Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

All I want for Christmas

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Beatrix Evelyn Nevala-Lee, my daughter, was born in Chicago in the early morning of December 19. Both mom and baby are doing fine. Beatrix, as astute readers may have already guessed, is named for both one of my favorite figures in world literature and one of my favorite characters from any recent movie, both of them strong female role models. “Evelyn” was chosen largely because it goes nicely with my last name—nobody seems to know what it means, with derivations ranging from a variant of “Ava” to the French for “hazelnut”—and it also allows me to pretend that she was named after Evelyn Beatrice Hall, the English biographer best known for a famous fake quotation from Voltaire.

She’s less than a week old, but I’m learning something new from Beatrix every day, and it was clear from the moment I first looked into her eyes that my life would never be the same. I expect that the changes will be visible both on this blog and in my other work, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of my discoveries here. As an author, the greatest lesson I’ve taken away so far is that even after a lifetime of writing, there are still fundamental things about human existence that I have yet to experience firsthand, and I have a feeling that even my best work will start to feel, in retrospect, like only a fraction of the story. But if nothing else, to quote another great fictional character, Beatrix is already the best thing my name has ever been attached to.

Written by nevalalee

December 24, 2012 at 9:50 am

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