My grandparents, Grams & P.A. Britt always encouraged me to entertain them with my homespun stories. So it is an homage to them, great story-tellers in their own right, that I take up the Britt family name. As for Lara, my older relations always called me Laura, and I still have friends who slip back and forth between Lori and Laura or Lara. In choosing the latter spelling, I give a nod to the many gifts of music boxes I received while growing up. I used to wind up my collection at night and drift off into my vivid dreamers world to the chorus of Lara’s Theme from Doctor Zhivago. Lara is also the Hawaii spelling for Laura and its variations.
What’s in a name? ~Wm Shakespeare, R & J 2.2
Lori Tian Sailiata
My then-boyfriend ended his first proposal to me with the clincher that Sailiata was the name I was meant to have, and by marrying him, I would get it. Sound romantic? We had just helped a friend move after watching the last episode of the television series M*A*S*H It took about six more months before I legally claimed the Sailiata name, but it has been my name ever since.
Sailiata is an uncommon name particular to my now-ex-husband’s family. The origins are Samoan from the Manu’a Islands. Depending on who translates, it means something along the lines of questing/searching (Sa’ili) and shadow/image (‘ata).
The Tian, like the Lori, was there on day one, as far as I can tell. Both are on all of the versions of my birth certificate as well as my adoption papers. (Yeah, there’s a whole memoir worth of material in that minefield.)
Tian is the French transliteration of what was then spelled in English-Chinese translations as T’ien. The Tao Te T’ien or Dao De Tian. The Way of Heaven. Tian was also a French perfume with Oriental notes, a more likely explanation of how it ended up as my middle name.
What’s In A Name?
Any author of fiction would tell you, plenty! While for my everyday life, I truly enjoy signing my name, Lori Tian Sailiata. I love the sense of the exotic in the ordinary, and the juxtaposed ordinary in the exotic. It is reflective of the life I lead.
In choosing Lara Britt as my pen name, I have a chance to create another existence as the authorial me. It’s still me. But it’s the me that doesn’t get in the way of my writing. It is a less self-conscious stance, a stance befitting of a freelance writer. And a better position on the bookshelf when alphabetized.
Writing Space chronicles my adventures in moving in comfort level from story-teller to writer to author while retaining what I like most about each of those designations. My goal is to develop my craft as a writer without it hampering my abilities as a story-teller. I cringe more often from overly wrought prose dressing up a flat story than any Grammar Nazi offense in a riveting tale.
The purpose of Writing Space is to help me connect with my readers as I further develop my writer’s voice and explore themes that are important to the work I do across genre. You are essential to the equation. If that were not the case, these words would be filling up ever more of a 40+ year stash of journals. This work is distinctly important in that it is essential to have the reader/writer dynamic in real time. Please join in on the FaceBook fanpage for an even more interactive experience.
For a peek at my first attempt at an author’s page, check my archives for About Lara Redoux. And yes, I really did have a CDL.
Navigate through the Pages tab bar above the blog header to see what other writerly activities I am in the thick of. Up & Coming is the best place to jump in. Don’t be afraid to poke around some. If you like something especially, go ahead and tweet the link.
Mahalo Nui Loa