Pen Names and wasting time

As much as I’m loving writing this vampire story, I think if I ever get around to trying to get it published I’d like to use a nom de plume/pen name/pseudonym. The problem is how does one go about choosing one? The possibilities are endless.

So I did what I always do. I hit Google. A search on “pen name generator” brought up the Random Name Generator which is pretty good. A couple of the others that came up are obviously just for laughs, they produced absurd names like Sir Pumpkin Longshanks via the Pen Name Generator at Poemofquotes.com, and the aptly titled Preposterous Pen Name Generator at the Donnybrook Writing Academy gave me “Ives Zuzanna le Sigh”.  Le sigh, indeed. Pepe le Pew would be so proud.

The next thing I did was start a list of the ones I sort of liked, and kept playing with the name generator to see what else might pop up, which knocked a few off the list and added others. I think I’m getting close to making a decision, because there’s only one I can even remember off the top of my head. I’d say that’s a good sign it could be THE ONE. This is why I’ve never gotten a tattoo (ok, one reason). I need to be absolutely certain I’m going to still like it a year from now.

I ran across another blog today, Kelly D. Palmer’s Mysterious Musings, in which she muses on What’s in a (Pen) Name? To her dismay, she discovered her own nom de plume is already taken on Twitter, so she had to use a variation of it. Once I settle on a name, I’ll have to check for it on Twitter and see if the domain name is still available for a Web site. Yes, that’s right, I’m thinking I’m going to have to cave and join Twitter whether I like it or not.

Le sigh.


36 thoughts on “Pen Names and wasting time”

  1. You’re so intrigued with languages, your ethnic history, and the like, I think it’s time to salute your ancestral heritage – are there any interesting names on your family tree that you’d like to resurrect? What would you have named your daughter, if you’d had one?

    Another neat thing to do, especially in keeping with our recent fascination with the undead, is to visit old cemetaries – it’s amazing some of the cool names you see. If nothing grabs you as a pen name, you might at least find some good names for your fictional characters.


    1. For some reason I was thinking more of doing the exact opposite, and picking a name with no ties to my family or background. Frankly most of them aren’t very memorable or worse, would be really hard for Americans to pronounce 😉

      The cemetery idea is interesting. I did go through that little one back in Nov. last year and took photos of most of the headstones. I should look through those.


  2. Hey DD,

    Thus far, I’ve used a couple of different pen names. I’ve recently come up with THE NAME I plan to use for my career.

    I echo Mary’s suggestion regarding checking your family tree and old cemeteries.


    1. Excellent, Tasha, that you’ve hit on a good one! I think half of my problem is I just don’t like most women’s names. They seem designed to forever sound childish and girlish. I want something with some strength to it. Eh, another neurosis of mine 😉


      1. So pick an androgynous name – it would create a little buzz if people weren’t sure if their favorite author was male or female.


  3. Hi Digital Dame,

    Thanks for your comment on my experience.

    I love the idea of visiting old cemeteries. Good luck finding the perfect name for your writing self! Let us know what you decide so we can find you on the bookshelf!



    1. Hi Kelly

      Thanks for coming by! All this hanging around cemeteries – maybe I’ll find my vampire there 😉

      I guarantee I’ll trumpet the news when and if I get published.


  4. What about initials for the first name?
    I always think of you as D.D.

    So maybe, D.D. Something?

    Speaking of cemeteries- there’s a beautiful one very close to where I live. I plan to take photos of it soon for my blog.


    1. I was thinking of initials, too – that way when you are out in the real world, using your real first name, people don’t automatically make the connection and you’ll maintain yr peace and privacy.


      1. Hahahah! Oh, that I should someday have to worry about maintaining my privacy like that! 🙂

        Initials is one of the ideas I’ve been kicking around. We talked awhile back in e-mail about using your own middle name and mother’s maiden name for a pseudonym. My middle name can be abbreviated nicely as initials, so there’s always that handy option.


    2. I look forward to seeing that cemetery, Astro Sis. I would imagine over there they go back centuries. Does that make me morbid, thinking cemeteries are beautiful? Maybe you’ll catch a ghost on camera!


    1. Have you ever hooked up with local ghost hunters? I found out just a few months ago that some kids my boys were friends with in school are now doing ghost hunting, like those shows on tv. They have some benefactor who is bankrolling the whole operation and they go out on ghost stake-outs. I don’t know how much success they’ve had, I’ll have to see if I can find out.


      1. you should go out with those guys and offer to write about it – could be a good deal for everybody


  5. Hey Astro Sis,

    Ghost Hunting- what a cool idea! Never have- I stick to old fashioned automatic writing and stuff. But one day, yeah, that could be quite interesting.

    And nah, you’re definitely not morbid for finding cemeteries, beautiful. Me, too. My mom, three! Lots of people find them fascinating for historical or artistic reasons.


  6. Heh. How could I forget? You and I are both Rising Scorpios. My mom’s a Sun Scorpio. We tend to like dead things. Wait. That sounded morbid. Okay, we tend to have an interest in otherworldly things.


    1. Aha! This explains my passion for/obsession with my undead hero. Yeah I’ve always been a little bit ‘weird’ in that regard. Quelle surprise, non? 😉


    2. I’m not sure what my sun sign or rising sign are, but I’m fascinated with old cemetaries, as is my mom. Now, my husband is another story – just walking past one creeps him out.


      1. Well your Sun sign is Aquarius, I know that much 😉 If you want I can run a basic chart for you, I have a little astrology program that can give you some basics. I just can’t help with interpretations, I’ve never studied astrology so we’d be stuck with whatever is programmed into the software. I can e-mail you about that if you want.


  7. This discussion is terrific! I always knew I would need a pen name and frankly, I was going with my middle aunt’s because she had always wanted children but couldn’t have any. So, I was going to use her first name and my mom’s maiden name as a tribute but I am so drawn to Ives Zuzanna le Sigh. Drawn like a moth to a fire — helpless!

    I second the suggestion to follow those budding ghost-hunters around. I would do it simply because it’s different and different is interesting. You may find a story you weren’t even looking for, like the vamp.


  8. Hi Venus,

    Well, that would certainly be a distinctive name, and you are welcome to it!

    I had almost forgotten about those boys’ ghost hunting activities. I’ll let you guys know if I go on a ghost stake-out 🙂


    1. That’s a cool site, Tasha. I’ve never used that one before. I can’t say I agree with everything it said about me (love to be the center of attention?? Nonono) but it was nicely laid out and I liked the way it broke out all the planets and decans. Usually when I pull up a chart I have used Astro.com. Navigate down the left sidebar to “My Astro” and you can either create a free account, or run a chart as a “guest”. If you try it let me know what you think of it. An astrologer friend of mine told me about it, she seemed to think it was pretty good.


      1. Ooh, thanx Gypsy & Didge – you spooky girls are so much fun! I’m going to run over to Astro.com and see if I can relate to anything the stars/program tell me.

        Re; Scorpio men, I just love ’em! My husband, his father, my own father, and the husband of my BFF L’Italiana were all born under that sign (the latter two even share the same birthday,) and they all are/were exceptional husbands. Maybe it’s the rising sign, DD, or maybe you just met a couple of stiffs. I’ve often thought you & Fang would be friends if you met each other.


  9. DD,

    Thanks for mentioning the site. I just saved it so I can check it out later.

    Yeah, computerized charts always claim we sun Leos love attention. Har! I’m coming across more and more Leos who *don’t*.

    My favorite example in that regard is Emily Bronte. Also a Sun Leo/Rising Scorpio. Uhm, not exactly someone who craved attention.

    The strong Scorpio need for privacy seems to negate the Leonine desire for attention.


    1. 2 of my brothers are Leos, and I don’t see them craving attention any more than the average person, although L’Italiana was born under that sign and she’s one of those people you don’t mind paying attention to b/c she works hard to deserve it. I ran my vital statistix trough that website, and I concur w/Didge – some of the “observations” were spot on, others not so much. Apparently my rising sign is Libra, and although I’ve been told I’m a fair person, I dunno about all that charm and popularity – I’ve always been resigned to the fact that I’m sort of an acquired taste 😉

      Didge is the one who actually knows me in person (for how long, now?!) so I’ll let you be the judge of whether this description of “sun in Aquarius” applies to me:

      “An individualist and a free spirit, your friends are quite important to you as long as they do not try to tie you down by making too many emotional demands… Your thoughts are offbeat and you’re a bit eccentric, but not always very changeable. As a matter of fact, you can be quite stubborn at times. Very fair-minded when dealing with large groups or broad issues, you are not always emotionally sensitive to the needs of individuals. Extremely objective, with good powers of observation, you would be qualified to study technical and complicated subjects”


      1. I can see some of that applying to you, you’re definitely a free-spirit! And a bit eccentric? 😉

        And I don’t want to say how many years we’ve known eachother LOL


  10. I really need to read up more on Scorpio. The more you mention about it the more those seem to apply to me, rather than the Leo characteristics. One of my sisters is pretty good at astrology and she said the same thing, the rising sign is of more influence than the sun sign.

    I don’t know if that naturally follows, but I tend not to get along very well with Scorpio men 😉


  11. Ooo, excellent, thanks!

    Nah, you can’t jinx destiny 😉

    Good god, I think we’re twins separated at birth. According to that astro.com site my Mars is in Gemini as well! At least I think that’s what this means:

    Mars Gemini 3°38’30 in house 7 direct


  12. On regards to being separated at birth: well, I don’t call you Astro Sis for nothing! 😉

    And I’m very glad that after all this side talk on astrology, you discovered a pen name. Not sure how you did- but I’m glad for ya that you did. 🙂


  13. But knowing me, I’ll change my mind several times before this story is ready for publication! I wonder what part of my chart makes me so indecisive about things like this?


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