Hiatus

EDIT: oops — I accidentally scheduled two posts for today instead of an edited version of this one for next Monday (here’s the post meant for today). Oh well. I guess you just get two today 🙂

I’m experiencing an absence of blogging ideas today, so I decided to write about another absence that has showed up in my life recently — new TV episodes to watch. Every show I like is now 1) cancelled or 2) on hiatus.

  • Almost Human — cancelled (not that I was shocked Fox cancelled a sci-fi show I liked after only 13 episodes …)
  • Doctor Who — back in August (new trailer!)
  • Downton Abbey — season 5 is filming
  • Grimm — on hiatus, but renewed
  • Falling Skies — back on June 22
  • NCIS: Los Angeles — on hiatus, but renewed
  • Sherlock — who knows. (BBC wanted a 2014 Christmas special, but there’s scheduling conflicts. Could be years. In other news, the phrase “hiatus intensifies” has come back to Pinterest and Tumbler)
  • White Collar — cancelled, but at least we get a 6-episode final season

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is on hiatus, too, but there are episodes I haven’t watched yet and I still haven’t decided if I like that show or not. It’s been renewed, though, so I’ll have a second season to make up my mind, if need be.

This lack of new episodes isn’t all bad, though — I’ve read a mountain of books. The latest 5 are were Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, Enchantment by Orson Scott Card, Chalice by Robin McKinley,  The House At Riverton by Kate Morton, and  Shadows by Robin McKinley. I’m currently re-reading The Hobbit, and I picked up four more at the library on Friday, all young adult novels. I’m calling it “researching the target audience” for my novels.

 

 

The Power of Names

A friend of mine wrote a post about names last week that provided the inspiration for this post (he doesn’t post very often, but everything he writes is worth reading. Check out his blog here). He didn’t cover any of my main points — he took the discussion in a Biblical direction that I’m largely going to ignore for this post, but which I certainly find intriguing.

It has been several years now since I started researching names and wondering about the importance of name meanings. The meaning of my own name is hard to pin down, and searching for its origins lead me to looking up names of people I know, which lead me to collecting other names that I like.

Meaning of Names

In many cultures, names are something to be taken very seriously. Sometimes it is the meaning of the name which is important in determining a child’s destiny and character. Sometimes names are changed after a major event in a person’s life, as when God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s name to Sara (Gen. 17:4-6, 15-16). Some belief systems say that knowing someone’s name gives one power over them, and certain cultures make a practice of keeping true names a secret.

“The Power of Names”by marissabaker.wordpress.comMy own name has a confusing array of meanings. My mother tells me she saw the meaning “wished-for child” and that was what she thought my name meant when she and my dad named me. Since then, I have seen several different possible meanings for “Marissa” depending on which name/word it is derived from. If it is from the Hebrew mara, my name means “bitterness.” If it is from the Latin maris, then my name means “of the sea.” The “wished-for child” meaning is apparently associated with the Hebrew in some way, but I can find little information on it. Usually, I go with “of the sea” as my name meaning.

Naming Characters

I think part of the reason I like reading about, collecting, and researching names so much is that I’m a writer and all my characters need names. Some writers pay very close attention to the names they give their characters, and fit either the meaning or a historic significance to the character. For example, the character Cecil in A Room With A View by E.M. Forster is figuratively blind in many ways. His name is of Latin origin, and means “blind.”“The Power of Names”by marissabaker.wordpress.com

In my own writings, one of my favorite characters is a man named Bryant. His name is from the Irish, and means “strong, virtuous, and honorable.” From another story set in the same world, Jamen has a name derived from Benjamin and meaning “son of the right hand.” He and his twin brother are vying for their father to name one his heir, and Jamen would like nothing more than to be his father’s right hand.

My Favorite Names

Some of the names I collect have nothing to do with my fiction. There are a few names I like that I would be hesitant to use in my writings because I might like to give the name to a child some day. I don’t think I would want want my children to think I named them after one of my fictional characters. Typically for these names, I try to put them together so the first and middle names have meanings that fit together. Most of them are just names I like, but Eileen was also my Grandmother’s name and Renee is my sister’s middle name.

“The Power of Names”by marissabaker.wordpress.comJason Alexi. “God is my salvation and protector”

Christopher Hugh. “One who holds Christ in his heart, mind and soul”

Derek Callen. “Ruler and rock of the people.”

Eliana Eileen. “My God has answered with light”

Melody Chasia. “Music protected by God”

Liya Renee. “I am the Lord’s reborn”

It’s NaNoWriMo Time!

National Novel Writing Month is well underway, and I am happy to report I have not yet fallen behind. The challenge is to write 50,000 words in a single month (which requires 1,667 words per day). I completed NaNoWriMo in 2011 while taking a full class load, working part time, and writing my undergraduate research thesis, so this year can’t be any harder, right?

This year, I very cleverly decided to begin NaNoWriMo by going to a church lock-in over the weekend. I frantically wrote 3,400 words on Friday, and wrote another 1,383 on the drive home before my laptop battery died (and another 1,100 before I went to bed). I was surprised how much I could write after only 3 hours of sleep (maybe 4 if you count the nap in the car).  I’m not going back to re-read for quality until after November is done, but the quantity part I was able to manage.

If you’re interested in the story I’m writing, you can look me up on the NaNo website under the name ‘linnon.am.meleth.vin’, or check out my writing blog under the pseudonym Maris McKay, where I’ve been writing about outlining my NaNo novel and drawing maps for the new fantasy world.