Spring break is upon us in northern Virginia, and I am at home this week with all six of the kids. I’ve often envied my wife that she is permitted to leave the house each day for work, unfettered by children. Though they can be tiresome and emotionally taxing, I enjoy the moments I have with them to talk and laugh.

Today, Sydney and I were talking about writing. She had been sitting in the corner of the living room scribbling away on a notepad for over an hour. I was taking in a lecture or two from one of the Great Courses I subscribe to, and when I had finished I asked about her project.

She informed me that she and a neighbor girl were writing a story together, and each day they would meet and share what they wrote for the collective story. I was excited by the project’s description, and I encouraged her to continue writing.

At one point, we started talking about pseudonyms. I shared with her the names of authors I read as a child and any of their pen names I could remember. We talked James W. Dixon, Dr. Seuss, Anne Rice and a few others. She asked if she could have a pen name when she became published, and of course I assured her she could. Knowing that I write a lot, though not having published anything, Sydney asked if I would have a pseudonym at some point.

I admitted that I hadn’t thought about it, but it was certainly a possibility. She offered to help me come up with a suitable pen name, and I’d like to share them with you since they gave me a hearty chuckle.

Sydney has a unique way of looking at life, and I often think it’s because of her ADHD, but there are times when I just sit back and admire the free spirit she has been blessed with. When suggesting pen names, she often based the name on a sentence, and derived the name from that sentence describing the person. The following are the two names she created for me.

Pen Name #1: Tad Oek. This name is one she derived from the first letters of the following sentence: The Awesome Dad Of Eight Kids. Acronymized? Is that a word yet? I have eight kids, and apparently, Sydney thinks I’m awesome. I did like the name, but the next one got me laughing.

Pen Name #2: T.D. Waas. This name is also an acronymization (?) of the following sentence: The Dude With An Awesome Shirt. My kids frequently get me T-shirt’s for birthdays and father’s days. Usually they are superhero T-shirt’s (thank you!), but occasionally they are novelty ones. Sydney likes that I wear the clothes they get for me, and it shows in this name. Of the two, this one is my favorite, and will certainly be in the running for future publications!

As a parting note, Sydney and I are working on a writing project together. I started writing short stories for her years ago when she was diagnosed with ADHD. I wanted to make funny things happen to funny people to make her laugh. Last year, I started asking her what she wanted to see in a book for kids, and she has given me endless ideas for what to write. Now we are working, however sporadically, on a series of wild adventures of a girl with ADHD. It’s a fun project, and partially explains why I’ve been absent from this blog for some time!

What is your favorite pseudonym?

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