I was very tempted to name this entry Why My Blog Has a Stupid Name or Why I’m So Defensive About My Blog’s Name In Case You Think It’s Stupid, not that I think it’s stupid, but just because I was worried that everyone else would.
No that’s not quite right. I’ve created plenty of artsy things in my day to know there’s no pleasing everybody with stuff. I was afraid that the future me would disapprove. I wondered if I’d look back at my blog and cringe at its name.
We (artists or otherwise) can be our own worst critics. In retrospect of the Star Wars original trilogy I have some understanding of Lucas’ temptation not to leave well-enough alone, to update what was a late 70s, early 80s movie trilogy to better suit the 90s or aughts, or rather to suit who Lucas had become in the 90s and aughts. I’ve looked back at things I’ve done and cringed before.
And I didn’t want that to happen with my blog. The way WordPress is set up, it gives you a domain name, so there’s totally no take-backsies. I came up with three names, all of which were too obtuse and misunderstood by (or just not particularly captivating to) my friends. I had a meltdown, because I’m crazy like that and because melting down is often part of my creative process.
Strange New Words didn’t originate here, but was what I named the expansion pack to a Star Trek parody card game I designed in the aughts. I completed the basic game (sans tweaking and rigorous playtesting), and while hunting for a steady playing group kept getting ideas for cards. Thus, I envisioned an expansion set. Expansions are typical for more grognardian tabletop card games, say of the Munchkin, Fluxx and Gloom caliber.
I could totally geek out about that card game and how much I liked making it, and probably will at some point.
So yeah, meltdown. While lamenting my failed names, I started reminiscing about how I really hit the mark with that name. And I thought, it would be a good name for a blog, but that’s sort of cheating, using an old name.
And then I thought Brave New Words. Yes! It still had that sci-fi reference thing going and more directly referenced Shakespeare, and The Tempest at that. And it spoke to this fight with anxiety I’d been going through about starting a blog.
…Aaaaand it’s taken. That’s right. The Internet. Population 3.079 billion. All the good everything is taken unless you’re really clever. Even bravenewords, which I’d perpetually not be able to unsee as Brave New Ords was taken.
Strange New Words was not.