Recently I googled my name to see what information was out there on the WEB. The search reminded me of just how common my name is. Even a check that included my middle initial, J., netted some 14,600,000 sites! It was hard to find me in all the Nancy Thomases scattered throughout the virtual universe.
Actually, I did find me on page 5 of one of the searches, with a link to my Barclay Press blog. Further down the list (and many pages later) I came up with my own blog, mil gracias. It took a bit of patience; I’m well hidden.
A Book Finder search uncovered quite a list of publications by Nancy Thomas, and interestingly enough a book I edited, Footprints of God: A Narrative Theology of Mission, led the list. Other books by Nancy Thomas in that list included The Great American Afghan, The Great Tiki Drink Book, When Love Is Not Enough: A guide to Parenting Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder, and Infectious Diseases of Wild Birds. I had no idea I was that versatile!
In other words, if someone met me, remembered my name and then tried to find out more about me on the Internet, here’s what he might learn:
--that I am one of the leading authorities on parenting emotionally disturbed children;
--that I am a nationally-known contemporary folk artist who does prints, abstract children’s art, children’s calendars, ceramic figurines, sculpture, hooked rugs, pins, stained glass, all kinds of stuff for home and garden. My work is prized throughout the country. My latest abstract, “Couple Dancing in the Snow,” sells for $100;
--that I am a celebrated documentary photographer whose “ART captures the Physical, Mental and Spiritual experiences that constitute LIFE.” (I’m really good);
--that I am a taxi driver in Milton, Vermont;
--that for more than 25 years, I have “been the editorial voice of the most widely circulated knitting magazines, including Vogue Knitting, Family Circle Easy Knitting, and Knitter’s Magazine.” My latest book is A Passion for Knitting, hot off the press;
--that the Nancy Thomas Award was set up in my name to honor professionals who are addressing the issues of the inclusion of young children with disabilities;
--that although I hold a degree in electronics and engineering, I am a story-teller at heart and believe that “writing is a door into a world of possibilities;”
--that I have been a non-dieting fat woman since 1976 and am one of the founders of the FAT LIP Readers Theater;
--that I own and run the Duncanville Feed Store in Texas;
--that I practice clinical psychology in Ponte Vedra, Florida.
I even came up with a site that invited me to read my obituary, but I declined.
A bit overwhelming, to say the least. It tempts me to feel generic.
But I’m not generic. None of us are. I am unique, in spite of my common, ordinary, repeatable name. Actually, I began to love my name when I discovered what it meant. Both names, Nancy and Jane, mean “grace.” I don’t think my parents knew that when they named me; Nancy and Jane were favorite aunts and cousins on both sides of the family.
But they did indeed name me “Grace Grace,” God’s double-whammy grace child. My unique name/person is etched on the palm of God’s hand, and God needs no search engine to find me.
Neither do you.