When you publish a book, or even write essays or stories for publication, it’s not like people are beating down your door, unless you have written WildTwilightHarryFiftyShadesSeaBiscuit. But rest assured, either your past skeletons or misunderstandings just may appear when you least expect it. Be prepared.

An anonymous old boyfriend wrote me to say he regretted his past actions, and while I think I know who it was, I am not quite sure. I prefer to think of it as the whole gang of loves gone wrong, all professing sorrow for their misdeeds. Various past friends have cropped up, people I once thought lost forever on the road. It’s all been rather entertaining. But the most interesting thing of all is when someone with your same name is mistaken for you.

A magazine I write for emailed me: “This isn’t you, is it?” Turns out that someone actively involved in a “patriot” group called the Oathkeepers has my same name, and there aren’t a lot of us out there. It’s not like my name is Smith. I saw a picture of this woman, and unless the years were very different to me than they have been, I don’t think people would confuse us. However, she lives in my state, and has been prolific with comments.

Gah! People who know me, know that I wouldn’t be associated with the Oathkeepers, but casual readers might not make that connection. Not that it matters, really, but the topics I write about are about as far from a Patriot-based point of view as you can get. It’s got to be confusing. Also, this “movement” comes with a lot of anger and divisiveness (trust me, I lived in Burns, Oregon when the forces were set in motion for the “occupation” a decade prior). 

I have to just laugh about it, because what can you do? I finally see how people with common names must feel. I knew someone on the no-fly list who had the same name as a malcontent, and each time he had to go into a little room to prove his identity. I work with two people, male and female, with the same last name. At a conference, someone asked, “are you two married?” (They’re not). 

So no, I’m not participating in any standoffs at mines. I’m just over here minding my own business, writing my little novels, and wondering who else will show up. A warning would be nice–“Person I broke up with, twelve o’clock!” “Woman with same name hits someone over the head with a shoe!” (This happened; another woman with my same name. What is up with these Marys behaving badly?) It’s just another unexpected twist of being a writer!