Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hello, My Name Is...

This would be perfect if it was "Sunny" instead.
Back in October of 2012, I decided to go on an adventure. I didn't know where it would lead me and I basically conveyed this in a post in October of 2013 when I had my blogoversary. The adventure was this blog of course, but before I started it, I had one major question to decide: would I be anonymous or use my real name?

Some bloggers would think that's even silly to consider. "My real name, of course! Why wouldn't I?" Well, my sister started blogging before me and when I started blogging, she was anonymous. She went by a pseudonym that was obviously not her real name while I decided to go by Sunny. My sister Shae and I thought it up because it went with the Blue Sky Bookshelf theme and my icon was a bright, yellow giraffe. But also, it was actually very close to my real name. The last name Duvall was just off the top of my head though so don't even try to question that.


I had mixed emotions of being anonymous, but after a while, I realized that I wanted to use my real name. After Shae stopped using her Shelver pseudonym, I knew that it was only a matter of time before I would too because I wanted to be the one to control it. I have may have control issues, but that's neither here nor there. Some people in the blogosphere know my real name (hey, ARCycling!) and some people in real life know I blog with a pseudonym so it's not a total secret. What really made me decide to do this post though, basically removing any sort of barrier, was that I'm hoping 2014 will be a year of blogging opportunities. More publisher contacts, more author events, meeting way more bloggers, possibly going to BEA...all of those are goals that I want to achieve and would be much easier if I just rid myself of a pseudonym. How confusing to know someone by one name and then meet them in person and probably have to explain that they can call you by your real name, am I right?

So is this the time to blare puny trumpets and throw annoying confetti? 

Hello, my name is...
Summer Elise McDaniel

Hey, I didn't just give you a first name, but the whole sh-bang. Like I said, it's not a big change though. I will be changing my Twitter name, not handle, so this was a warning to not wonder who the strange person on your Twitter feed is. You might have already even seen it on Twitter or other social media sites. The next question is whether not I do away with the giraffe icon and use my own picture. Thoughts?

Now, this doesn't mean you can't call me Sunny. I know from personal experience that after calling someone something for so long, it's hard to reverse that (just ask my brother Sam who went to Sammy or my friend Gabby who went to Gabrielle...and those name changes were even more related). I thought about using S as a middle-ground, but apparently, Shae already laid claim. But you can choose a plethora of nicknames (which does include S, I just won't use that as a signature). You can call me Sunny, Summer, S, E, Elise, SEM...anything, really. The "nickname" Summer Dummer or McDonald is not acceptable though. Bad memories there, folks.


There you have it. Finally, I can go, "Hey, that's MY NAME!" when I see Summer being used in a synopsis and make corny jokes on Twitter about people being obsessed with me when summertime rolls around. 

How do you feel about pseudonyms? Should I change my icon from the giraffe to me? If we haven't met yet, introduce yourself in the comments!

Hello, my name is Summer and I 'm not used to straight hair so yeahhh.

57 comments:

  1. DUDE!!!! You have the same first name as Summer Roberts and it's gorgeous so I really don't get why you didn't want to use it :) I do get though that you would love to make blogging even more personal and it's great that you decided to give it a go, especially when you have such big goals and hopes for this year. Haha, I don't know how to tell any jokes. They just come naturally in a situation, I can't really force it, but umm... ok, I'm not even going to try one with my birthday and August and Summer haha. Nice to FINALLY meet you, Summer :D :)

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    1. Thanks, Siiri! I love my name so I regretted using a pseudonym a month after I created a blog. I don't know why I've waited this long, but it finally felt time, you know? Haha, oh, so many people ask about my "relatives" the other seasons, if I'm born in the Summer, etc. You too :)

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  2. You and Shae are sisters?! I've been visiting both of your blogs all this time and never would have guessed! It'll probably take me a while to get used to calling you Summer, but I love your real name - it's so pretty! I completely understand the decision to use a pseudonym, though. Sam is only part of my first name and I've never shared my surname publicly... more out of the reason that I don't want everyone I know IRL finding me. Icon changes ALWAYS confuse me, mostly because that's mainly how I recognise people on my feeds etc., but I'm sure I can get used to it if you choose to. :) Your picture is adorable!

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    1. Whoa, you never knew?! Yep, she's SIX years older than I am. Thank you! Ah, that's definitely a BIG reason why I had a pseudonym. I did NOT want people IRL to find me, but now it's all whatever. *shrugs* I think I'll panic if someone IRL did comment though....thanks *blushes*

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  3. Hi, Sunny, er, I mean SUMMER!!! :D I totally understand your need for anonymity...and if it makes you feel better, I debated using a pseudonym when I first started blogging, too. I have a plethora of nicknames as well because no one apparently wants to say my full name. Mostly, everyone IRL just calls me J. But I prefer Jen, so that's what I go by online. Anyway, it's nice to meet the "real" you and gosh, aren't you just the most adorable thing EVAR? I like the giraffe, but that picture is gorgeous, girl...I'd be posting it everywhere. :D

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    1. J. I never considered that! Well, I like Jen. Very friendly :) Haha! Oh, Jen, my night just ended on the highest note possible because of you.

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  4. Summer is such a beautiful name. I'm glad you finally decided to reveal it. It would be up to you if you want to change the icon. I would good with it. It might take me a little bit to recognize this is your blog, but you have to make the change at some point.

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    1. I'm glad too :) Yeah, that's what I thought. It's such a part of the blog and makes it recognizable instead of a face, but I'll probably do it someday, so why not now? Eh.

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  5. Thought 1: Aah, your name is Summer! I had actually thought a bit about what your name could be, and I was guessing Samantha (because the nickname Sammy sounds like Sunny). It's such a great name - I've never met anyone else called Summer, and it sounds so pretty with your middle and last names.

    Though 2: It's going to be really weird calling you Summer now, but I will eventually train my brain to do it. Changing your icon would add to the shock, but not much, so you might as well do it now if you want to. The giraffe is adorable, but I agree with Jen that the picture at the end of this post is gorgeous (and you look great with straight hair, by the way).

    Thought 3: I totally understand the appeal of a pseudonym, but I'm glad you finally revealed your real name since you've been wanting to. It should be better in the long run if you plan to meet people and build relationships with publishers. Good luck with all the goals that prompted this change!

    I'll talk to you later, SUMMER. Someday saying that won't feel strange. :)

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    1. I was going to email you first (feel special!) but thought it'd be fun to have you realize it on your own when you see the post. Samantha would be too weird because my brother is named Samuel. Although I used to want to be named Samantha. Thanks, I quite like it :)

      AH I AM SO CONFLICTED. Aw, thanks *blushes*

      Yes!

      I hope soon, but I totally understand if it'll be a while. BYE.

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    2. I do feel special now! This was fun too, though. Yeah, Samantha and Samuel would be too close, although I do like the whole S thing your family has going on: Samuel, Shae, Summer, your other sister whose name starts with S. :)

      It shouldn't take too long, hopefully!

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  6. Awwww! I love your name! And really, Sunny fits so well with it too! You look like a sunny summer day too. :)

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    1. Does it help that I really was born in the summer as well? ;)

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  7. Haha, how original - not a cover reveal but...a name reveal! ;)
    Well, pleased to get re-acquainted with you...Summer :). Oh, but that's not shocking...it's actually a lot close to your ex-nickname. And it sounds great.
    I have always used my real name on the net, only not my (whole) surname. It's a compromise between privacy and feeling comfortable with myself...
    I love your giraffe. But even if you don't want to keep it, maybe you don't need to use your face...you can always use something in tune with your blog design. Anyway, good luck with meeting with publishers, authors and fellow bloggers!

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    1. Haha! I wish I could take credit for the originality, but it actually never crossed my mind that it could play off of a cover real. Man! I thought it sounded similar as well, so it helped. Thanks!
      Thanks for the input!

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  8. Summer is a great name :D It sounds so happy and sweet (And you look like you are those two things on that picture!) I don't use a Pseudonym, but I did went with the short version of my real name [Melanie] because a lot of people pronounce it wrong and friends all call me Mel anyway. I can understand that it feels better to hide behind a fake name, but it's so much more personal when people use your real name. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, I really like it! Well, I definitely won't argue with that. They pronounce Melanie wrong? Huh. I like the nickname Mel! Thank YOU for commenting.

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  9. I love the name Summer (lucky!) so I'm gonna go with that. I totally understand the hesitancy in putting your identity out there, it can be a little frightening! Especially when we review or put up our posts our opinion is out there to be critiqued. I have to be careful about what I put up because I have some judgmental family members that would frown at some of the books I read. So I try and keep it on the down low even though I use my real first name and I don't post any closeup pictures. Well, I try not to. I have, and as you can see my blogger commenting picture is me pretty closeup. But unless I comment on your blog you wouldn't see it. :)

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    1. You make me feel even greater because you love my name so much, I never really thought about it before until this whole pseudonym thing. Ah, I really get that. Judgmental family members are nervewracking.

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  10. Hi SUMMER! I'll have to get used to calling you that! :) Your real name is really pretty, I like it! How do I feel about pseudonyms? I totally get why people use them, I don't use my real name online. (Partly because my parents don't allow me to) But I also think it's great when people use their real names! Your giraffe picture is fun, but if you decide to use your real (Which looks amazing!) picture that's great too! Congrats on announcing your real name, Summer! :)

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    1. You don't?! Jessica is a pseudonym?! Thanks, Jessica, and thanks for the input!

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    2. Yes, my parents said I was only allowed to start blogging if I used a pseudonym. :) And you're welcome, Summer! :)

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  11. Glad I read this post! I would have been really confused if you commented on my blog with a different name. Ha!

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  12. Summer is such a pretty name!! (I think it fits you, too.) Kat is a shorter version of my name, but I agree that you might want to go by your real name. I'm really glad you shared~ :)

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    1. Thanks, Kat! I love the nickname Kat, it feels...exotic?

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    2. Thank you! I think it sounds kind of exotic, too:)

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    3. Thanks! I think so, too :) PS You look really pretty with straight hair~

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    4. Thank you! So sweet. I usually have curly hair because straight hair doesn't stay straight for long for me (especially in the Florida humidity), but it was a nice change!

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    5. Sorry for the repeating comments... my computer is glitching up on me.

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  13. Your name is just as beautiful as you are! :) Excited for you for this change - it's a big one. I've always been half anonymous, half public, only revealing certain details.

    I wonder if I had started with a pseudonym, what it would have been...?

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    1. Aw, *blushes* thanks, Emma. Yep, I get that.

      Hm, I don't know. People come up with ones for different things. Like mine was Sunny because of the whole Blue Sky Bookshelf and I couldn't use Blue because of Beyonce (Blue Ivy) and it was related to Summer and I liked it, so whatever. Others do random ones and then Shae did Shelver because she was an anonymous bookshelver. So that is interesting to think about.

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  14. This is such a great post! I have always used my real name, but kept my last name off my blog. I suppose it's my way of staying a bit anonymous =P

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    1. That is something :) Last names are overrated, anyways, haha!

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    2. You...you commented!

      But think of all the actresses who have to decide if they should change their last name after their marriage (or 5th one). Or how many times spelling last names became too difficult. Or that horrible experience in 4th grade where I was called McDonald. Also, I'm tired, so....it was a reply that popped into my head.

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  15. You're name's awesome! It made me think of Summer from School of Rock, lol. When I initially started blogging, my mom really wanted me to have a pseudonym, so I understand why you had one.

    That's so cool your sister also blogs about books! :) I only know one other person in real life that reads as much as I do.

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    1. Haha, that's opposite for me! My mom leaned more towards me having my real name.

      She's the only one in real life for me. Well, and my mom, but she doesn't have the same interests.

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  16. Love your real name!!! Summer was on the short list of girl names I made when I got pregnant (I had a boy). But yeah I love that name. Your picture is so cute too!! I love your "reveal" post, it made me smile :)

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  17. Further proof that Summer and I look nothing alike.

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  18. Summer is a very pretty name, girly! It'll be easy to adjust to calling you that, just because it's so similar, LOL. Thanks for trusting us with your secret identity! ;)

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  19. Our last names and your middle name are very close to my first name xD I am so torn on this issue because on one hand I SO understand your reasoning to use a real name, in fact you just about convinced me! But when I started blogging I was freaking out because if someone from real life found out I did this I was really afraid of being judged. (High school wasn't the best sort of time) It's great to see this kind of post :)

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    1. It is! Wait...Alise is your real name right? Because it is very close to Elise, but the second half of your comment has me wondering. It's a tough decision to make, I think!

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    2. No, it's actually not, aha. It's Alyssa :)

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  20. Summer is a great name! Although I feel a little silly that i thought your name was actually Sunny. (I knew a girl named Sunny.) Anyway, I love your post. I don't use my last name for my blogging stuff, although it's not hard to come by. I don't know why. I use it when I try to look "official" contacting authors/publishers/etc. but it's not on my blog or twitter. And then I worry that people won't connect my blog to the email or whatever I sent. So I totally see how it can get confusing.

    But I love your giraffe! It's distinct and fun. :)

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    1. Oh, don't be! I've mentioned that it's a pseudonym before, but many people either don't see or realize or they forget. I see many people leaving off their last names!

      Thanks for the input :)

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  21. Hi Summer! This is the first time I'm dropping by your blog to formally meet you! I think in this case, I have impeccable timing. :) This post is a great introduction; I know a little bit about the beginnings of your blog and a little more about the woman behind it! Like others have said before me, I understand your reasoning behind the use of a pseudonym. Sometimes I wish I could've used one myself. I don't like knowing that I can be found on the internet (thanks Google+), but when I really think about it, I don't think anyone's looking. lol Because I'm new to the book blogging community, I didn't realize how influential the use of a legal name truly is. Thanks for the input! So, now that you're out in the open with the rest of us, I'm excited for you! I hope you find this new chapter refreshing and rewarding!

    P.s. You have lovely hair!

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

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    1. Hi Marlene! It's great to formally meet you :) Ah, it's exciting that you're new to the community. It's great to have another blogger join. Yep, I'm officially exposed...but I'm liking it. Thanks, Marlene!

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  22. I totally get wanting to use a pseudonym, and I don't think I knew that Sunny wasn't your real name. It fits you so well, but so does Summer! It's nice to "meet" you officially!

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  23. I just assumed Sunny was a nickname all this time. I'm not sure why. I like Summer though! I always used pseudonyms while online for like forums and stuff, just because I'm a pretty private person. But decided to use my real name when I started the blog. I won't post my last name or anything, but I don't hide it "behind the scenes." Now let the stalking begin. KIDDING!

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  24. Oh your name is really nice! I like Sunny too! Well I used my real name from the very start since I didn't want to add confusion :P Summer is a really great name! Nice to meet you :)

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