ago with a really bad guy and a woman who betrayed the good guy. Coming up with their names was fun.

wolfie 402 said...

I love finding out what names mean. So far, I've been pretty good with getting names that sound right and have the right meaning. Usually, I get a random name that sounds good, and later find out that its meaning is good, too. I like my name, espacially because I can never find it on those keychains they sell everywhere. I'm special. ;)

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