Pickles and Pens: an origin story

It’s that weird time in the semester where all of my assignments and projects are done, I have no more classes to attend and finals are at least three days away. This means I actually have some free time to write! So I’ve decided to answer a question I received today and tell a little about how I chose the name for my blog.

“What’s with the pickles?”

This blog started as a project for a class at Amarillo College that focused on social media marketing. I wasn’t worried about the content part – I love writing – but I remember spending days trying to think of the perfect name. Everything that I put at the top of the page sounded like I was trying too hard, or like it was going to be a) overly serious, b) overly emotional or c) full of cliches. None of these were things I wanted to be.

I’d also had it drilled into my head that a blog name needed to be “catchy” and “easy to remember” so readers would come back for more. I looked to some of my favorite sites, like Hyperbole and a Half and The Oatmeal, but still came up with nothing.

At the last minute, in the middle of the night (like the majority of the things I do), I looked down at the pickle I was eating, then at the cup of my favorite pens on my desk, and immediately liked the sound of the words together. Plus, I wanted some connection to writing and a good pen can mean the difference between a mess and a masterpiece. Just like that, Pickles and Pens was born. Simple enough, right?

Did you miss the part where it was the middle of the night and I was eating a random pickle? I’d say this was a chance occurrence and I was lucky to have that stroke of inspiration, but really, this story could have happened at any time, on any day. I love pickles. So much that my friends add them to food orders without asking.

My kind of burger. Photo courtesy of Jim B. on yelp.com.

My kind of burger.
Photo courtesy of Jim B. on yelp.com.

I like spicy pickles, okra pickles, dill pickles, kosher pickles, fried pickles. I’ve loved them so long I can’t remember when the relationship started.

My mom says it spans back to before I could walk. She’s told the following story as proof more times than I can count.

You’ve always loved pickles. You’d cry for them. One time, I put you in your walker and went to take a shower. When I got out of the shower, somehow, you had gotten into the kitchen and to the fridge. You had the door open and had grabbed the jar of pickles and were slowly putting them into your mouth. When I got to you, you looked up at me and had tears rolling down your cheeks. The “pickles” were actually jalapenos, but it wasn’t until I said, “AMANDA!” that you burst into sobs.

So there you go. I love pickles so much that even when in incomprehensible pain, I bravely continued my consumption. I can’t help but see the parallels in my love for journalism. So I guess it fits.

Besides, I didn’t have a story to go with Ice Cream and Inkwells.

"Where are the pickles, mom?"

“Where are the pickles, Mom?”