The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What's In a Name?

         Names are important. Titles tells us something. But sometimes, names or titles change...

         Donna Volkenannt has a story in Chicken Soup's newest collection, Hope and Miracles. (It comes out October 7.) If you don't know Donna's work, you should. And if you don't know her titles, you definitely should check out her deftness when it comes to creating a title for her stories. 

         This slice-of-life story is called "A Patchwork of Hope," and the title fits both figuratively and literally. (It's also a moving and well-crafted tale.)

         When I was born, my birth mother named me Margaret. (I can see myself as Maggie. Margaret? Never.)  My parents named me Susan, which was fine until I hit 7th grade. Both Susan and Sue (and definitely Susie) were too conventional for my tastes. My inability to fit my round self into the square holes, combined with a passion for everything Native American led me to rename myself "Sioux." My friends knew me as Sue spelled with an X, my parents shook their head in dismay, and I remained Sioux--unofficially--until I was in my forties.

         It was then that I decided that the third time was a charm, the third name of mine was going to be the one that stuck, and I went to court and paid to change my name--legally--to Sioux.  

        What do you think of your name? Did you ever have occasion to change it? If you did change it, what would you have changed it to? Nosy people like me want to know...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Jealousy or Revelry?

         I read Crystal Otto's post this morning while I nibbled on a Muffin, and it immediately brought to mind a phrase a writing friend said. When she said it--several years ago--it resonated with me.

      Truth be told, when I get together with Britton Gildersleeve, lots of things she says hum and resonate and stick. She's a wonderful critique partner/editor, she talks a mile a minute, she reads everything that's worth reading, and she's wicked-smart. (Unfortunately, I only see Britton once a year at my annual writing retreat in Conception, Missouri.)

      Britton said, "The sun that shines on you also warms me."

      We happened to be talking about people who are jealous of the success of others...People who try to downplay their accomplishments...people who try to hog up the spotlight.

       So the next time you look a little green-with-envy, think of how you can bask in that warmth, too.

        Because you can. And you should.