Naming my children was easier than naming this character!

And that’s saying a lot!

My first daughter was easy to name; if there is any positive to having fertility issues, it’s that it gives you plenty of time to perfect the name you will bestow on  your first-born.

Her brother was a little harder to name, but by the 20-week ultrasound, we had settled on it. (Though my husband doesn’t seem to recall that HE chose the middle name. It’s still a bone of contention, particularly because I wasn’t all that crazy about it to begin with. But I digress.)

random namesWhen Son #2 came along, we ran into a problem. We couldn’t agree on a short list. And by this point, we had a theme going (literary names), and the OCD in me wouldn’t allow any deviation from said theme. The result? Roughly 12 different baby name books, including one checked out from the library that never did get returned. (I recently found it under a pile of junk in the garage.)

We did settle on a girl’s name. But since we were going for the surprise factor, we had to come up with a boy’s name, too. It came down to the wire, and had Finn been any earlier, Lord only knows what name he would have ended up with.

Our youngest was almost as easy as the first. We just went with the first name we had picked out previously, but by the time I was pregnant with her, the middle name didn’t sit well with my husband. It seemed too much of a mouthful, though I liked it because it was after someone special to us. Eventually, her middle name ended up being picked from a magazine article I was reading on–you got it–baby names. I still sometimes wish we had just gone with our original choice, but c’est la vie.

The angst of naming four children was nothing compared to coming up with names for my characters.

Sometimes, when I’m thinking of a story, the names just come to me. Other times, I have to work hard for them. Working on my new story, it’s a combination. I have my male protagonist’s name (Jackson Thomas), but that’s about as far as I’ve gotten.

Thanks to the internet, there are Random Name Generators and they’re a fun distraction. But here’s something weird…the name generated for my protagonist’s wife is Alaina Markatos. Markatos happens to be the last name of my grandmother’s first husband (and my uncle Georgie). And the inspiration for this story came from a conversation I’ve had with a friend of mine who is Greek. (So I’m actually trying to avoid Greek names, lest he realize I’m using his life issues as a prompt for my plot line.) Still, I’m filing that one away for future use.

Meanwhile, it’s back to the random name generator I go. I think I will stick with Alaina (Lanie for short), but I still need a good last name. One that doesn’t have the same last sound as “Thomas”. Because I’m not changing that one. But also one that’s a little ethnically different, but true to New Hampshire in the 1980s. Feel free to chime in with any suggestions!

Ok… back to writing I go. Oh, but in case anybody needs some naming help:

Last Name Generator

The Character Name Generator

That last one will give you a whole dossier on your character.

Happy Writing!


Well that didn’t go as planned…

So I didn’t even get one post up for the Story-a-Day challenge last year. But I have a very good reason…my career started taking off! Now I get paid to write for my kids’ school, a place I love. I’ve started a blog for them, I help manage their social media, and I write press releases. I also managed to get a monthly column for Gettysburg Life magazine, in addition to my monthly column on behalf of the school for the local papers.

Life is pretty good.

But my creative yearnings haven’t stopped. And in the past couple of weeks, a story has been churning around in my head. I actually started writing it yesterday at my son’s football practice. It is aching to come out, and I don’t think I can wait until November and NaNoWriMo to commit it to paper–er, laptop.


Yowza! Now that’s writing inspiration right there…

I may, however, have to wait until I can find the most efficient portable way to write at the football games and practices I am committed to almost daily. The Macbook is on its last leg, and the Acer is a little too big to lug around. And forget typing on the phone or the iPod; both are too small, and the touchscreen makes my hand ache after a while. I actually used a notebook and a pen the other day, which worked. Except my handwriting rivals that of gorilla’s.

Although… perhaps this is a good enough excuse to indulge in my journal obsession. Afterall, it would be cheaper to just buy some journals and good pens than to pick up a Galaxy Tab or a new Lenovo, right? At least that’s the argument I’ll use with the hubs.

Well, the kids are in bed (or at least on a different floor than me), so now is a good time to figure out my characters’ names and traits. I’m thinking Jack and Lainie for the protagonists.

Wish me luck!