Charlotte McGary & Sharon Faiola-Petersen
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August 22, 2014

Christening Our Characters
By Sharon

While many parents lose sleep over choosing the perfect names for their babies, Charlotte and I faced no such challenges in naming the characters and places in "Dream Crystals." They came easily, naturally to us, as though we'd always known what their names should be. While I'll let Charlotte tell you in her own blog about her own creations (including the "Fort/Forte" spelling dilemma), I'll let you in on the meaning behind the names of those I coined.

Bad folks and bad places I named after people I didn't like. Both the nasty "Bilprik acid" and the "beetleholly" bush it came from were named after my ex-husband's bosses who unfairly eliminated his position. Gandara's poisoned desert was named after the company that did him wrong.

The nefarious duo "Kallie and Oberman" were stand-ins for two supervisors who had made my life particularly miserable when I'd worked for them at Stanford.

Nicer characters received much more consideration in their christening. "Aquila Mathias" was taken from Latin for "eagle" and from Hebrew for "gift of God," respectively. Old "Mazekial" inherited his name from the Biblical characters "Methuselah" (the Hebrew Bible's longest-living man) and "Ezekiel" (a prophet-priest of the Old Testament). I didn't realize at the time of his naming that Methuselah means "Man of the spear, or his death shall bring judgment" and Ezekiel means "God strengthens." (This was one of many instances when Charlotte and I later learned that people, places, or plotlines held symbolic meaning beyond our original intent. But that's another blog for another time!)

My parents, Louis and Leah Faiola, contributed their names to "louleah," the thick leather gloves used to lift sharp spears of fallen crystal to save the injured. As Charlotte pointed out (after the obvious had completely passed me by), the name was especially fitting since, as RNs, both my parents were healers. Other family names—niece Anne-Marie and nephew Erik—found their way into "anerik" beans, the sack Tomas was loading onto a droma when he realized where his heart truly belonged.

My brother Richard pointed out that his name didn't make it into the book, so I've promised to name something after him in the sequel. Hmmm, maybe Kheema has an older brother . . . .

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Thoughts, musings, and words of wisdom from our distinctly different minds and POVs.

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