Have you ever googled your name to see what comes up? I did once and found a musician who plays all sorts of instruments, including my favorite, the cello. You can visit Rena's website here. She has some interesting music. It's really mellow and fun to listen to at night before bed. I always get a little freaked out seeing my own name on my iPod. When I visited England in 1984 and 1985, I laughed when I saw the Rena Hotel. One day we finally got a picture of me standing by it. It was in a cheesy side of town and we stayed at a hotel fairly close to it. It's not everyday you see a hotel with your name on it. I've also driven by the Rena Theater in Kellogg, Idaho. You don't see or hear the name Rena everyday (well, I do) so it's funny to see it somewhere.
My father named me Rena, after a little old Irish lady he worked with in his realtor office. I don't know much else about how he choose it, or if my mom had much say in it. His name was Richard Gene and he also gave me my middle name, Jean. I had friends who hated their names, but I always liked mine. I knew I was in big trouble when my mom took the time to say both of my names together. "Rena Jean!" usually meant I was busted for something. I never heard my name much when I was little. I do recall seeing it on the credits for the Sonny & Cher Show. There was a Rena who worked as Cher's clothing designer. Also, if you google just the name Rena you come up with an entire line of fish aquarium products. Check it out here. Who would have thought? And if you go to Renausa you find a whole slew of mailing products. In both Norway and Spain, you will find towns called Rena. There's even a 1938 Polish movie by my name. All sorts of people, products and places come up for my name. I know from having to make usernames that Rena is a lot more common than I thought.
What about your name? Is it common, or are you like me and freak out a little when you see it someplace else? And for those of you who write stories, how do you pick names for your characters? Do you go for uncommon names or more common ones?