I have a picture of Albert Einstein in my bathroom with his "Imagination is more important than knowledge" quote. Sometimes, we talk. Occasionally, he brings a friend.
A month ago, I was considering my hair in the mirror, thinking of dying it blond, so I could paint it a different color every week: pink, chartreuse, purple, depending on my mood. I flashed to one of my favorite characters, Mavis, from J.D. Robb's "Death" series, who does just this very thing, and it's a trait I find endearing.
Suddenly, from nowhere leapt Ernest Hemingway shouting, "THAT'S IT! THAT'S YOUR PEN NAME: MAVIS HEMINGWAY HERRELL!"
He grabbed my hand and waltzed me around the room, then deposited me, breathless, back in front of the mirror. Standing before me was Mavis Hemingway Herrell, grinning her shit-eating grin. "Hell-o," she drawled, then we giggled as we danced our own happy jig.
When I turned back to Ernest, he was gone. This didn't preclude us from having a conversation in which I told him how presumptious people would think me for daring to take his name. His head appeared from the ceiling, upside down to his full white beard. He looked quite insulted.
"It's mine to give and I'm giving it to You. Where is the presumption in that?" With a cheeky grin and a twinkling eye he disappeared in to the ceiling.
For days I contemplated that pen name. I liked it. But using it seemed tantamount to blasphemy.
I googled it. You know I had to. And found several Mavis Hemingways in Europe. I doubt anyone ever thought badly of those ladies for sporting the Hemingway moniker. But then they're probably not climbing the slippery slopes of authordom, either.
So I'm asking you guys. What do you think? Do you like the ring of 'Mavis Hemingway Herrell'? Or does it make me sound like a presumptuous fraud?
Why is finding a pen name such an elusive feat, anyway? *sigh*
~ Olivia J. Herrell