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Monday, February 20, 2006


Not every blog can be about important philosophical matters, not to mention world peace.

This one is about Nancy. The name Nancy. It came about because I'm starting a whole new series of books, which means (among other things like insanity and lack of sleep), a whole new raft of names. Names are so interesting...they keep me up at night. Every name has connections that influence how you think about that name. Think of the names you could never name a child. For example, Adolf is way too close to Hitler for my comfort zone. Delilah is another name that's a bit dicey.

When you're writing historical fiction, those limitations are tripled and re-tripled. One of my favorite names from the Renaissance periods was Lettice. This was very popular in the Middle Ages, and so had a fancy, antique ring in the Renaissance: one of Queen Elizabeth's maids-in-waiting was a Lettice. But can I take a heroine and name her Lettice? Naw. Everyone would be
about Romaine and that's a hop, skip and jump from Ramona the Pest.

Because that's the real problem with naming: all those famous people who share the names that you'd like to give your heroine. Some names are just plump with memories, to me: memories that have such a flavor that it would be difficult to given it to a heroine (like Ramona).

So here's an example. NANCY. I could never name a heroine Nancy anyway, because it's a newer name. But think about it: it's a newer name that's out of fashion now. Look at the Nancy's I stuck on this page. None of them are rappers. Or current movie stars. Nancy's heyday has come and gone...at least until it springs back into fashion (I'm holding out hope for a granddaughter named Lettice. Then I could have a grandson named Obediah, another favorite. So I put Nancy's I remember up above.

What are some other famous Nancy's? Here's one to get you started: Nancy Myers. She was the director of Something's Gotta Give... OTHERS?
Eloisa James, 8:47 AM