Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

RTW – Meow, come on, my pseudonym makes sense


This week’s RTW topic at YA Highway is:

If you couldn’t use your own name, what would your pseudonym or penname be?

Well, since I was born in the 70s, I have a rather bland, common name:

Jennifer Lynn (Pickrell)

My last name was unique at least, so much so that I didn’t change it after I got married.  It also may have had something to do with me being lazy and not wanting to go through all the hassle.


I’ve had a variety of nicknames over the years, since half the people I went to school with were named Jennifer.  One of my closest friends was also a Jennifer P.  It might have gotten confusing, but she’s about six foot, outgoing and outdoorsy.  I’m small and grumpy.

Mostly I was called “Pickel,” but I’m not sure I could work that into a professional name unless I wrote kids’ books:

Jenny Pickel

Which would actually sort-of rock.

My mom wanted to name me “Melody,” but my dad vetoed.  Thank you, dad!  Nothing against the name, but I’d feel the need to be upbeat and sunshiney with a musical moniker.

“Hi, I’m Melody P.!  Are you ready to Jazzercise today?!”

Later, my dad later lost all naming privileges when my mom was pregnant with my little bro and, wanting to give him a “family” name, he suggested:

(I’m not kidding)


While this is fine for a last name…can you imagine the torment of it for a first?

“Heh, heh, let me put my rod in your bush…heh”

So I guess I could go by:

J. Bushrod or J.L. Bushrod

That sounds manly and strong, like I write Jack Reacheresque best-sellers.

But I wouldn’t be able to say it without laughing.

I could go on and on with potentials, but I’ll spare you.

My purr-fect (groan) pseudonym:

Jen Parker

It just sounds so clean and memorable.  And it’s unassuming, like Peter Parker.  Am I a writer or an unlikely hero?

Who cares that “Parker” is the name of my little brother’s cat?  The one I named before I gave to him.

Nice, huh?

“Here’s a cat I got you, I’ve already named him!  Enjoy!”

And now I’ve stolen his name.

Double nice.

So what about you?  What would your new name be?

* This is where I stepped in and my bro has the best name ever.  But since he’s a teen, I feel weird broadcasting his identity.  So you’ll have to take my word for it – his name is seriously awesome.

I don't believe you. Give me back my name, you thief!


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

14 thoughts on “RTW – Meow, come on, my pseudonym makes sense

  1. I like Jen Parker. That works.

  2. You *have* to write a children’s picture book under the name “Jenny Pickel”! That would be so cool! 🙂 And, as I said to Jennifer Hoffine, I like the name Jennifer. I didn’t use it for any of my girls (it didn’t fit our Hebrew biblical name strategy), I daresay there will be a Jennifer in at least one of my novels. And she will be awesome. 🙂

  3. Okay, I’m all ready for the first adventures of Jenny Pickle. And you almost made me send coffee through the nose with the Jazzercise comment. Poor Melody.
    JL Bushrod should be out taming lions or wrestling sharks, IMHO.

    I think Jennifer Pickrell is just right.

  4. I’ll have to admit, I love Jenny Pickel (or maybe Pickle!) too. It’s just cute and fun and playful. It sounds very much like a nickname and kids respond to those. But yes, in order to use it you’d have to write a children’s book.

    I’ve known a lot of Jennifers, and it seems to be a name reserved for ‘good’ people. With Jen Parker I’d expect you to run off and switch clothes in the ladies’ room to go save the world.

    I’m also very glad you didn’t get saddled with Bushrod. *shudders*

  5. I like Jennifer Pickrell best! Although Parker is nice, too, and maintains a similar sound.
    I’m not changing my name when I get married this year–equal parts “I like it” and “too hard to do that.”

  6. Oh my gosh, I love this. Bushrod! Dying. Jennifer Pickrell is my favorite.

  7. Okay, I’m sitting all by myself in my home office laughing my ass off (which is probably good because some of it needs to go). Bushrod?!? That is easily one of the funniest and most perverse sounding names EVER. Your mom was so right to cut your dad off from naming kids. Thanks for the much needed laugh =)

  8. HIlarious post. I can’t stop giggling. Jazzercise. Hysterical!

  9. I am suddenly feeling inspired to write a kids book under the pen name Jenny Pickel about an adventurous cat named Bushrod!

  10. I love Jenny Pickel 🙂 Or Melody Pickel! The whole pickel thing is adorable.

  11. Funny post. I’d never considered before the cheery responsibilities of a person called Melody. If that had been given to me, I would have had to change it to Cacophony.

    When I was born, my Mom took one look at me and decided that my nickname would be Katie, not Kathy, and this was back when there were a lot of Kathys. My school was filled with them. For a long time, I was the only Katie, and none of those personalized things (mugs, stationery, key chains) bore my name. Now, the world is swimming with Katies. Name trends are funny things…

  12. I like the sound of Jen Parker.

    Great post, hee hee.

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