Wednesday, January 11, 2012

my first roadtrip wednesday. or, hopping on the bandwagon.

In case you're a stranger to the concept, Road Trip Wednesday is a weekly bloghopthing hosted by YA Highway wherein, uh, they ask a question, and you answer it.


*This Week's Topic* If you couldn't use your own name, what would your pseudonym or penname be?

found here.
Well, YA Highway, I'm glad you asked.
Now, I'm worlds away from querying, let alone having an agent/selling a novel/actually having to worry about stuff like this, but it is something that continually picks at my brain.

Because, you see, my new last name?
Is a doozy.
Seriously, let's play a game. If any of you {who don't already know the answer} can pronounce Maughon correctly, using your best phonetic spelling in the comments, I will give you some sort of prize.

And my maiden name? I love it, truly I do, but when you Google "Julie Palmer," this is what you get:

I'm not even kidding, and that is one of the less-disgusting photos. I mean, I'm all for girl power, but body-building? Kind of looks bad on EVERYONE.

(Amusingly, on page 2 of the Julie Palmer image results, there was my own blogger profile photo. Haha! Things are already looking up.)

So, as you can see, the pseudonym/penname situation is one I mull over a lot. One idea I always go back to: nicknames.

I have a lot of them, and I generally love them. JP Maughon would be a wicked penname, if I wanted to go the initials/gender-ambiguous route. I've also always loved Jules and Jules P, but what would I match either of those with? Other than the enigmatic Maughon, I mean {which, don't get me wrong, would be ideal, just... difficult}. Another nickname I've had since birth is Dodie, but I'm not so attached to this one as a penname. Dodie Smith owns it, and I'll never be as brilliant as she was.

And, of course, my fondest nickname is Julie Bird, which is where Juliemybird comes from {I added the "my" because twitter already had a juliebird, and because of Mine That Bird and Calvin Borel* [hey-oh, Kentuckian here]}. I really, really wouldn't mind being published as Julie Bird... something. Palmer, I guess. Easy to pronounce, easy to remember. Fewer body-building connotations. I would miss the Maughon, though. Worth the confusion? Of course, it didn't stop Maugham... which Maughon doesn't even rhyme with {hey hey, I just gave you a hint}.

*if you have ten minutes to spare, and you don't absolutely hate horse racing, check out that video. The most amazing thing to me is that the commentators don't even see him coming.

So, there you have it. Lots of variations of my name, some easy, some mystifying. It would be fun to teach the world how to pronounce Maughon.

Then again, I could always go all-out pseudonym.


In which case, Ariadne Skunkwater. Definitely.

The end!


  1. My guess is Ma-gon which is probably completely and totally wrong. People mispronounce my last name all the time too. Paolo- it looks easy right? And I bet you went to say Palo. Its pronounced Payola like Crayola. Last names are always tricky. Though I do love Julie Bird.

    New Follower :)

    1. No, it's not Ma-gon, but that's a popular one. And I wouldn't have guessed the A-sound at the end of your name- I would have said Payolo. :) Welcome new follower!

  2. I think you should go with Birdy. :) Also... that race video WAS amazing... and the commentators were looking the other way, apparently... they didn't even mention him until right before he crossed the finish line. Ha!

    1. Isn't that crazy?! What a great Derby. I re-watched it a couple of times earlier, and you really can see him go from dead last to out-right victor. Incredible.

  3. Julie Bird is cute on its own. :)

  4. Okay, I'll have a go... is it pronounced like "Moyan" or "Moyn"? That's my guess. And for a pseudonym, Julie Bird Maughon, or J. B. Maughon? You could provide a phonetic spelling of your name inside each novel to help radio/TV reviewers/interviewers... and those of us who want to tell our friends, "Did you read that awesome book by J. B. Maughon?" :)

    Welcome to RTW! Good to meet you, Julie M...[mumbles hoping it sounds vaguely like Maughon] :D

    1. Baha, no, not Moyan or Moyn. Good thing, too, because that would be even *harder* to guess. I like the idea of providing a phonetic spelling! That would be the best. :)
      And thanks for the warm welcome!

  5. Julie, Ariadne Skunkwater gave me a huge chuckle! You know, I think Somerset Maugham's name caused me to spend extra time on him and remember him because I HAD to find out how to pronounce it! Just sayin' for guessing the pronounciation, I'll leave the fun to the others! ;)

    1. Yeah, you would definitely have an unfair advantage. :)

  6. Oh, and I loved replaying the race and remembering that day...engagement party and derby party in one! I was yelling for Mind That Bird again as I watched! Daddy F. winning because of the party favor...what a great day!

  7. Wasn't it though?! Best derby party ever.

  8. I have been wondering since your wedding how on earth your last name is pronounced...I now know a couple incorrect ways, but still holding out for the answer!

  9. Now I feel really cool that I knew how to pronounce it from the get-go! I do have the "gh" advantage, though. I love the idea of Birdy for your pseudonym. And then, instead of Maughon, you could just go with "M", OR, if you wanted to be really cute, Birdy Em. That's my vote. Birdy Em.

    Also, Julie Palmer! Oh my. You're right. Body-building=no.

    Also, also, I love the bloggy changes! You've *almost* inspired me to get back to mine :)

  10. R. Elizabeth Emerson (you know, like fancy poets do).

  11. First, welcome to RTW Julie :-)
    I´m not even going to try to pronounce your last name. What I can say is that it looks pretty on paper!

  12. I like JP Maughon, but Julie Bird is so cute!!!

  13. I really like JP Maughon too. Sounds very literary.
    I'm thinking Maughon is pronounced like Vaughn, but with an M instead. (I know someone with the last name Maughan and that's how it's pronounced.)
    Something with Julie Bird would be fun too, and memorable (which is always good).

  14. Kris was the closest! It's similar to Vaughn, but with two syllables and an H sound. If Vaughn is VON, Maughon is ma-HON.

  15. I just thought to check to see if I was right, and good golly, miss molly, I almost was!
    Story of my life. I'm so good at being almost right. It's all about recognizing your strengths, right?


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