Thursday, April 05, 2007

Yours Truly, K.C. King

Weekend Assignment #159: You've decided to become a writer under a pen name. What pen name do you choose?

Well, I'd almost forgotten about it, but I already have been published under a pen name. Back in 1989 I wrote a foreword to Fixing a Hole, a book about unreleased Beatles recordings (i.e. bootlegs). The author of the book called himself L.R.E. King, a play on Ellery Queen. In keeping with that, I called myself Karen C. King - Karen because I'm pretty much irrevocably Karen, C. for Christine, my original middle name, and King because of L.R.E.

The book is long-since out of print, for several mostly-depressing reasons. The good news is that a lot has happened since then in terms of Beatles recordings and scholarship. Things that King figured out by listening to two recordings at the same time, or speeding them up and slowing them down, are now fairly well known and cataloged. Even better, an awful lot of great music that was once available only on illegal vinyl records is now commercially available, thanks to Anthology, George Martin, Paul, George, Ringo and Yoko. Karen C. King did her minuscule part in the darker times before that, and now she's done.

Another pen name I've considered over the years was a variant, K.C. King. Come to think of it, I've used K.C. King, too, as my byline for a fan novella, Paradox: Two Doctors in Time. It was a crossover story between the Seventh Doctor of Doctor Who fame and Sam Beckett of Quantum Leap, with a rather large supporting cast. I'd show it to you, but like all of the fanzines I edited, it's apparently in a box right now. Ha! Paradox in a box! That rocks! Okay, maybe not.

Farther back in the mists of time, somewhere around junior high school, I planned to use Casey Jensen as my pen name. This was a combination of an homage to my mom and my youthful dissatisfaction with my own first name. Casey was a nickname I tried to cultivate in seventh grade, but it didn't take. It was short for K.C. = Karen Christine, of course. Joel used it a little bit, I think, and so did Mr. Hennigan, my seventh grade social studies teacher--sort of. He called me K.C., with a noticeable pause between the two syllables. Jensen came from Anne Jensen, my mom's preferred nom de plume. Anne was her confirmation name, I think, which she used as a middle name instead of the one she was born with, Louise. I discovered a year or so ago from her passport that Louise was still her legal middle name toward the end of her life. She was born Ruth Louise Johnson, but became Ruth Anne Funk, and later, Ruth Anne Johnson or even just Anne Johnson in some circles. But I gather than the Johnson of her father's family was once Jensen, part of the Viking Irish gentry part of my ancestry.

Will I even use a pseudonym again? Well, aside from the fact that "Mavarin" as a screen name, user name, etc. is technically a pseudonym, no, I have no particular plans to conceal my identity or obscure a writing credit ever again. For one thing, I'm a raging egotist; for another, I'm deliberately trying to build name recognition for Karen Funk Blocher, so that people will buy my books when the time comes. When my novels come out, I fully intend for them to have three names on them, the better to connect the books with this person who has been blathering at you online since 1992 or so. Karen. Funk. Blocher. That's as real a name for me as Karen Christine Blocher, probably more so. I'm pretty sure I registered my maiden/middle name with Social Security after I got married. Funk is the name I suffered for as a kid, and it remains part of me.

Extra Credit:
Using this Anagram Maker, share an amusing anagram of your name.

Karen Funk Blocher produced a long, rather boring list, with lots of references to Ken and err. I've done some rearranging and punctuating, but there's nothing great here:

Knock, hear elf burn.

Ah, elf, burn knocker.
Clerk, fork a hen bun.
Breakneck flu horn
Cerebral funk honk!
Blacken her funk, or…
Back here, nor flunk
Kneel back, fur horn
Back, elf honker, run!
Black here, fork nun
Rehab clerk: funk on!
Rehab neck, folk: run!
Re flunk: ban choker.
Ban knuckle for her.
Elk fun, hack reborn!
Freak nobler chunk
Freak born: luck hen
Learn bunk for heck!
Her luck: fan broken.
Ah, beckon err flunk.
Rank cherub en folk
Rank be luck, ref hon.
Heck, ref lunar knob.

Plain old Karen Blocher produced a shorter list with slightly better choices:

Barrel? Heck, no!
Baron Heckler
Earn her block!

And Rani Fost was kind of interesting:
First, a no.
A rift, son.
Is not far…
For Saint!

Enough. Between
the Maundy Thursday service, the Round Robin announcement (go see what it is!), setting up a Google Calendar and a 1:30 AM vigil, I've tarried too late again. Good night!

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