There was always something off, to me, about my name. The one my parents gifted me for my birthday, the one on my government issued ID. I didn’t know it as a child but sometime in the last fifteen or so years, I have worked out that it’s just not very musical. First and last, especially, are nothing but hard consonants strung together with short vowels.
It’s very abrasive.
Around middle school, I tried dropping my first name and just being Gabrielle—or Gabby or Elle or Brie—but that’s next to impossible in a small town where all the kids go to school in the same building. People get used to one thing and balk against change.
Did I grasp the opportunity to change it in college? Nope. I, too, had become so accustomed to introducing myself as Desiree that as much as I hated it, I couldn’t stop. And before long, the damage was done and all of my new college friends were on board with this thing I abhorred.
Out of college and starting a new job? Same song, different verse.
But when I started publishing, I took that as an opportunity to be known as something different. Because as much as I hated the sound of all those hard consonants and short vowels, I thought it looked just as bad. A pseudonym, a nomme de plume, a pen name was never about anonymity, for me. It was always about aesthetics and what I personally found attractive.
What I can’t tell you is why I opted to keep the D.
It seemed like the right choice at the time and was for more than fifteen years. But when other people started talking about me and my writing in more professional terms, I wished I had just stuck with Gabrielle.
It seems frivolous, now, to change it. If changing it were a need that would be different. But to simply change it because it makes my skin crawl to hear people say it aloud . . . that sounds like a lot of extra work I don’t need to heap upon myself.
A person can accumulate a lot of backlog in twenty years. There is a lot of work out there in the world with the name D. Gabrielle Jensen on it. I’ll stick with what I have, for now, and see how I feel in another couple of years. Maybe some notoriety and fame will change the way I feel.