I don't use my real name online. The people I've been avoiding since 1990 still track me down occasionally anyway (thanks, Yahoo! for that first privacy invasion, when you published my phone number though I always paid the phone company to keep it unpublished! Special shout-out to Verizon for their role in this!) but the only place anyone will ever see my name is at a class reunion site. Anyway. It's been 14 years of aliases. Now and then I get so tired of the fact that I couldn't just stick with the first one I chose, because, hey, turns out I chose well. But the internet kept changing and we kept moving. If I were to start now, it'd be much easier to stay with whatever I started with.
Once upon a time, there was merbelle, and that was me. Through a weird and confounding thing to do with Yahoo buying a group I belonged to and then messing up the log-ins, I suddenly could not be that in all my usual online places and had to pick a new name. I chose the amusing but slightly obnoxious pedantic bohemian. Then at some point I needed a forum alias for that, for rest from some people, so I chose bibliosylph. And by then I found I could be merbelle more, so I tried to, but that gave me three names; a lot to keep up with. To make a clean break, because we kept moving and I kept having to change email and server locations, I chose the character Emily Sears, and wanted to just use that for everything, except of course there are all these people who now call me sylph. But then people began calling me Emily, and I felt odd about that, like I was lying about who I was. And Emily, though she is a sort of weak meek lady who toughens up through Circumstances, isn't quite who I am. So when my blog was sort of interfered with, I decided to start over. I wanted to go back to merbelle, but Vox can't help me get logged into the page I made for her anymore, and of course I can't use that name on a new page.
One of my favorite characters I write about is called Lily; she's not me, and definitely not Mary Sueish, but does have a few of my quirks. (She has a twin named Violet who has a few others of my characteristics, but I better not digress.) So I chose the name liliales, my favorite group of flowers, in order to be Lily Alice, a person closer to the real me; plain but striking, solid but fanciful, living not quite in or out of her own time. She's the pedantic bohemian without the urgency, and bibliosylph, only quieter. She would be merbelle if merbelle hadn't come first.
Other people on the web now use "pedantic bohemian," but I am tickled to know I was the first (and still am pb at Amazon and eBay.) Well, I guess I'm tickled. There are a few other merbelles, as well; I am not tickled about that. There is at least one other "Liliales," but all your bibliosylph are belong to me.
How exhausting, right?