The first thing I should post on this shiny new website is something that everyone wants to know: how do you say my name?
It really is the biggest secret about me. It’s not obvious what kind of “a” that vowel sound is there. Here’s a clue: well-meaning people, both in person and in print, guess wrong about 75% of the time.
What’s your guess at this point? Put it in the comments.
I get some funny stories out of it. Like the one about the journalist didn’t know how to pronounce maven. And the one about how the first widely published book with my name on it had me listed as “Kristen Craven” in the international database. (Get this: there is actually a writer named Kristen Craven. When I wrote to her and told her to enjoy all the publicity until they got it fixed, she told me: it’s her pen name!!!!)
So if you want to be a “Kristen Caven insider,” here’s an anthem I wrote to explain.
Dave-man, Cave-man gave me his name
But being “Missus Cabin” is a new job for this dame.
As Cavanaughs without the ‘augh’,
This clan breaks secret language laws.
From the County Cavan, of Irish Isle fame,
After Ellis Isle, they would never spell the same.
Every generation had to fight the urge to say:
“We’re not caverns, we’re not cave-ins; we’re more ravenous than raven.
Say laven(der) and daven(port); Caven is our name!”
I’m Caven-like: a cavenoid—
(rhymes with (bio)flavinoid.)
And will never cave in
To the tone of (ribo)flavin!
—Kristen Caven, a.k.a.Kristen Baumgardner Caven, formerly known as Kristen Baumetc., June 2010