November 13th, 2009

writing everywhere

She's very sneaky, and you might be, too.

truepenny reports that she will now be writing as Katherine Addison instead of Sarah Monette, to fool bookstore computers. (If you're still confused about this after reading her entry, ask and people here can explain.)

Which made me wonder: how many of us have a list of pen names we would use in this situation? I know I do. I skip the most obvious one, which is my actual legal name (Marissa Gritter), because I have a possibly weird personal bias about pen names, and this bias only applies to me: I am not Dutch. I don't want to use a Dutch name for my writing because I am not Dutch, not Dutch-American or Dutch-Michigander or any other thing that might tie to being Dutch. I am greatly fond of my Dutch-Michigander husband and in-laws and those of their Dutch-Michigander friends and associates I have met, but if it is true as they say in Grand Rapids that if y'ain't Dutch, y'ain't much, I am, in fact, not much. But I would write as a Fossback, because that was my Gran's name, or as a Haugan, because it would amuse me to go incognito as Ms. Norwegian Underhill, or as a few other things that are both ethnically appropriate to me and reasonably spellable.

(As I said, this does not apply to you lot. If you are Italian-American and you write as Julio Nguyen-Markowicz, I would not be the least put off by that. But the only exception for me personally that we've joked about is that if I start writing teen romance novels, I would do so as Melissa Glitter. The likelihood of this is well into the negative numbers--I can imagine writing in a lot of genres and categories, but none of them are romance.)

So. Do you know who you'd be to fool bookstore computers? And do you have a rationale? ("I like that name" is a rationale.)

Force, object. Or possibly pot, kettle.

So today on the Writing Carter Hall Channel, we have a minor plot question. Which is stronger: a spell placed upon you by the Queen of Air and Darkness, or the instinct and ingrained knowledge of 50 years that your 5'2", 75-year-old, Up-North-Minnesotan mother is really not someone you want to mess with? Or, to put it a different way, exactly how much of a world of hurt is Coach Rob Laird in for?

Heh. Oh dear.