Wow. You've all really gotten on the bandwagon with this little homework assignment. Props, my peeps. (Except you, Herebe. You didn't offer up any sacrifices to the goddes of my discriminating nature, but you flattered me so i'll let you slide. This time.)
We've had some good suggestions, including
Elizabeth (too common. not common as in 'low class,' but common as in 'there are too damn many of them at all strata of society')
Ruth (sounds terrible with my last name, which i cannot for privacy reasons reveal on this site under any circumstances)
Cleo (= goldfish. i'd just as soon call myself Bubbles or Flipper. Sorry, HC; i know you tried.)
Shawn (I already know a Shawn)
Tiffany (sideways move)
Alice (See Elizabeth)
Katherine (see Alice)
and Stevie (tried and failed)
Here are the criteria under which i've been operating. any name i'm considering must instantly pass all of them for me to even give it the 48-hour contemplation. they are:
1. Must not end in the sound "ee." This eliminates all names ending in ie, i, y, ey, iey, ee, or any other fucked up means of spelling long e. Names ending in e all sound cutesey/stupid/girly to me. I just don't like them. They're too much like what i've got.
2. It must be unusual. Even wierd is ok. I'm unusal. Hell, I'm wierd. And i feel rather strongly that any name which suitably reflects my personality must also be (at least somewhat) unusual.
3. It can't be a name that anyone of my acquaintance already has. Partly because i don't want people to think i'm either copying them or mimicking them, but also because i need a name that is free of previous associations in my own mind. It has to be mine, something for me to own uniquely. This has the drawback of eliminating a lot of otherwise likely possibilities, but it does help with number 2.
4. It should sound ok with my last name. I may not have my last name forever (fingers crossed), but i will have it for a while longer, so i might as well work with it. And i might be stuck with it forever. There is that possibility. *sighs*
Interestingly, Ruth was on the list for a spell, but got eliminated because of no. 4, as did Judith, another candidate. (Great namesake with that one.) Of all the suggestions so far, Cleo is, ironically, the only one that passes muster. It's just a shame that's a goldfish name. (sorry HC, i just can't get past that.)
So, with all that in mind, feel free to fire off a few more rounds if you are so inclined. I'd be curious to hear what you come up with. Be a little nuts; that's ok. Names in other languages are fair game (including dead languages or even fictional ones - maybe Herebe can get with the Silmarillion and formulate me some groovy elven potentials*), as are cool words from literature or science or whatever. (Plant names? Names of sea creatures? Why not!) (FN, I know i can count on you to go wild with this!)
You do that, and in a couple more days i'll bung you the only 2 i've been able to think of that i'm still considering. One of them is reasonably normal; the other is totaly out there. I'm eager to learn your thoughts on this.
And thank you all for your Herculean efforts on this. I should point out that even if I immediately remove your suggestions from consideration, it's still very helpful to me. Every suggestion that comes my way makes me re-evaluate my criteria and opens my mind to new possibilites. Every name I eliminate brings me one step closer to finding the one that is right for me.
And wierdly, though I've never believed in The One in terms of romance and relationships (you've heard me rant about that before), I do feel, somehow, that there is just one word out there which is just exactly right for me, and no other. It's just a matter of finding it. It's out there. I can smell it.
*I once had a Siamese fighting fish named Nenraug, which was a compound word i made up in elvish meaning "water demon." I thought that was pretty cool. But then he died.