I’ve always loved the name Mildred. Not that I would ever name one of my future children Mildred. But since I’m basically 85 years old inside, I figured I’d like a name that matches my personality.
Mildred it is.
Pen-names are somewhat of a conundrum. I will probably use one once my books are finally published, mostly because I intend to write in multiple genres, and I’d like each work to speak for itself. They are finicky creatures, however.
I’ve tried for months to come up with a pen-name for a middle-grade fantasy fiction book series. Mostly, it’s been a big goose egg.
But here, I will be Mildred. Ignore the real name behind the curtain. Mildred is now who I am. And she fits me so much better.
So, Mildred, (you might be asking), what’s an elderly woman like you doing writing a blog? To you, I frown and shake my head.
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Even the elderly can maneuver around an old typewriter – er – computer. And look! I even managed to add a photo to my post! That’s skill right there!
Mildred is a dedicated, sometimes disapproving, early-to-bed (unless she’s writing or reading until 4:00 am), early-to-rise, jumble of old and new philosophies. A bit forgetful at times, but aren’t we all?
Maybe a better picture of Mildred is this…
Ah, yes! There we are! Much better. I’m the one in the striped shirt. (Hats have never looked good on me). That’s me with my bestie – um – well, I can’t remember, really. I guess that’s part of growing older. We’ll call her Fanny (that was a very popular name back in the day, you know).
Here we are! Mildred and Fanny. Fanny and Mildred. I think I shall like being elderly at such a young age.
So now, I shall leave Mildred to your capable imaginations, and put her to work outlining and plotting the massively confusing book series I’ve undertaken. It’s gotten so immense, I can hardly keep up with the characters anymore. They’re so opinionated and brash. And curious!
Can I share something? I secretly hate main characters. They’re too curious! My goodness. It’s like watching a diver come too close to the diving board. You want to look away, but you just can’t! Let me share some examples. Books I’ve read, the main character, and my favorite.
Lord of the Rings. Main character: Frodo. My fave: Samwise Gamgee
Harry Potter. Main character: Harry. My fave: Hermione (her and I may be just a tad bit alike).
The Hunger Games. Main character: Katniss. My fave: Peeta
Pride and Prejudice. Main character: Elizabeth. My fave: Mary (she cracks me up!)
The list goes on and on. Those are just some of the more popular books that showcase my point.
It’s so easy to see how main characters get themselves into trouble. I can hardly stand it! So I usually favor the underdog sidekick or best friend. They keep the main character a little more grounded. If that darn hero or heroine would just tamp down their curiosity/temper a bit, they’d never get into trouble, and nothing bad would happen!
But, alas! What book is ever worth reading that has a fastidious and careful hero? (Fiction, that is). I certainly can’t think of any. I’m equally certain I’d never want to read a book like that, because there’d be no plot at all! However, I’m sticking with my loathing of main characters. Despite the fact that my own heroine in the books I’m writing is one of the most curious and disaster-prone people I know, I still like the sidekick better.
Isn’t that odd? I suppose I should apologize for not liking her better, but she really is a hot-tempered, spontaneous little beast. I love her, but I don’t like her very much. Clear as mud, right?
Sigh. I suppose I should sign off before I get myself in bigger trouble. I’ve been editing book one so much, that I think it’s time to move on to book two, which I’ve already started. I know I’ll never be 100% happy with my manuscript (which really irks an uber perfectionist like me), so I shouldn’t lose much sleep over it, right?
Right. Say goodbye, Mildred.
“Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I’m always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it’s very shocking to the system.”
― Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose