Were you named after a saint?
Actually only one person has ever asked me this, but it got extra points for making me laugh hard. The answer is "No." I was named after my father (did they want a boy for their first-born, or what?!), ClaRENce MaurICE Wernette. Clever, huh?

Do you know of any other Renices?
Yes, I hear of them occasionally. In fact, oddly enough, there is another Renice in this rather smallish town I live in.

I also know a Christine Renice who was named after my sister and me. But the last time I talked to her, some years back, she thought "Renice" was one of the ugliest names she'd ever heard. But then, when I was that age, I had planned on renaming myself "Carol" when I grew up. It was a name I thought infinitely prettier than "Renice" . . . We all have our crosses.

Where are you from? (variation: Why do you have that funny accent when you get tired?)
I am a Texan. It makes no difference that I've now spent more time out of Texas than in -- I was born in Austin of a Good Ol' Boy from Beeville and a Princess from Old Austin. I will forever be a Native Texan, and proud of it, thank you.

Why don't you normally have a Texas accent?
I like to think of myself as a chameleon (TIP: whenever you see a lizard in my visual work, it's a representation of myself). Admittedly, it is a confounding paradox of my existence that I seem to stick out so much, in spite of how hard I try to blend in.

At any rate, I still have access to my native dialect when I need it -- and certainly there are situations where it becomes a real self-preservation device. Indeed, the Texas accent is a dialect of diplomacy. I know of no other with which one can graciously smile while delivering a vitriolic attack. And that's why so many great politicians (is that an oxymoron?) have come from Texas.