Sunday, January 27, 2019

Any Other Name

When I submitted my first book, I carefully, with due deliberation chose my pen name. Among the many reasons, I now see the new name allowed me the opportunity to change my name without going to court. Nearly all my life I've really not liked my birth name and that dislike was compounded because my parents called me by both my first and middle name...sort of like Bobby Sue.

In my generation, my first name was the most popular girl's name--ever. Most of my classes in school average six or seven of us with some variety of my name. When I became an adult, out of my parent's home, living on my own, I firmly introduced myself using only my first name.

There are family members, however, who still call me by both my first and middle name. Heh. If I call them on the phone or send them a letter without both names they don't even know who I am. Mostly, I shrugged off the irritation--surely a minor thing in the overall scheme of things in the real world--and moved on.

Then came that day when I was offered a contract for my book, that day when I could choose any name I wanted to represent myself. And the name I chose was Anny Cook. It has elements of my past and elements of my future. After eleven years, there are far more people who call me Anny than my birth name. Transition complete.

Except for my parents and family members. It was firmly impressed on me the last two weeks while spending many hours talking to family that I am still that young woman gifted with a name by my parents so long ago. And maybe because I have other options now, I found it wasn't nearly as irritating. So, at sixty-nine there's this epiphany. Whatever name you use, you're still yourself.


  1. I have the same issue. And in our family we are multiple.

  2. Well I guess you won't have a problem calling me Sam. Tommie still has an issue and so does Dan but I am Sam now. That is my real name.

  3. Lol. I just sent you a note with your legal name and it felt weird. To me, you'll always be my dear friend Anny.

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