The name my mother gave me

Hi. I'm Karen. This beautiful woman with me in my Mommy.

Hi. I’m Karen. This beautiful woman with me in my Mommy.

Karen who?

I am going back to my maiden name – Sanderson.


I will publish a collection of poetry (hopefully this year) with the name that Lois Jane Holmes Sanderson gave me – Karen R. Sanderson.

Karen Sanderson being silly...circa 1960-something.

Karen Sanderson being silly…circa 1960-something.

After the poetry, I plan on pubbing a book of historical/familial short stories, after that a collection of horror.


I realized I didn’t want my ex’s name on any of my work. Especially since he was no cheerleader or even tolerant of my dreams to write or publish or edit.

Six freaking months old...I'm on the typewriter already! And I have an audience!

Six freaking months old…I’m on the typewriter already! And I have an audience!

Same stuff, different name

The Word Shark blog will be the same, and the website will be the same. And FB, and LI, and Google+ plus, and Twitter, and email…

Except where you used to see Elliott, you will start to see Sanderson.

Moving forward

Over the next few weeks I’ll morph from Karen S. Elliott, The Word Shark, to Karen R. Sanderson, The Word Shark!



Filed under Blogging, Branding & Platform, E-books & E-publishing, Editing & Proofreading, Personal Articles, Social Networking, Special Events

24 responses to “The name my mother gave me

  1. You’ll always be Karen the Writer and Editor and Friend to me! This feels like a really important and liberating move, Karen, and I support you 100%!

  2. Esther

    Go for it, Karen. I agree with Elizabeth. This sounds liberating for you.

  3. Sounds like a great move forward! All the best.

  4. As long as it’s the same lovely person…….. xxx Hugs xxx

  5. Best of luck in your new morph!!

  6. I agree with everyone else, and would go back to my maiden name as well. Looking forward to reading your poetry book! *Hugs*

  7. I have a lot of work ahead of me – just changing my online name. there are so many places it needs to be changed, linked, etc. Thanks for all the support everyone!

  8. Great power in names – More power to you, my friend.

  9. If I hadn’t married a man who supported me as much as Drew does, I would go back to my maiden name as well. There’s power in a name, and like others mentioned, this sounds liberating for you. Amazing how the “little” things put our power where it belongs- back in ourselves.
    Love you, Lady, and wishing you all the best.

    • It may seem a small thing, but it’s a big thing for me, as I WILL publlish this year, and with SANDERSON as my name. You are fortunate to have a support system at home – I’ve never had that.

      • Karen, I didn’t mean to imply it is a little thing. I meant that I understood the power and motivation of your decision. My ex-husband, and the guy I dated for three years after him loved control and power. They tried to take mine away. There were so many things I did after that may seem minor to some people- buying a car, changing a lease over to my name, that meant a great deal to me. And still do.
        I admire you and when I think of you, I think “gumption.” 🙂

  10. I like Karen Sanderson. It’s poetic. Yo were quite active as a child – never saw a 6-month old sit on a chair with such determination.

  11. It IS a big thing, and I understand and applaud you for making the change. I went against the grain and never changed my name when I married. I got a lot of flack from friends and family (still do in some cases!) but I have never understood why a woman needs to change her identity just because she loves and marries a person.

    • Oh, Pam, you will enjoy this. When I got married to Mr. Elliott (the third marriage), I didn’t want to change my name – I’d already changed it twice, and then twice back to Sanderson. Mr. Elliott said it was okay. But then he picked and picked and picked at me and finally I said, “OK! I’ll change my name!” We divorced about a year later. Just seeing his face when I told the judge “I’m keeping ‘Elliott’” was enough of a reward. Now, though, I want ME back. And me is Sanderson.

  12. TM – I think I miss-typed. I didn’t mean to make the small/big a debate. I so agree with you (after my second divorce, I couldn’t even pump my own gas!). Gumption – I love that! And I sure do now. But it took a lot of work. Thanks for the additional comment. 🙂 We good, sista.

  13. Good for you, Karen!
    I’m really happy for you to have made such an important decision.
    Whoop Whoop!!!!

  14. I guess I’ll post a man’s point of view. What idot could have possibly let you get away?

  15. Hoping this doesn’t sound patronizing, since it isn’t meant so– but Good for You! Why carry around a name that isn’t home anymore? We should always be at our home in our skins and our names.

    See ya ’round, Sanderson.

    • Nope, doesn’t sound patronizing at all! Glad you agree, Mary. My name – Sanderson – is “home.” And many of my poems (my first collection) will be about family and home and old stuff. So it feels oh-so-right. I love my old wrinkly Sanderson skin!

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