My legal name is Angela Day. A perfectly good name but, as I discovered in my quest for a domain name, a ubiquitous one. Chefs, writers, real-estate agents, doctoral candidates… so many Angela Days. I even located and angel-a-day website: all angels, all the time.
My choice then? A nom de plume.
I opted for the surname Daylon (a combination of my maiden name and married name) and chose Annie in lieu of Angela/Angie. Why Annie? My middle name is Ann, the middle of my surname contains the name Ann, and, years ago, I was influenced by three extraordinary women named Annie:
Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller’s lifelong teacher, a.k.a. The Miracle Worker. I admired her dedication and perseverance.
“Keep on beginning and failing… you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose.” ~Annie Sullivan
Annie Oakley, sharpshooter, star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, egalitarian. I admired her confidence, her belief in the equality of women, and above all, her persistence.
“Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second, and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally, you’ll hit the bull’s-eye of success.” ~ Annie Oakley
Annie Murphy, my eighth-grade teacher, lover of poetry and prose. I admired her dogged determination and over-the-top optimism.
Today we are starting ‘The Rime of the ancient Mariner’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and… you will memorize it. ~ Annie Murphy (paraphrased)
All of the above quotes relate to setting high goals and hammering away at them. I’m working on mine. Did I ever memorize Coleridge’s classic? Not a chance. My teen-rebellion years kicked in as soon as I realized that The Rime of the Ancient Mariner contained more than one hundred verses. However, I did memorize a lot of poetry in grade eight; to this day, I can recite Magee’s High Flight and McCrae’s Flanders Fields. And I will be forever grateful to Annie Murphy because it is she who taught me to love literature.
So, there it is. The Annie Daylon story. I have had no second thoughts about the choice of surname but I have, on occasion, questioned the choice of the first name simply because there are instances when people are at odds over whether to call me Angie or Annie. (Annie will do just fine, by the way.) Other than that, no regrets: the use of a pen name works well for me. With regard to submissions, I sign Annie Daylon (ndp) and beneath that Angela Day (legal name). As for copyright? Legal name only.
Do you have a pen name? If so, what’s your story?
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