Monday, July 2, 2012

Name that pup!

I’m feeling lazy. Let’s have a contest!

You guys might remember Rae has a bit of a thing about coyotes—if by “thing” I can mean “massive childhood trauma.” Rae lost her childhood friend, Sam, when her abusive family put her in a car and drove off with her, and Rae was unable to stop the car because she ran into a menacing coyote in the woods that blocked her from cutting off the car’s path. Rae has been creeped out by coyotes ever since, and really doesn’t like them. Late in the first volume of Masks, however, she had to face her fear in the form of her own memories—a spectral coyote that forced her to answer a question in order to rescue Trevor.

Now, I’m not dropping too many spoilers here, but the adorable little coyote at the top of this blog entry will play a small but important role in Volume 2, helping Rae deal with some of that trauma (and providing much-needed cuteness). But I’m having a devil of a time naming him! So whoever can come up with the right name—the one that clicks in my brain and helps me figure him out—will win a signed copy of Masks Volume 1, in either paper or in finished-soon-I-promise ebook form. (Yes, I can sign an ebook. Win the contest and find out how.) The winner will also receive a limited-edition (because I don’t have them made very often) Masks button or two, including the design above—and a handmade Pocket Coyote of your very own, to be named whatever you like. You’ll also be mentioned, by name, in the acknowledgments of Volume 2.

Now, here’s how to enter! Simply leave your suggested coyote pup name in a comment on this blog entry. You may enter as many times as you like, but each name counts as only one entry; if ten people enter the name “Spot” and I choose that name, the first one to suggest it gets the prize. Except I’ve just suggested “Spot,” so that one’s taken now.

Ground rules (also known as “things I won’t even consider, so don’t bother suggesting”):

1. No naughty words. This is a PG-13 site, so the pup won’t be named anything you can’t say twice in a PG-13 movie. Naughty-word suggestions will not make it past the comment moderator to be entered in the contest, so you’d basically be wasting your time.

2. No Wile E. Coyote references. So no Wiley, no Whylee, none of that. In the unlikely event Masks gets famous enough to attract the attention of lawyers, I don’t need Warner Bros. suing me for copyright infringement.

3. No Cervantes jokes (unless they’re really unusually clever). There’s already been a Don Coyote cartoon, so this pup will not be named Don or Dawn or anything of the kind.

4. The pup cannot be named Kirby, or any variation thereof. Sorry, but Amadeus Cho’s coyote pup was named Kerberos, shortened to Kirby, and because I enjoyed the adventures of Kirby and Amadeus, I consider the name permanently taken.

Other than that, the sky’s the limit! I can tell you so far that the coyote is male, and basically orphaned as a pup; Rae will name him, somewhat unwillingly; he will really like eating black licorice; and he will, of course, be more than he appears, including just a bit magical (in the manner of the Masked Rider … whatever manner that is). He’ll also be a bit bitey when he first shows up, with a habit of gnawing on people’s fingers, as young canines tend to do.

I will announce the winner … ehh, pretty much when I’ve got one. But the sooner you suggest your name, the sooner you can win all that lovely loot!


  1. Slicker, or Slick, given his predilection for licorice and licking and a aptitude for trickiness. :) Rae isn't gonna name him Fluffy - he's getting a name that connotes her distrust of him, but can still evolve into an affectionate term.

    (this is Paula/Roseaponi/Aponiwriter;) )

  2. First name that pops into my head and sticks with a male coyote: Clovis.

    It doesn't have anything to do with the stuff you mentioned, so I'll think about other names, maybe come up with some, maybe not, but Clovis is my first entry.

  3. I will also offer you my former pets' names: Ricochet, my first dog, Sabotage, my hamster, Harlequin Surprise Jester, my dog who goes by Sprise, and Oreo McFurry, my son's rabbit.

    Okay, I don't expect you to pick Oreo McFurry. :)

  4. I'm liking these so far, although Oreo McFurry might take some explaining ... :)

    1. Oreo the bunny is a white lop-ear with black speckles :)

  5. If he won't tell Rae his name, she might just call him by his eye color... (Though that doesn't really work if they're green, or green-gold. But Yellow or Gold might work.)

  6. Alas, he has green eyes. And he won't tell Rae his name, but that's because he doesn't seem to think he needs one. She's the one who decides she has to call him something, and maybe "Fleabag" or "Rabies Vector" won't work for a sidekick.

  7. Going with the green eyes, since, well, Masks already has thing thing about naming characters after eye color, how about "Vert?"

  8. And, while I'm suggesting synonyms of "green," how about "Viridian?"

  9. Also, just to campaign for "Clovis," if you like it but aren't sure how Rae would come up with the name, there are multiple kings named Clovis and a pre-historic culture named Clovis, so there should be something in there that you could have the Coyote remind her of.

  10. Harvey - Rabies Vector -> RV -> Harvey ;)

  11. What about just "Vector?" He's always intercepting her life's path, and "Vector" suggests both the "always moving towards danger" and the "math/science intelligence" characteristics that Rae would probably see in Trevor, but really represent them both to some degree. It really seems to fit Masks thematically.

    But you mentioned it first. I just shortened your version, so if you pick it, you win. :-)

  12. A well-known L.A. street, neighborhood or landmark name might work well. I remember when I was eight and my family first moved to California, we lived in Carson, two blocks from Figueroa Street, which I later learned could take you all the way to downtown Los Angeles. My Dad nicknamed the street "Figgy", so I nominate Figueroa, "Figgy" for short. (We also lived near Sepulveda Boulevard, but "Seppy" never really stuck.)