Friday, January 24, 2014


Of all the stories I've written, not one character has a nickname. Sure Whitney becomes DJ Whit, but that was an echo of her progression and who influenced her. I'm talking about affectionate and personal names we call people whom we love.

Ruboes and Elbows
I come from a long line of interesting moniker-makers and was shaped by one of the masters. Random sampling from my Dad's arsenal: Mighty Mouse (his mother), Edger, Digger, Moses, Tooz, Peetees, Bear Cat, Gar-Burger, Ruboes, Mugly Utt, Catarino LaVinciano - aka Trina.

A sampling of my winners: Rosasita-B-Lizzie-Tishie-Tushie-Face, Ra Ra, Reesetofarian, Keatonian, SuPu, Jreamy, Clonater, Goober, Mulah/Moneybags (interchangeable for parents), Booger, Nutt Butt, Woman, Short Ones.

As much as I've borrowed from my life to write stories, I never tapped into this well until The
Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones. One particular character had to be Vee. Her formal name changed a couple times but that's how I thought of her. Vee. She's an interesting character because her essence came fully formed. I assigned specific attributes from people I knew but Vee was always her own person--always a beacon of positive thinking.

Once I let out one nickname, another untapped well opened. Even though all my pets have enjoyed gajillions of nicknames, I, a bonafide dog lover, never included a Mugly Utt in a story.  WTH? 

Then the perfect mate padded into the story of Gillian--a mutt mix of my own Wee Reese, Huero and Keaton combined to make lovable Buster. It was a joy writing this character. As a dog, he represents pure love--able to overlook all character flaws. As a friend, he shows Gillian how to open up again.

In future writings, look for more nicknames, pets and nicknamed pets. I can't close the wells.