Thursday, June 23, 2011

Carmela Ciuraru

You probably haven't seen it yet, but in this Sunday's New York Times Book Review, June 26, 2011 edition there is an essay on the back page by Carmela Ciuraru about pen names. Carmela is the author of a book that just came out last week called "Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms". I don't plan to read the book, but the essay is a good one. The book gets good reviews. I'm interesting in pen names right now. I have three blogs and I write each of them under a different name. Why? I'm not sure. Just seemed to happen that way. With one blog I was trying to be anonymous because it's a 12-step thing. With this one I've been very torn on whether to be anonymous or not. My low self-esteem is worried that I won't be taken serious if you know who I am. Then again, this blog has the lowest readership anyway I think, so why would it matter? The weight-loss blog is under a different name simply because it is affiliated with a website and message boards etc, and everyone there has a Username. I'm fine with that. There is a picture of myself on that site though, and I've revealed enough personal information there that anyone there could find me if they wanted to.

Still, to use a pen name or not is still twirling in my mind. If I were to publish something erotic or something sexual maybe I would want the pen name. If I were publishing something very personal I might want a pen name and fake names for everyone in my story to protect myself from getting sued or from hurting anyone's feelings etc...  and yet there is another side of me that believes firmly in OWNING my story, OWNING my truth, and being HONEST about my life and my world. Why hide?

So check out Carmela's book if you want, and if you have something to say about pen names, leave me a note.
Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ann Birstein "Summer Situations"

Well I liked the other Birstein book that I read, but I did not care for this one. I didn't even get through the first 70 pages of it. In "Summer Situations" we are introduced to two couples and their three children who are spending a month in a rented house on the Cape. The woman telling the story is debating whether or not to have an affair with the husband of the other woman. Back and forth she goes, for pages... and I finally got bored and put it down. Today I still wasn't interested so back to the library it went. I guess straight on romances aren't really my thing or something. It gets decent reviews on Amazon though so I'm sure it's not a bad book. It's just not my kind of thing.