>The Names of Quilts

>I love naming things. My first published essay, “myPod,” was about naming, you guessed it, my first iPod.

About a year and a half ago, when I was first starting to work on this novel, I did a post over at A Good Blog is Hard to Find called “Call for Names,” which resulted in my naming the main character in the book “Mare.”

And just yesterday I changed the names of two characters in my novel-in-progress, after debating with myself over this issue for about a year. (Thank God for “search and replace” or it would have taken me hours to dig through all those chapters being sure I changed every Emily to an Elaine and every Wallace to a William!) Okay, I can already hear some of you saying, “Oh, but I liked Emily better.” Let me reassure you that this was not an artistic decision. No, these characters are based on real, historic people, and I had originally changed their names. But this week I discovered that even though I fictionalize many things about them in the novel, I can still use their real names because (1) they are dead and (2) it’s a novel, not a memoir.

This morning as I went through my pre-writing routine (prayers, coffee, poetry) I discovered yet another wonderful poem from yourdailypoem.com. This one is called “The Names of Quilts” by Devon Miller-Dugan.

Listen to some of the names of the quilts in her poem: (can’t you just imagine what those quilts look like after reading their names?)

A Drunkard’s Path
Corn and Beans
Goose in the Pond
Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

The poem reminded me of two things: the first (and only) quilt I ever made, with help from my hippie friends back in the early 70s. (No picture available… it’s back home in a photo album, so I can’t scan it right now.)

And the quilt my grandmother made for me as a wedding gift in 1970. It contained scraps from all the dresses she had sewn for me those first 19 years of my life. The picture is of Mamaw and me with the quilt, just before my wedding in June of 1970. And yes, she made the lavender dress and striped vest I’m wearing in the picture. I can still remember some of those dresses just by looking at the quilt today.

Last night’s storm has left the ocean outside my window an artist’s palette of deep greens and blues. It’s chilly today (44 right now, with an expected high of 68) so I’ll get another cup of coffee and get back to work on the novel. Wish I had one of those quilts to wrap up in while I write….

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