I spent four days last week sorting through my childhood. Well, at least part of it. Realistically, it will take a week to sort through all the things I’ve stored for years in my loving mother’s attic.
I found a lot of things that should have been gotten rid of years ago, and a few things that I thought I had lost forever.
I discovered that my obsession with wanting a cat is a desire that runs deep into my developmental years. One of my favorite board books was about a cat, and when I finally had a cat of my own I went picture crazy. I have no less than three photobooks of cats. Just cats. With one human foot and one picture of me with my cat. Cats in snow. Cats up trees. I love cats.
I also found a very interesting couple of notebooks. The beginnings of a book about a boy named Jacob that would become The Tethering. My husband insisted on reading the beginning of the original prologue, which, although not cringe worthy, had little to do with the story of The Tethering and more to do with my opinions on the educational system as a whole.
But the most interesting part of the notebooks, aside from where I decisively decided that the Gray Clan was spelled GrAy not GrEy, was the name of the leading lady, which was not originally Emilia.
Any guesses as to what Emilia’s name originally was?
Abigail. Abigail Gray. Why Abigail you ask? Because I wasn’t quite sure what to name her. I wanted the name to be classic and strong. Able to be shortened in more than one way, (Jacob calls her Emi, Dexter calls her Em), and it needed to flow in a beautiful way like the girl to whom it belonged.
Abigail has long been my place-holding name for leading ladies and Thomas for the boys. The habit started with the first full story I ever wrote, which has yet to see the light of day and probably never will.
But Abigail was the name for a different girl in a different story. The girl that Jacob Evans loves needed to be something else. She needed to be Emilia. Emilia Gray.