A rose by any other name…

I spotted this quote a few weeks ago and it grabbed me by the throat. I know its intended audience is probably transgender people but can we talk about it’s relevance to adopted people for a minute?

I had a birth name, an adoptive name, a first married name, second married name. My first husband also had a previous name that I only discovered when I applied for his death certificate. He took on his step-dad’s surname but until he was twelve he had his mum’s name, Gamble. When I married my second husband, I realised I had previously been married to a Gamble and was now a Betts. Perhaps the universe is trying to tell me to take a chance?

I’ve written before about my name quandaries. When I met Michael I was thinking about changing my name. I had no idea why, my name, Christine, just didn’t fit right. If I’m honest, it still doesn’t feel like me.

Oh and I hate being called Chris. Nopey nope nope. Not okay.

I talked to my mentor about using a pen name. She didn’t recommend it and I don’t even know yet if this is something I’m going to need to worry about but considering I already have multiple self-published novels, stories and all these blog posts, I feel like I need to think about it at least.

As so often happens, I’ve had an epiphany while writing this. Right now, right this minute, I don’t bloody need a pen name. This is my brain indulging in some pretty damn ingenious procrastination/resistance.

resistance. [ rĭ-zĭs′təns ] A force, such as friction, that operates opposite the direction of motion of a body and tends to prevent or slow down the body’s motion.


Why must I complicate literally everything? I’m starting to bore myself! Forget the name malarkey and go write something, Christine!

I’m having some landscaping done on the new yard and I’ve had hours of uninterrupted writing time this morning. Even the cats have left me to it mainly because they’re hiding in the wardrobe upstairs, terrified of the scary men with wheelbarrows and mini diggers.

So far this morning, I’ve worked on a story for submission to the Romance anthology for the Rainforest Writing Retreat and a story for the Right Left Write monthly short story competition, this blog, and shortly, I’ll work through the feedback on my crime novel, generously given by a very well known author. I plucked up the courage to ask and gave them a very easy option to say no, but they read the first 5000 words and gave an amazing critique.

It’s lovely to be at my desk after months of travel, injury, illness, and packing/unpacking. Hubby and his bookkeeper are working with a new VA so I am finally free…. I will still be doing payroll and EOM but not forever.

I am so grateful and so is hubby because he’s finally realised that my writing skills far surpass my bookkeeping skills which were limited to say the least. I also have a bad attitude and poor attention to detail. He’s actually happier than I am which I might have found insulting if I wasn’t so very happy about it.

Work hours reduced to about ten hours a month. Check.

Name thing shelved. Check.

Lovely big writing room with cats and books and art and a big desk and a view and door that I can close. Check.

Now I have no more excuses…

I’m in the process of rebranding my books. I’m not completely in love with this new cover but it’s a start. It’s the right side of a set that will include a blue cover for Set in Paris and a new white cover For Hotel Deja Vu. Together they will make a Tricolour, the French flag! oh la la!