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Thursday, August 13, 2015

“The Stubborn Pumpkin (Writing and Names)”

Consider that names are not arbitrary decisions to assign words to objects for representation. When pulled out of a hat for no purpose or reason, the syllables we utter that stand for this or that can be as silly as simply repeated sounds that others agree to use. Writer’s think about things like names because the spoken word preceded the written language and when a writer “creates” the stories on the pages, sometimes there is license and cause for deciding on new words, terminologies or new applications for existing conventions that exist in names.

There are three basic elements found in a name: 1) some definitive characteristic, meaning, or idea that associates with the properties or has some affinity in common with the name 2) properties of the language producing the word that will become a name 3) lasting use that may or may not result in further associations that will add to the implications of the utterance or writing of the language symbols of the name.

 As a writer, I find that names I use in fiction are not unconscious selections but deliberate choices that I make for many of the reasons that I believe names are more than randomly assigned words. Once in awhile, as an author, there is an opportunity to create names never before used. This is quite a different task than choosing a character name from existing ones. Writing new names in fiction brings with it the need to define without prior associations. Many times, other elements of the story lend a helping hand in choosing the name of a main character. Some attention has been paid to the questions of symbolism and messages in the names of characters in literature over the centuries. Most honestly, I think that a case can be made for using a character’s name for a greater purpose in the narrative (I have been guilty of this at times), but often the narrative is assigned to the main character and some of the idea that characters’ names were chosen for the narrative and not the other way around can be put down to reader inference.

Within the science of names, power is ascribed to naming and the use of names in certain ways. The history of names is to find the beginnings and all associations for certain permutations and adaptations of names in languages, That said, a stubborn pumpkin does not wish to be anything other than a pumpkin. Names can be lost, stolen, replicated, passed on, given away, acknowledged and used. However, I doubt that the power of the universe resides in naming.  This does not mean that names are not valuable and crucial to maintaining external identification and internal consistency for living creatures as they associate their existence with self.  

Stubborn pumpkins will always be stubborn pumpkins, but writers will continue to find ways to use pumpkins to create other reasons for readers to enjoy the creation of various natures where pumpkins are portrayed according to writers’ intentions.

-Kimberly A. McKenzie 


8:04 pm edt          Comments

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Here you'll learn all about The Rest Room and Kimberly A. McKenzie: Follow the Blog for facts and fictions.

The Rest Room Fact Sheet

1.  The Rest Room is Room 223 at the Motel Min.

2. Hale, South Carolina in The Rest Room is named after Nathan Hale- a soldier in the Continental Army during the Revolutionarly War.

3.  There are many types of shipping containers: intermodal freight, corrugated boxes, wooden boxes, crates, intermediate bulk, bulk boxes, drums and insulated shipping containers.

4.  Insulated shipping containers are a type of packaging used to ship temperature sensitive products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals.  In The Rest Room, non-traditional shipping methods are at the heart of puzzleing circumstances for the three main characters: Kervila, Optin, and Henry. 

Look for the sequel to The Rest Room.  The Dream of Keriye is the sequel to The Rest Room and is NOW available at

by Kimberly A. McKenzie

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Kimberly A. McKenzie resides in Charleston, SC and has been a writer/author for 20 years.  She is divorced and lives with her two cats: Hailey Commet and Phelecia Providence. carries another Kimberly A. McKenzie title "Growing Past".

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