Slade & RebeccaMy great-grandmother once told me how to name a child - holler their name out the door as if you're calling him/her to lunch, and if it doesn't sound right, try something else. That's sort of how I wind up birthing a character. I have to hear that character's voice, see their image, and discover how they handle a situation before I'm comfortable labeling them.
Today, however, I had some minor surgery done and was so taken with my doctor, whose first name is Slade, that I foresee building something around that name since I've already met the gregarious physician in person. Not that I'd know how to write a doctor, but he may find himself a cowboy, a corporate bulldog, or an engineer. His nurse, Rebecca, has to go in a book, too. She's a strawberry blonde with an equally engaging personality and is so darned nice you can't hate her for being beautiful as well.
I think what I'm getting at is that I meet so many interesting people who already have names that I don't bother with calling them anything else half the time - ha ha. Not like they're gonna mind my borrowing what their parents or whoever call them as long as the spirit is kind, right? Well, okay - one friend did, but only because her name is so unusual she wanted the first time she saw it in a book to be one of her own, as author, but she's been nice about it all. Even though I did take a very 'nice' lady and make her the heroine in a BDSM.
One of my friends sent me this joke about naming kids:
A woman walks into the downtown welfare office, trailed by 15 kids .
"WOW," the social worker exclaims,"are they ALL YOURS???"
"Yep they are all mine," the flustered momma sighs, having heard thatquestion a thousand times before. She says, "Sit down Leroy."All the children rush to find seats.
"Well," says the social worker, "then you must be here to sign up. I'll need all your children's names."
"This one's my oldest - he is Leroy."
"OK, and who's next?"
"Well, this one he is Leroy, also."
The social worker raises an eyebrow but continues. One by one, through the oldest four, all boys, all named Leroy. Then she is introduced to the eldest girl, named Leighroy!
"All right," says the caseworker. "I'm seeing a pattern here. Are they ALL named Leroy?"
Their Momma re! plied, "Well, yes-it makes it easier. When it is time to get them out of bed and ready for school, I yell, 'Leroy!' An' when it's time for dinner, I just yell 'Leroy!' an' they all comes a'runnin. An' if I need to stop the kid who's running into the street, I just yell 'Leroy' and all of them stop. It's the smartest idea I ever had, namin' them all Leroy."
The social worker thinks this over for a bit, then wrinkles her forehead and says tentatively, "But what if you just want ONE kid to come, and not thewhole bunch?"
"I call them by their last names."
So how do you wind up with your characters' names, now that I've confessed that I blatantly steal mine?
I'll end this with another photo by the same warped friend. She claims this is what REALLY distracted Cheney a few weeks ago...
What can I say?