Santa Claus stopped by my house yesterday… (plus Contest!)
And left a check, from Random House. Just in time for Christmas. I’m a paid author now. Wow.
So, I’m in the mood to celebrate. And speaking of grizzled, bearded old guys, I’m also in the mood to rename one of my characters. So, contest time!
I have a character in
Goats on a Boat Surrender of a Siren (as it says in my shiny new contract) in dire need of a new name. He’s the steward of the ship, which means he’s the captain’s manservant. His working name has been “Grub” – because I wanted something one-syllable with an evocative sound, like “Smee” from Peter Pan. I chose “Grub” after picking out random syllables from Lewis Carroll’s The Jabberwocky. For some reason, I kept gravitating toward G – “gyre”, “gimble” (that was his name at one point), “grabe”. But alas, I already have two other characters whose names start with “G” – not least of all, the hero, Gray. So I need a name with a different evocative sound. His primary characteristics are a flair for theatrics and a lot of hair:
Surely there was a man in there somewhere, Sophia thought. Somewhere under all that hair.
The hunched, ancient steward shuffled down the narrow staircase, whistling a jaunty tune as he went. She followed, treading gingerly on the bowed boards. As her eyes adjusted to the dim lighting, she took in the greasy, gray tangle of hair that hung midway down the man’s back, the grizzled froth of beard that extended nearly as far down in front, the lightly furred forearms exposed by his loose checked tunic.
Heavens, even the tops of his bare feet sported a thick growth of hair.
“’Ere we are, miss,” he announced. “Ladies’ cabins.” He pushed aside a thin curtain of dark fabric, and they entered a small, low-ceilinged chamber with a round table and chairs occupying the center. Sunlight streamed into the space from a skylight above. Four doors opened off the small room, two on either side. The steward crossed to the door marked ‘Seven’ and opened it with a flourish. “Your berth, miss.”
So, what should I call this guy? Kindly list your one-syllable suggestions! Get creative with those Scrabble tiles. Something slightly onomatopoeic would be nice.
I’ll leave the contest open through Sunday, and I’ll choose two winners – one at random, one for my favorite suggestion – each will receive a $20 gift certificate to the online bookstore of his/her choice.
Have a great weekend, everyone!