Saturday, February 5, 2011

Something That You Probably Weren't Wondering About, But Something I’m Going to Tell You Any Way

I kind of wanted to tell you why I use a pen name to claim my writing (creative or blogging).

It started when I sat down to write my first full-length book. It’s necessary to go into the birth of ‘Murder by Rulers’ in order for this part of the story to make sense. One day, my friends and I were at recess. I was in seventh grade and a couple of my friends were in sixth. My elementary/middle school had a prairie right next to the fence which was right next to the sidewalk. That prairie was where we spent our fifteen to thirty minutes of recess (I can’t remember how long it was exactly) nearly every day. One day, we were walking by the bar (which we often pretended was a few broomsticks when we played Harry Potter and also our gymnastics bar when we were feeling daring enough to swing upside down) and there was a pile of abandoned rulers just sitting there—abandoned measuring devices. At first, we brushed it off because one of us remembered that the art teacher had said something about some missing materials. In my school, this was no rare occurrence. We walked a few feet away and there was this huge red stain on the sidewalk! This was enough to get our sixth and seventh grade minds working. We immediately imagined that someone had been murdered on the sidewalk in front of school and the rulers were the murder weapon, left by the killer to avoid detection.

(Side-not: we were painting an aerial mural—a mural that can be seen from high up. The red stain was from the paint we were using).

Any way, we were talking and I happened to make the off-hand comment, “I should write this down.” By the end of the day, I had completely forgotten about this idea (either that or I just lost interest in it for one reason or another). Ezra rode the bus with me—most of the time she sat in the seat in front of me. She poked her head over the seat and said, “So how’s the story coming?” Like I said before, I was confused. “What story?” I asked. “The one where the rulers are the murder weapon and Richard and… yeah, that one.” I confessed that I hadn’t even started yet. Ezra convinced me to write it, read the first draft, helped make it pretty, convinced me to write parts one and three, and then continued to help make it pretty again. She helped me come up with ideas when I couldn’t think of anything to put down on the pages. She was my co-writer.

This brings me back to the whole reason why I decided to write this post. I wanted to put her name on the “cover” and I needed to know if she wanted her real name or a pseudonym.

I had to think about a name for myself, because I didn’t like the sound of my real name after the title.

I’m a Beatles fan, but the song ‘Hey Jude’ didn’t convince me to make that my pseudonym. In fact, it was the author of the book ‘Premonitions’ (Jude Watson). For a while, I went back and forth on whether that should be my name or not. After all, Jude Watson is male, so that must mean that Jude is a boy’s name. Yes and no. In the Beatles song, Jude refers to a woman named Judith. I can’t remember who she was related to or how she was related to them, but that Jude was a girl. I rested my case. As for the Rosenberg part, I looked it up on a baby names website. I went through the site looking for the names that I liked, then I went through that shortened list and paired each last name with Jude. Rosenberg sounded best to me and it felt right to say the words together. I had a winner.

Since ‘Murder by Rulers,’ I’ve been using it for all of my creative writing and once I started my blog, I used that as well.

I’ve considered using my real name, but then I thought again. My thoughts were, “No, not here… at least not now…” Because of this thought, I haven’t felt the need to switch over. My pseudonym hasn’t hurt me, it hasn’t hurt anyone that has read my blog… I’m no different on my blog than I am in real life (except I’m probably a little bit bolder and more coherent). I have very few reasons to let it go. I reserve my real name for everything outside of the internet. And outside of writing, of course.

Maybe this was a completely useless post… if that’s the case, I’m sorry. It just feels really good to write something, even if it’s a simple blog post. Thanks for putting up with this.

I’m going to finish ‘The Bucket List’ and then go to bed (we’ll see if I even finish ‘The Bucket List.’ I’m really tired right now…

In any case, have a lovely evening!


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