Effing Feline practices catching mice

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, got some Stern but useful advice from one of you last week. When I complained about have no mice to catch, Caitlin said: “There’s always toy mice, Effing. Good practice!”

But when I crawled under the love seat to retrieve my catnip mouse, I discovered Ed the Pet Human was right: I need to lose weight. I spent half the hissing day trapped under the #*&@ couch. Ed finally saved me — but couldn’t the lazy, flea-bitten idiot have done it sooner?

Today, another selection from The Trial of Tompa Lee. Tompa’s work-shift on Space Navy Ship Vance was chosen for the first shore leave on a planet of intelligent herd creatures. Here Tompa descends to the planet in a shuttle that was actually on the drawing boards when Ed wrote the book.

Tompa’s group rode light-craft LC-407V down from the Vance’s orbit. That terrified and thrilled her at the same time.

For one thing, she’d never actually ridden in one of the fast-but-tiny shuttles she was learning to maintain. To reach the Vance’s orbit around earth, she’d taken a huge craft that held a hundred people. On that shuttle, you didn’t feel every jolt or shift of direction, you didn’t smell machinery straining, you didn’t grow heavy and sweaty as the shuttle burned through the atmosphere. Light-craft were built for speed and efficiency, not comfort.

For another thing, last month she’d replaced this very craft’s Pulsed Detonation Engine, used for atmospheric flight. Trusting life and limb to her own inexperienced work curdled her blood, in a glorious kind of way.

Effing Feline here ‘gain. Lemme tell you folksh, I am absholoootely LOVING practicing wi’ my catnip moush. Hic!

Be sure to visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday posts.

Effing Feline divider

The Trilogy of Tompa Lee

The Trial of Tompa Lee is the first book in The Trilogy of Tompa Lee.  Here are the sequels.

The Tribulations of Tompa Lee

Goddess or madwoman? Even she isn’t sure.

Tompa Lee now serves as ambassador to the Shons’ planet and is hailed as their goddess — even though she’s paranoid about fellow humans and has a dead man living in her head. When the Klicks, mankind’s deadliest enemy, destroy the embassy, a ragtag group of Shon and human survivors expect her to save them.

PS — I’ve designed a brand new cover for  Tribulations (shown at right). Check it out!

The Triumph of Tompa Lee

Triumph_ruins_i_thumbnailNow the prey stalks the hunter

Because Tompa Lee forges an upstart alliance between humans, Shons, and Klicks, the Trading Council hires Earth’s most feared bounty hunter to kill her. After the hunter lures her to deserted ruins by kidnapping her fiancé and her best friend, Tompa can save her loved ones only if she finally tames the goddess — and the madness — she carries inside.



  1. Diane Burton · · Reply

    Effing better go easy on the hard stuff. LOL Tompa is quite a character (pun intended). In this snippet, you made me feel what she does. Great job.

    1. I agree about Effing and the hard stuff; he’s wild enough even when sober.

  2. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    Enjoyed the snippet and learning more about your character. Sounds like her flight was a bit thrilling. 🙂

    1. It’s the beginning of her big adventure, which will lead her to far different places than she expected.

  3. “Trusting life and limb to her own inexperienced work curdled her blood, in a glorious kind of way.” I grinned and nodded at that line b/c surely one of the greatest thrills is testing the merits of your own work.

    1. It’s only the greatest thrill if the shuttle doesn’t explode with you on it!

  4. You do a great job of making the imaginary real.

    BTW, your link on the Wewriwa page was broken when I clicked on it.

    1. The link seems okay now.

  5. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    I love the detail in this snippet. Makes me feel like I’m in the craft with her.

    Sounds like you’re enjoying the catnip mouse, Effing. 🙂

    1. As you know, Jessica, one of the challenges in science fiction is that you not only have to tell a good story, you also have to create a believable world. This snippet is aimed at the latter issue.

  6. nancygideon · · Reply

    I’ll be feeling the same things in five days flying out to your neck of the woods! Great descriptions, Ed. Thanks for unsettling my Che.

    1. Hopefully your plane ride will be smoother than Tompa’s. And by the way, there are no woods to have a neck down here, except high in the mountains.

  7. Tompa sounds like a gutsy woman. I’m looking forward to reading her story.

    (I agree with Cara, the link doesn’t work – nor last week either.)

    1. Weird. The link works for me, and lots of people have gotten here. Last week, though, was pretty slow around here.

  8. An exciting segment of Tompa’s journey. Way to go, Ed.

    1. I thought I’d try a “science” selection though usually you get “fiction” snippets.

  9. Your descriptions are fantastic, Ed. They’re a natural part of the scene’s point of view and don’t feel forced. Sounds like Effing might need a trip to detox 😉

    One of our moderators alerted the WeWriWa team that your link had a problem. I think it’s been fixed now. By the way Ed, thanks for being a long-term participant!


    1. My thanks to all the moderators, Marcia!

  10. julieevelynjoyce · · Reply

    I’d say I’ll take some of what Effing is having, but I’m not sure the effects would be the same on a human… lol. Loved the snippet, and glad it’s not me having to rely on my own handiwork.

    1. You’re making the assumption that catnip won’t work for you, but have you ever tried it? Maybe it’ll work for you, and it’d be a lot cheaper than booze.

  11. I love the description of the flights and it’s a nice irony that she now has to trust her own handiwork. Really a terrific excerpt!

    1. Trusting her own handiwork makes this scene personal, rather than just a description.

  12. Love it when the experience of futuristic tech is real and gritty, and nothing focuses the mind more than having your life depend on the machinery you’ve worked on 🙂

    1. Considering that you’re a scientist and a science fiction writer, I’m not surprised you appreciate real and gritty tech. The scenes you’ve been posting speak to the same love, with a battle in artificial gravity and dead-man’s bombs.

  13. Love the descriptions and the character. My cat tears up the catnip mice to get the catnip. LOL.

    1. Such is the ultimate fate of many a catnip mouse.

  14. Andrea R Huelsenbeck · · Reply

    I like learning about the differences between the two crafts, in a quick and easy-to-understand way.

    1. This technique is intended to hint at the existence of a whole world of tech beyond what appears in the story.

  15. Love the complex emotions of the snippet. I believe in her!

    1. This paragraph is really just a transition from one place to another. As you know well, in science fiction you can’t assume readers know how people in your fictional universe travel.

  16. Poor fat cat!
    And I feel sorry for Tompa in a different way.

    1. In Tompa’s slang, a “gordo” is a fat cat human. I guess that would make Effing a fat cat cat.

  17. She better hope she fixed it right!

    1. If she didn’t fix it right, this will be a short book!

  18. Very gripping scene. You do have a way with making the fantastic seem real. And Effing, spending a day under the couch doesn’t sound so bad to me.

    1. Poor Effing’s spent a lot of time under furniture lately. First the love seat and then he sniffed himself under the table, so to speak.

  19. Love the description of atmospheric descent. Not sure I’d be brave enough to trust my own handiwork like that.

    1. Ah, but if your repairs worked, you’re marvelously vindicated.

  20. Great snippet. And if you don’t fit under the couch, there probably isn’t anything good there anyway, right?

    1. This is Ed here. I definitely don’t fit under the couch.

  21. Well done on the descriptions.

    1. Thanks, Iris. One interesting thing about this description: there isn’t a single word of visual description.

  22. So glad Effing is having fun at last! Tompa, seems rather disturbed, and rightly so. I think the final line is wonderful and very telling. 🙂

    1. I kinda think Effing’s having too much fun, if you know what I mean.

  23. Sounds like Effing needs a diet! And now Tompa knows what it feels like to be an inexperienced small airplane mechanic. Not that I would know anything about that. 🙂

  24. After this trip, she might just consider herself a semi-experienced mechanic.

  25. Well, if they don’t all die due to engine failure, she probably did it right.

    1. Effing thanks you, Caitlin, for your comment last week. It gave him an excuse to get drunk on catnip.

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