What’s in a Name?

When I got divorced I had to decide whether to keep my ex’s last name or go back to my maiden name. I chose to keep my ex’s for a number of reasons: it was my son’s name also, I’d had that name nearly my entire adult life and literally for just as long as I had my maiden name, and it was on my DD 214 and all my federal employment records.

Truth be told it was that last one that clinched it for me because the thought of all the work I’d have to do to change my work and VA documents was so daunting on top of every other Herculean task of surviving the divorce that I just could not face it.

It is a decision I often regret.

As a new writer who is working on getting a novel ready for publishing, one of the tasks is deciding whether to use my real name or a pen name. If I choose a pen name, there is legally some legwork that has to be done. So it’s not the easiest option.

As a woman in a new relationship that has the potential to be the forever kind, the subject of names has also come up. It’ll come as no surprise that she does not want anything to do with my ex’s last name and since I don’t want any more either I can hardly blame her. But I find myself reluctant to take back my dad’s name or to consider taking on her dad’s last name. I have come to realize that I don’t want a man’s name on me at all.

So what if I instead of choosing a pen name, I chose a new name? And not just for getting published but for my whole life? The idea is both thrilling and terrifying.

However, the sheer volume of options to pick as a name is so overwhelming as to be paralyzing. How would I even narrow it down to a handful of options to consider? I thought creating names for my characters was hard.

Fortunately it’s not a decision I have to make right now, but if I want to really get this book published and to have an HEA, I will have to decide eventually.  

To Be Continued…someday.

Be well my friends.

2 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?”

  1. One trend in LGBT marriages, thanks to how many of us are disowned by our parents, is to say “screw the last name of our families, screw one of us getting to keep our last name the same forcing only one of us to go through the hell of having to change it, let’s make up a new last name”. Sometimes it’s a combination of both of their names (such as Montague + Capulet = Monlet) and sometimes there’s research into “ok our family stands for truth, freedom, beauty, and love, so maybe our last name should be a play on Bohemia…”

    Choosing your name is a lot of fun 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You might ask or old classmate Missy Brannon, aka author Lissa Peterson, author Melissa Wiley, and wife/Mom Melissa Peterson how tricky the legal changes are. Also, I have 2 friends who are socially known by their husband’s name, but never changed their government IDs because of the paper hassle. I totally respect and understand the different motivations.

    Liked by 1 person

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