Blogging Name Registry is at the bottom of this post.
Some people noticed. Here is the full explanation.
Those who walk the Appalachian Trail* choose what is called a “trail name” and they enter it in a registry book kept in Harper’s Ferry at the ATC, an informal midway point on the trail. What is the point of a trail name? For one, it shows a commitment to the project (walking the trail) and entering it in the book is a marker of sorts. An accomplishment. It is a break between your life back home and your identity on the trail. The name can be a focus, a source of strength when you’re exhausted. Trail names generally come out of nowhere–they just pop into your head and feel right–or they are given to you by a fellow hiker.
I have always wanted a trail name.
I don’t really want to walk the entire Appalachian Trail.
Therein lies the conundrum.
Walking the trail takes enormous stamina and discipline. As does writing a blog–perhaps not the same type of stamina, but certainly, stamina and focus nonetheless. Especially if you are updating regularly and presenting original writing (sorry, spam blog writers, I just can’t count you). The first year means that every holiday, every anniversary, every experience essentially is new. But the second year is the hard year. You go through each season again and need to write about each season again in a way that is fresh and new. You go through the same sorts of things, the same sorts of emotions over and over again and you need to figure out something new to say about them.
The first days may have been the hardest days for the Grateful Dead, but the second year is certainly the hardest year for a blogger.
I am less than one week away from getting through the second year.
Therefore, I am marking the event, nodding towards the stamina and the journey and the hard work by choosing a new secondary blogging name much in the same tradition as a trail name.
(“Um…is she serious? She just went through this grave, self-important explanation of the origins of choosing a blogging name and writing a blog–comparing it to walking the fucking Appalachian Trail!–and she chooses Lollipop Goldstein?”)
Lolly, for short.
The name just came to me as I was driving this week. I called into the backseat, “What do you think of the name Lollipop Goldstein?”
“It’s funny,” the ChickieNob answered.
“Do you like it? Do you think it’s a good name for me?”
“Then what do you think of Popsicle Jones?”
“That is the perfect name for Grandma!” the ChickieNob said brightly.
Lollipop Goldstein is fitting on so many levels. At my core, I am a Jew who loves candy. As we move out, we have connections to things like Secret Ode Day and the lollipop icon. We have my penchant for passing out candy. We have that it’s whimsical and fun and I just might be whimsical and fun. We have…
Well, we can’t dig too deep. It ends there. But Lollipop Goldstein is my new secondary blogging name. I’m not changing the name of my blog (it will still be Stirrup Queens…like Cats, now and forever!), but this new name will ride alongside The Town Criers (the name you use as a “sign off” that others see when you leave a comment on their blog). I chose the Town Criers when I first started this blog (and the email address reflects this) because I saw myself as someone who liked to pass along information and pollinate ideas–take something from here and pass it along to there. A town crier of a sort. At the same time, I cried a lot so I was also, quite literally, the town’s crier. Sobber. Weeper.
Oh, and it’s plural because that liar rat fink bastard Josh told me he would be helping me write this blog. Ad la.
I haven’t exactly thought out how this will work, keeping The Town Criers (because I’m not changing my email address) but still utilizing Lollipop Goldstein. That will all fall into place, I trust, in the future. But right now, I want to open up this idea to you. The ATC has a register book where you can place your Trail Name and see all the other 2000-milers who came before you.
If your blog is two years old or older; or when your blog turns two years old (perhaps, if you just crossed into your second year, this will be an impetus to keep writing for 11 more months), please add your blog to the registry I have started on my sidebar–the Blogging Name Project–and state the new secondary blogging name you have either chosen for yourself OR that you asked others to choose for you in a post you place close to the two year mark (or, if your blog is over two years old, you could run this post now if a name doesn’t instantly strike you). It is fine if you’ve moved urls, changed your blog’s name over time, or have gone password protected: it counts as long as you have been writing what is essentially the same blog in some capacity for two years.
It is simple: (1) choose a new secondary blogging name; one that defines part of who you are or what your blog is about. Do not change your blog’s name, only choose a new secondary blogging name–one that you will use or one that is purely ceremonial to mark that your blog is over two years old and you plan to keep writing (2) leave a comment below stating your new name as well as your blog url. Please also include your blogoversary date–the day you began your blog. (3) I will move this information and link it in my sidebar when I see it.
Unlike hiking the trail, which requires one to be able to leave work for a year, be physically up to snuff, have limitless courage and endurance–in other words, it’s unattainable for most–receiving your secondary blogging name is attainable for anyone who wishes to try. The only trait you must possess is the ability to keep writing.
Lollipop Goldstein, use it or lose it (“lose it? What the hell does she mean by lose it? Mel is really confusing me right now. Is she Mel? Is she The Town Criers? Is she Lolly?”).
The answer to your internal monologue: I’m all three. I’m Mel both on the blog and off. I sign off with the name The Town Criers. And now, to commemorate two years of writing, I am Lollipop Goldstein. At your service.
What do you think of my name choice?
And I am happy to help you come up with a name for you if you’re struggling to think of one. Think of it as simply a fellow hiker bequeathing one to you as you walk together on the trail.
* The Appalachian Trail, for those unfamiliar, is the hiker’s equivalent of Mount Everest. It’s 2000+ mile trail leading up the eastern side of the United States. Though some people will go hiking on small sections of it for a weekend, the hiker’s pilgrimage is walking the trail from Georgia to Maine. This can take almost a year and it is one of the largest accomplishments a hiker can achieve. It is what essentially separates those who hike on the weekends to those who hike as an expression of themselves.
The secondary blogging names of those who have written for over two years:
Genna Rational (b. 9/06/05)
Violet Kay Landers (b. 4/30/06)
River Hope (b. 10/20/05)
The Boxer (b. 12/29/05)
Bubbles Sarcasmic Jones (b. 7/2/06)
Renacer (b. 11/15/05)
Rainbow Traveler (b. 2/28/06)
Blonde Ambition (b. 7/28/05)
The Real Me (b. 6/15/03)
SMiLeD (b. 4/20/06)
Lessa Badry (b. 5/6/06)
Carrie Dababies (b. 10/26/05)
Feliz Flutter (b. 6/13/06)
Salt Phoenix (b. 7/7/06)
Miss Informed (b. 2/6/06)
Anxious Changer (b. 3/24/06)
Dusty’s Trails (b. 8/8/05)
The Steadfast Warrior (b. 9/24/04)
Dragondreamer (b. 10/11/04)
Hecate May (b. 2/24/07)
Lavendar Luz (b. 5/11/07)
Tequila Cinco (b. 12/10/06)
Denim Groove (b. 2/9/07)
HereWeGoAJen (b. 8/21/07)
Idgie (b. 9/15/06)
Penelope Sunshine (b. 5/24/05)