A few days ago, I got an email from a reader, telling me she and her family had informally named their dog Lopo Lupeko, and she thought I’d like to know. I sat there scratching my head for a little while, thinking, why did she tell me that? Did she confuse me with another writer?
Finally a tiny bell starting ringing way in the back of what passes for my mind. Something…but what…? I opened up the directory on my computer where all my book files are kept and did a search for “Lopo.” Sure enough, what popped up was my novel Down the Stream of Stars. As soon as I opened the file and found the spot, it all came back in a rush. Of course! Lopo is a dog-like creature who lives in the circ-zoo on the starship my heroine Claudi is traveling on! Lopo helped save everyone from the Throgs! How could I forget?
In my defense, I did write the novel over 15 years ago. But still, you’d think a writer would remember his own characters, wouldn’t you?
Maybe not. The next night I took a short story I’d just drafted to my writing group for vetting, and Richard says to me, regarding the main human character, “Didn’t you have a villain named Jarvis in one of your novels?” I sit scratching my head, willing to believe anything at this point. Then I remember: Jarvorus, the false-iffling in Dragon Rigger. Close enough!
I wonder if it’s time for me to reread all my own stuff, so I won’t keep redoing it.
“Write a wise saying and your name will live forever.” —Anonymous