Monday, July 16, 2007

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME IS ... DAPHNE, MAYBE?

Hi guys. Sorry this is late, I forgot today was my day. Whose bright idea was that, having me blog after nationals?

Thankfully, I have an idea ready. We all know how important a character's name is and also how serendipitous the choosing of a name can seem at times. The following exercise should be fun and easy and I hope you all respond. For your information, I am going to post the first response so when you go to the comment page you will not be influenced by another blogger's comments.

I'm going to describe a half dozen character types. Give me a name for each as though they were characters in your next book.

The idea for this exercise came after reading Genene's last blog about choosing names. I wonder if any of us will come up with the same name. Ideally, I think your choices should be relatively spontaneous, but they should also be names you would really use, that feel "right" to you, to match the character as presented.

Ready?

1. A waitress. Forty-two years old. Plump, graying brown hair, blue uniform, white apron, or at least it's supposed to be white. She ambles over, pours a cup of coffee and says, "What can I get you?" Her name tag reads ____________________.

2. A surgeon. She or he is fifty-one, confident. She or he is eating caviar on a cracker during a cocktail party. It's a fund raiser for the hospital. But they are really thinking about their last patient and is startled from deep reverie when a colleague says, "May I have a moment of your time Dr. _______________________?"

3. The plumber. He arrives in the nick of time to fix a broken water pipe. He's no stereotype. The guy is an absolute hunk. Tight jeans, white T-shirt showing off bulging biceps, a grin to die for. The harried housewife (heart beating a little faster as he brushes by her) says, "Hurry ___________, the bathroom is flooding."

4. A little girl. Red hair, pigtails, freckles. Blue-jeans and a pink T-shirt smudged with jam. Four years old. Her mother stands at the door and says, "TIme to come inside, _____________."

5. The captain of a tugboat. He's tall, dark and handsome, accused of looking more than a little like Clark Gable when he played Rhett Butler. Mustache, liquid eyes, all man. A deck hand runs up to him and says, "There's a message for you, Captain ______________________."

6. A socialite. She enters a dress shop she's visited many times. There's a party that night and she's pretty sure her boyfriend intends to pop the question. She's thirty, blonde, gorgeous. She spies a yellow chiffon dress and knows it's the one, asks the salesgirl if they have it in her size. The salesgirl responds, "Of course we do, Miss ________________. It'll look lovely on you."

Tell us how you came to your think of your name or just give the name, whatever you like and have time for. It's good to be home!

Alice

23 comments:

Alice Sharpe said...

This is the blog used to fill in the space to the left so when you come to respond, there are no names to influence your selection.



Lots of white space.



The conference was fun. My roommates, Eli and Lisa were great. I have the patience of a saint.




I hope every single one of you thinks of a way to go to San Francisco next year. We'll get connecting rooms!



Don't leave Eli and Lisa alone too long, however, or they may go whacky and post odd blogs.....


Okay, that should be enough!

Alice

Paty Jager said...

Welcome Back Alice! And I have to say you were lucky to make it back sane with those two as roommates! LOL

Here are my answers:
1. Janet
2. Dr. Rachel Humphrey
3. Derek
4. Hillary
5. Captain Marsh
6. Miss Maxwell

I gave each a thought about age and such and then just went with the first name that came into my head.

This was fun!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

1. Flo
2. Dr. Louise Snyder
3. Mitch
4. Kassie
5. Jack (didn't we say that was a great name???)
6. Paulina

No rhyme or reason. Those are just the names that popped into my head.

Fun post. And I have NO idea who the idiot is who scheduled you on this day. Seriously. She should be fired.

wavybrains said...

Without looking at the other answers. . . here's mine.
1) My first impulse was "Maude." But then I remembered that there was a famous TV character by that name. I think she was a waitress. That might not work. Edna? Too old to be 40 something. PATSY! Perfect for the occupation and age, and not TOO cliche.
2)Dr. Steinwalter. Sounds like a doctor to me. Dr. Grace Steinwalter or Dr. Gerald "Gerry" Steinwald unless he's our hero, in which I'd do a nod to Becky and go with Gerad Steinwalter--nice combo of French and Jewish .
3)Mo or Link. Play up the contrast. She calls Mo's Plumbing but he's nothing like the Mo she expected. I can also picture Mo being very hot in a blue-collar way. Mo wins.
4)Sophia or Emily. Both very popular right now, and I can easily picture them as red-headed freckled girls.
5)This one was harder. First impluse: Captain Morgan. Ooops. He's a drink, I think. Montoya? Too ethnic? Montana? I LOVE this one, but what's he doing on a tugboat? What would his first name be? Jack or Jake . . . . Jack Montana--love it, but is he really a tugboat captain? Maybe he's an FBI agent disguised as a a tugboat captain . . .What if he's REALLY a tugboat captain though? Maybe Jack Melton as an alternative.
6)Celine Circo or Dallas Hyde. If she's our heroine, I'm going with Dallas Hyde. Unless I NEED her to have a vague whiff of European hoity-toity.
That's the way my brain works!

wavybrains said...

Eli--We both had the Jack impulse!

Karen Duvall said...

1. Alice
2. Dr. Bernstein
3. Harry
4. Jennie
5. Captain Leades
6. Miss Divine

I chose "Alice" because of the old song "Alice's Restaurant." I chose Bernstein just because I've known a lot of docs with "stein" at the end of their names. Harry, because it sounds cute after hurry, and it's a casual blue collar name. Jennie because little girls with pigtails and freckles need "ie" after their names. Leades because it as a strong single syllable like the man "leading" the boats from the dock. Divine just because that's what she sounds like, and it's sophisticated.

Glad you're back too, Alice. Sounds like paybacks are in order, huh? Oooh, I love a good intrigue. Snort.

Alice Sharpe said...

My responses are:

1. Shirley. Btw, Wavy, Maude was a tv character, but not a waitress. You are thinking of Flo who apparently stuck in Eli's memory bank, too.

2. Dr. Selma Kelly. I don't know why. I like all your responses on this one. We all made her a woman even though Wavy added a male name and even a nickname (nice touch),

3. Jack. Yep, three out of four of us came up with Jack. Eli and I discussed how strong this name can be. Apparently Wavy thinks so, too.

4. Mandy. If you use Wavy's Emily, then we have Emily, Hillary, Kassie and Mandy, i.e., all names ending in the i.e. sound which can be diminutive and is why I don't like Tommy, Bobby etc. as names for strong grown men.

5. Captain Brock. I love all your captain names. Captain Marsh is great. Eli went with a first name captain Jack (as in Captain Jack Sparrow?) and I giggled at Captain Morgan (a rum name, I believe.) Good reasoning process Wavy. It was fun to "see" you working through your choices.

6. Emma. I went softer and less hoity-toity than the rest of you. That's because I knew our socialite really had a tender side!

Thanks everyone, I hope we get more. That was enjoyable.

Alice

Piper Lee said...

1. A waitress. Forty-two years old. Plump, graying brown hair, blue uniform, white apron, or at least it's supposed to be white. She ambles over, pours a cup of coffee and says, "What can I get you?" Her name tag reads, HELEN.

2. A surgeon. She or he is fifty-one, confident. She or he is eating caviar on a cracker during a cocktail party. It's a fund raiser for the hospital. But they are really thinking about their last patient and is startled from deep reverie when a colleague says, "May I have a moment of your time Dr. GOLDBLOOM?"

3. The plumber. He arrives in the nick of time to fix a broken water pipe. He's no stereotype. The guy is an absolute hunk. Tight jeans, white T-shirt showing off bulging biceps, a grin to die for. The harried housewife (heart beating a little faster as he brushes by her) says, "Hurry AARON, the bathroom is flooding."

4. A little girl. Red hair, pigtails, freckles. Blue-jeans and a pink T-shirt smudged with jam. Four years old. Her mother stands at the door and says, "TIme to come inside, BECKY." Freaky, but that's the first thing that popped into my mind. ;)

5. The captain of a tugboat. He's tall, dark and handsome, accused of looking more than a little like Clark Gable when he played Rhett Butler. Mustache, liquid eyes, all man. A deck hand runs up to him and says, "There's a message for you, Captain Garrett."

6. A socialite. She enters a dress shop she's visited many times. There's a party that night and she's pretty sure her boyfriend intends to pop the question. She's thirty, blonde, gorgeous. She spies a yellow chiffon dress and knows it's the one, asks the salesgirl if they have it in her size. The salesgirl responds, "Of course we do, Miss MARKS. It'll look lovely on you."

Alice Sharpe said...

Piper, you used an ie sounding name, too, for the little girl. Weird that you used your own name! LOL, but it fits, doesn't it? Did you have red hair as a kid?

Alice

Piper Lee said...

I posted my comment and then read the rest of yours, it's funny that so many of us came up with Jewish names for the doctors. Weird!

And I have no idea what Wavy was talking about when she said she'd nod at me. I'm sooo confused!

Anyway, this was fun. I just copied it into textedit and filled in the blanks, posted and then when I read all of your responses, realized I should have just listed the names. Duh! LOL

Thanks for the fun, Alice!

Glad you all had a great time and I'm really looking forward to San Fran too!

Piper Lee said...

Alice-- No, I didn't have red hair, but I've always wanted it. ;) And I'm not sure why Becky popped out there like that, but it did and I went with it. I used to have lots of freckles and I had pigtails and braids all the time, maybe that was the influence.

wavybrains said...

Becky, Aren't you the Gerad Butler fan? Or is that Lisa? Now, I'm confused . . .

And I always wanted Red hair too. I think this exercise may prove Alice's "group of names" theories b/c so many of our choices all seem to belong to the same "category" of names.

Alice Sharpe said...

wavy said:
I think this exercise may prove Alice's "group of names" theories b/c so many of our choices all seem to belong to the same "category" of names.

Huzzah!

Alice

wavybrains said...

Alice--it's funny how you just instinctively "know" things about a character just from a description. You knew that the socialite had a heart of gold whereas I knew that it was going to take her the whole darn book to discover that heart of gold, and that she was going to have to fall off her throne first.

And I hate dimunitive names for grown men. Somehow Suzanne Brockmann has made both a Tommy and a Bobby work, but I *still* cringe at the names. A dimunitive name can be perfect for a villan or sidekick or character though--Billy the best friend, Ralphie the serial killer etc.

Piper Lee said...

Wavy-- Yes! I am a Gerard Butler fan, but I didn't get your reference at all. Duh! Smack me!

I just watched Dear Frankie, again, the other day, !THANKS LISA! and Gerry is just soooo sexy! ;)

Barbara said...

Welcome home, Alice!
1. Shirley
2. Marty
3. Rod
4. Christina
5. Gabrelli
6. Henley
Jim and I are both planning to go to San Francisco next year.

Piper Lee said...

Woo Hoo Barb and Jim! I'm so glad to hear you're going to SF too!

Karen Duvall said...

I'm seriously thinking about SF, but it's too far off to decide just yet. If I really like this PNWC I'm going to next week, then I'll do that instead. Decisions, decisions...

wavybrains said...

Karen--doctor made the no Seattle decision for me, and I'm kinda relieved b/c I've already shown myself to be a pregnant whimp, but I'd like to go next year. You'll have to tell me how it is! I'd also like to go to SF. . .so yes, decisions, decisions, decisions. . ..

Danita Cahill said...

Okay,

1) Cindy
2) Hampton
3) Harry
4) Mindi
5) Monty
6) Maggie

I wrote the first name that popped into my head on a sheet of paper as I took the "test". Except for the captain, who I first thought of as Captain Morgan, like the spiced rum, but how uncreative is that? ha!

And what's with the last 3 names I thought of all beginning with the letter M? Heck if I know.

Danita Cahill said...

So good to have you back, Alice.

Of course we are all dying to hear what REALLY happened the night you went missing, without your shirt on...

Come on, come on. Do tell.

Danita Cahill said...

Wavy,
What a crack up, we both first thought of Captain Morgan.

And Karen, we both named our plumber Harry, which I don't ususally think of as a hunky guy name, but it works, doesn't it? I think it would also work for the cliche plumber with hairy butt crack showing.

Alice Sharpe said...

Danita -- The captain Morgan spiced rum is a hoot but they've been advertising heavily lately haven't they? And I know what you mean about all the names starting with an M. I go through periods like that.

The truth is that the first time I went "missing" I was down at the pool (oooh, aaah) and the second time I was at the Harlequin party. No big mysteries. Just too much time on too many hands!

And as you would say, Ha!

Missed you at the meeting tomorrow, hope all is well at your house...

Alice