Monday, November 12, 2012

a circus walks over my grave

I never thought about creating an Amazon author page before it was suggested to me by the marketing team of the publisher of my two eBooks. To be honest, I didn't know an author could create an Amazon author page at all. I guess I thought they had cybercorporate shoemaker elves to do that. When I got on to create my page, I figured I'd include the books Portland Noir and The Pacific Northwest Reader, since I'm a contributor - and how about my two children's picture books, which I wrote years ago under an old name - clicky, clicky - and suddenly:

I have an author page.

Under my old name.

OK, you don't understand. I tried for years to shed that name. Fifteen years. Pretty much since I got married to the man and ran off to the circus in the first place - or maybe before. My way of trying not to make a big mistake in my life back then was to make it and then spend fifteen years pretending I hadn't. I'm not here to tell tales on that marriage. But it's been finished for years, that name has been gone from me for years - and yet here it is again.

You know that feeling when the devil walks over your grave? Is that the expression? A ghost? No, a circus parade. With lots of trombones and one of those cars where you open the door and the clowns keep coming out. There was only one book attached to this page, one of the children's books, and I sure as hell wasn't going to add any more so I clicked like mad trying to get it to go away but in the end had to give up and go to work.

All day at work I could hardly concentrate, knowing this was out there. Shouldn't have been a big deal - that children's book already had my old name on it, after all - and I'd probably - hopefully - be able to set things right with an author page for the me I was now - but the memories of those old years, me with that old name, the way I felt about myself when I was that person with that old name - each memory was another clown out of the car.

"Don't worry," Stephen said. "You'll be you again soon."

In the evening I sent a very detailed e-mail to Amazon. For every change you try to make, Amazon gives you steps to fix the problem and then you have to wait five days for the changes to happen. After that five days I had an author page.

Under my old name.

With all my books on it.

Clown car.

Another e-mail to Amazon, another five days. Eventually I got things sorted out and now I have a brand new author page under the right name and for the right me...


But it surprised me how much the whole situation unnerved me. Tegge. One tiny word I wore for fifteen years. That was mine for fifteen years. That I could hardly stand, now, to look at. Tegge. Five tiny letters full of the shame I felt at never fully fitting in in the circus, the shame I felt at letting myself be buried under other people's lives and wants, the shame I felt at staying so long where I didn't belong, the shame I felt at leaving. Most of what I recoil at in that name is not the husband I left but the me I was. Tegge. Five letters - and look. Those two Gs sitting dead center. My first name buried inside. Clown car. You can run away from the circus and join some other life, but in some ways, that old you is still inside.


  1. WOW!!! That last paragraph was just wonderful!!!

  2. Great post! I think, in some ways, we're always shifting in our identities, fighting against and alternating accepting who we are and who we were. What's in a name? Nothing, really. And way too much.

    So glad you got your page settled, Ms. Little. xo

  3. Devastating land, Gigi. Bravo!

  4. Yes. Bravo! That land slayed me. That whole last graf. Wow. And Wow.