Any regular reader of my blog is probably wondering if the it has been undergoing some kind of identity crisis over the past two months. When started, the blog was written under the author name Traveler from 2009 to January 2017, then under the name Sheldon Charles from then until now. Now it is under my name, but perhaps an explanation is in order.
When I started writing this missive, I was also starting to relearn how to ride a motorcycle. As a result of that event and my 50th birthday, I decided it was time to start writing down things I was thinking and events that were happening to me – so I started the blog and used the single name Traveler, my riding nickname.
For several years, I wrote about my love of riding and the various adventures I was having. Then my job took me to Kuwait. So, the focus of the blog shifted, from riding to the day to day experiences I was having living and traveling through the Middle East. I also started a more disciplined approach to writing by making an entry every week versus my prior when I feel like it schedule. The author name remained the same because for operations security reasons tying it to my real identity might jeopardize my safety. It was during this time I wrote and published my first novella (Three Paperclips & A Grey Scarf ); also released under the name Traveler.
Life went on and I returned to the United States with many stories still flying around my brain. When the time came to transition from my service to America to something I wanted to do, I spoke to several people about my future as a writer. One piece of advice I got was: Unless I was already famous and using a single name as a nom de plume (i.e. Cher, Sting, etc.) or unless I was planning on writing low end erotic fiction – I needed to use a two-name pen name. Since Lemony Snickett was already taken, Sheldon B. Charles was born.
At the time, I thought it made sense to use that name for everything I was writing, including this blog, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that was not really what I trying to do by using a pen name. I thought about an author who I deeply admired and who also used a nom de plume – Samuel Langhorne Clemons. When he wrote books, he did so under the moniker Mark Twain but when he wrote opinion pieces or for the newspaper he wrote under his own name. Ben Franklin was another who used a pen name for some writing (in fact he used several); but when he was expressing his own thoughts he wrote under the name Benjamin Franklin. While I would never compare myself to either man as an author, I do know how to follow a good example when I see one.
Starting today I am changing the author name and link to this blog (wordsbycharles.com) to my own; as my blog is about me – my thoughts, remembrances, experiences, random ramblings, and images. However, Sheldon Charles is my story teller/raconteur alter ego and he creates characters, writes dialog and creates a fictional world of adventure. Since the two of us do get along well, you may see the occasional cross post or link from one to the other.