Friday Firesmith – On Mike Firesmith

Friday firesmithBelieve it or not, I was not born with the name, “Mike Firesmith”. When I started writing in 1992, at the age of 32, I had no idea that writing was something I might be able to do at all. All I knew is that I felt a compulsion to write. The first few attempts were just as successful as the Wright Brothers first aircraft. It was a painful and ungainly process. In 1997 I started writing online and found an audience.

 Back in the early eighties I was in the Army. Basic training wasn’t nearly as hard as some of the jobs I had to that point so I had it pretty easy compared to the men who had left home for the first time. We spent the night on Scott Mountain and I am here to tell you it was cold, snowy, and miserable. The Drill Sergeant said if we could get a fire started in the burn barrels we could keep it, but they really didn’t think anyone could. I knew how to start a fire and I did. There was a guy who said something to the effect that I must have been a blacksmith or something like that to be so good with fire and another guy said, “He’s a Firesmith” and I liked it.

  So Mike Firesmith became who I was when I was writing. It seemed appropriate. Writing was the fire I started when no one else thought I could do it.

So the question here is this one:  Why did you choose the name you comment with?

Eyeball? Crispy? ( Grumpy seems to be self-explanatory).  That1chick seems to be a little odd but I’m guessing that she feels like the only female in a male forum.

So why did you chose the name you sign off with?

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.


70 comments to Friday Firesmith – On Mike Firesmith

  • bitscared

    My first foray into the internet asked for a user name. I didn’t want to use my own name and I was freaking out a bit and though ‘Crap! I’m a bit scared!’ And so it was born. It’s actually quite apt and a contradiction all at the same time. When i am dealing with things that effect me I am quite timid but if it is to do with my family or friends I am the fiercest mother bear you will meet.
    I love the name Firesmith. xo

    • I can believe in your fierceness!

      I will very likely change my name one day to Firesmith. It’s more me than anything else ever will be.

      • bitscared

        I have changed my actual sirname legally (not to Bitscared). There is a large soap opera style story that goes with it but it was the first time in my life that I felt like my name belonged to me. If that makes any sense…

  • I think mine is pretty self-explanatory!

  • that1chick

    My name came from a couple of guys in middle school. That was what they always called me. Hey, here comes that one chick, you know the one, oh yeah man. I think they thought they were a Cheech and Chong sketch.

  • Deodand

    After my divorce, I wasn’t healing and at that time I wasn’t interested in trying much. I told God that I was done, here I am – come and get me.

    Well, not in the way I imagined, but God did come and kill that man, and I am the result of that rebirth. Thus, Deodand was born. The word isn’t much in use anymore, but perfectly describes me now: used in the taking of a life (in this case my own), reborn and repurposed for pious uses. I’m glad God answers prayer, and I’m glad He does not answer them MY way. :)

  • Janet

    I am just me!

  • Grog

    It’s the caveman adaptation of my real name, and also something I like to consume.

    I’ve had a few writing adventures over the years, but not much recently under my own name. A blog I haven’t touched in a couple years exists at As I say in the header “I’m not certain anyone reads this, and I think I prefer it that way.”

    There’s another old one that might amuse open minded people at, “Conversations with God, An Exclusive Interview with the Big Kahuna.”

    If you’ve ever heard or read one of the many “Top Ten Reasons _____ is Better Than Sex” they all steal from a list I wrote many years ago for my local sports car club newsletter (Top Ten Reasons Autocrossing is Better Than Sex).

    • Karl

      Yep! Autocrossing IS better than sex. Especially on a Sunday afternoon! Friday night is another story, though.
      What’s you region if I may be so bold.

      • Grog

        I was in the Northeast Region, with Fairfield County Sports Car Club. Now I’m in FL and have only done two events in 9 years, neither in my own car. And yourself?

        • Karl

          WNY but I’m moving back to Pittsburgh so I will be transferring to Steel Cities or Central PA. Bought a 95 Vette couple of years ago and been campaigning with it. It’s an automatic (blew both knees out) so unless I do something about the 2.59s in the rear I will remain rather uncompetitive. Love it anyway!

    • Grog, do you ever hang out at the comics page or could it be someone there stole your name?

      I shall seek out your blog!

  • Karl

    Ummmm….. because it’s my name?

  • Ted

    I’m a retired serial killer. Ted Bundy was my hero. Till this day, I’ll not sit in any chair without looking first to see if it is plugged in.

  • I am the daughter of Jonco… Krisco would be me username except I don’t like to be associated too closely with lard (ha!)… So it’s now Krisgo. Shameless plug: visit my blog – I was inspired to start it by my dad. :)

  • xalaskan

    Another self explanatory one. My grand exodus from the place I called home for 40 years.
    I’m not sure if I like the name as a ‘handle’, as it sounds kind of has-been ish, or quitter.
    I left in search of new horizons, ..just haven’t found the right name yet.

  • dimndgal1

    I absolutely love Neil Diamond, much to the amusement of just about everyone I meet (I’m a bit younger than his normal fan)

    When I picked the name, I was thinking of that but everyone assumes I just am out for shiny stones.

  • roadgeek

    I do like to take a ride in the car. Like to see what’s over the next hill. Like to take the road less traveled. Hate interstate highways. So The Roadgeek.

  • Old Geezer

    For a significant part of my illustrious career I was the youngest person in the room. I was referred to as the “The Kid.” Then, suddenly, I was the oldest person in the room. I would often start sentences with, “I’m just an old geezer but,…” The rest is history.

  • Firtzi

    A viennese friend of mine is married to a very nice man. His name is Fritz. One day my friend wrote his name wrong and since that day we both call him Firtz. Since I’m a woman I call myself here Firtzi, to make it sound more feminine.

  • Richard

    I use “Richard” because “DJ” and “infi” were already taken…

  • revrick315

    Back in the infancy of the internet, I was developing the first website for Fort Knox. I was looking at an automated app on another site and wanted to see how it worked so I could implement something similar myself. I ran the app and zip…my ‘Ordination’ certificate started printing out. I’d been ordained over the internet. Seemed pretty slick to an atheist, so I became revrick and appended the 315 one time when an app required at least 8 characters for the name.

  • Mathman54

    Unsurprisingly, because I am a juggler. No, wait, that’s someone else’s joke. Math is one of my two passions. I’m a Quality Engineer, which means I live in a world of statistics. 52 cards in a deck + 2 jokers. (There’s always a couple of jokers, anyplace you go.) Cards are fun to play with and useful for illustrating Probability concepts.

  • hcmom

    Mine is short for hardcoremom. (halo)

  • You have asked me this before, Mike. But for the world, it is only my and my wife’s name combined. Back in the late 90′s when we first got an internet PC we had to come up with a username. After very little – repeat, very little – thought I came up with SCO from Scott, A for And, and KAT for Kate. Thus we became Scoakat on our account. Over the years I have done more on the internet so I have kind of taken the name over, and kept it even though I get some pronunciation/spelling grief sometimes – it rhymes with ‘snow hat’.

    Not so dramatic, the name just, well, happened. Still, I knew it was unique and that was what mattered at the time.

  • Kevin

    Oddly enough, this is the one single site where I don’t use a pseudonym. I have so many different nyms that I have to keep a list of them and where I use them. The trick being, to keep the separate online personalities from being connected. Tough to do these days.

  • grumpy

    If I yada yada’d about grumpy (notice no G, I hate the shift key) I’d have to start way back starting at my first experience at band camp. One day aw… fuck it, screw you.

  • Barbwire

    My daughter told me I had to use a pseudonym on the internet, so I just picked a nickname from my childhood that I always hated. Go figure.

  • infidel

    mine goes back to 9-11 I will always be a infidel rather than submit to Islam

  • Barbwire

    It was the only thing that came to mind. Over the years, I’ve grown fond of it.

    • Barb Dwigher

      As a kid I was “skinny as a wire” and where I came from wire with barbs was always barbed wire. If I had lived some place else I might have had to borrow from (Another) Scott.

  • Mary

    I am laughing so hard at all the revelations here! Amazing back stories, upfront “it’s because it’s me”, and mysteries solved. I’d respond with my reactions to individuals but, that’s overindulging seeing my name in print. Kudos to all for responding, and to Mike Firesmith to hitting a chord.

  • Bella

    Ok, I don’t think Ted is a serial killer. Just a hunch. My story is same as many. My son told me not to use my real name on the internet when I was a rookie and Richard actually pegged it right on many years ago. My name Bella comes from the town Bella Coola in British Columbia that has the most beautiful scenery that I have ever seen in my life. Coming from God’s country, that is quite a statement. Very observant of Richard too, I might add. :) BTW, many of you already know but my real name is Cheryl. Call me anything, just not late for dinner. ;) You Rock Mr. Firesmith!

  • A L N

    just my initials.

  • Troglodyke

    I was searching for a pun-tastic screen name back when I first got in online forums on AOL. Yes, AOL. I thought of this play on words (I am actually a lesbian), and here we are.

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