He Presses His Foot to the Accelerator, Wondering at His Name

Written by Ryan R. Campbell

Ryan R. Campbell is an International Book Awards finalist, the founder of the Writescast Network, and the co-founder of Kill Your Darlings Candle Company.

Posted on February 16, 2021

Filed under And Ampersand

What does your name mean to you?

I’ve long been fascinated by the naming of things, by the etymology of words, how they’re used now and have been used over time.

But nothing gets me quite like the names we give ourselves. Or, perhaps more aptly, the names we’re given by others.

To you, I’m Ryan, but I don’t know what that means to you. I don’t know what that means to you relative to what it means to my neighbor or a colleague or a stranger met in passing.

Making matters even more bizarre, not even to myself am I Ryan. I’m just me.

How strange to know more about what the word car means to us than the names we use for each other. How odd to think we’re more likely to agree on the meaning of bird than we are names like Chester or Megan or Isaac.

What does a name mean, then, truly, if we can’t agree amongst ourselves? What would it mean if we could start again, could choose a name to represent who we feel we are, not who the world believes us to be?

“Hello, My Name Is” explores these questions, and does so through the lens of a man determined to start again—and to do so in the rarest of ways.

You’ll be able to read this story as part of the And Ampersand collection when it debuts in April (and preorders are available now), but until then, tell me—what does your name mean to you? What do you suspect it means to others?

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"Reminiscent of Hemingway and De Lillo. I highly recommend this collection."
-Award-Winning Author Ivy Ngeow

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