What a week! I did four day's worth of school in a day and a half, helped twenty kindergarteners learn how to write in cursive, and took part in a Zoom meeting about the sexually explicit works of Chaucer while watching a room full of preschoolers nap. (I wore earbuds. No need to pollute the young ones.)
Anyway, you might notice that I haven't been blogging about writing very much. Thanks to my schedule, I haven't been able to do much writing recently. But I think I have an idea.
I'm going to change something in the book I'm working on. It's both significant and insignificant; it's both difficult and easy to change. In fact, I'm not entirely sure I'm going to go through with it. But at the same time, looking back, I'm wondering why I've never thought of this before.
If you haven't read Where I Stand, I'm going to spoil it for you: Alynn and Drostan get married. In Book 3, they have a daughter. I have fretted so much about this baby girl that I've just about lost what little sanity I have left. First it was her name. Originally, I called her Adelaide. It's a nice name, and it suits her, but it's not Scottish, Norse, or Irish and I therefore can't use it. So back to the baby naming websites I went. Then she was Elspeth, nicknamed Elsie.
Elsie came with its own problems.
There's actually something historians call "The Tiffany Problem." Back in the Middle Ages, a popular name was Theophany--and a popular nickname for Theophany was Tiffany. But no author is going to name their fourteenth-century peasant girl Tiffany. I ran into the same problems with Elsie. I actually don't know for sure if Elsie was a commonly used name back in the tenth century, but even if it was, it sounds way too 2015.
So at the moment, Alynn's daughter is named Elspeth, which is the Scottish version of Elizabeth. Every once in a while, she gets called Elspie. This name may not be permanent, so don't get attached.
Now, I think I'm changing her age.
Originally, Elspeth was one month old at the start of the book. It was rough, not only because I have no experience with newborns, but also because Alynn was still recovering from giving birth. Right now, I'm thinking I'll make her a few months older--just old enough to get her first tooth, which was a big thing in Norse culture. But again. Just like with Elspeth's name, her age is not set in stone.
Clearly I have no idea what I'm doing. I'll have to completely rewrite the second half of the first chapter. I'll have to give this child a personality. I'll have to do a crap ton of research. For all the time I've spent working in the church nursery, I have no idea what a four-month-old is supposed to be able to do. Will she be babbling? Laughing? I know she can't sit up unsupported yet, much less crawl, but can she roll or scoot or anything? How many hours a day does she sleep?
How am I even authorized to write books? Why didn't I just decide to become a teacher, like everyone assumes when I tell them I'm an English major? It would have been easier. And it would probably pay better, at least in the short run.
If you have any advice about baby development or baby names, please let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to review us on Amazon!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.