Windemere and Windemere: The Origins and Name Shares

One of the things I run into the most online is the question of where I took the name Windemere from.  Many people think I snagged it from an existing place.  Specifically, a lake area in England that might actually be named WindeRmere.  This isn’t the case, but I figure 5 years of fielding this question means I should do a post.

The Possibilities:

Windemere Township Minnesota

Windemere Texas

Ernest Hemingway Cottage (Windemere at Walloon Lake)

Winderemere Island

Lake Windermere in England

The list keeps going for WindeRmere with places in the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the U.K.  So, what is the true origin?

TOTAL COINCEDENCE

Originally, I had a world named Mylrix, but that was for another set of stories.  It would get absorbed eventually, but people were still telling me it wasn’t catchy.  This was in college where I was still learning and taking advice very seriously.  So, I needed to think up something else and began combining words, letters, and whatever I could think of.  It was during the early spring in SUNY Oswego, which is on Lake Ontario.  The weather was nice enough to go outside and take a walk while I thought of more ideas.  This led to me going down to the lake shore where the wind was very strong.  Just stared out in the direction of Canada and let my mind wander.  I kept focusing a lot on the wind because it nearly knocked me over a few times.  Played around with that word and landed on ‘WINDEMERE’.  I liked the sound of it and realized the wind showed up a lot in my descriptions too.  So, it stuck and I went on for 12 years before anybody told me there was a Lake Windermere in England.

Anybody else ever come up with an idea and then find out years later that there’s something with the same name?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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36 Responses to Windemere and Windemere: The Origins and Name Shares

  1. Very cool. It always reminds me of a popular real estate franchise. I like your history behind it much better.

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  2. I usually use real place names so I’m not usually surprised. In my Wednesday serial, I use a person’s name for a place. (with permission of course) Interesting background.

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  3. The collective consciousness can be a tricky thing! I learned early on you need to use a good idea straight away – if you leave it lying around too long, someone else will come along and pick it up. As a child I wrote a story about a boy who became trapped in the terrible Black Caves, his only escape route being a conveyor belt that was covered in banana skins and moving the wrong way. I called this contraption the Bananarama. A few years later, a girl band with the same name appeared in the UK charts. They couldn’t have read my story – it was never published – but I was still furious with them for stealing my idea!

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  4. L. Marie says:

    Nice to know the history behind the name.

    I have had coincidences like this happen before. I was in the middle of writing a novel involving a character who is a soldier. Months later, I happened to pick up a new book by an author I like. She had a character with the same name and profession. I’d begun my novel before I bought her book. But I wound up changing the name so I wouldn’t be accused of copying her character.

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  5. I have. I needed a name for a town and typed in ‘Mata’, I think I was only using that as a placeholder until I came up with a better name, then a few years later I discovered it’s a town in Israel… I never did get around to changing it.

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  6. Nice story. It looks like anything we can dream of, exists already.

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  7. Well, in my town we have both Windemere and Wandermere. What are you supposed to do?

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