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hi. my name is…

April 16, 2010

“Crazy Aunt Myrtle!” declared my literary friend. “It’s hilarious and perfect!”

She was referring to the pseudonym we had chosen for me so that I could freely comment on her blog without revealing my identity. It was  a fictitious name, like Mark Twain, Currer Belle, or George Eliot, except that the motive for my name arose from pure self-consciousness. In college, although I studied literature, grammar, and writing, my essays, short stories, and literary commentaries were   subject  only to the scrutinizing eyes of my professors. Only when a quandary arose regarding grammar rules or elements of style did necessity overcome self-consciousness enough for me to allow others to read my writing.

As I submitted my first comment, safely masked behind the guise of a self-declared “crazy aunt,” ideas began to sprinkle my thoughts. Behind a pen name I could be anyone, writing on a myriad of topics without worrying too much about where the commas go (yes, unfortunately this English major never mastered the art of the comma—any practical help would be readily received). The sprinkle of ideas rapidly became a shower and then a downpour so that I could hardly write them down fast enough. Myrtle was just the beginning, appropriate pseudonyms for my various subjects of interest splashed into the puddles of ideas that were beginning to form.

Self-consciousness all but drowned in the rain of thought which produced this blog, the pseudonym dropped, but the concept remained. I decided to give it a try, to write, unmasked, on topics both whimsical and philosophical, to comment on the aesthetic, to write for writing’s sake, and primarily to write for my mama, who lives halfway across the country and would like to know what I’m up to.


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