I think about names a lot. In the course of a day, I can churn through literally hundreds of names, and not all the crapass try-hard wannabe writers in the world can come up with some of these names. People walk around with these names, every day of their lives. They go to the shops and put orders in for books and have to spell their names out every single time, and every single time people still get them wrong.
There are a lot of children out there with 'pretty' names. As though giving your child a name that even a Disney Princess would hesitate over will make them special. As though changing the spelling of a perfectly good name will make them special. Parents, your kids are special, regardless of what you call them. There's only one of them. So do them a favour, and don't spell Chloe like that (I can't even spell it out here, it's too distinctive and I'll get in trouble, but oh my god why). Don't name your batch of children after Top 40 singers. Don't name them something unique and ornate that they can't drag through the mud. Name them something you can yell from the backdoor and not sound daft. Name them something they can introduce themselves by at the G8 summit and not smile apologetically for.
(I can't really talk. My character names suck.)
I think I got lucky with Tessa. It's easy to dress up and easy to dress down. It isn't much of a mouthful, yet still has plenty of play potential. It's plain, but there aren't many Tessas around, so it has rarity going for it. There are more these days, but I haven't met them. I don't know what any other Tessas, so I don't know what they're like, but I've made this name mine. I wouldn't know how to be anything else.
Can you imagine yourself with another name? Would anything else fit now? Do you make the name yours, or do you grow into the name?
(Mum regrets naming me Tessa, actually. She didn't realise it had catholic connotations. When I asked her what else I might have been, she popped out a couple of gaelic, welsh and scottish names that were very, very 'pretty'. I'll stick to Tessa.)
Still, I think there's room to improve. I would like to be this Tessa, or this Tessa, and even this Tessa. Flickr and Google Image Search indicate that I'm bringing down the good name of Tessa. I'm letting the team down with my general lack of presentation, and the fact that I'm not a dog.
Image search your name. I'm curious to know if you think what you see fits.