This post is deeply personal and long overdue. News for many dear friends of mine who for whatever reason I haven’t had a chance to catch up with in a while. What brings on this occasion? Nothing in particular, maybe the coffee I had this morning (whoa! I can handle coffee again!), or maybe that I’m procrastinating on things I ought to do this week. So here’s the news:
I’m going through a divorce right now.
It’s really not so bad. I mean, it’s awful and stressful and unstable but it’s also great and freeing and necessary. I started couch surfing in April, which has given me the chance to reconnect with friends and family. I have many great people supporting me in many different ways. And I’m forming myself as an individual. There are many things in my life I need to work out, and I’m excited.
If you want to talk more, let me know. I am totally willing to talk about stuff, I just don’t want to dump it all onto my blog.
On the poetry end of this news: I’m also going to take on a pseudonym for publishing purposes. I always rolled my eyes at that when I was an editor but I think I understand why some people do it now. I don’t want to keep my married name (though it’s a shame since I’ve already published a few works under it and my college folks know me by it). Name is a big part of identity, especially as a writer or artist. My family name is Knopp, which is easy to confuse with Nobb or Knopf–a major publishing company. Go ahead, try typing “Knopp poetry” into Google and see what it suggests.
So it seems I have a chance to form my own identity. I think I’m going to start publishing as Abi Nighthill. Here’s how I came up with this one:
My mom’s family name is Horton, which means hill.
My dad’s family name is Knopp, which means button, but can occasionally mean hill.
And as for Night? The night sky has always held great meaning for me. The stars, the deep, all that. I’ve loved the night sky since I watched meteor showers in the backyard as a kid. I’ve spent long gazes on it no matter where I’ve lived. Photos of space have changed my life in very personal ways. In Chicago, I once came home crying because I couldn’t see the stars due to the city lights.
Also, it’s easy to pronounce/remember and it does well on the search engine end of things.
Anyway, what do you think: Fitting? Too sweet? Just right?