(something more cheerful for you to read about)
Stacy and I had a long conversation about names this afternoon: names she wants to name her children, names I am trying to decide on for the characters in my novel, big names I want for the film version (Keira Knightly, Maggie Smith are two). I've agonised before about whether it's appropriate to name your children the same name as a character in your book. At long last (and after a lenghty discussion with Christina while we were in SF) I decided to err on the side of caution, and since Kate is my number 1 choice for a girl, I have to pick a new name for the number 1 sidekick. C & I spent ages on internet baby name sites looking up Scottish names and what they mean.
Sidenote: I'd really love a names book, first and last, that tells me, by nationality, good names and what they mean. I mean--I don't know any Serbian names! The last ones are pretty easy to make up, just throw together a few letters (vowels are optional) and add "itch" or "ovitch" to the end. But I don't know any first names! Anyway.
One of the ones I really liked that we came up with was Andra, which I really like, despite my strong adversion to the name Andrea. You know how some names are just ruined for you because of experiences with people? And it really sucks when it's a good name. But yes--Andra. It means "Strong and brave," which I thought was just perfect for my heroine, who name was previously Emma. It's a lot less common, too, which I likeee, and more Scottish sounding. But it means I have to get used to thinking of her as Andra, which is going to be difficult after over a year, but I think I can manage.
This still left the Kate problem, however. The other two names I came up that I liked for her were either Tara or Lara. I wanted something short that also implied loyal. But since their names are said together often, I though having them both end with an "ah" sound might make it awkward, but Stacy assured me it would be ok. I like Tara better, I think, but then her last name is Williams, S. pointed out the "ll"s will sound nice together. So yay, Lara. It means "mare." Now only one of the main girls is left with her original name, and I did change the spelling of her nickname.
Mostly I am lucky, though, because I don't have to make up names as I am using a lot of real people. This is great as I am terrible at stuff like coming up with names. I still don't have a title.
And yeah, along with the names book I wish I had, well, there are a lot of reference books I wish I could wish into existense. Serbian officers and their activities during WWI. The fate of the Austrian prisoners after the great retreat of 1915. A guide to Edwarian slang and speech styles. Not to mention medical details. I'm lucky, though--there's so much I *do* know bc of the research I've already done.
So yeah. Is there a point to all of this? Probably not.