Precious Book and Angel Band

the author as a little girl with her sister, mother, and grandmother

When my kid sister (Jenna) and I were very young children, Grandma Lena Henry (1884–1966) had pet names for us. I was Precious Book. Jenna was Angel Band. Whenever our family pulled up to our grandparents’ home for a visit, Grandma would be waiting on the porch. Then she’d shout across the yard (and into the next county!), “Here they…

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A New Name—and It’s Free!

kaimyo on wooden stakes in Japanese graveyard

When we lived in Japan, we learned that one aspect of a Buddhist funeral is that the priest creates a name (kaimyo) that is assigned to the dead person for use in the afterlife. There is also superstition that if the deceased isn’t given a proper send-off, he becomes a wandering spirit, who might possibly come back to commit mischief.…

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Basketball Angel Warriors

basketball player silhouette

Friends know that I get a kick out of the unusual names of college basketball players. During the 2016–17 season, some cool first names stood out. And I suddenly thought of them in terms of angel warrior names. So if I were writing a novel about a lineup of powerful angels with a commanding presence, I might name them: Xavian,…

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