Shivering Pomeranians, Pen Names and Ari Gold

As I write this, my basement is filling up with water. Some sort of tempest swirled up from the bowels of the stratosphere and has, apparently tipped Toronto on its side so driving rain can attack the city from the left. It’s always best to attack from the left.

Remember that.

I should get off the computer. That’s the thunderstorm rule. Maybe so I don’t get hit by e-shrapnel if my computer blows. Or maybe so I don’t lose this document. I don’t know but I’m willing to risk it in the name of discussing pseudonyms. Unintentional pun.

It used to be that you could drink water from the tap, talk on the phone and stand by the window during a good squall. Those days are gone. Now you’re not even supposed to watch TV during a storm, lest Ari Gold blast out of the screen and take out your eye. And you can’t use the down time to shower either. Death by electrocution.

If you’re getting itchy about the pseudonym, hold tight, we’re getting to that.

With all these limitations, one might think a nasty electrical storm might be the perfect time to do leg lifts. Maybe even crunches. But try to find a spot on the floor that’s not near any TV, phone, window or stereo. Just try.

You might try to help your kids with their homework, but they’ve used the power failure as justification to lose themselves in PSPs. In the name of saving their eyes. (Again with the name thing.)

Everyone knows these new weather safety tips are just filler for a 24-hour weather channel. When you have to fill 1440 minutes of air time day after day, with nothing more to talk about than Elm pollen and fog, you have to start making weather sound more dangerous. You need conflict. High stakes. Like in a novel.

You just got excited there. You thought I was getting to the pseudonym thing. You were wrong.

Now we even have a weather feature called “Weather and Your Pet.” If you watch it, you’ll learn not to leave your Pomeranian outside when it’s 20 below. And not to leave your Rottie in a car on a hot summer day. Sadly, there are humans who need to be told this.

On Canada’s Weather Network, the hosts appear translucent. Like ghosts. (Jennifer, did you just sit up taller?) It took my husband a long time to notice the transparency. It wasn’t strange to him that a desk was showing through the anchor’s blazer.

Which brings us to the pseudonym.

You didn’t see the pseudonym coming that time, did you? You started thinking about ghosts and Promise Not to Tell. You got all excited and off track. Now you just want to go read her delicious book and you really don’t care about my pseudonym. I forgive you if you leave now. If I were you, I’d do the same.

But then you’ll never know how I was ever going to connect Ari Gold taking out your eye and shivering Pomeranians and Elm pollen and pen names.

According to Anna’s system, my pseudonym would be Carole Walpole—which sounds like a terrible author name. It sounds more like a cable station weather anchor who cannot figure out why every suit she buys is see-through.

And if I use my second street name, I’d be Carole Highcrest—which still sounds like a terrible author name. It sounds like a woman on a TV commercial who is frowning in the mirror because of the blueberry stains on her teeth.

If I use my third street name, I’d be Carole DeVere, who might have a dog in her purse. Maybe even in her glove compartment. Either way, she doesn’t even read, let alone write.

So you see my problem. If I have to come up with a pen name, I need a new formula. Say…my 97-year-old Icelandic grandmother’s first name and my dog’s name?

Gudrun Ryder.

Sounds like a gal who knows to attack from the left, don’t you think?

7 Replies to “Shivering Pomeranians, Pen Names and Ari Gold”

  1. Hmmm. I was trying to come up with a witty response but I think my brain is still contemplating TOWN HOUSE with one of these names instead of yours, but I have to say that those names don’t quite suit you or the fabulous success that awaits you as an author. For starters, you’d either have to be rail thin or put on about 30 pounds.

    Consider yourself blessed that you have one of those names that looks perfect on a jacket cover …

    Although, now that I think of it, Gundrun Ryder is pretty formidable. You could probably pull a few thriller bestsellers with that one!

  2. It’s funny how all your contenders sound so made-up, like soap opera characters, even though they’re comprised of bits of real names. Your own name sounds real, even though it does happen to be a great “author name.”

    And for the record it is okay to read witty Debutante Ball posts instead of reading Promise Not to Tell — but it is NOT okay to watch cable weather shows instead of reading it (or at least reading some good book!).

  3. Mia – Funny you should say that – I used to think my name was a briefcase name. You know, dull and utilitarian.

    Eileen – What’s odd is that Gudrun is actually pronounced “Gwitheryn.” Must be all that teeth chattering in Reykjavic.

    Larramie – You do realize I was named after a Basset hound?

    Jennifer – But can they peek at the weather show between chapters if the anchors are semi-transparent and THEN continue reading Promise Not to Tell? It’ll put them in a nice ghosty mood.

  4. You had me at the edge of my seat with this one. From tempests sweeping up from the stratosphere to death by electrocution to being on TV and realizing your clothes were transparent and you have blueberries in your teeth, you covered several of my major phobias. Thank goodness Gundrun showed up in her sensible shoes to save the day.

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