Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. For a few more weeks, I’ll continue to share from the opening chapter of my recent release Little Ragdoll, a Bildungsroman (growing-up story) spanning 1959-74.

Five of the six Troy sisters are at an uptown Woolworth’s to buy back to school supplies in 1959, but their shopping is delayed when they run into a bunch of mean girls from school. One of the mean girls has just criticized their decidedly non-trendy names.

Once again, no offense to women with the popular names of that era! I just used those names as an example of extremely popular Boomer girls’ names and don’t have anything against those names or the women who bear them.


“What’s the baby’s name, Eunice?  And the name Ernestine belongs on a smelly old lady who has fifty cats!”

“I’d much rather be the only Ernestine at school than lost in a sea of Lindas, Barbaras, Susans, and Debbies,” Ernestine retorts. “I like being unique.  At least no one will ever forget my name.”

“Our baby’s name is Justine,” Lucine says. “A very pretty French name.”

“What’s the little ragdoll’s name?” Nancy Jenkins asks.


When I created the Troys at thirteen, the only name I chose with any deliberate significance was Adicia. When starting over from scratch and memory so many years later, I realized four of the sisters have French names, and discovered the surname Troy is also French. So I made their father of 100% French Huguenot descent, and so proud of his ancestry he gave all his kids at least one French name. The ones who don’t have French forenames have French middle names, and a few have two French names.

7 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Mean Girls at Woolworth’s

  1. There is nothing sadder than mean girls making fun of other girls’ names. It’s not like the girls picked out their own names.

    I think the use of unusual French names to single your characters out is a good choice.


  2. It is good to be unique–but sometimes it’s not so good to be too different from everyone else. Especially when you have to tell everyone how to spell your name…


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