I’d planned to start only blogging for my four weekly bloghops starting in September, and for any other contests or bloghops that came up (based on traffic patterns and the days I got the highest percentage of comments per hits), but you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men. I’ll be posting every single day this month, and on at least one day (the 15th), I’m taking part in three bloghops.
The Express Yourself Meme is a new weekly bloghop hosted by Dani Betrand and Jackie Felger, whose bloghops I’ve taken part in before. Every week, there will be a new question posed. This week’s question:
Pick a name in your current wip; what was your process of acquiring it?
My current WIP is Justine Grown Up, a contemporary historical set from 1979-84 (and, btw, I’m still trying to find people to interview for the dramatic penultimate chapter, as I’ve detailed on my sidebar). It’s the third book in a contemporary historical family saga, and somewhat of a modern retelling of Margaret Sidney’s Phronsie Pepper.
Justine’s romantic lead (who eventually becomes her husband) is David Edgar Ryan. During the majority of the first book, Little Ragdoll, David and his sisters were simply known as Girl, Boy, Baby, and Infant. Their parents didn’t want kids and had no part in raising them, so they just called them what they were.
They were raised in a community of like-minded squatters in The Bowery, till the cops raided their squat in late Summer ’62, and the four Ryans were on their own, taking Justine’s sister Ernestine and their friend Julie with them. Initially they lived in the basement of Justine’s brother Allen’s apartment in the West Village, then moved to the Meatpacking District at the start of 1964.
Those who know me well know what a huge name nerd I am, and are probably thinking, “That’s the best you could come up with for a main character? David? One of the most common male names of the 20th century? When your primary taste is in classic unusual and classical eccentric?”
It was really the first name that popped into my head when I was thinking of a real name for him, and David likewise later says it was the first name that came into his own head. We also were thinking of King David, one of my favorite figures from the Bible (and one of the earliest people with extra-Biblical evidence of his existence). He likes how he was a great warrior and got all the women. As for Edgar, he always thought that was a groovy name. I also always liked the name Edgar.
In spite of how obscenely common David is, I’ve really always liked the name a lot. It’s a Biblical name like Sara(h), Rachel, or Daniel—you don’t necessarily assume it belongs to a religious person, unlike names such as Isaiah, Hezekiah, Yocheved, or Chaya. And it works well on someone of all ages, and sounds adult and professional. Yes, I’ve known a boatload of Davids my whole life, but it ages well, and it’s timeless. It’s one of those names that’s been steadily popular for a very long time, in addition to being thousands of years old.