What’s in a Name?

Posted: June 22, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

When I accepted my husband’s name, I had no ulterior motive. True, I was an English major, and any self-respecting English major considers publishing her own prose or poetry at some point. She also has a nurtured instinct for irony and appreciates good wordplay. But really, I just loved the guy and was traditional enough to willingly take his name as the label for our new family unit. How was I to know that this lovely irony would turn into a dilemma years later when I was struggling to find a name for my blog?

In the beginning, the jokes about finding “Mr. Right,” were charming. Years later, they’d lost some of their sparkle. This was a warning to me. What today seems catchy and possibly clever, tomorrow will be beyond a yawn-fest. I had to face facts. I could not rely on “Keli Writes.” At first glance, it could well evoke the thought “Yeah? Don’t we all?” Attention-getting? Not really…. But when the reader realizes it’s a play on my last name? Aha! Now we’re talking. That deserves an amused snort. And… Joke’s over. Back to dreary.

I’d done my research. I knew I should keep it simple and use my name. It also made sense that the blog title should include something descriptive. If you put Shakespeare at the top of a blog, you know what you’re getting. But I’m not Shakespeare. If I used only my name, I could be Keli Wright, butcher, baker, or candlestick maker. At this point I realized that as serendipitous as being a writer named Wright may seem, it actually presents a problem. I can’t use “Keli Wright Writes,” “Keli Wright, Writer,” “Keli Wright’s Writing {insert blog, corner, world, or anything else here}.” How irritating is it to read “Write” over and over, even with different spellings? I mean, this is way beyond a bit of alluring alliteration. Clearly, I was stuck.

What does a writer do when she is completely stuck? She drags out her thesaurus. But nothing writerish seemed to fit. Author? Not yet. Poet? Essayist? Novelist? Not sure I’m ready to commit. Scrivener? Wordsmith? Hmm…possibilities. Scribbler? A little too close to “Keli Wright, Dribbler.” (And this is a real concern for someone traumatized by childhood rhyming games. I mean, really. Try to find an attractive word that rhymes with Keli.)

Then another thought struck. A memory, actually. The memory of a blog I’d wanted to start a few years ago. Or rather that blog’s name. “Open-Faced Sandwich.” I’d intended it as a venue for civil discourse on a variety of untouchable topics, but I was never confident in my ability to maintain order and respect in the completely open forum I’d originally envisioned.

“Keli Wright’s Open-Faced Sandwich”–it’s a risky name for a writer’s blog. It could easily be confused with a food blog. But it metaphorically encompassed my blog-vision: someplace where literature and literacy, words and wordsmithing, and an eclectic mix of inspirational matter would come together as deliciously as a well-made sandwich, diverse ingredients combining and recombining in endless variations. This blog would be a place where people, as unique and different as the elements of that proverbial sandwich, could bring their perspectives and experiences and add layers of tastiness to our creation.

Ah, the waxing rhapsodic of a writer with a vision. Does reality ever measure up? And the self-questioning begins. So many questions. Most I can’t answer. I can’t see the end from the beginning. What it all comes down to is this: Do I want to do it? Do I want to essay into the blogosphere? I’m finding that I do.

  1. rgayer55 says:

    I loved the name of your blog as soon as it opened on the monitor. I love open face sandwiches too, but picked up on the writing metaphor immediately. You’re right, it’s tough naming a blog. When I named mine, “What’s so Funny?” I knew it would create the expectation of humor in every post–a tall order, but if I’m going to pitch myself as a humorist I’d better try to live up to the billing. Let me tell you, it isn’t easy.

    You should try growing up with the last name Gayer. Hearing, “Gayer than who?” and other attempts at crude, juvinile humor really gets old fast. But those idiots had their fun, now I get to use them as characters in my stories 🙂

    • keliwright says:

      I love it! Perhaps that early teasing was instumental in your development into a humorist. You had to laugh or you would have punched someone? And revenge, asthey say is a dish best served cold. All those characters!…

      Thanks for you comments. I’m glad the metaphor was easily recognized.

  2. imaladybug says:

    Hmmm. Decisions, decisions. Sometimes it’s best to just jump in and start swimming. I love what you’ve decided! If you had just jumped in, perhaps you would have come up with something less intriguing–like “Keli’s Comments”.

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