Saturday, February 21, 2009


Did You Keep Your Maiden Name?

Many writers use a pseudonym when writing in a different genre to differentiate and brand their writing styles, as well as disguise their true identities. But what if you write in your parent-given name and then get married? Should you change your maiden name to your married name?

Recognize that keeping your maiden name goes against many years of tradition in certain countries, but it still is your decision. I've chosen not to take my husband's last name for the simple fact that I like my own, much to his chagrin. I also chose to keep my maiden name because that's what people know my writing and artwork by. As a writer, we have more of a decision to make than other women because our bylines are what readers recognize.

I'm curious, did you keep your maiden name? Why or why not? Or has your maiden name become your pseudonym now?

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Thursday, March 27, 2008


Wedding Faces

On weekends, I usually scan the wedding announcements and accompanying photos in the newspaper. What are the couples’ stories? Which ones are going to make it?

Brooke and Gil from San Mateo who both went to UC Davis? Dana and Jason who were married in an outdoor ceremony in Lake Tahoe? Caroline and Eric who welcomed guests from as far away as Dubai, Singapore, Germany and the United Kingdom?

I wish them well, honestly. It would be nice if all of them enjoy long and happy lives together. Statistically though, some won’t.

In the novel The Pursuit of Alice Thrift, Alice comes up with the clever idea of revisiting the couples featured in the papers a year or five or ten later. What would the story be then? Alice says, “I’d enjoy that on a Sunday morning—scanning the wedding announcements stenciled with updates: NOT SPEAKING, DIVORCED, SEPARATED, ANNULLED, CHEATING ON HIM WITH THE POOL-MAINTENANCE GUY, GAVE BIRTH FIVE MONTHS LATER, IN COUNSELING, CAME OUT OF THE CLOSET—any number of interesting developments that reveal the truth about bride and grooms.”

Sometimes I think it’s a lottery, really. Who will get lucky and find the right person to spend their whole life with? To the faces in the newspaper, I say: Be kind to each other. Best wishes and good luck.

P.S. Today my husband and I celebrate our 15 year wedding anniversary! So far, so good. : )

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