I couldn’t decide on a name to publish under for a long time.
First of all, there was the idea of actually getting published, which is different from being published. Getting published is a hurdle to clear, and sometimes you stumble over five or six or twelve hurdles before you succeed with one. Getting published is doing the work of writing, then writing again, then submitting, then submitting again, until someone, weirdly, says yes and you internally snicker at these goons who actually thought your writing was good, and you review their edits and watch for the day when your words appear on someone else’s site, in their font, with your self-consciously third-person bio at the bottom.
Then there’s being published, and that’s even scarier. That means there are bits and pieces of you, multiple pieces, scattered all over the internet – all over the physical world, even – and you can’t erase it if at some point you end up embarrassed by it. Plus, other people, total strangers, are reading them! I more or less know who y’all are here. Some of you have been around for ten years now! But being published means not just existing as Ruby Bastille, but existing as…me.
And I had to figure out what to call me.
Growing up, I had a last name that was also a first name. When I got married, I took on a last name that’s just plain funny to say, and rarely gets pronounced right the first time someone sees it. I didn’t really want to use either name for my publishing, and I ran around in circles trying to decide if I should use a pen name. What if I got haters! What if I got stalkers! What if I had to explain my name ad infinitum! But what if I wanted my family or old professors to look me up someday!
I put off making a website or a Facebook page or business cards because I couldn’t settle on a name. Then it occurred to me that I had ten stories published under a name already, and maybe I should just go with that.
So, if you want to keep reading me, you’ll want to follow this blog. That’s where I’ll be writing for the foreseeable future. There’s nothing there yet, but there will be soon. Plus, it’s got the up-to-date list of all ten (!) of my published (!!) stories, and Number 11 will be up there soon. (If you can, please support the awesome publications that supported me by buying those issues. We lost three beautiful and respected SF publications in the last year and that was three too many. Support art and support creators!)
I’m keeping Ruby Bastille up, potentially embarrassing skeletons and all. It’s a record of ten and a half years of my life, and three of my published stories began, in one form or another, here. (Thank you, YeahWrite, for nourishing all the fiction that’s been on this blog in the last four years.) But now it’s time to start writing full-time as me.
See you there!