Effing Feline says humans are lazy

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, have recuperated from the trauma of seeing pictures of Willie (at right), a previous family cat. Turns out he was actually Ed’s daughter’s cat, who cohabited here because Beth still lived at home. That means I’m still #1, right?

Ed wants me to switch to a new project. He says he “needs the push” because his “writing efforts have slowed over the last six months.”  I say, “humans are lazy”. After all, we cats never need a reminder or a push to take a nap or eat, right?

Secrets of Love and War is April’s Camp NaNoWriMo project. Due to elbow surgery, Ed didn’t reach his 40K goal — as I said, lazy.  This is the very opening.

The first sign of trouble was soul-shaking thunder at the exact instant Cynthia O’Connor’s wading boot kissed the surface of Twisted Dragon Lagoon, sending ripples across the placid surface.  She stared stupidly.  Her foot, too slender for most shoes, couldn’t possibly cause such a roar.

The sky was clear, so it couldn’t have been thunder.  A sonic boom?  She’d grown up with those nerve-shattering bellows at her dad’s pub near the small spaceport on Kintle-Tilene, her home world, but sonic booms weren’t allowed over this planet’s idyllic cities.  Might ruin the ambience of ancient, civilized calm.  What the Sacred Inferno was hap—

A second shattering burst demolished all thoughts, then a third, fourth, fifth, sixth tore through her ears.  And that could mean only one thing.

“War comes!” shrieked her clan-sister, Kaushelle.

Effing Feline here again. This science fiction romance is raw, unedited text, so Ed says you can critique to your heart’s delight. Guess he’s too lazy to edit it himself.

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

Effing Feline divider

Secrets of Love and War is a working title that may or may  not last. Here’s the book’s tagline:

The destinies—and hearts—of a nurse and an injured enemy pilot become entangled as they search for the horrifying truth underlying the war between their planets.



  1. Absolutely love your scene setting, Ed. Dramatic, poetic and a touch comic. Brilliant!

    Effing, don’t be so rude 😘 you may end up on short-rations.

    1. Poetry interrupted by war, that’s what I was going for.

  2. Interesting start of your new project.
    Hope your elbow is healing nicely.

    1. The elbow’s healing … I just wish it were faster.

  3. Great snippet! The scene setting is fantastic, from that sense of calm to the sudden urge of oncoming war.

    1. Thanks, Elyzabeth!

  4. Very interesting. You hooked me.

    1. That’s what I want to hear!

  5. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Oh, wow! What an opening! I’m ready for more. 🙂

    1. Too bad, because you’ll have to wait till next week for more.

  6. You meanie, making us wait! Be well. Nice beginning and there we are in the midst of war by page 2. What a guy!
    BTW, Tell your feline she is number 2 and always will be.

    1. They craft books always say to start in the middle of things, but I didn’t: this is right at the very beginning.

  7. jakerose · · Reply

    Well that’s not good! The description you use to set the scene is bar none though Ed, awesome job!

    1. The one thing about the description I wonder about is the name “Twisted Dragon Lagoon”. I wonder if people will think this is a fantasy tale, rather than science fiction.

      1. jakerose · ·

        That’s a good point. Most readers probably won’t pay too much mind, but there are always those select few critics who don’t miss a single syllable haha. I’m sure you could easily change the name to something a little more appropriate to the genre you’re going for.

  8. Siren X Star · · Reply

    Very intriguing snippet! It doesn’t matter if you reached your Camp NaNo goal, the important thing is you wrote what you could. Hope your elbow is doing better.

    Effing, please give your human a break 😉

    1. I’m afraid to pass along your message to Effing. He’d probably respond, “Which finger?”

  9. julieevelynjoyce · · Reply

    Wowzers, what an awesome opening, Ed! Love it!!! Don’t tell Effing I’m still sitting here in bed whilst I type this comment….

    1. Okay, I won’t tell Effing … although he would approve. You know how cats are about cuddling against a warm body in bed.

  10. Great opening. The craft books also say “start in the action” and you certainly did that. I wouldn’t worry about Twisted Dragon Lagoon being misleading– you also mention a space port so at worst readers might expect a little magic or fantastic creatures blended in with your SF.

    1. In my mind I see the name, Twisted Dragon Lagoon, referring to the lake’s shape.

  11. Diane Burton · · Reply

    The last sentence was such a surprise. I thought the sound was a dragon’s roar, because she stepped into the pond. Take it easy with that elbow. Hope you feel better soon.

    1. You just reinforced my concerns about naming the pond “Twisted Dragon Lagoon”. Sigh.

  12. An earshattering beginning! Great!

    1. How would this opening be handled in an audio book, I wonder?

  13. Great beginning. Catches the reader right away.

    1. Thanks, Daryl!

  14. This is a great, hooky beginning. Signed, another lazy human.

    1. Uh … did you mean a “hooky” beginning or “hokey” beginning?

      1. Do you dance the Hooky-Pooky?

      2. Only at woo-dings.

  15. I love her trying to puzzle out the sound, searching for a reason for it and discarding what she came up with.

    1. Her puzzlement fits with the notion that this peaceful, sophisticated alien world is exempt from horrors like war.

  16. A very dramatic opening. I sympathise with the elbow. I currently have arthritis (or maybe RSI) in my right wrist, elbow and shoulder. I am having to cut back on writing for a while, which sucks when I have lots I want to write.

    1. I find that I need to keep my momentum going when writing, so the worst thing about the elbow is that it broke my flow. Although I’m back to writing, I’m not doing so every day. Sigh.

  17. Cool, such a dramatic beginning guarantees I want to read on and on. Terrific snippet! Yes, Effing Feline will always be #1 in our hearts anyway.Don’t anyone tell my cats I said that.

    1. I’m flattered, Veronica/Jean. I hate to tell you, though, that you may already in trouble with your cats even though none of us said a word to them. They can sense these things, you know. Telepathically?

  18. Andrea R Huelsenbeck · · Reply

    Wonderful first sentence.

    1. The first sentence of a book has a lot of work to do, so I’m glad you think this one is successful.

  19. Of course you’re number one, Effing!

    Love that moment of stunned confusion, as she tries to figure out what could have possibly made the noise. The actual source of the noise–less love. War can’t be good!

    1. War is about to scramble everything Cynthia thinks she knows.

  20. Hope the elbow is well! Great opening snippet, definitely makes me want to read more.

    1. Good. That’s what an opening should do.

  21. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    Love the calm of the scene, the confusion and then the urgency. Great opening scene.

    1. The consensus seems to be that the scene works, although I’m sure I’ll rework it many times before I’m done.

  22. Love the beginning, Ed, certainly drew me right in and I could ‘visualize’ it all. (My dog Choccy sends love to Effing – not! But I do, I love all animals, especially those with attitude!)

    1. I’m sure Effing will reciprocate Choccy’s feelings!

  23. The Twisted Dragon Lagoon for some reason (probably the word Lagoon) made me think of wading at the water in Disney World. And the same sort of unreal experience would happen if war broke out there. Great way to set the scene and yes, poetry interrupted by war sums it up, Ed. Tell Effing he’s been a tad bit lazier than you!

    1. Picturing Disney World works for me.

  24. You do not mess around with opening hooks, do you?? I like it. Ready for more.

    1. I’ll take that as a compliment.

  25. i like this opening. I think it works. Tiny bit of world building worked into the in medias res start pulled me in, gave me my bearings in this fictional world.

    1. Glad to hear this opinion, Teresa. Thanks!

  26. nancygideon · · Reply

    Boom! And we’re right in the middle of things. Grabs you and pulls you right in. Lazy, my furry cat, Ed. You rock!

    1. Yes, boom — sonic boom.

  27. elainecsc2013 · · Reply

    You made a nice contact between the peaceful wading and the sound of war, and we were immediately drawn into the story.

    1. That’s the general idea, Elaine. I appreciate the confirmation.

  28. kimmydonn · · Reply

    I feel dropped right in the middle of something scary. Perfect for setting the reader on edge from the get go.

    1. War is indeed scary … and dangerous.

  29. That is a killer opening.

    1. And the bombing hasn’t even begun yet!

  30. So much serene. Very intense beginning. 🙂

    1. I’m glad that the serenity came through. I didn’t want to spend much time here describing the pastoral beauty that war is about to destroy, although in the rest of the chapter 1 I have several hints about what has been lost.

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