“Oh Susannah!” and How the Universe Stepped In

My last post dealt with my difficulty in finding a sufficient first name for my main character’s mother. Then, suddenly and out of thin air, an old (folk?) song popped into my head:

Oh Susannah!

Oh don’t you cry for me,

For I come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee.

And in my head this little diddy made a home. For hours. Until finally, I decided to name Lyla Kyle’s mother Susannah. It was like the universe knew it had to be done, so it provided me with a name so I would stop exclaiming “Why, universe, WHY??” with both hands upturned to the heavens. (Disclaimer: I swear I’m not that dramatic)

However, if the universe really had a heart, it would have extracted its stupid song from my brain after it had served its purpose. But alas, it remained. For even more hours than previously thought possible. I even remixed the song in an effort to appease the universe:

 Oh Susannah!

I wish that you could see,

that I named my character’s mom after you,

with the laptop on my kneee.

The song did eventually disappear from my consciousness, thank goodness.

Of course, after enduring this ridiculous debacle, I came across a brilliant fellow blogger with a plethora of Name Game-Game Changers. Have a look for yourself:


Thankfully I have at least one more character to name and (hopefully) many more books to write, so I’ll have a chance to employ her many ingenious methods. Which reminds me, I should get to work on the next chapter. So, as promised, here is an excerpt from Chapter 5 (the opening, actually) that describes Dr Jillian Atford, the last main character to be introduced here at JJE.

“Dr Jillian Atford was born to do this work. A strong woman with soft, brown, shoulder-length twists in her hair, she exuded a warmness that instantly put her clients at ease. It was like she had a past with each patient; they all felt as though they had known her for years. Her voice was smooth and buttery, like honey or maple syrup. The latter of which was coincidentally the exact color of her skin. She was well-spoken and proper, which all but disguised her subtle Bronx accent. Her office was as homey as her demeanor. Instead of basic, drab colors like eggshell, taupe, and beige, Dr Atford employed bold earth tones: rich browns, mahogany, and burgundy. Modern cultural masks and sculptures adorned the space, but not overwhelmingly so. In addition, just over Dr Atford’s desk, hung a large, oil painting of the African Savannah, complete with tall swaying grass and a pride of lions amid roaming herds of water buffalo, gazelles, and zebras. The painting reeled clients in, not unlike Dr Atford’s personality.”

6 thoughts on ““Oh Susannah!” and How the Universe Stepped In

  1. Pingback: Liar, Liar! Book on Fire! « journeyofjordannaeast

  2. Reblogged this on journeyofjordannaeast and commented:

    I was working on the prequel novella the other day –by the beach, might I add– and I couldn’t remember for the life of me what I had decided to name Lyla’s mother. Then I remembered this post and thought I would re-share it. (And it also shouts out my biggest fan, who I just interviewed what a coinky-dink!) Happy Friday!

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