Theres a story in everything: Middle Names

MIDDLE NAMES 

photo credit: google imagesAt work during a lull, my mind started to wonder… wonder far and away. That just happens huh? You will start to think about something at work that thought leads to another which leads to another and before long you went from thinking about supply reordering to why couldn’t Jack and Rose both get on the floating piece of wood (from the movie Titanic)…this is life and death you guys!Don’t just give up! Haha. So today my thoughts ended up at my middle name: Robin. (btw…wasn’t it so annoying growing up when there was that kid that acted like their middle name was something that was so dreadful that they guarded it like the government guards the gold at Fort Knox. And when you found out years later the “mysterious middle name” was John. lol. We’ve all experienced this..I’m pretty sure.)

Interesting fact: middle names did not appear until the mid-17th century! Even then it was extremely rare…largely only wealthy families started to give their children “two names.” By the time of the Civil War middle names started to catch on but it was only until the 1900s when everyone had a middle name.
(credit to Robert W. Baird, “The Use of Middle Names.”) So all in all middle names are a relatively new thing!

When I was little I hated my middle name (it could be worse…Bertha or Brunhilda or something like that! Sorry all Bertha’s and Brunhilda’s!). The main reason for my dislike was this lady, who was one of my best friend’s mom at the time had the name Robin. She was a cleaning FREAK! If you touched the bleached white walls at her house she would threaten, “Do that again and you will be helping with spring cleaning! Or I will give your parents a call and you will get a spanking!” (she was completely serious too! And ya…terrifying! Getting spanked by your parents is one thing, getting spanked by a non-relative? Terrifying…and bizarre) Once my little sister touched the wall and got a smudge on it and she had to not only clean it but sit in the corner for forever! My 7 year old self was annoyed that I shared part of my name with this woman. Would I some day grow up to be just like her? One day, I wanted to know why, why on earth my Mom and Dad gave me the same name as this scary woman-so I asked them.

They told me the story behind my name. For those of you who don’t know, my first name is Autumn. So coupled with my middle name you have Autumn Robin. My Mom said that she loves the fall season- the turning of the leaves, the cool weather, bon fires and flannel. So when I was born she told my Dad, “Let’s name her Autumn!” Makes sense. What about Robin? Was it the name of a great relative my parents wanted to honor? Nope, there are actually no Robins in our family! My Mom told me simply, “I love Robin birds! So we decided why not make her middle name Robin?”
So I found out my name, Autumn Robin is a shout out to nature…and some of my Mom’s favorite parts about it! (Next thought…was my Mom a hippy?)

Some people have two middle names, some people don’t have any! What’s the story behind your middle name?

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What is in a NAME?

During my senior year of high school and during the summers I was home from college I was faithfully employed by the local zoo. The zoo I worked at wasn’t your average government funded zoo. It was small and buried in the mountains, owned privately by a collection of people and very faithful donors. To get my story going right along, I have had a lot of wild (haha!) , hilarious adventures while being employed here. What does this have to do with my writing a book? I’m about to tell you…

The zoo changing it’s managers became an expected summer ritual. I have probably seen 20 people hired and fired there…I don’t know what was going on! One year we worked under a man by the name of “Richard”, but he went by “Dick” (which by the way….how does that even work? Richard shortens into Dick? Huh?). As the month’s wore on, Dick, at first liked by the employees began to show his jerky colors. He was rude and did a lot of blame shifting. At the end of his “reign of terror”  he was extra mean to an older lady that is like the grandma everyone wants that worked there with us. Wow! Who does that??? Finally, he was fired. I will never forget what the “grandma of the zoo” said about him when she heard he got fired. She smiled chuckling and said, “Well, Dick…he certainly lived up to his name!” 

  Have you ever had an idea pop into your head of what someone’s personality is like, simply because of their name? I have been at the books! Editing, editing and more editing. Thus far I have made some changes to the novel! First big change came about with this idea of “personality describing names” and I decided to give my main character a new name! After writing a “one Imagesentence summary” of my book for a competition (I didn’t win, boo! But I did come in 4th with the most likes, that has to count for something right?) I had a thought. The novel summary is as follows: “Even Angels have their secrets.” As I thought more and more about it, I decided to change the name of the main character from Allison, to Angel (short for Angelina); My main character is a “good girl” who is constantly afraid of disappointing her strict Mother; she is an innocent, trusting, and sweet person who always believes the best about people. As the book goes on, Angel finds herself apart of a tangled web of secrets.  I thought giving Allison, the name Angel instead, would show a reader something instantly about her personality.

Which poses a question: have you ever met anyone that literally lived up to his or her name?