If you could choose your own name, would you pick something simple or something with lots of syllables? Would you choose a name based on its meaning, or would you choose a name that sounded important? Would your chosen name match that of a celebrity or character, or would it hint at your dreams for the future? Would your new name blend in with everyone else's, or would it make you stand out in a crowd?
As Ellen Zolotow prepared to get married at age 16 (back in the days of hippies and flower children), her fiancé gave them both new first names. He chose Crescent for her and Crispin for himself. Both of them wanted a new last name as well. As she tells it, "One day, after trying and discarding several possibilities, I said, 'Maybe we're taking ourselves too seriously; maybe we should pick something completely frivolous.' He said, 'Like what?' I said, 'Oh, um, uh, like Dragonwagon.' If I had had any idea how many countless thousands of times I would have to explain this ridiculous name, I would have chosen something a lot less flashy."
Crescent Dragonwagon put her odd name to good use. She became an author! Not content to stick with one genre, she writes in six: children's books, adult novels, adult short fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and cookbooks.