When we offer an author a guest post, most submit something about how or why they wrote their book. Or what they’d like readers to take away from their work. When we reached out to Bag of Lies author Ricky Dean Wyrick, however, he responded with something different. Something… unique. Something we didn’t expect.
This may be the most thoughtful, eloquent guest post we’ve ever received. Read on for more:
What’s in a name? Given at an early age, it’s more than who we are. It’s who we will become. Our names outlive us in the memories of those that love and care for us. We name our children, our pets, the songs we sing, and the books we read. Even fictional characters are given names.
Over the years I’ve used various versions of my given name, Richard, Rik, or Ricky. Each one uniquely identifies me, yet conveys a very different feeling. One casual, one formal, one somewhere in between, choosing my professional pen name was not something I took lightly. I wanted something people would remember, something that rolled off the tongue.
Parents often struggle choosing the perfect name for their children. They select names from friends or family who hold a special place in their heart and pass that name onto their kids. Authors can identify with this challenge as they are faced with naming each of their characters in a work of fiction.
As I wrote my first novel, Bag of Lies, I randomly pulled names wherever I could find them. The hero, the villain, the soldier, the spy… They each got a name that suited them. But one of my characters, a minor role at best, was renamed just before the book was published.
Major Tickner’s small stout bulldog originally had a different name. There wasn’t anything wrong with it. I just decided last minute that I wanted a certain name in the book, a name that held a very special place in my heart.
I remember sitting in an empty parking lot, almost ten years ago, holding the miniature piebald dachshund in my lap. She was wiggly and cute like most puppies anxious to explore the world around her. We had originally picked her out for one of my wife’s coworkers, so they named her and took her home. They picked out the silliest name, or at least I thought so at the time. Why would you name a dog after a type of cheese?
I would never have dreamed that the puppy would be returned to us a year later, but she was. I thought for sure we would find her another home, so I tried to not get too attached. But it didn’t take her long to wiggle her way into our family. She unexpectedly found her place in my heart.
The year 2020 was a difficult year for us all. The world changed, and many of us experienced loss in one way or another. The world kept spinning but it left emptiness in our lives. For some the repercussions were minor, for others they were great.
It’s been a year now, since we lost our little Colby. We still don’t know exactly what happened. She just suddenly got sick and the vet couldn’t tell us why. We said our goodbyes May 4, 2020. She wasn’t the small stout bulldog described in my book, but she was a sweet dog and very precious to me. I miss her.
It’s so easy to get caught up in daily routines and long term goals. If we aren’t careful ambition can rob us of something we don’t even treasure until it’s gone.
Now, I’m not saying that your career goals and ambitions aren’t important; that your to-do list doesn’t need to get done. But the relationships of the ones around you should take precedence. The ones around us that make our world a better place may not always be there, so take every opportunity to wrap your arms around them. Let them know how much you love and appreciate them. Take the time out of your busy world to stop and enjoy the time you have with that friend or loved one. I promise you, there is no better way for you to spend your time than investing in the relationships around you.
My name is Ricky Dean Wyrick, and thank you for lending me your ear. For all who’ve lost loved ones and had their world shaken, I pray that God comforts and gives each of you peace. And should you find time to open my novel and enjoy an adventure, I hope that Tickner’s stout bulldog, Colby, brings warmth and a smile as you remember the good times and treasure the memories shared by those you love.
To learn more about my latest novel and read my free novelette visit rickydeanwyrick.com