Monday, August 23, 2010

My Other D

Okay, so I feel pretty lame about this, but I am announcing the official birth of my pen name. If you've been following along, you might know that I've been working as a post-doctoral researcher. Well, that time is coming to an end in the next few months, and I'm going to have to start a serious job search. Because of this, I've decided it best to separate my science career from my writing career.

Luckily for me, I've always had another name. See, when Thai people are born, we have our formal name (Davin for me) and a familiar name that all of our family and friends use. Other familiar names that you might not be aware of are Tiger for Eldrick Tont Woods and Jhumpa for Nilanjana Sudeshna (I don't know where Lahiri comes from--and she's not Thai). My familiar name is Domey. It's a name that feels very intimate to me, since usually only my loved ones call me that. But, I'm realizing that using Domey in my writing feels right and is giving my life some order.

So, you'll be seeing the name Domey around on the blog from now on--unless I decide this is a stupid mistake, which I may well do. I'm hoping that you all don't find the change too jarring, and maybe some of you will start using it if it feels comfortable.

In other news, check out this amazing artwork. It makes me wish I still had some emotional connection to pencils. There's a link to the German blog where this comes from here.


  1. That's pretty neat art there! I'm impressed

  2. How interesting. Sometimes I've wished to swap out my name but have no easy way to do so.

    So I take we should refer to you as Domey rather than Davin from here on out?

  3. Domey, (okay, that's weird for me to call you that because I've never called you that...) I think this is really exciting! I hope this puts your writing in the place you want it - a more comfortable place where you're not "mixing worlds," so to say.

    And that is some way cool art!

  4. Domey, it does take a bit of getting used to, but at this point my pen name is pretty comfortable.

    Incidentally, one of the main reasons I separated the two was because of my other name being on scholarly documents and scientific reports that are part of legal evidence and I didn't really want to give anyone cause to blur the line between my fiction and my fact.

  5. Summer, it is pretty cool, isn't it? If I read German I'd probably see if I could afford one of those. Of course, it would probably break in shipping.

    Loren, right now I have a mix of people who call me Domey or Davin. So, the basic answer is that I answer to both. I'd say do whatever feels most comfortable to you. When I leave comments on your blogs, it will be Domey from now on. And when I publish it will also be Domey. People tend to be drawn more to one name or another.

    Michelle, thanks a lot! I'm hoping it won't feel weird after a few days. But, I guess one never knows. And, I think for me, if the change only affected new people I meet, that would probably be okay too. So, you can still call me Davin if you prefer.

  6. C.N., With my fiction writing getting around more, it's the first thing that comes up when I do a search for my name. I'm just worried employers will doubt my loyalty to the science. I'm glad to hear from someone who uses a pen name that it gets to be more comfortable!

  7. Domey, part of the trick is just using quite a bit and working to give the impression that it's your regular name.

    I have the whole schtick in my profiles about most people calling me Nevets. Well they do, but essentially because I said they do, so they start doing it.

    In reality, it's a pen name and my straight job nobody calls me anything of the sort.

    But by creating a little fiction around my name it helps it feel more legit to me, too.


  8. Interesting move, Domey! I used a pen name for a while (Ann Victor - a combination of my second name and my mother's maiden name) but it never felt "right" to me so I decided to write under my real name. Feeling comfortable with the new name already will make a big difference.


  9. I think it says a lot about how you feel about your writing when you choose to use an intimate name in public. I will learn to get used to your new name, Domey. And may both names appear many, many times.

    (The name my family uses for me is informal: Ah Yee, that I don't think I can use it as a pen name. It's a good thing I won't need one!)

  10. Thanks for the advice, Nevets. I think I just need to throw myself into this new name. I will.

    Judy, Ah, so you went the other way. I wanted to keep my real name for a long time because I was proud of what I had accomplished. But, I think with that pride also came a certain restraint and fear. I don't have that with Domey for some reason.

    Yat-Yee, it really does give me a different feel when I'm writing. The name Domey makes be feel braver and less uptight somehow. :)

  11. That's the nice thing about it, Scott. The D is still there. And my email address even works for the new name. I'm so forward thinking.

  12. I think THE ARTIST CURRENTLY KNOWN AS DOMEY lends a certain panache, don't you? Especially if you come up with a nifty new symbol with which to identify yourself.

  13. I like your pen name story. I hope it brings you the best of luck.


  14. A brilliant writer by any other name is still a genius :)

    Domey, (if I may call you Domey- and you know I make that joke because the first time I ever posted a comment here I was afraid to call you Davin and that was before I knew you had the big scary letters after your name LOL)

    I have been through this on so many levels. I also just seem to be the kind of person who picked up nicknames through my life and so I still have several in circulation. My joke is I'll answer to pretty much anything that's polite!

    Very few people call me by my legal name- mostly staff at medical facilities. Almost everyone who knows me very well uses one of my nicknames (I do wince at 'Feb' though! fortunately most people just go with bru)

    I have never made it any secret that February Grace is my pen name. It feels right, it fits my work and I'm comfortable with it (though I was THIS close to going with Hathaway Flynn and sometimes wish I had- gender neutral- I may still use it if I do try at a serious time travel novel one of these days.)

    I think that's the most important thing- that you feel comfortable with it. So try it on, see how it feels. If you change your mind, no big deal.

    I for one think it's very special to take a name so meaningful- as you said your loved ones call you Domey, and put it on your writing. It's such an emotional creative outlet and so it makes perfect sense to me to attach to it a name that you feel most connected to.

    Would it be an uber-geek thing for me to ask you for a correct pronunciation for Domey? If so, just disregard and I'll go back into my corner and color quietly now :)


  15. Loren, I'm working on a symbol. It has something to do with pages and covers and words, but it's not all coming together yet.

    Malcolm, thank you! I never thought of the luck factor, but I do hope it's a lucky one.

    Bru, I've always had a bunch of nicknames too. Actually, everyone in my family calls me by a different name, all derivations of Domey. The name comes from the English word "dome". Apparently--and I only found this out when I threatened to change my college major from biochemistry to studio art--my mom gave me the name Dome because she wanted me to be able to house more than one a big dome. The y just came about because people always add y's to kids' names.

    So, Mom calls me Nong Dome, Dad calls me Domey, Aunt calls me Mey, and my brother calls me Gumby, which came about one day while I was wearing all green and practicing backbends or something.

  16. Oh, and Bru, THANK YOU for saying it's no big deal if I decide to change back. That's something I'm really scared of, and I do appreciate you making this seem a lot easier.

  17. Domey (Yay, I was saying it right woo hoo!) it really isn't a big deal- the people who care will keep up with what to call you!

    Conversely they will also learn what never to call you again... *lol*


  18. I just got this comment on my blog from Domey and thought 'is that Davin by another name?' And, yes, it is! By the way, Tricia is the name I blog under because there are a gazillion Pats, Patricias and PJs (my initials) combined with my last name. It's been interesting adjusting to a name I wasn't ever called in RL. I feel like I get to be two personas, and it's kinda fun.
    You'll know in time how you feel about the change.

  19. I also work in academia, and Tara Maya is also a pen name. I picked it out ages ago, when I was studying Buddhism in Nepal. I picked a short name because I wanted it to fit in nice bold letters on a mass market paperback.

    Two things I wouldn't do back then because of pride: Pick a last name at the beginning of the alphabet and pick a gender neutral name. Now, more cynical, I wish I had chosen something like "A.H. Aaba."

  20. Domey, we'll get used to it! :)
    I understand the need to separate your science career from your writing. Makes sense.


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