Thursday, November 27, 2008

What's in a Name?

Recently, my neighborhood listerv published a fun, flattering article about my upcoming storytelling performance at the Madrona-Sally Goldmark branch. The editor must have gotten wind of this blog through my storytelling website, because the title of the article was "Alkelda the Gleeful." As I read the article, I thought of Mrs. Wigglesworth, who performs as a certain persona. I don't have a persona, and while I wear trousers with fun patterns, I don't wear flowers in my hair at every performance and I certainly don't perform as Alkelda the Gleeful. I'm just me with my guitar and felt-board.

When I started this blog almost 4 years ago, I was anonymous. Details about how I chose my blog name and moniker can be found here. I didn't reveal private information about my life or anyone else's for that matter, but I did like being able to write, yet keep my real name showing up on the internet to a minimum.

I kept going with "Alkelda the Gleeful" because it seemed to make a few people laugh. Sure, there were probably some unkind snickers as well, but I figured if that were the case, those people were probably too cool to hang out with me anyway, silly name or not!

The newsletter article, as sweet and fantastic as it was, made me realize something that had been at the back of my mind for awhile: I've outgrown the name "Alkelda the Gleeful." It's served its purpose, and I'll definitely keep it for various username sign-ons, but I don't feel like wearing the moniker anymore. MotherReader had a good point in her "Be a Better Blogger" presentation that the reason she signs all of her posts and comments as "MotherReader" is not because she's hiding her name but because its the name of her blog. I'm going to follow suit.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it! Saints and Spinners readers, I am thankful for you in particular.

--Farida Dowler

10 comments:

Lone Star Ma said...

And I'm thankful for you, Farida.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

I like this decision.

Can't wait to read the article. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

K. Jay said...

Whether Alkelda or S&S, your blog is a pleasure. I look forward to many more posts.

AmishGuitar

TadMack said...

I've got to say that for ages I thought Alkelda *was* your name. And in the Pratchett universe, a kelda is a mother and a queen and the head of the Wee Free Men. So, I figured you lived underground, had eight babies at a time, and were slightly blue. (Okay, I'm kidding on the last one. Or two.) When we met, I had a hard time not calling you Alkelda, I really like the name. You'll always kind of be Alkelda to me, but it probably is easier to have only one cool name at a time. Farida sounds like a musical notation -- like fermata, only livelier.

Sam said...

You don't have a name/persona? How do you do it? I like having something to hide behind -- or under in the case of wearing a chicken on my head to juggle.

I hope you remain gleefuL!

Beth Kephart said...

This post touched me deeply. The true-ness, the quiet reverberations.

Saints and Spinners said...

Beth: I appreciate that. Thanks.

Sam: I hide behind my guitar!

TadMack: I was tickled to find the kelda the first time I read Wee Free Men. And I wouldn't have minded being called Alkelda! I still use either Alkelda or Houseofglee as online names for when one needs a handle, though I've been tempted to sign up as "Earworm36" from time to time.

K.Jay, Jules and LSM: Thank you! And may you all find the days between Thanksgiving and the Winter holidays low-stress... me, I'm already done-for.;)

Vivian said...

I'm one of those who LOVE the monikers Alkelda the Gleeful and Houseofglee. They just make me smile. And might I say, I'm with TadMack. I thought Alkelda was your real name.

You're right though, the username is important to identify with the blog name. Which makes me wonder whether I should change my username to reflect my blog name or if I should change my blog name to reflect my name. Decisions, decisions.

I'm glad you're here in blog land, and am happy you've made the move to the username Saints and Spinners. You choose great names!

Saints and Spinners said...

Vivian: Many thanks. It's funny, because I never thought people would actually think Alkelda was my real name. I think of your real name and "HipWriterMama" as interchangable-- everyone knows Betsy Bird is Fuse#8, and I think you've got a similar theme going.

Bridget Zinn said...

While I love Alkelda the Gleeful, this seems like a smart decision. Much easier to remember Saints and Spinners and recognize it in the comments.