Somehow in 40 or so years of life I haven’t managed to stick to just one name.
It’s a tradition in my family, sort of.
My father, who has been “Bill” for my entire life, started his life as “Roy”. He didn’t even know his first name until he joined the Navy in the 50’s and had to present a birth certificate. That his name was “Roy” was kind of odd since I know for a fact that his father’s best friend also had a son named “Roy”. That’s another story, though.
I’ve always been “Will”, which is a blessing since I could have been “Junior” or any other diminutive thereof. When I went to college, I dropped an ‘l’ so save trees. I figured one less letter every time I wrote my name would eventually save paper. Seems logical, right? In the realm of going green, every little bit helps.
When I was in high school, I took up writing. I wrote a fantasy novel in ink in a 500 page spiral notebook. The protagonist of said novel was a kid just like I was at the time, only in a medieval fantasy world. He was a good hearted delinquent, as was I. Which makes me wonder if I ever bothered to have my juvenile record expunged. The protagonist of that story was named “Pantros”, which is a name I created. The first draft name was “Pumros” but somehow got changed in the second draft.
When I went off to college I also discovered the Society for Creative Anachronism(SCA). This is a national educational organization of people who think it’s fun to pretend they live in the middle ages. I was and still am often of the same mindset. For lack of research and anything better to use. I used “Pantros” as my SCA name. So to a few hundred acquaintances, I was known as Pantros. To be honest about a third of them get it a little wrong and call me “Panthros”.
The SCA folks like to use realistic medieval names and Pantros is mostly from my imagination and I couldn’t find any documentation that anyone in the time period used Pantros as a name. So I ended up with the name “Chrystal Connaghty” as my registered SCA name. Twenty years later and many of my SCA friends still call me Pantros. Some call me Chrystal. For some reason, on written correspondence to strangers I have to include the title “Lord” before my name. Honestly, Chrystal is a very masculine name in 12th century Scotland.
I still use Pantros as a name, only since the advent of the World Wide Web, it’s primarily used as the name I use for my online presence. There’re actually a couple other people out there using the name online too, but their primary language doesn’t appear to be English.
My wife calls me Pantros or any number of cutesy diminutives of it such as “Pan”.
Another character from my writings is a character named Charles who has the nickname “Cat”. My wife is very fond of this character and required me to write her as a character that fell in love with and married Cat. I think she did this because in the original story Cat had a doomed relationship was a character loosely based on an ex-girlfriend of mine. Anyway, the point here is that my wife also calls me “Cat”. I don’t feel the need to mention that Cat, in the stories, is a Unicorn. In later drafts his name became “Kehet” because having a unicorn named Cat is silly and confusing. However, my wife’s nickname for me did not also change. My coat-of-arms within the SCA is a unicorn. I really needed to think more on that. It just is a bit odd for a guy to be named Chrystal and have a Unicorn coat of arms.
Again Chrystal is a Scottish masculine name. I thought a unicorn appropriate for inappropriate reasons having to do with a disproportionally high number of women of a disposition commonly associated with unicorns that I’d, um, known by the time I’d chosen a heraldic symbol.
So, I’m up to: William, Wil, Pantros, Pan, Pannie, Chrystal and Cat. I’m not done yet.
My wife had a strange friend that arbitrarily gave me the name “Phezian”. I don’t use it much.
I have kids. I have three. The first son is now a teenager; the second son will be a teenager soon – very soon – within hours of my typing this. Assuming you’re reading this somehow, which I just know you are, you might even be reading this at a time when my second son is actually a teenager. Since nothing ever dies on the internet, you might be reading this when my great grand children are teenagers. The third, my daughter is much younger.
When my oldest son first learned to speak, he dubbed me “Dadu”. The moniker has stuck ever since, though my daughter will occasionally call me “Dad” and look at me wryly as if she knows she’s getting under my skin. She really is too young to be devious unless it’s purely in her nature. My wife and I think she’s demon-spawn. We love her.
It would end there if I’d never taken up online gaming. If I only use names of online characters that I played long enough for many people to know me primarily by that name and actually know me, I only have to add two names: Ghie Goldenwolf and Bhlu.
Okay, that’s it. All of the aliases I actually claim. Though my wife would argue I should add Thomas Boncanta – the storyteller within all my stories, I don’t agree. He’s just a character. He’s not even the narrator character and there is one for most of the stories involving Pantros or Kehet.
Well that’s it for now,
And to a select few, Dadu.