Recently, I received this reply to a comment I made on Truth of Cake from Rian, the author:
“Begin with confidence instead of an apology. If you apologize, then people are going to look for what you did wrong.” This is great advice and spot-on. Thanks, L!
At first I thought L was some shorthand or internet slang that I haven’t learned yet. Then, I realized she was addressing me, which is a very nice, personable thing to do. By the way, if you haven’t gone to her blog, you should. Everything she does is nice and personable.
Then, I received the following reply from a comment on marysomnibus: Thanks for visiting L (Laurie, Laura, Leanne?)
I didn’t realize that just using my first initial had such mystery and mystique. In my mind, my writer name is L. Palmer – both words as one. L. isn’t a name I’d think to answer to. Having worked at summer camp for ten years, I answer to the nickname of George. I also answer to my real first name, which we’re getting to. I’ve only actively used L. Palmer as a moniker for about three weeks.
The main purpose of this blog is to begin building an online presence, and get to know people through social media. If everything goes well, when I actually am professionally published more people than just my mom will read my book. When I publish, I want to use L. Palmer as my name. There are two reasons why:
1. In high school, my drama teacher made this comment in passing: “L. Palmer. That sounds like a writer’s name.”
2. Although I like my full name, apparently David Lynch likes it too. That’s why he created the early 90’s television show Twin Peaks, which is about finding the person who murdered Laura Palmer.
And that’s my name.
It’s a great name, and my parents chose well, before the show was created. So, no, I was not named after the character.
But, apparently I was murdered when I was sixteen and prom queen, and then as they explored my death, deep, eerie, and dark secrets arose, tarnishing my reputation. I will not go into the details of Twin Peaks, because the show, while having a cult following, is not Good, Wholesome, and Fun.
Inevitably, when I use my full name, someone mentions Twin Peaks. Here are some notable occurences:
– While picking up my letterman patch for good academics at the high school office, a random man passing by said, “You’re Laura Palmer? Have you heard of Twin Peaks? I love that show!” To him, I replied, “Yes. I am dead and a zombie, and passing myself off as a student at this high school.”
Although, that sounds more like a Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode.
– While purchasing a gift at Hot Topics, I used my credit card and the tattooed, nose-ringed, pink and black-haired cashier said, “Have you heard of Twin Peaks?” Why yes. Yes, I have.
I should note that many tattooed, nose-ringed, pink and black-haired people are awesome, they also tend to like twisted and dark shows like Twin Peaks, and enjoy Hot Topic.
– While attending college, every day of a Intro to Shakespeare class as the professor called roll: “Laura Palmer. Have you heard of Twin Peaks?” The other students caught on, and we all thought it very funny. A very good professor, by the way. I took one or two other classes with him because I enjoyed the class. He didn’t do this in the other classes.
– While visiting family in the state of Washington, a few miles from the actual city of Twin Peaks, one of my cousins said she enjoys telling people from the area that she knows Laura Palmer. I was eight and didn’t entirely understand.
– While attending the Experimental Cinema class for my film major, the teacher complemented the Avaunt Gard connection to my name.
– In high school, a good friend of mine in the Drama program randomly found in a box in her garage The Diary of Laura Palmer. She gave it to me, and I later used it as an art project for my art class. In flipping through the book, I discovered Twin Peaks is too dark for my taste. That is probably my favorite occurrence.
There have been numerous similar moments in my life. As time passes on, I hear the connection less and less. I suppose it’s waning as other cult shows fill its place in popular culture. However, I do use it to help people remember my name. All I have to say is: “Have you heard about Twin Peaks? It’s about finding the person who murdered Laura Palmer. I’m Laura Palmer.”
While writing this, however, it occurred to me there is a character named L. from a manga/anime series called Death Note. L. is a wunderkind who investigates a series of random deaths and discovers they are murders. While this show is good, it is not wholesome fun.
Odd that my name is attached to two surreal, macabre pieces of fiction. Should I be concerned? I do not live a macabre sort of life.
Still, I’ll stick with L. Palmer. It sounds respectable, professional, and when it is looked up in an internet search, people don’t have to wade through a myriad of links to Twin Peaks related content.
I’m sure though, there are many others who have famous associations with their name.
I want to close by thanking Rian and Mary again for their nice and personable replies. It’s people like you that make the blogosphere a friendly, hospitable place.
UPDATE: In an e-mail, Mary, from above, also mentioned Laura, the film and book about the murder of a person named… Laura. Why so much murder surrounding my name?
Although, she also pointed out Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of Little House On The Prairie. That’s a much more positive reference.