The name Caitlin comes to English from the Irish Caitlín, which came from the Old French Cateline, which in turn came from the Greek Aikaterine. It is a name of debated origin. Perhaps it derived from an older Greek name Hekaterine, from hekateros meaning “each of the two.” Perhaps it derived from the name of the goddess of magic, Hecate. Perhaps it is related to the Greek word aikia, which means “torture.” Perhaps it came from a Coptic name meaning “my consecration of your name.” In any event, somehow during the early Christian era the name came to be associated with the Greek katharos, meaning “pure.” This led the Latin spelling to change from “Katerina” to “Katharina.”

The name and its forms spread through Europe as crusaders returned with word of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Saint Catherine was a virgin martyr whose feast day is remarkably close to by birthday. She appeared to counsel Joan of Arc, and probably didn’t live outside of her legend being taken from the life and murder of the philosopher Hypatia. Catherine is a patron of lawyers and philosophers, among other things. This name came to me through my father’s mother.

As for the surname Mininger, it appears to be an Americanization of a European name. Most Miningers live in the States. According to the Dictionary of American Family Names, it’s a variant of the German Meininger, a habitational name referring to Meiningen on the Werra River. The place name is itself derived from a personal name with magin as the first element, meaning “might” or “strength.” This name came to me through my mother’s father.

There’s a quote of Ray Bradbury’s that I sometimes think about when times are tough: “You must stay drunk on writing so reality can’t destroy you.”

I suppose I’ve always been most myself with pen in hand. Telling stories, thinking thoughts, putting words into an order that creates a picture.

If we are what we do, then that’s who I am.