Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nom de Plume

Movie Poster image appears courtesy of Wikimedia
If you had to write a book or an article, or something that was going to be published, and you had to use a name other than your own, what name would you use? Because I speak more than one language, my BFF once suggested that I use "Polly Glot". I don't mind the first name "Polly" but "Glot" as a surname is really quite awful. Can you think of anything more guttural? Her husband, who has a much drier sense of humor and loves the original film "Bedazzled" (starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore) suggested "Millie Regretti". While the Italian surname is appealing to me on a number of levels, it still leaves something to be desired.

Because my "real name" is a fine example of alliteration, I used to think I would select a name with a similar attribute and use something like "Barbara Bishop". I'm frankly a little miffed at Nora Ephron. In the film "You've Got Mail", Meg Ryan's character has my real-life name. (Gee, and we're both blonde, and her character, like me, had been in the book business.) Occasionally I will do something like show up at the post office to claim a piece of mail and someone will look at my identification and say "why is your name so familiar to me?", and I'll sigh and say "Have you recently seen the film 'You've Got Mail' by chance?", and more often than not, the other person will have their "ah ha!" moment and smile and nod.

One of these days, just one of these fine days, I'm going to write a work of fiction that will feature a really annoying character named Nora Ephron. She'll be so neurotic that Sigmund Freud will spin in his grave. But my name won't be attached to this work, so don't look for it. It'll be written by Kelly Thomas, most likely.

1 comment:

  1. This is always a dilemma for me . I get all shy and reclusive when it means I have to sign my real name to something.. will someone take offense ( they always do) and come after me ?? will someone say, Hey, I grew up with her and hunt me down?? .. and then with this whole world wide web business, do I really want my real name splashed all over the place?
    If it is about my writing , my own name is good.. actually maiden name. But if it is nonsense on the web, another name that has certain connotations for me will do.
    I like your name. It rolls off the tongue easily, sounds smart and grown up without being too old or too serious.
    I had to grow into my name .. the nickname haunted me for too many years.
    And it was all the fault of a man named Edgar Bergen who had a daughter ...