the origins of the name

I did promise I'd explain the name kumquatmay, didn't I.

I've used kumquatmay as a handle off and on since at least 2002, maybe earlier? My previous interwebs usernames were wildly uncreative plays on my actual name. And by plays, I mean my actual name with some numbers.  

Finally, I looked at my bookshelf--and I can vividly remember the evening I actually did this, in my old apartment in Jersey.  I can even remember WHERE on the shelf I looked and saw Cynthia D. Grant's YA novel Kumquat May, I'll Always Love You.

It pubbed in 1986, and I'm pretty sure I read it some time shortly after that. And unlike my obsession with Laura Ingalls Wilder, I didn't reread it annually, but it certainly stuck with me. It's about a girl whose flaky mom left a few years earlier, and she's been living on her own ever since, convincing everyone in the town that her mom is still around.  Check it out on Good Reads.

This is the edition I have, same cover and all.  Like so many 80s YA books, the cover makes it feel way more lighthearted than it really is. 

And so, kumquatmay was born, on various social medias.  Hell, it's the username I used on the online dating site where I met my eventual husband, JBB! And now it's my site-site. 

So thanks, Cynthia D. Grant for giving me a book that would stick in my head for decades, and lending me a turn of phrase for even longer.