Thursday, April 8, 2010

Roller derby nicknames and waiting ...

As I wait for feedback from the beta readers who already have my manuscript, I thought I'd update you on the search for my wife's roller derby nickname.

(For the record, one beta has sent a couple of early comments; thanks Kristy!)

As you may recall, my lovely wife tried out for -- and made -- a local roller derby team that's being formed here. She's a superb skater but, well, not as big or as mean as I tend to envision roller derby women. In other words, I fear for her life. But I digress.

Provided she gets through the summer's practice sessions, her team begins playing games or matches or whatever the hell they call them in the fall. Roller derby babes (it's what they call themselves; don't blame me) are allowed to pick their nickname once they make the team for real.

For those of you who have seen the film Whip It, you may recall that tiny Ellen Page (she's about my wife's size) went by the name Babe Ruthless. Great name, huh?

Anyway, a few days ago, I asked for some ideas on nicknames and got some really, really good ones. Please keep them coming, as we haven't settled on one yet.

So far, and in no particular order, our favorites are:

Junkyard Puppy (me);

Jenny Rotten (Gina);

Ghengis Mom (Gina);

Punky Bruiser (my wife).

The wife loves them all, but she's leaning toward Punky Bruiser because a.) she thought of it and b.) she was a huge Punky Brewster fan back in the day. While I like the name, I fear it's too 1980s and might be lost on anyone under, say, 35 years old.

What do you think? Which is your favorite? Better yet, got one yourself? If so, send it along and you might actually get to name a roller derby babe!

How awesome is that?

WORK UPDATE: I completely reworked my query letter today and posted it on Nathan Bransford's forums (where it's currently being savaged. God I suck at query letters!). But mostly I've been on vacation all week. The 12-year-old is on Spring break and we've been hanging out, hitting the gym, reading and doing fun guy stuff. It's been a relaxing week. And he's pretty much all of the way out of the dog house!

(So, can you tell by the rather chatty post that I'm a nervous wreck about those beta readers?

Because I am.

But I've decided to hike up my Big Boy Pants and wait it out.)


  1. Okay, I vote for Punky Bruiser, that's a great name! And as far as the beta readers, I hope you listen to all their comments and critiques, but stay true to your own gut feeling.

  2. Okay. So how old is your wife? We must be around the same generation having watched Punky (though I suspect I may be that bit older...).

    I think I mentioned my derby name before... After all, it could not be anything other than Madmother.

  3. I hear ya, Marty. :)

    Madmother: I suspect if I gave out my lovely wife's age on the blog, she would try out one of her new roller derby moves on me. Let's just say she's over 35 (but not by much).

  4. I'm 29 and I LOVED Punky Brewster!!! Do that one! Do that one!

  5. If she goes Punky Bruiser, she totally needs the getup.

    And I didn't see your query... *GOES TO ATTACK*

  6. Wife, here. Yes, I'm of the Punky generation. When I was in college I got a call from my childhood best friend, who I hadn't seen since I was 7. She tracked me down because she dreamed she found me in her room at night and I yelled, "It's me! Your mom told me to dress like Punky Brewster so you would recognize me!" I did dress a little like her, back in the day, and sometimes still. And when I was mentally running through my potential derby attire, I resigned myself to looking like Punky Brewster no matter what -- which led me to the name! Plus -- bonus -- I I choose the name Punky Bruiser, it's almost permission to dress strangely.

  7. How clever! I totally vote Punky Bruiser!

  8. Gotta go with the wife. Punky Bruiser ROCKS. (Provided she wears the dog-ear ponytails and mismatched skates).

    (And you do not have to be over-35 to remember PB!)

  9. I'll be 47 in November. Geriatric derby anyone?

    Jennifer, you are a mere spring chicken! Punky Bruiser - love it!

  10. Okay Punky Bruiser is AWESOME! I'll suggest a couple of others just for fun:

    Sis Vicious
    Queen Isa beat ya of Pain

    Silly I know, but still fun to play around with.

    Shameless promotion:

    I have an awesome guest post today on my blog by Cole Gibsen.

    This one is pure query/submission gold folks in which she shares the ACTUAL query that landed her an agent and the correspondence that ensued.

    Please stop by to read, comment and follow.


  11. I loved Punky. And who cares if it's lost on anyone under a certain age. Go for it woman! (Tell your wife for me Terry).

    The novel is great! I know you knew I was gonna say that, but it is. I was up two hours past my bedtime last night because I was having a hard time putting it down. Dontcha hate it when you feel like you have a hangover without the benefits of the blackout from the previous night(s).

    I love it when I can relate to a character. I wear my pirate eye patch on occasion. ;)

  12. @Jennifer: I really hope you do a Punky Bruiser blog and write it in character. It has great potential.

  13. I'm a couple of months late to the conversation, but happened upon this post while doing a google search for Punky Bruiser...which was already used by another girl from the TXRD. She was featured on the A&E show "Rollergirls" (aired in 2006), and played herself in "Death Proof." I believe they have to register their names, so your wife may be out of luck. Sorry!

  14. whilst choosing a roller derby name be sure to check out the online register as ALOT Of the good names have already been taken

    I too am having the delimma and had also thought of Punky Bruiser and many others which are already taken! I'm still adding to my list but it helps if you look at the roster to avoid any disapointment.

    I hope this helps you, Happy Skating!!

  15. I am a derby brat (junior) and I would think Punchy Bruiser.