Monday, March 21, 2011

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself...

First of all, my sincere thanks to everyone who counted themselves in to help me donate to the tsunami disaster in Japan. In all, 22 people stepped up to the plate and were counted in. Therefore, I'll be donating an additional $110 to the relief efforts. Thank you all so much, and to the people of Japan: may you continue to heal physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Secondly, I've done my best to be honest about the dissolution of my marriage. I've shared the heartbreak, anger, doubts, jealousy, and deep sadness I've experienced throughout these past eleven months. In so many ways, time truly heals all. The process has been slow and painful, but I now feel stronger, more clear-eyed, and more joyful than ever.

Now I'm Ready to Start
I would rather be wrong
Than live in the shadows of your song

My mind is open wide

An
d now I'm ready to start
from Ready to Start by Arcade Fire

Due to this situation, one of the issues I've had to address is my name.

Question: What's in a name?

Answer: A lot.

Your name is deeply tied to your identity. In many ways, it's how you know yourself and how others know you.

In the case of divorce, do you keep your ex's last name, and if so, why? For the sake of the kids? Because it's easier? Because you're used to it? For a writer, your name takes on an additional meaning since it's also your brand. Brands are important for marketing purposes. If you're already published, changing your name is a far trickier endeavor. I'm lucky in that I can make this change before I sell billions and billions of books.

To find a solution to the name game, I considered three possibilities:

1) Keep my ex's last name. (A name I've used for longer than I care to admit.)

2) Use my maiden name. (A name I haven't used in longer than I care to admit.)

3) Create a pen name. (I've done this with my music. It's fun, but rather confusing. I kind of felt like Sybil.)

AND THE WINNER IS...!
After much thought on this subject, I've decided to use my maiden name. This has been a difficult decision, but one I feel is the best choice under the circumstances.

So, ladies and gentleman, please allow me to introduce myself:

I am... DEBRA LYNN LAZAR!

So, what do you think? And, how about you? Have you ever had to deal with a name change? If so, how did it go?

81 comments:

Joelle Charbonneau said...

I love it. Congrats on choosing your identity. It is a hard thing to do. I had a funny problem with my name. I got married in between college and grad school and all my college professors decided to send my recommendation letters with a hyphenated version of my name. Charbonneau-Blanco is a LONG name and once it was in the system I couldn't get it out. When I published I had to choose to use one part...I settled on my maiden name because it felt right. I'm so glad you found the name that feels right for you.

Hugs!

susanna said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE you and your new (old) name.
Susanna

Angie Ledbetter said...

Love it! (I'll just call ya "Laz" now.) :D

I did consider hyphenating my name when I got married back in the stone ages, but DiBenedetto-Ledbetter was a bit much. LOL

xxo

Suzyhayes said...

I've got like, six names. :)

And I love this one.

And I love you.

Paul Greci said...

Great name, Deb!! I think you made a good choice!!

Julie said...

Awesome choice! And as someone who's never married, it would be really tricky for me to give up my name now. :)

Val said...

I love your old new name Debbie HUGS. You are not alone in your life changes and I admire your ability to meet each challenge with your own special zeal. Rock on my sweet.

Myra McEntire said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I think I'll also be calling you Laz.

Ruthanne said...

Fantastic!!! ^__^ I'm going to have to keep that in mind. Are you going to rebrand your Twitter, etc.?

Anonymous said...

By no surprise, it suits you! ;-)

Congrats & welcome to the world (again)!

-- Dawn (who can't seem to comment...)

Daisy Whitney said...

Both names are beautiful. Congrats on choosing!

Anne said...

Congratulations! Your name is great and you have weathered quite a few things this last year. Congrats to creating your new life!

Laura Marcella said...

I like your maiden name a lot! It's so lovely and catchy! Plus it's in the middle of the alphabet which bodes well for book placement on the shelves. :)

Have a great week, Debra Lynn Lazar!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Nice to meet you again, Debra :)

Jamie Mason said...

Nice to meet you, Ms. Lazar.

Love it. :)

I write under my maiden name, because my married name is, while not impossible, most always pronounced wrong. It is funny to have to stop and think about what my name is in relation to what I happen to be doing at the moment.

Ha! I know Debra Lynn Lazar. Coo-el.

Tom Stofac said...

You have been Debbie Lazar for as long as I've known you. Which is far longer than either of us care to admit. Though you seem to be wearing the years quite a bit better than am I.

Lemme know the next time your travels take you to my neck of the woods. Would love to see you again!

Tawna Fenske said...

Love the name! It totally suits you. Congrats on reclaiming your identity.

Tawna

muffintopmommy said...

Your new old name is much catchier and more memorable, imho, so woohoo! I hope you have many fun days ahead as the new old you!

Kelly said...

That's a tough decision, but you know if it feels right! It's a pleasure to meet you Miss Lazar!

Linda G. said...

I like it! Good for you. :)

Christine Marie said...

Well done! The only time I changed my name was when I was married and it is certainly a terrible pain in the tushie. It's still not changed on my driver's license and I've been married 5 years. Going to the SS office, changing all the bills, faxing proof...blah blah blah...what an aggravation.

However, if I find myself leading the single life again, I will be changing back to my maiden name. There is a lot to a name. I would rather go through the hassle of doing all that again than be stuck with someone else's name.

This is a good step for you, my dear..sure to be followed by even better ones. ;)

Lisa Gail Green said...

Well, I think it sounds great! I'm sorry about the circumstances, but glad you are starting fresh with your name.

Jeanne Veillette Bowerman said...

WOOHOO! I feel the liberation, woman! But the big question.... does your Twitter handle change? A pimp needs to know these things ;)

Jemi Fraser said...

So nice to meet you ... again! :)

It's a good name Deb - flows well & fits :)

Trinity Faegen said...

I like it! Also think it will look wonderful on a book. :)

Angela Corbett said...

I love it! I can't wait to tell people about all of Debra Lynn Lazar's books. :)

Perry Block said...

It's a little too Jewish.

Laurie Lazar said...

Good Perry, you could go back to Lazarowitz, Deb. Did you even consider that option? Or Spaun, for that matter, the name our lineage had before they changed it to Lazarowitz, so they say.

Stacia Kelly said...

so very glad to meet you (again) ;)

I've changed mine from my birth name, to my MOTHER's maiden name, then I got married and changed it again...if anything should happen in the future? I'm not sure....I'd probably be tempted to change it again :D Evolution of a person - *grins*

Meghan Ward said...

Debra, I haven't been here for a while, so I didn't know about your divorce, and I'm very sorry to hear it. Tawna Fenske announced the same heartbreaking news on her blog a couple of days ago. As for your new (old) name - I love it! I kept my maiden name when I got married, so I'll never have to worry about changing it back if things don't work out. It's something I hadn't thought about, like Anne R. Allen's post on where your blog goes when you die.

Meghan Ward said...

P.S. Are you no longer on Twitter, Debra? Your link doesn't work. I think what's especially interesting about changing your name is how it affects your online presence - you can change your Twitter handle, but it's more complicated if you have a website and blog in your old name. Might make a good follow-up post.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Great name, Deb--it totally works!

I, too, have struggled with the post-divorce name, and in my case, I have two divorces under my belt. (Oh, the things I brag about...) I couldn't go back to my maiden name; I hadn't been "Linda Haber" since I was 20 years old. I toyed with going back to "Linda Blackwell," a great name and the last name of my kids, but I ended up keeping my second ex's last name. I really don't know why, maybe because it's such a freakin' hassle to change it again. I write and perform as "Linda Lou," a nickname a friend gave me long ago. I figure that won't change!

Glad to see you're doing so well. I knew you would. XOXO

Kimberly Franklin said...

Nice new name. Or nice new/old name, technically. Hope you are doing well. I hope your new name brings a fresh start with a fabulous book deal!

Fudgelady said...

Your maiden name is great and shorter to write at book-signings! :-)

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