Many years ago when a lover of mine convinced me to sign up for an instant messenger account, I searched around for something that wasn’t taken without much success. Since nothing really significant to me was available, I picked a name almost at random out of the books of Charles de Lint, one of my favorite authors at the time. The name I picked was ‘Jeck Crow’, an inhabitant of a dream world who is another character’s boyfriend when she sleeps.
While I still respect de Lint’s talents, I read a good deal less of his work these days and, recently, the name ‘Jeck Crow’ has seemed increasingly alien to me. It feels especially so whenever some new virtual acquaintance asks me where the name comes from and I have to tell this story again.
After experimenting with the handle on Civ4 Online, I’ve decided to adopt the persona of one of the main characters of the Honeycutt Tales. You can now reach me on AIM and Yahoo! Instant Messengers as CasparLocke. Caspar is the handsome, ethically challenged commanding officer of Caprice, the starship where most of the action in the novel takes place.
It’s not that my own personality is so much like his, but more a way of acknowledging how much of a voice these characters have in my head, of honoring how much of my psychic space they take up. Knee-deep in this novel, I spend much more time inside Caspar’s brain than I ever did inside of Jeck’s.
Since I use Pidgin anyway, I will be leaving my old identities logged in and still accepting IMs to either name but I encourage my friends to message me as CasparLocke (on Yahoo & AIM) instead.