Kat - The obvious first one began at around 13, when I started playing an online MUD (yes, I'm a nerd) and wanted to try and be a little private about my real name (the internet is a scary place, y'all!). I'd had this odd obsession with the name Katarina for as long as I can remember.. it just seemed so grand and romantic and exotic compared to Katie. I was nervous about revealing too much about myself at the time, so I decided to adopt it, and it spun from there. I started using it more and more with online accounts and then more in real-life situations, and then... well, the rest is history. I adopted the stage name Kat McKenzie for songwriting at around the same time.
Stargirl - Coined by my big brother when I was looking for a name for the MUD. Love stars. Enough said, really.
Gypsy - Blame Davinia for this one. Her favourite Fleetwood Mac song was Gypsy, and she sort of saw me as a nomad and free spirit. I'm unfortunately a lot more grounded and less hippyish than I was as a teenager, but I still like the name and have used it a little on and off.
Kitkat, kittykat - Yeah. Pretty self-explanatory. Many a user of these and other cat-related jokes.
Kate/flossy/chick - My mother only.
Sis - My brother only.
Katie-potatie - My sister (and now her children) only.
Can't think of any others but people are very fond of giving them to me, so this may be amended at a later date...
Well. If you'd asked me 10 years ago, I would have had a very comprehensive answer on this, with a detailed plan that was full of confidence and bravado. Dreams of stardom and success by 21 have long disappeared, and my only current plan is this:
To stop really planning.
Now, I don't mean altogether. I will plan trips, plan where I'll live in a year or so, plan my finances. But I'm going to stop planning what my life will be like in 5 years and expecting it to happen. I just can't predict it or expect it to happen the way I used to, as it has lead me to disappointment, confusion and well, it kinda destroyed my confidence for a while. I was certain that some things would happen in my life and career, and they just haven't, and rather than be depressed about it at this stage, I'm trying to turn it into a positive and remind myself that life is better when it's spontaneous, relaxed and just living day-by-day.
I still have dreams and goals. My only two dreams in life have always been: to be a musician and to be a mother. That has not changed. I'm more realistic now about where my music dreams will probably go, in the fickle and ever-changing business that we now have. But I still want to play, write, record, tour, express. And I will, regardless.
Kids have always been on the radar, and I am the cluckiest woman alive. They will come when they come, when things are settled and money is less tight. And when I have the right sperm donor. (Kidding, kidding). I am excited just thinking about that. And like I've said before, I am really looking forward to being a stay-at-home Mum for the most part. There's no job I can think of that will be more rewarding for me.
So what an exciting future I have to look forward to.