In some countries, my first name is as common as Jennifer, but in the good ol' US of A you learn to improvise or become the best speller in your class: "Yes, it's spelled A-n-n-e-l-i-e-s. No 'E' at the end. No 'A' in the middle. One more time? Okay. It's A-n-n..."
  1. Coco (aka my karaoke name) K-jays can say it easily. Two syllables. Two letters. No confusion. No auto tuning.
  2. Emily (aka my Starbucks name) I think the 2-minute transaction of getting my latte or chai doesn't require butchery of consonants and vowels. Emily: straightforward, rolls right off the tongue.
  3. Leona (aka my fake library card middle name) Once in high school I lamented not having a middle name. I'm pretty sure Leona Helmsley was in the news often because the name inspired some sort of leonine impulse to co-opt a middle name just for the pleasure of the library card.
  4. Liese (aka college friend nickname) Only two people ever got away with calling me Liese and they are both from Baton Rouge. This proves the point that this name gets no response outside of that jurisdiction.
  5. AZ (aka my street name) While this easily became a nickname in high school, it really took root with homeless friends. Everybody had a street name: Thor, Beavis, Big Sean. AZ was a no-brainer moniker.
  6. Julianna Stone (aka my first nom de plume possibility) Sadly, when I hear it now, I envision a writer of romance. Unless the cracked egg is romancing the butter and sugar, it's no longer a fit.
  7. Anneliesje (aka the name buried 6 feet under) Only one person called me this. I would give almost anything to hear him say it again.
  8. Amelie (aka what our old landlord used to call me. Cue Scottish brogue) On game days when the Celtic football club scored, we could hear his 78 year old scream of delight rocket up to us through the floorboards.
  9. Alicia (aka another name our old landlord used to call me)
  10. Butcher (aka high school friend nickname) She protested I used too much paper, thus I became the butcher [of paper].
  11. Bulldog (aka my RA nickname in college) To the freshman walking down the dorm room hall brandishing an open beer in one hand- to the scuffle of drawers opening and closing while bottles clinked as I stood at the room door knocking and waiting... Let's say I had a bit of a reputation.
  12. Pinki (aka high school nickname) "The Sanrio force is strong with this one." I can hear Yoda making sense of my early affinity for all things Hello Kitty. Winki Pinki was one of her pals.