Wednesday, 7 October 2009

What's in a name?

Names! Ah, names. Mine are not geeky at all, but are still special to me.

First, there's ysabelkid. This is the name of a character from a Western series written by JT Edson. It's nothing like Louis L'Amour's books; for one thing, JT wrote in a far more Boys Own style and was quite the lech (although not a misogynist; he loved writing about catfights and big bosoms, but firmly believed that women could outdo men on virtually every level. His books were an adventure series, focused on a quartet of young Texans, of which Loncey Dalton Ysabel, the Ysabel Kid, was by far my favourite. Born to a Black Irish father and a French Creole mother, he was raised among the Comanche and became a Dog Soldier, 'the finest mounted warriors in the West'.

I'm not sure why I feel drawn to him; perhaps it's that his looks didn't place him into one camp or the other, but allowed him to move with ease between the various racial categories to which he belonged, sort of like me (although I don't do it with as much ease as he did); perhaps it's a longing for that kind of training, skill and freedom; perhaps it's just that he sounded like the cockiest and the one with simplest morals: i.e., a complete lack of regard for human life, but a code that would not lead him to hurt those weaker than himself. Anyway, I have been ysabelkid since I was 12 and writing in a journal, so he's really a part of me now.

Then there's wacodancer - Waco being the orphaned youngster who was "adopted" by the original trio. His influence on me was more of the upright, law-abiding but rebellious, questioning type. He always wanted to know more than was obvious and hunted for the whys and hows of any situation, which stood him in good stead when he turned into a Texas Ranger. In the beginning he was an angry, hateful teenager who killed without compunction, but was turned away from the outlaw path before truly going down that road to hell. Dancer is a character I made up to fit him, one of the Space Cowboys I invented. They're a bunch of kick-ass women who travel through various times and worlds to right wrongs ... cliched, but something that keeps me occupied when I don't have a book for distraction. I'm still researching all the possibilities so it's a work in progress.

Souldancer and Soulreaver are fairly self-explanatory, and tie in to the darker side of myself. I may not have mentioned this, but I have a fairly quick temper and, with more testosterone than I should have (said a doc), a fairly violent one too. It does take a lot to anger me - unless you're, say, in the unfortunate position of being married to me - but when I lose it, I do so in fairly spectacular fashion. Soulreaver is a destroyer who inflicts pain and suffering on all she meets; Souldancer removes life in far gentler fashion, but removes it nonetheless. I suppose she's a prettier name for Death. I didn't get either of those names from anywhere specific, but read enough fantasy and they'll pop up somewhere - usually as the name of a weapon.

Try not to trip over anything as you head for the hills ...

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