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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One of a Kind

Personal Weather Report - Clear skies. Winds of change.

Writing Activity - Editing for critique partner. Prepping for blog guests. Brainstorming a new story.

I'm unique. No, really. I'm one of a kind.

Yeah, sure. I know I have DNA and fingerprints unlike any other person past, present or future. But I have something else that sets me apart.

My name.

I happened upon a Web site one day not long ago, www.isthisyour.name, that gives statistics and interesting trivia regarding names.
Using U.S. Census Bureau data, the site provides information on how many U.S. citizens have a certain name. Of course, the one I searched was Keli Gwyn.

Guess what I discovered?

Only 0.0003% have the first name Keli. Only 0.0009% have the surname Gwyn. Combine the two, and the site guesstimates only one American has my name.

Me!

I think there's a chance I may be one of a handful in the entire world bearing the name Keli Gwyn. Since I'm a writer and want to see what's been said about me out in Cyberspace, I perform a Google search for "Keli Gwyn" (in quotation marks) from time to time. Tonight's inquiry revealed about 1,870 hits. And every single one of them is about lil ol' me.

Writers work to come up with the name that will grace their book covers when they make that long-awaited first sale. Ever since I typed "chapter one" on my first manuscript, I knew I wanted to use my real name. Some writers don't have the option.

If an author writes stories with Hispanic heroines but is named Gillian MacDougall, the editor will insist on a pen name. If her name is Gabrielle Engelbreit, out it goes due to sentiments lingering from WWII. If her name sounds old-fashioned and she writes for the young adult market, she'll get a pseudonym for sure.

My name is short, catchy and ethnically acceptable. It's two syllables followed by one. Balanced. And it's very unique.

The creatively spelled Keli comes from my forward-thinking mother who didn't want my androgynous name to look like a boy's, so she dropped an "l" and was a pioneer in the use of the "i" ending. My Welsh husband graced me with the "vowel-less" Gwyn (pronounced Gwin).

I love my name. And, yes, I think it's awesome. Not that I'm going to dash over to cafepress.com and order this t-shirt, though.

(And, no, I didn't design the shirt in anticipation of having something to pass out to my adoring fans at book signings once I'm published. I believe it advertises world renown fitness educator and trainer Keli Roberts.)

And now, a couple of questions for you. Do you like your name and the way it's spelled? If not, what do you wish it could be?


Sunday, October 12, 2008

From Exhilaration to Exasperation

Personal Weather Report - Variable with mounting high pressure.

Writing Activity - Judging contest entries, prepping for blog guests.

Saturday October 4 found me caressing my computer. My DH went to the Apple store and picked up my iMac that day. After having spent two weeks without my trusty sidekick, I was thrilled to have it back and did give my machine a hug when it started up, it's new screen free of the colorful bands that had blocked a third of the old one. I'd cruised Cyberspace at warp 4 on my daughter's older model for days, so revving back up to warp 9 brought an enormous smile to my face.

I'd fallen behind while creeping along and being without my bookmarks, email folders filled with messages and the latest versions of the programs I use, so I set out to catch up. I had 147 blog posts in my Google reader and 444 messages that flooded my in box upon the initial start up. Determining what I'd seen and what I'd already dealt with while limping along on my daughter's machine took time.

By Friday October 10, I'd managed to whittle my in basket down to the five most recent emails and had just 40 blog posts left to scan. As I replied to a message from my mom, I noticed that a portion of the text looked fuzzy. I watched in horror as a one-inch wide vertical stripe slowly appeared in the middle of my screen, hiding everything beneath it.

No! This couldn't be happening again.

Surprisingly I didn't burst into tears, scream or panic. In a totally uncharacteristic response, I took action. I quickly stored all my desktop items in a file so they wouldn't be hidden should more of the screen be taken over by this mysterious malady. I think the fact that I didn't lose any data during the previous problem helped me stay calm.

I called my DH and left him a matter-of-fact voice mail message that wasn't tinged with panic but merely stated the facts and let him know I'd appreciate some sympathy when he got home. I didn't even call Apple and rant, vent or issue threats. I know the techs thought they fixed the problem. The problem is there's obviously something else wrong.

Yesterday I ended up very glad I refrained from rushing to get my baby repaired. Why? Because the band disappeared for a few minutes. Then it reappeared. The white stripe has been coming and going ever since. I don't want to drive the hour to the Apple store only to have my computer make a fool of me. "No, really. The band was back. You gotta believe me." That's like visiting the doctor and having him look at the spot where the swelling had been but is no more.

So, I forge ahead knowing that at any point in time my computer could fritz out. I suspect there's some deeper problem, but until the band returns to stay I'm going about my business as usual.

And what can I learn from this? One is that I'm capable of rational thought and don't always overreact. Two. That I can take a logical approach as the financial world goes berzerk. Instead of spending my time freaking out over what might happen, I can carry on, trusting that God is in control, that our retirement accounts won't suffer too badly due to the wise choices we've made in the past and that we have what really matters: family, friends, and faith.