Effing Feline never admits guilt

Photos: DepositPhotos

Fart-Fueled Flying Feline, Effing for short, writes the Weekend Writing Warrior / Sunday Snippet posts on Mr. V’s behalf. Click the pic for info.

I, Effing Feline, refuse to admit any wrongdoing. It’s the Russians’ fault. Maybe the Chinese. They must’ve  hacked my account. Trust me on this!

You see, every once in a while I’m willing to obey the rules and include the information about Weekend Writing Warriors that I’m supposed to — but I haven’t done it for ages. So here goes:

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Join us to share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Your post needs to be live between 12:00 noon on Saturday 02/04/17 and 09:00 AM on Sunday 02/05/17. Visit the other participants on the list and read, critique and comment on their 8sunday posts.

This omission is absolutely not my fault. I am a cat, which exonerates me from any culpability for any and all wrongdoings, omissions, or torn drapes.

Today, I chose a selection from The Trial of Tompa Lee, the first science fiction novel that my pet human, Ed, ever got published, nearly 12 years ago.  In cat years, that’s … well, forever.  Although Trial has strong elements of romance, it isn’t SFRom. Here’s the very opening.

They’d started without her, the maggoty cockroaches.

Tompa Lee tried the door handle again. Locked. Clenching her fists, she glared at the sign on the door of the K Deck mess hall: Briefing in Progress Do Not Enter. How dare they flickin’ shut her out!

After a moment, though, she slowly stuffed her anger into hiding. Sailors in the Commerce Space Navy didn’t lose their temper.

But it wasn’t her roach-damned fault she was late. No one had told her about the flickin’ briefing.

Effing Feline here again. Be sure to visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday posts.

Effing Feline divider
 The Trial of Tompa Lee was originally published in hardcover by Five Star Science Fiction; after the rights reverted, it because the first book I ever self-published. Twice it has risen to number two on Amazon’s sci fi/space fleet list — but never number one.  Sigh.

Tompa Lee is a homeless ‘street meat’ who has clawed her way up to the bottom-most rung of the Space Navy . . . but her dream job plummets into a nightmare when she’s framed for mass murder on an alien planet.

Dante Roussel is the Navy policemen who surrenders Tompa to the Shons . . . but he is horrified to learn that they require a trial-by-combat, so Tompa faces three hundred accusers.

Awmit is an old, lower-class Shon who is the sole witness to Tompa’s innocence . . . but to prove it, he must find the valor and strength to fight and die at her side.

Can Tompa learn to trust and love not only a member of the alien race that wants to slaughter her . . . but also the cop who betrayed her to cruel alien justice?

The Trial of Tompa Lee is currently free, so this is a great time to make it your own:

Effing Feline divider

Finally, my most recent book, Newborn, is available at a reduced price during Patty’s latest cross promotion.





  1. I’m just thinking how does she know there is a briefing if nobody told her and the door is locked. Maybe the room is just empty and she is paranoid. Very interesting beginning anyway.

    1. Either that or somebody doesn’t want her in there.

  2. Nifty, exciting and all those good words. Feelin’ good, my friend and it shows. Be well. As for me, I’m almost 86 as of 2/13, too cute for words. Vertigo from the fall last April hangs on yet I keep on writing.

    New hot book-ten thou thus far. I could use a swell review for Chef’s Surprise-any takers?

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll take a look at Chef’s Surprise as soon as I get the chance.

  3. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    I love her colorful metaphors. lol Great insight to her character.

    1. Yes, Tompa uses colorful language all right. She has quite a mouth on her.

  4. A cat is constitutionally incapable of being ‘guilty’ of anything, Effing. It’s a law!

    Excellent start, Ed. Looking forward to more.

    1. I agree in the sense that their incapable of feeling guilt, unlike dogs. Twiggles the dog sometimes looks like the epitome of guilt.

  5. Love the way you show how feisty she is right from the start.

    1. Feisty trending toward downright combative.

  6. nancygideon · · Reply

    What colorful oaths! I like her already!

    1. As I said above, Tompa has quite a mouth.

  7. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    I love this introduction! Great emotion and very intriguing! Heading over to get it now. Thanks Ed! 🙂

    1. No, thank you Jessica.

  8. Intriguing excerpt, so many possibilities for where the plot can go next! Well done…

    1. The anger she shows in this excerpt is a major motivator throughout the book.

  9. She’s one angry woman! I bet she bursts into the meeting.

    1. No way am I going to bet against you, Aurora.

  10. Nice mixture of action and character-building in those opening lines.

    Go, Effing. Never admit guilt until there’s nothing left to do but to throw yourself at the mercy of the accuser. lol

    1. It sounds like you’re part cat, Teresa.

  11. I’ve probably said it before, but you have the most amazing imagination, Ed. This sounds a most intriguing story and I shall go post haste to obtain a copy.

    1. I don’t know about imagination, Rachel. I think I just see the world from a slightly different angle, and when it comes to writing, I tend to toss aside the first thought that comes into my mind and do the opposite.

  12. Andrea R Huelsenbeck · · Reply

    What a great opening.

    1. Glad you think so, Andrea.

  13. Diane Burton · · Reply

    You hooked me! Love Tompa Lee. She’s an interesting character.

    1. Tompa is one of my very favorite fictional creations, along with Sandrina from The Guardian Angel of Farflung Station.

  14. Intriguing beginning. Will she find a way inside? Why are they keeping her out? Great snippet!

    1. I’m glad you found some unanswered questions in the snippet — but then, as a writer you know what to look for.

  15. I’m not sure guilt is a feline emotion, unlike those bl**dy dogs.

    1. Exactly! Twiggles the Dog shows a profoundly guilty expression on the slightest misdeed.

  16. I love the use of language. Fantastic.

    1. Tompa comes from an extremely impoverished milieu, so I figured that names for vermin might become curses. Hence phrases like “maggoty cockroaches”.

  17. It could be an accident… but I get the feeling no one told her because no one wanted her there!

    1. But she’s such a sweet, innocent young thing!

  18. Just a few words saying so much about her personality. I blame Effing for everything!

    1. So does Twiggles the Dog.

  19. Nice set up for a strong encounter. I love good scifi worldbuilding, you have me sold.

    1. Thanks! In this book (and the whole trilogy) I spent a lot of effort in the worldbuilding and creating a culture for my aliens, who are herd creatures rather than individualists.

  20. I sense someone has a bit of a temper. Cool. Level-headed characters are seldom fun.

    1. Tompa has a bad temper, a foul mouth, and a lot to learn about working as part of a team.

  21. Sounds as if she was deliberately left out of the briefing. Maybe she’s not a “herd creature” and her free thinking is less than desirable.

    1. She’s definitely not a herd creature. She has trouble even getting along with others.

  22. Maybe she’s not a “herd mentality creature” and can’t bond with the team.

    1. Not even with a team of humans.

  23. elainecsc2013 · · Reply

    Sounds like this was done on purpose. Somebody didn’t want her at the briefing.

    1. Considering how things turn out for her, she’d be better off if didn’t try to get inside.

  24. What a first line, kinda sets the tone of the snippet.

    1. Tompa remains foul-mouthed and angry until almost the very end of the book — indicative of the life lessons she needs to learn.

  25. You paint a perfect picture of her just from this little snippet. I read in the blurb she has to fight 300 aliens. I think she can take them with that attitude! Great snippet!

    1. I’d say you’re right … with the caution that sometimes a chip on the shoulder can conceal insecurity rather than self-confidence.

  26. Love those last two paragraphs. So good! 😀

    1. I can see how Tompa could be your sort of woman.

  27. Love it. Might be because I just read all the flickin’ as fricken’, but pretty sure it’s the maggoty cockroaches line.

    1. The words work well as cursing, don’t they?

  28. I think sailors in the Commerce Space Navy do lose their temper, and she’s about to prove it. Fun snippet!

    1. One thing this snippet doesn’t explain is that she isn’t navy yet. This being the COMMERCE space navy, folks can buy lottery tickets that give a slim chance of becoming a Ship’s Ward for a year. A very few Ship’s Wards get into the Navy, but the rest get to travel the stars.

      Tompa is dead set on making full Navy.

  29. Great flickin’ opening! So much is revealed about Tompa’s character just in that brief snippet.

    1. Yes, you’re introduced to her most salient traits: her temper, her foul language, and the chip on her shoulder.

  30. Downloaded the book. She sounds like a fun character.

    1. I know I’m prejudiced, but I think she’s fun, too … and I don’t think that way about all my characters.

  31. LOL! I love her internal dialogue–especially the colorful slang! Don’t worry Effing, we know you can’t be responsible for omissions. You do a great job of posting!

    1. Yes, Tompa is quick to haul out her expletives.

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