The Name of This Thing Remains Undecided


Sugar & Pith

It was sugar and pith, rich with the urgency of the present and weighted with an
awareness of tomorrow pressing in on the fragile edges. It was simultaneously a greeting
and a passing; it was shifting faces under the ice of the winter night; a singular point of
warmth in scarlet and peaches like summer passing before the spring.

That’s my favorite passage from Winter; Cricket and Grey.

Naming my apothecary company Winters Apothecary was an obvious choice but not particularly memorable. That’s a fact that’s been quietly nagging at the edge of my brain for about 9 months. Nothing better came to mind any time I gave it thought and the agony of choosing the right name was too stressful to concentrate on so I just went with Winters Apothecary. Over the months I have had the added irritation of people trying to “correct” the spelling by adding an apostrophe.

In fact, one person on Facebook actually pointed out my “typo” in the spelling of my business name, assuming that I don’t know how to spell my own company name. As it was by a person who never says anything that isn’t correcting me in one way or another or schooling my apparently ignorant ass, I have since put her on a list that can’t see any of my posts. Hahaha. Yep, I do that to people when all they do is irritate me.

Even Philip put the apostrophe in Winters in our first labels. It really irritates the fuck out of me. So a name that is a) not memorable and b) everyone thinks is spelled wrong convinced me to try to come up with a better oneĀ  before it’s too late. Our new label designs are almost finished (2 out of 3 are done). Soon I will have to commit to Winters Apothecary if I don’t change it. It actually didn’t happen quite like that.

I woke up on Saturday morning absolutely certain that my apothecary company should be named Sugar & Pith after my favorite passage in my book. Sugar and pith is an expression that comes into my head frequently these days. I shared this idea with my mom who hated it. I shared it on facebook and people mostly either really loved it or hated it. You could tell by how many people were suggesting alternatives to it. The people who didn’t like it all thought “pith” sounds like “piss”.

I see now that it was a bad idea to ask anyone. The sugar and pith passage in my book is precious to me for more than one reason. It was a personal writing triumph as I loath kisses in books involving tongue thrusting and hot breath and probing. I spent so much time writing a kiss scene that would express some of what people feel during a first kiss without any of that gross bullshit. More than that, sugar and pith stuck in my head because it so perfectly describes for me the delicate balance between light and dark, sweet and bitter, life and death.

Hearing everyone say that pith sounds like piss was much harder than I expected. I can’t deny that their comments were honest and true and that I asked for it. It was my error to have held up something so meaningful to me and hoped that everyone else would see it too.

[Several paragraphs about my dark spiral downwards into self loathing redacted]

Philip made a big case for my apothecary company being mostly a tool for promoting my novel. I was a little annoyed at that but if I accept that as what my company is then another name suggests itself:

Cricket & Grey

Even people who read the novel don’t remember that Cricket’s last name is Winters. So as far as being more memorable than Winters Apothecary, this fits the bill. Plus, every time someone mentions my company they’re also mentioning my book. So from Philip’s perspective this would be a better name than Sugar & Pith which, while memorable and interesting and meaningful, ties to the book in an obscure way. As far as “branding” is concerned, Cricket & Grey is the clear winner.

So. More thinking on this. I have to decide soon. I’ve learned that there’s no name I can choose that everyone will love or agree on. I would like this to stop being so difficult for me. I love Sugar & Pith but I would also love Cricket & Grey.

I guess I’ll go drink more coffee and distract myself with this continuing back pain that I’ve had for 2 weeks straight now. I have a huge pot of favas to marinate and breakfast to eat and some writing to work on.

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