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Thursday, July 14, 2011

The little “d” thing

Can we just lay this to rest once and for all? Let’s face the elephant in the room. What’s with the little “d” at the beginning of my name? I often tell people that it has something to do with a cosmic experience involving e.e. cummings, which isn’t exactly untrue.

I was always one of multiple Debbies in school. I remember five in first grade—Debbie Peters, Debbie Streeter…oh, I’ll think of the others later. As I grew up we moved a lot, but there were always plenty of Debbies to fill the hoppers. Fortunately—or unfortunately, depending on your point of view—m y parents had spelled my name Debbi. I at least had that to distinguish myself. When I got to high school, I read some stuff by e.e. cummings, and being an aspiring writer, I thought he had something going there; so I started signing my name with all lowercase letters. It became my legal signature.

Strangely, when I got married, I didn’t think Weitzell looked right in lowercase. A lowercase “w”? What was my problem? Anyway, it stayed capped and the rest stayed LC. No big mystery. It just worked out that way.

Then, when I went freelance, it turned out to be a good thing. People remembered it. I’d make a contact, get an appointment, and they’d say, “Oh, yeah—debbi with a little “d.” What better hook could I have asked for?

Now I’m getting ready to publish a book. The big time. The publisher likes the book. Yaay! But her first comment? “You should capitalize your first name. People will think it’s a typo.” Sigh. Someday there will be so many autographed copies of my books around—signed little “d” debbi—that everyone will understand. Till then, if you see one of my books and my name is printed with a capital “D,” you’ll have the inside scoop. It’s still me—little “d”—conforming; but only as long as is absolutely necessary.

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