Nose to the Grindstone & Contest

Posted: December 26th, 2014 under contest, the writing life.
Tags: ,

NewBook is growing nicely, at 210 pages, moving right along every time I sit down to it,  so I think we need a contest to end this year and start the next. 

You know there are lifeboats in it.   And that people usually like to name whatever boats are holding them up out of the wet.   So, let’s have a lifeboat naming contest.    Four lifeboats need names.   They are inflatables with canopies; they do not have rudders or motors, but do have oars.   The people in them include those who have sailed or used motorboats (on lakes, rivers, inshore and offshore waters–experience variable from one individual to another) and those who have never been on water–and none of them have cold-open-ocean experience.  So…what will they name the lifeboats?

As usual, entries will be assigned a number and a random drawing will determine the winners.  You may enter four times (one name for one boat–number your lifeboat choice.)  The prize?  Winners’ lifeboat names will be in the book.   So there might be four different winners, one for LB-1, one for LB-2, etc.  or there might be fewer winners.  It’s all up to the random number generator except for one thing:  names I really-really-really hate won’t be included (that would be names I think would be considered obscene or seriously disgusting by most readers including Editor–though I agree real survivors might well name their lifeboat F-word-something or some racial/gender/ etc insult)  and those individuals will be notified and offered a chance to enter another name.

Post your suggestions, one lifeboat name (designated as #1, #2, #3, #4.)  That way I can make four lists, each to be randomized separately.

This was a longer and more interesting post before a power outage….and I desperately need a nap now, so you’re stuck with just the tail end of the previous one.



  • Comment by GinnyW — January 1, 2015 @ 1:19 pm


    Wishing all of you a Happy New Year, wherever you are. And special thanks to Elizabeth for Deeds of Honor, it was (and is) a great read.

  • Comment by Steve H. — January 2, 2015 @ 10:47 pm


    #1 Guppy
    #2 Minnow
    #3 The Beagle
    #4 Enterprise

    Baker ’87 – Go Owls!

  • Comment by Angela — January 3, 2015 @ 8:16 pm


    4-Rubber Baby Body Bouncer

    Well just because. I always thought an inflatable raft turned upside down would make a great bed…easy to pack when you move, but where to get oval sheets???

  • Comment by pjm — January 4, 2015 @ 4:59 am


    Hi everyone. Time for my 2d worth.

    #1 Lieu. We’re meant to be in a proper boat but we’re here in lieu (plus it sounds a bit like something that has a lot of unpleasant water).
    #2 Elsie Bee (officially Life Craft B).
    #3 El Seasick (officially LC-C)
    #4 El Crook (officially LC-D)

    The Editor might not approve of the variations on official designations of Rescue Craft A, etc.

    #1 Coff’s Harbour (some passengers have not been feeling well)
    #2 Betteren Drownen
    #3 Gloria Soap
    #4 Quarter Deck

    Another penny worth later. (Actually I still have a couple of Australian pre-decimal pennies).



  • Comment by karen — January 5, 2015 @ 9:33 am


    1 Snafu
    2 Fubar
    3 Neptune
    4 Aphrodite

    1 Hydra
    2 Seahorse
    3 Medusa
    4 Siren

    1 Halsey
    2 Bismark
    3 Sullivan’s
    4 Drake

    The first two names comes from spending the past 24 hours reading the three most recent WEB Griffin novels in which those two phrases were used quite often. They do seem to fit any type of situation in a lifeboat very well. By the way I highly recommend his books, they’re not SF but he’s an incredible writer. If you like Elizabeth’s military stuff and David Webers books you will love him.

  • Comment by karen — January 5, 2015 @ 9:47 am


    1 Snafu
    2 Fubar
    3 Davy Jones Locker
    4 Dead Mans Chest

    1 Neptune
    3 Hydra
    4 Siren

    1 Halsey
    2 Nimitz
    3 Drake
    4 Cook

  • Comment by sillysno — January 5, 2015 @ 12:45 pm


    1) Salish
    2) Splash
    3) Taken
    4) Bath

  • Comment by sillysno — January 5, 2015 @ 12:47 pm


    !@#$ auto correct :((

    1) Splish

  • Comment by Lynda MS — January 6, 2015 @ 12:32 am


    #1. Gullible
    #2. Ternabout
    #3. Make waves
    #4. The Dinky

  • Comment by Charles S — January 6, 2015 @ 12:56 am


    Do they still read CS Forester?
    #1 Le Reve (captured by the Spanish…but leads to Hornblower’s promotion)
    #2 Hotspur (first command)
    #3 Lydia (defeats the Natividad…twice)
    #4 Witch of Endor (Hornblower escapes from the French in this)

  • Comment by greycats — January 6, 2015 @ 1:07 am



    John B.

  • Comment by Richard (Simpkin) — January 6, 2015 @ 1:39 am


    #1 Grace
    #2 Bobbin
    #3 Conteeky
    #4 Hope

    Surely names that several people have come up with independently deserve several chances of making the book.

    Elizabeth, you posted (9) “this planet is not Earth. In fact, it’s a long long way away in space and time. Not sure they’d even know the names of the old system’s planets. But they might.”

    From Vatta IV p443 (Orbit pb), John Mackensee talking to Teddy Ransome, “are you aware of the history of your ship’s names?” Ransome replied, “Back in the days of Old Earth, the days of wind and sail” So in principle, yes, the lore survives somewhere, whether or not the survivors have access to it.

    Glorious, Courageous and Furious – I love those three names as a trio that go together, and the secret joke (against Ransome) they embody.

  • Comment by Richard (Simpkin) — January 6, 2015 @ 1:57 am


    P.S. not really suitable for Ky et. al. (and might there be copyright issues?), but talking of watery survival and rescue, who remembers The Floating Bear and The Brain of Pooh?

  • Comment by Sharidann — January 6, 2015 @ 3:58 am


    Assuming we have Vattas on board…

    1) Fruitcake
    2) Auntie Grace
    3) Slotter Key
    4) Gary Tobay

    And just for fun

    1) Bowline
    2) Sheepshank
    3) Fisherman’s Bend
    4) Bends Double

  • Comment by GinnyW — January 6, 2015 @ 8:13 pm


    It might make a difference who is in the other three rafts and what planet they are on:
    #1 rockin’
    #2 rollin’
    #3 sittin’ (and)
    #4 trollin’

    I keep thinking of Winken, Blinken and Nod, but the situation seems more dire than peaceful.

  • Comment by Suburbanbanshee — January 6, 2015 @ 11:10 pm


    #1: Safety Orange
    #2: Floaty Thing
    #3: Butt-in
    #4: Doss Boat

  • Comment by Charles S — January 6, 2015 @ 11:33 pm


    #1 Bandersnatch
    #2 Jubjub
    #3 Snarl
    #4 Boojum

    2nd set

  • Comment by Carolyn — January 7, 2015 @ 7:15 am


    #1 Ayu
    #2 Bream
    #3 Cod
    #4 Dory

  • Comment by AThornton — January 8, 2015 @ 7:16 pm


    The Defiant — the one Admiral Vatta is on

    Lima Bravo {Boat Number} – the one MSgt Pitt is on, or if not in the book her senior enlisted equivalent

    The Butt Bouncer – another one carrying junior officers/enlisted

    The Maydaze! – the other another one, also crewed by juniors

  • Comment by Charles S — January 9, 2015 @ 10:32 pm


    correction to my 2nd set:
    #3 should be Snark not snarl

    3rd set (optimistically named for clippers)

    #1. Scottish Maid
    #2. Flying Cloud
    #3. Chasseur
    #4. Cutty Sark

  • Comment by Dale — January 10, 2015 @ 7:28 am


    2nd round:

    #1: Patches
    #2: Lowest Bidder
    #3: Last Resort
    #4: Unlikely Event

  • Comment by Dale — January 10, 2015 @ 7:42 am


    3rd Round:

    #1 Bobber
    #2 Kraken Bait
    #3 Flotsam
    #4 Jetsam

  • Comment by rkduk — January 10, 2015 @ 12:08 pm


    Despite the alternative names, this is a single entry:

    1) Sheep’s Clothing (a.k.a. Wolf)
    2) Gadfly
    3) Your Fault (a.k.a. Yours, or Yourf)
    4) My Fault (a.k.a. Mine, or Mife)

    Depending on how the lifeboats communicate with each other, it might be necessary to make the names easy to understand when shouted through a storm, as when “larboard” was changed to “port” because it sounded too much like “starboard”.

    And if communications might be tapped by others, having more names than four could be useful.

  • Comment by Richard (Simpkin) — January 10, 2015 @ 1:23 pm


    A second go for fun
    #1 Aquarius
    #2 Bobtail
    #3 Concord
    #4 Fair Dinky

    and a third for a chance to see in print a name that means something to me personally (without being too blatant)
    #1 Alma Dean
    #2 Gobion’s Ark
    #3 Nora Rose
    #4 Quam Videri

  • Comment by Judy — January 10, 2015 @ 8:57 pm


    In my ironic category, I nominate Scylla, Charybdis, Andrea Doria, and Flying Dutchman. However, closest to my heart as a former biology teacher are several creatures with a unusual relationship with water:
    1)Ouzel (or dipper, a small bird that “flies” under streams to get its bugs)
    2)Portuguese man-of-war or Physalia, a symbiotic colony related in part to jellyfish, its upper “sail” allowing it to be blown to and fro across the ocean surface, and feeding via the tentacles dragging below the surface
    3) Water strider, or Gerrida, an insect rather like a crane fly that scoots around supported by the surface tension of the water on still streams and pools, and finally, my absolute favorite,
    4) Basilisk. The juvenile basilisk, when threatened by a predator, escapes by running rapidly across the surface of water, slapping its large feet hard enough to support it from one step to the next. If you’ve never seen one, check it out on U-Tube by looking up “Jesus Christ lizard”. (There was also a nice article on them in Scientific American a couple of decades ago.) (I really hope this one gets picked.)

  • Comment by Moira — January 13, 2015 @ 10:59 am


    Aside from the grand old ship names, I think my faves so far are Flotsam and Jetsam!

    Closely followed by (and for fans of Xena, this is more than just a happy coincidence) Aphrodite and Fruitcake. 😉

  • Comment by Ken — January 15, 2015 @ 12:34 pm


    When I was much younger, I lived on a boat. Spend a night on the Pacific Ocean in a bunk under a leaky deck, and naming your tortore is way less important than getting warm, and finding somewhere dry to spend the next night. Note that sleeping on a wet sponge of a mattress is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and sleeping in a puddle on a heaving wet rubber surface sounds worse.

    I imagine that long after the fact, I might consider:

    #1 the Waterlogged
    #2 SS Dreadful
    #3 Windjammer
    #4 Lost and Found

  • Comment by Mike — February 9, 2015 @ 11:54 pm


    Space themed, long way from ‘home’ in time and space, and possibly no longer connected to home. Got it.


  • Comment by Eowyn — February 18, 2015 @ 4:54 pm


    #1) Why Me
    #2) Lil Buddy
    #3) Sardine
    #4) Safety Net

    It wouldn’t fit your rules but “Handbasket” might appeal to some

  • Comment by Shannara — March 9, 2015 @ 1:56 pm


    1. Summer’s Eve
    2. Daisy

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