My parents gave me a first name which I hate. It is generally the preserve of ladies who are at least 83 years old – this has always been the case, even when I was small.
So I have often considered the option of changing my name, although in practice it’s too much effort. This does not mean I have not used other names on a temporary basis in the past. For one whole year I was known to a select few as Florence, due ot the inability of my landlord to remember my real name. Florence held some possibilities, although I am not keen on the abbreviation of Florrie (sounds too much like “floury”; also my auntie Florrie was a bad-tempered woman so I have some issues with it). Nor am I keen on being associated with the terribly sensible Florence of Magic Roundabout fame; she might have been the one who saved the day, but she rarely seemed to have much fun.
My best friend’s mother always called me Felicity Jane. I quite liked the sound of that when I was little. For some reason it made me think of cowgirls who shouted “yee-hah” and galloped across the prairies on horseback. I couldn’t tell you why.
In my teenage years I was rather taken with Olivia. It was unusual yet sophisticated, glamorous and exciting. Olivia was the kind of woman who danced all night in a glittering dress with very attractive gentlemen in tuxedos, or played baccarat in Monte Carlo, or drank cocktails on yachts in the Mediterranean. Olivia lived the good life, and was explicitly not a teenager in the Home Counties weighed down by homework and spots.
Now that my own name and I have fallen into sullen acquiescence over sharing this lifetime, I am less inclined to seek an alternative. However, I will need a nom de plume for my award winning novel as I will want to retain an element of privacy once I have fame and fortune at my fingertips. My current preference is for Cerulean Blue. She sounds simply heavenly.