Sunday, 5 February 2017
A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME ...... LINDA MITCHELMORE
"So," my friend, Jan - who's read just about everything I've ever had published - said, "who's this Mel who upset you so much?" "I don't know what you mean!" I said, coming over all defensive. "Hmm," she said. "It's just that whenever you write the bad sister/office bitch/friend from hell you call her 'Mel'. That's all I'm saying." And do you know what? - she's right. I do. There was a Mel in my life who was all those things Jan mentioned and I haven't been able to let her go. I know it's not healthy but at least I get a bit of (unhealthy?) revenge when I'm writing her into a short story. I've got a cousin - male - who is also very loyal and reads most of my short stories and novels. He's not averse to voicing his thoughts either. "Paul?" he said once. "Who was he in your life? His name crops up a lot." "Does it?" I said. "Yep. And he always gets the girl." Not the Paul I know because I rather stupidly let him go (okay, gave him the old heave-ho) and perhaps I ought not to have done and then I would have been Paul's girl But no one needs to know that and my cousin will have to go on guessing! After having written about 1000 names into short stories and novels it's not that easy to come up with a new one, even though I have a Baby Names book on my desk. Didiane? Photina? Boaz? Milburn? I think not. Girls' names like Daphne and Dulcie, Polly and Elsie, are making a comeback but they're not names I liked the first time around so I won't be using those. And Roger - my husband's name. I'm reluctant to use that because people always quip ' ... over and out' and that's all I see in my mind's eye when I've tried to write him in. And using his name as a verb has a whole different meaning so I won't be doing that either. There are, of course, many books with one name titles. Jane Austen's 'Emma' is perhaps the most famous of all.