Couple things before I get to the Weekly Wrap:
Thanks to those who pointed out that the link to Green-Hand singing Bob Dylan was broken. It’s all fixed now.
And did someone ask how Steve the greyhound is doing?
He’s feeling pretty relaxed these days. Thanks for asking.
I was thinking, since we focused on a kids’ book this week, that it might make sense to view the word “alias” in kids’ terms. You know: masks, capes, and other disguises.
As many of you know, Mr. Henderson is a costume designer for plays and movies. But he’s been known to whip up some fun Halloween costumes, too. He’s made tree frogs, monkeys, dwarfs, Mad-Eye Moody, and more. Here are some little pirates, big pirates, and hobbits:
And here are a few Green-Hand came up with himself. I especially like how he accessorizes with a tape measure and red ruby slippers:
The main thing I notice when my kids are in costume is that they walk and talk differently. The disguise frees them somehow to find a voice and a mannerism that’s bolder than their own. Maybe this is why many of us write under pen names: we are freed to be bold.
Thank you to my readers for sharing your stories about aliases – Amy, who plans to choose a more exotic and memorable twist on her name when she sells her book; Lauren, who was asked by publishers to simplify her name but has chosen to use her real name, though it’s hyphenated, and difficult to pronounce; Jim, who once used a pen name to keep his humorous writing separate from his identity as a brilliant engineer; Myfanwy, who used to publish under her middle name to limit conflicts at work; Aimee, who uses her own name because she’s earned the glory; Greg, who’s used a whole slew of pen names; Gail, who often uses a name similar to her own, but just unique enough so she’s the only one and so her kids can’t track her down via Google; Megan, who uses the genius Epstein Barbie but will choose another pen for her more serious writing; Ellen, who writes under her maiden name so she can separate her writer identity from her mother/wife identity; Lance, who’s a big fan of modified spelling to help with Google-ability; Betsy, who uses the formal name given on her birth certificate; Sarah, who has used pseudonyms for every reason from collaborating, protecting her privacy, and to offer something simpler and easier to spell to her readers; Carolyn, who may give herself a name with more character to it once her book is sold; Noria, who almost changed a single letter in her name to create a buffer between herself and her family; n.l., who likes to toy with celebrity names and puns to add a humorous punch to a name; Mikel K, who changed his name as a reaction to his dad’s lack of support and as a show of self-determinism; Kathy, who could create a cool anagram of her name but thinks her dad might be proud to see her real name gracing the cover of a book; Kasper, who uses many different pen names when he writes his comic books; Kevin, who says his name is “the first title given to me. I don’t think changing the title will make a book better;” Joe, whose fictitious name for his ficticious job as food critic helped to keep him fed; and Aurelio, who uses his “nom de plume” so readers don’t expect his books to reach the same audience as his (way-cool and well-known) movies.
Thank you, of course, to Bach-Boy for being such a careful reader, for loving books so dearly, and for being such a big-hearted soul. And thank you to Lemony Snicket, whose book is out TODAY! Go fetch it and tell me what you think.
If you can’t get enough of all things Lemony, there’s a great interview on NPR today.
Frank Daniels’ Lit Riot tomorrow, and he’s taking on the James Frey controversey in his usual, direct style. And here’s just a glimpse of who will be here next week:
Have a great weekend, everyone!