Jan 8, 2011


by Cindy R. Williams

I took the big plunge into vanity, vanity license plates that is. When it came time to renew my plates, I did it online, which by the way was awesomely easy. (Yeah, I did just use an "ly" word here, but you know how they say you have to know the rule to break it. Well, I know the rule and I chose to break it cause that is pretty much how I talk.) Now back to my vanity plate.

When you renew online, there's a place where you can click to personalize your license plate. On an impulse, I clicked it and decided to see if a few things were available. I tried stuff like "WilliamsFamily", but of course that was way too long, so I tried "Williams" and also Willsfam", but both were still too long. ADOT only allows seven characters. Then I got thinking about having a plate with something to do with my writing on it. "Author" was taken and so was "Writer". I didn't like the idea of using either one of them with some random number, so I moved on.

My middle grade fantasy has occupied the main recesses of my mind for the past three years so I tried "Sparkin" the name of the dragon that takes the young hero on some pretty wild adventures. It could be a good marketing tactic.

Voila, it was available. I thought long and hard --at least for one minute that is --about any possible connections to something unsavory or untoward, but figured the worst thing "Sparkin" could be linked to was going into a dark closet and chomping down on wintergreen lifesavers to make them flash and spark when I was younger. Sparkin was also used on dates by the same couples that ran off into the woods to snipe hunt. Not me of course, but I did witness some pretty slobbery kissing going on due to sparkin and snipe hunting, but that is fodder for another blog or story.

It took about four weeks for my new license plates to arrive. When they did, I felt like a kid on Christmas. I opened the yellow packing envelope and gazed down lovingly, yup another "ly". It was almost like seeing my book in print as I admired the Arizona sunset behind the big capital letters
S P A R K I N. Almost like seeing the name in lights.

My sweet husband was delighted for me and promptly replaced my old plate. ADOT sent me two of the same plate so I put the second one in my writing place where I can admire it and dream of how maybe someday I will be driving around in my mommy-mobile-mini-van and someone will point at my license plate and say . . . "Hey, that's the name of the dragon in the book I'm reading."

Here's hoping that dreams come true.


  1. That's a great marketing idea, Cindy! Too bad my novels don't lend themselves to short, applicable tags. Except maybe the one I'm currently pushing: LAPS.
    Hmmm...maybe LAPSNME. I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever get a contract for it.

  2. How fun Cindy! That's a great idea. LOL..I love it when I spot a friend driving down the road, because I recognize her plates.

  3. I LOVE personalized plates. We are a big sporting family and my plates say TEAMOM and my husband's say COCHDAD. I wish my 15 passenger van said HOMTEAM so I could put on my pop up camper plates AWYTEAM.

  4. too totally cool.

    did that work w/ the lifesavers, btw?

  5. In VA it was only an additional 10 bucks for a personalized plate so everyone had one. I got CUCSIDE which is supposed to be see you seaside however I was a bit too clever because if you read that as one word it sounds like suicide and I was in a chevette at the time. Lols on that one.

  6. Here's hoping that dreams come true - AMEN!!

  7. LOL Terry, I have to admit it took me a few tries to figure yours out. Then to read it as one word. Oops. ;o)

    I hope to start a trend with all you writers. Dream big and let your license do the marketing.


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