Naming right(s)

I’ve written before about choosing characters’ names, but this post from the NYPL about researching baby names is too good to pass up. Written by Carmen Nigro of the Milstein Division of US History, Local History, and Genealogy, this article examines the process of choosing a name and researching the meaning of names in great detail, including resources about the study of names (onomastics), surnames, and even name changes.

The article is an excellent guide to both online and print resources and an enjoyable read, too. For those folks without a card for the New York Public Library, you might be surprised at how many of the resources are available at your public library or a nearby university library. (Most college and university libraries allow the public to use resources on-site – for online access, there’s usually a small annual fee.)

This week’s post is brief because I’m working hard on the first draft of a second book. I keep telling myself that steady and sure wins the race, since I’m definitely a tortoise when it comes to word count. Might be time to break out of my rut and try a trick several folks have told me about:

*Set a timer for 30 minutes and just write.*

No revising, no editing, no worrying about plot or character, just get those words down. Several friends have advised me to give up my keyboard and try plain ol’ pencil on paper as well. What’s your favorite trick for freeing your muse?

Last, but never least, I’d like to thank @scbwi for the Twitter shout-out and again for posting my blog to their Featured Blogs section. (I’m on page 3.) Talk about a great resource for children’s writers and illustrators! I’ve been a member for some years now, and I’ve not even scratched the surface of all they offer. The best part? You can access so much valuable information and networking opportunities online!

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