Rachael Dickzen?

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I look like this.

Except my hair changes color pretty often so who knows if it’s still this exact shade or not?

My name is legally Rachael Dickson, and I have no intention of changing it, but I changed the last three letters of it on Facebook to match the last syllable of my husband’s name as a bit of a joke and actually ended up liking the way it looked! Plus, while there are LOTS of Rachael Dicksons/Rachel Dicksons/Rachael Dixons/Rachel Dixons, I could not find ANY other Dickzens in a Google search. So I’m using it as a pen name now. It should be much easier for people to find my writing under this name than under my legal name!

Anyway. I'm a trademark attorney and a former journalist living with my husband John and two spoiled cats (Schrodinger and Ziggy Stardust) in the Washington, DC metropolitan area (and guest cat Martok!). I’m pretty active with the Britches and Hose Theater Troupe; I was a founding member of the group back in 2010 and returned to it after spending 4 years away in Chicago.

I tend to work on multiple projects at once due to my many varied interests and ADHD. Here’s what I’ve got going on now:

AntiquiCats: Felines of History

I’m obsessed with this cover.

I’m obsessed with this cover.

I am currently writing and publishing a short story ebook series on historical cats!

The Caterer: How A Cat Survived Richard III is based on historical records dating back to 1538, and tells the story of a cat who saved the life of a starving prisoner under Richard III. It’s told from the viewpoint of that cat and is related directly to the prisoner, Henry Wyatt. It’s available for purchase on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/thecaterercat . It’s free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

Volume 2 in the series will be called The Vanguard: The Cats Who Conquered Egypt, and is about an ancient battle between the Persians and the Egyptians in which cats played a pivotal role. More info soon!

Namely

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I made this logo for my Facebook page.

I like it but the subtitle may change!

Namely is currently on a hiatus while I pursue other interests, though I do hope to come back to it in the future.

After I got engaged in late 2016 to my law school sweetheart, I had to decide whether to keep my last name or change it after we got officially hitched. In talking to my friends about their decisions, I discovered that I was incredibly interested in this topic. Why do women change their names? How did this tradition start and why does it endure? How does it function in various cultures around the world? How do non-hetero, non-cisgender folks make their choices? As someone who loves to learn all the things, I plan to read and learn as much as I can about this. 

I originally called the whole project “By Any Other Name.” I changed the name to Namely because two years of reading countless news articles on surname changes has taught me that almost every person in the world makes this Romeo and Juliet reference, and frankly I’m sick of seeing it.

I wrote about this topic on this blog in 2017, got busy, abandoned the blog until February 2019, and am now back in the blog game again. In the meantime, I’ve been updating my Facebook page on the topic over at https://www.facebook.com/NamelySurnames (the title still reads as By Any Other Name when you get there because I haven’t been able to talk Facebook into letting me change it). I’m working on bumping up my brand marketing now and am writing a non-fiction book proposal to send around to publishers.

I’ve had several articles on various wedding and marriage-type things published on Offbeat Bride and a few miscellaneous items on Offbeat Home. I also had a letter to the editor on marital surnames published on The Atlantic online.

Most Horrible

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I made this cover design concept for NaNoWriMo and then lost the original file, so here’s the super tiny version!

As a tribute to my love of Shakespeare, I wrote and directed a one-act play designed as a prologue to Hamlet, set in Purgatory. This premiered in January 2019 at the Britches and Hose Theater Troupe’s New Works Festival.

Most Horrible has now been expanded to novel length! I started it formally in November 2018 as part of National Novel Writing Month, “won” by reaching my 50,000 word count, and finished it in January 2019. I am now in the process of editing and revising it (I’m adding in so much stuff from the Danish Reformation!) and hope to send it out to agents and publishers in the second half of 2019.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Veil

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This is my veil. Isn’t it awesome?

Due to administrative difficulties, I’m ending the Sisterhood program after finishing out the current reservations. There still are many more weddings ahead, so I should have lots more updates before I retire it. If anyone wants to make a similar veil, I have an article on Offbeat Bride explaining how to do it here: https://offbeatbride.com/how-to-make-a-cathedral-veil/
I also am happy to put one together for you for a nominal fee if you would like! Just reach out and ask.

People really liked my veil from my wedding, which I sort of “made” myself by sewing a ton of brightly colored fabric I ordered from China to a veil comb. There was so much interest and praise for my veil that I decided to share it with other people getting married. :)

It’s been used in a few weddings now and has been reserved for numerous more. There’s no charge and it’s all on the honor system. I keep track of it all here - https://www.facebook.com/travelingveil.