Effing Feline invokes Egyptian gods #wewriwa

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, don’t understand why some humans consider themselves superior to cats. Sure, you’re bigger. Sure, you have opposable thumbs. Sure, you can open cat food cans. BUT your persistence is rather pitiable. When I decide to take a nap, I NAP! I don’t change my mind and clean my butt, instead.

Unlike Ed, my pet human, who  decided last week I should choose selections from his Christmas tale, Alien Contact for a Christmas Nutcracker. But I used this book last year, and he figures many of you may remember it. (As though his writing is all that memorable. Hah!)

So instead I’m going to select from a WIP. You’ve seen some snippets from Book 1 in his upcoming SFR trilogy. Here’s the opening of book 2, tentatively title Pandora Uncaged.

Color key:

Red=first ten lines
Green=additional lines, which you can skip if you’re bored or need a catnap

Late at night, when the others were asleep and Chang He, the brightest moon, floated over the world, Pandora Dayle would sometimes creep outside and walk the unpaved paths between the cages. She walked stealthily, quietly. If she didn’t, the animals would howl or screech or trill the alarm and wake someone up.

It had long since become a game to her. Could she sneak past the cute little boothies without waking a dozen of them?

How about the hideous yet innocuous shymonsters, whose rumbling bellows could awaken even the dirt under her feet?

Or so it seemed.

And then there were the chasm cats. In the beginning, they were the hardest to sneak past, because darkness was their time to pace and prowl. Now, though, they were co-conspirators.

They stopped pacing to follow her with their eyes, and if Chang He’s gentle light found their faces, their eyes glowed red. But they said nothing. That was because they’d been caged here for years, like her, and they knew she wasn’t worth raising an alarm.

That delighted Pandora. She wanted very much to be not worth raising an alarm. Just let her sneak through life, please, like an invisible ghost.

Effing Feline here again. Ed is telling poor little me what to do yet again. By all the Egyptian gods, he is getting bossy! He says to pass along that he is looking for beta readers for this book. Click here if you’re a glutton for that punishment.

There. I did it, Ed. Are you happy now, you slave driver?

Be sure to visit the other great writers in Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday.

Pandora Uncaged

Tentative title, tentative blurb

Pandora Dayle is her family’s black sheep. She’s rebuilt her battered self-respect by working at an isolated facility for saving animals. Her redemption feels as fragile as a dream, but she’ll be okay if nothing traumatic happens.

But when the best friend from her innocent childhood arrives, her insecurities mushroom.

Aidan used to be Pandora’s best friend. As an adult, he’s been a policeman and now a Search and Rescue leader. He adored innocent young Pandora so much he judges every woman by her idealized memory…and finds them wanting.

But when he rediscovers the real thing, she’s not at all what he expected.

Booker, a naïve Apprentice Cupid for a secret organization, receives his second assignment: get Pandora and Aidan to mate. It should be easy, because they were best friends fifteen years ago. His strategy: Fly Aidan to her island and tell him to impregnate her.

Aside from little things like a hurricane and the revelation that he’d led the police squad that burned down her brothel, what could possibly go wrong?



  1. I like that last line. Don’t we all 🙂

    1. YOU ask that? A writer who puts her daydreams out for people to pay for? Authors aren’t seen by their readers, but we aren’t really invisible.

      1. LOL … indeed. I wish I could just put stories on the market while staying “invisible” 🙂

  2. Is Effing related to the chasm cats? 😉

    I like this beginning!

    1. Well, Effing’s eyes have been known to glow. Maybe he and the chasm cats all have a lot of tapetum lucidum, the special reflective structure that creates the appearance of glowing at night. (This is sci fi, so I have to throw in some science somewhere.)

  3. This sounds great! Effing, don’t complain. Unlike many people these days, you have a steady gig.

    1. Telling Effing not to complain is like telling the tide not to come in. Is your name really Canute?

  4. A glowing start – I like Pandora already.

    1. Every once in a while I get into these ‘poetic’ modes. This short (300 word) Prelude tells the reader more about Pandora than the entire13-page first chapter does.

  5. What an intriguing opening! I loved this snippet! I want very much the opposite of Pandora. To raise alarms wherever I go and be noticed and appreciated by all who I encounter. 😀 Not too much to ask, right?

    1. The difference between you and her is that Pandora has ‘capital s’ Secrets.

      A couple times in my life I’ve been recognized and stopped on the street — for my music, not my writing. It was quite gratifying, though only as long as it happens but rarely.

  6. Wonderful descriptions in the snippet, but the most intriguing sentence is the final one of the blurb. Now I really want to read this story! Way to hook your audience, Ed! Effing, you seem to have pretty free rein here. Don’t knock a good thing!

    1. Thanks so much, Jenna!

  7. What a fascinating world you created in just a few sentences. Can’t wait to read more.

    1. If you read closely, I haven’t really ‘created’ my world yet, just hinted that it exists — and is much larger than the page. It’s a bit of authorial sleight of hand.

  8. Chasm cats (and all the other creatures) sound so COOL! Great snippet…

    1. I fell in love with the chasm cats’ name. Originally they were going to be mentioned once and then never again, but I found myself mentioning them several more times — them and the shymonsters.

  9. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Fabulous world building here! I am completely intrigued! Looking forward to more of this story!

    1. I have to admit that I really really love building a fictional world. I guess it shows.

  10. Love that she is a co-conspirator with the animals. Now that’s my kind of world. Write on!

    1. That line tells you a lot about how she sees the animals.

  11. Cathy Brockman · · Reply

    Interesting opening! Eager to see more

    1. And you shall, Shari, you shall.

  12. Elaine Cantrell · · Reply

    whose rumbling bellows could awaken even the dirt under her feet? That’s quite a line. Love it.

    1. A beast called a shymonster deserves a monstrous bark, don’t you think?

  13. Love the imagery of the walk through the unpaved paths between the cages and descriptions of those animals. Loved the snippet.

    1. Animals always grab readers attention — and there are plenty of animals in this trilogy.

  14. I love this opening! The imagery is great and so is the worldbuilding.

    1. I’m glad to hear it. Thanks!

  15. I love the worldbuilding in this! I might be able to beta read for you. What’s your timeframe?

    1. I used the contact form on your website to respond. Let me know if you don’t get my messsage.

  16. Love this beginning and imagery, Ed. Effing has had some influence on this piece I see.

  17. Can’t decide which name I love more: chasm cat or shymonster. A great beginning!

    1. Coming up with names like that is fun. Personally I prefer chasm cats, but shymonster gives a better immediate impression.

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