Embarrassing True Story
I wrote a parody short story. It was a parody of high fantasy, meant to play on tropes and cliches and the sheer over-the-top ridiculousness of itself. It probably wasn’t very good, but there it was. It had sword fights, chain mail bikinis, haunted swamps, chases on horseback, the works. I worked hard on my protagonist’s name — it needed to be feminine and sexy, yet exotic and barbaric, and utterly unsubtle….
Alura. Oh, perfect. Alura.
I turned the story in for feedback — this was in my one and only formal creative writing class (aside from that half-hour of Creative Writing we did on Wednesdays in the third grade). In hindsight, this probably wasn’t the best venue. There, um, weren’t a lot of high fantasy readers in the class, the professor actively disdained what we’ll call imaginative fiction, and, well, nobody got the jokes. Any of them.
They did point out, though, that I had written a ridiculously-powerful obnoxiously-smart man-stomping chain-mail-bikini’d warrior woman with an anagram of my own name, and maybe I had some personal issues to work through.
It had honestly never occurred to me that Alura and Laura used the same letters. But now, I sometimes check for these things.