The time has come for me to make an honest woman out of myself. That’s right. No more hiding behind a veil.
I joined Twitter March 18, 2009. I did so as a lark. Something to pass the time away when I was bored. I enjoyed the news feeds and some of the celebrity sites. It seemed nothing more than a place to tweet out what you were doing at that particular moment to your friends. For a year and a half I followed around 125 tweeps and organizations and had followers numbering about 88. I thought that was a lot. I would be elated when I gained a follower, and confused as to why when I lost even one.
Then one day it didn’t matter anymore. The lettered fog of nonsensical tweets lifted. I found out there was more to news feeds and what my friends were having for lunch that day, when I stumbled across an author’s twitter account. That made me take notice of what Twitter had to offer. I became more interactive. I found, followed, and continued to follow even more, authors. In the meantime, the writing spark, the passion, reignited within me. I discovered blogs full of writing advice and absorbed it all like a sponge, so thirsty was I to revisit the well of my imagination. I pulled out my spiral notebooks from college that were full of short stories I had written and outlines for novels. Publishing became a goal rather than a dream.
I got serious about Twitter so I replaced my original Twitter name of “VrginiaGal” with the more sassier, “VaChicklet”.
I tweeted to the authors I followed and some started tweeting me. ME! A writer wannabe. I didn’t even consider myself a writer at that point. Then in June, 2011, one of them invited me to join Triberr. In case you don’t know, Triberr is a site to share your blog. Hmmm, a blog. I didn’t have one at the time and the concept of how to fashion one was way over my head but I accepted the invitation anyway. I read and watched what other tribemates did, sought the advice of friends I’d made on Twitter and on September 8, 2011, I wrote my first blog post. Three weeks after that I formed my own tribe within Triberr and never looked back.
Fast forward to now. I am no longer a writer wannabe, I am a writer. In the not too distant future I will publish my first novel. Of course, I’m not going to publish under the name of VaChicklet and I don’t want to publish under the name of Trish Gentry since Trish is actually a nickname. My full name is Gail Patricia Gentry but I have always gone by my middle name of Patricia. Last year when I was contemplating what pen name I wanted to publish under, I googled Patricia Gentry and Trish Gentry. I never realized how many people with the same name as me there are out there. Then it occurred to me to google Gail Gentry and, nope, not too many of those. What really made my mind up, if I’m being painfully honest? Please don’t laugh, but in the midst of all the contemplating, I went to see a specialist doctor for the first time and, after introducing herself to me, she looked at my name on her chart, “Gail Gentry?” She smiled. “That sounds like a movie star’s name.”
Truly, I have no idea where that came from. I do, however, listen to things like that. If that name grabbed her attention, maybe it would others. My mind was made up right then and there to publish under the name of Gail Gentry.
I’ve already had a few people that read my blog and seen a piece penned by Gail Gentry, ask me if I am related to her. So I changed the name on my blog header from Trish Gentry to Gail (Trish) Gentry. Now the time has come to make an honest woman of me on Twitter as well.
It’s going to be an adjustment because I’ve never gone by the name of Gail in my daily life and I really don’t want to be called that now but it’s more important that there not be any confusion that Gail and Trish are one and the same person when I publish. I will always be Trish to my friends. I’m not sure why my family chose to call me by my middle name rather than my first. All throughout my life my family and friends have called me either Patricia, Trish, Trisha, or even Patrice, but never Gail.
Before I make the change, I WOULD LOVE YOUR ADVICE! What Twitter name do you think would be best to use: Gail_Gentry; GailGentry; Gail_Trish_Gentry; or some other variation? One of the concerns I have is, will all my followers recognize me after I change my Twitter name. I’m not going to change my profile pic – not yet – to keep some continuity, hopefully, of the account. I plan on doing a massive shout-out when I switch to hopefully ease any confusion that it’s still me, Trish.