Monday, October 06, 2014

Off the Cuff on names, plus why the hell am I flying to Bouchercon (when I could go by train)?

(Trees early in the morning in Fullerton, Calif., December 2013.
Photo by Peter Rozovsky, your humble blogkeeper)
I've been reading Max Allan Collins' Quarry novels, which makes Dietrich Kalteis and Martin J. Frankson's latest Off the Cuff post especially timely: It's about character names in crime fiction. "For example," writes Frankson:
"is it credible to have a twenty-year-old Edith or Beryl or Victor? It’s possible, but those names may be unknown in certain demographics. Similarly, how many fifty-year-olds are named Kanye or Jadyn? If one really wants to name a character as such, a bit of backstory behind the mismatching name-to-age might be interesting in the story."
I would add any name ending in -ee to that latter group, along with Jen, and all the world's non-Irish Brendans.

The photo, reproduced above, with which Dietrich illustrates the discussion, is also timely. I've been posting about Bouchercon 2014, which takes place next month in Long Beach, Calif., about 25 miles west and south of Fullerton, where I took that photo of palm trees at sunrise last year.

I took the photo from my compartment in the Southwest Chief, at the end of a glorious two-day train ride from Chicago to Los Angeles. So why, given the chance to repeat the trip for Bouchercon, am I willingly subjecting myself to the misery that is American commercial air travel?

(See all Off the Cuff posts.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2014

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Blogger Rick Robinson said...

Okay, I give up. Why are you flying instead of going on the train. Wait, let me guess. Price? Don't have the time it takes? Fallen in love with a TSA employee? Airport security is your new "thing"? Desire to be part of the "jet set"?

October 10, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

No, not price. Last year's Chicago-Los Angeles trip was surprisingly affordable, especially considering that included two nights' accommodation and all meals.

And no, I get no thrill from being patted down at airports, and yes, I had plenty of vacation time available. Maybe three days I'd have needed for the train trip before the convention were unavailable on the vacation calendar, because I can't imagine why I'd have voluntary subjected myself to commercial air travel otherwise.

October 10, 2014  

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