Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm obsessive. Whether I'm focused on finding the perfect birthday present or organizing an area of the house or starting a new business, I attack projects with a singular focus.
I also am freakishly particular about maintaining lists.
It will come as no surprise, then, that when we decided to have children I maintained a spreadsheet of 2056 baby names. (You know I'm not making up that number, because it's not prime.) In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I'd been maintaining lists of favorite baby names since college, or perhaps high school. Once we were ready to actually consider naming real people, I threw my lists into excel and added the most popular baby names for the past few decades. I added a column for our last name. (Because I like Beatrice, but Beatrice Bacon is a mouthful.) And then I rated them. I send my top 100 to my husband via email and he whittled the list to a couple dozen, and we worked from there.
My spouse nixed some of my favorite names: Cecelia, Genevieve, Gretchen, Mabel, Penelope, Emmett, Felix. I really had to let go of Nina and Vivian and Hector, and in some sense that was difficult.
The fact is, we were looking for four names, max--eight names if you include middles--and I had nearly 100 names that I liked. That's one thing I love about writing. I will never have my own Natalie, but two characters just chose that name for their daughter. There's not enough space in my family (or my house!) for June, Andrew, Sophie, Molly, Violet or Tadj. . .but I have 63 Gigs free on my hard drive and I can build a new bookcase.
What's more, names that have been ruined for me for life (Patricia!) are ideal for villains. I love having fun with them.
I blog rarely, because I'm writing books. When I do blog, I focus on writing, friendship, family, and books. Because my family's best nicknames are private, I use their birth years for shorthand: