The pseudonym: A (partial) Obituary

Many moons ago, when Magpie Shon and I were but wee uni students, we were sitting in the dingy kitchenette of our hall of residence and had a wonderful idea.

The idea was to create a blog. This blog would be a beautiful mess of a forum, a playground for the sarcastic and the witty, a meadow in which the creative and ridiculous would frolic. It would reflect our individual interests and flex a mutual need to stare at a screen mulling over synonyms while feverishly consuming tea.

As we penned titles, topic areas and taglines – Guide to Everything? That’s a lot of responsibility – we stumbled on one minor detail.

I was happy to have my name displayed on the interwebs, common as it is. Lucy is the 208th most popular girls name out of 4276 names – thanks Wikipedia! – and by all accounts unexciting. Shon, on the other hand, was not.

Historically, literary women have often opted for the use of a pseudonym to protect their identities. Charlotte Bronte famously pubished Jane Eyre under the gender neutral Currer Bell; her sister Emily published the wildly beautiful Wuthering Heights under Ellis Bell. Nelle Harper Lee, the author of the infamous To Kill a Mockingbird, opted for the more androgynous Harper Lee. But Shon’s desire for a pseudonym was not for fear of gender barriers or the perils of being a creative women entombed in patriarchy, her reasons were more modern.

The internet – wonderful as it is in so many ways – remains a large and anarchistic pot of wild cards, a place of epic good and even worse evil, to the point where it really is quite mind blowing. Privacy? Pshhh. What privacy.

And so it was that we spent the remainder of the evening brainstorming pseudonyms.

Peachy had a simple birth. When I was younger, I used to use the adjective ‘peachy’ a lot, much to the annoyance of, well, everyone:

“How are you today?

I’m peachy thanks, how are you?

No.

What?

Just no. “

Etc.

This word had somehow become my internet tag for several things, why not WordPress too?

Magpie, on the other hand, had a much more hilarious birth…a story you can read about here.

For now, join me in raising our tea cups and toasting to the (partial) death of the GTN pseudonym*, and the birth of a new blogging era.

Fare thee well Peachy and Magpie, hello Lucy and Shon.

x

*we’ve dropped down to first names, we hardcore.

An open letter to Angel Clare, on GTN’s first birthday.

Hey kids!

First point of order: HAPPY BIRTHDAY GTN! A notification happened, informing me that today is the 1st anniversary of Peachy and me typing life into our blaby (blog-baby,) and it is, if you’ll believe, a complete coincidence that we’d both planned posts for today! Peachy is in the middle of study at the moment, so it is my great pleasure to write today : )

Second thing: I’m reading Tess of the D’urbervilles at the moment- well, strictly speaking, I’m on a break from reading Tess of the D’urbervilles, because that is some emotionally exhausting shit. I’ve had to take a small break with each major plot development, waiting until I’ve calmed down some before I can get back into it. You’ll see why. A warning, for the unread- the following open letter makes details of the plot explicit.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*- though only up to just over halfway. Only after reading The Fault in Our Stars was I willing to accept that maybe I’m prone to over-investing emotionally in characters I like, and having to write nonsensical, rambling, open letters when they upset me, so I can sleep.

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