Ever get annoyed? Ever feel like someone needs to be told where the dog died? Or handed a crowbar and a tub of Elbow Grease to help them pry their head out of their arse? Congratulations--you've come to the right place.

And when I'm not commenting on the latest thing to piss me off, I'm trying to figure out my own twisted life. Because, hey, I'm like that.

On a gentler note: for anyone dealing with depression, anxiety, and other assorted bullshit: You are NOT alone.

And if you're looking for a laugh, search on the key word "fuckery." It's just my little thing (as the bishop said to the actress).

Friday, January 28, 2011

99th Page Challenge

Good morning, my blurking darlings. Today we have a slight departure from the norm. I've joined some fellow writers in the 99th Page Challenge. Oh, I can hear all of you now, complaining, "But, Empress, I haven't had time to enter your Sensible Reading Challenge, how can I face another? Dammit!"

Because this one is EASY. Easy-peasy, as the Brits say. This is based on the 99th page test (don't ask me, go over to the Fabulous Alicia's blog, A Slice of the Blog Pie, and read and follow. She's almost to 100 followers, and when she hits it, CONTEST TIME!).

When reading this page and all the others, you should focus and answer the following three questions:
1. Would you turn to page 100?
2. Why or why not?
3. Based on what you read, how likely would you buy the book?

All I'm allowed to tell you is the title and the genre (I HATE having to genre my book, but it's da rules, dammit...)

One Flew Out of the Broom Closet

Hal just shook his head (he does that a lot around me); he’d told me that living in L.A. for a couple of years had given him a high weirdness tolerance—nothing could shock him anymore. “If I cross your palm with silver,would you read my cards?” he asked.

“No, but if you cross it with ten dollars, I’ll be happy to,” Ronnie beamed.

Hal laughed and pulled out his wallet and instead of a sawbuck, he laid a fifty on her. Then I remembered California community property laws; he must have done REALLY well from the divorce, especially if she still had the Beverly Hills property.

OK, I was far too cool and pure of soul to have thoughts THAT avaricious.

Ronnie looked at Hal speculatively and motioned him into the tent. I toasted him with my tea cup and waved him in. She closed the flap behind him, and out of courtesy, I moved over to a nearby picnic bench to sip the mint tea and relax.

It was a perfect early autumn day. If you’ve never been to New England in the fall, you have to make a trip because it’s just breathtakingly beautiful. I won’t live anywhere there isn’t four seasons; the fun of living in Boston is that you can get any one of the four at almost any time: New Englanders live for the January Thaw when, in the middle of the worst of winter, we’ll get a few days of 40-60 degree weather, and all the snow (if we’ve had any that year) will melt. And when Spring first shows her face… there is always one day in March when the temperature will shoot up to 65 degrees and the world will smell GREEN, that incredible scent that promises the cold is leaving and the world is waking up again. On that day, every Bostonian that can gets out for the day—busts out the lighter jacket, the non-winter footwear, and just basks in the weather. We bitch and piss and moan constantly about the weather, but let me tell you, REAL New Englanders, real Bostonians, won’t live anywhere else because we’ve got the best weather in the world. We NEVER get the horrible extremes that you get down South—no hurricanes wiping out the entire freakin’ coast—or like in Buffalo or Chicago, where you’re either buried in snow from October until nearly June or the wind rips your skin off; or like the Midwest where a tornado can take out a town with almost no warning, or Cali where half the state burns down while the other half falls into cracks in the earth. We may get a couple of weeks of extreme heat in the summer (and the humidity SUCKS ASS), but for the most part, it’s a really temperate place to live. Our springs are lovely (when winter doesn’t decide to go straight into summer like it usually does), but our

Our autumns are GLORIOUS. I live in a city where just driving down a street at the height of fall can break my heart with its utter beauty because the trees are a riot of color and the sun creates a golden light that fills my soul with utter peace and joy.

I love where I live.

Today was one of those days. We’d hit September, our first real autumn day when the blast of summer had chilled a bit, and the trees had started to change, although peak hadn’t hit yet down here, and probably wouldn’t for at least another three weeks but there was already a carpet of old pine needles and new-fallen leaves, and the air was scented with wood smoke from Ronnie’s little fire and a couple others around the compound, roasting meats from the cookhouses, crushed pine, a little whiff of stables, and that lovely, loamy fall smell… leaf mould, earth, dew… Gods, I love that smell. For me, that’s the smell of adventure and potential, the scent of life to come. All combining with the lovely mint steam of the tea slid me into a gentle meditative state.

Soooooo... whatcha think?

And don't forget to hit up the other blogs in today's little challenge.


  1. Living in NY I really related to your words. I love the feel and smell of Fall here.
    I liked what you wrote. My only suggestion is to break up that large paragraph a bit. But I enjoyed your page and would turn to the next. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I like your tone and the writing is great. Okay, here's the "but". For me, there was too much description about the weather, it was a large chunk of the page - written very well, mind you, but it was a little heavy.

  3. We're up to 35 already? *dies of shock*

    I'm at an unfair disadvantage because I know what happens on page 100. I do agree with Heather about the size of the weather paragraph.

    Would I read on? Yep. The voice is strong, as is the writing. I'd flip to the beginning before I made my decision on purchase though. Beginnings are always the toughest.

    Thanks for participating and the shout out.

  4. the start of this had me hooked. I liked what I could infer about the fortune telling, the weirdness, and the characters. I want to know more about all three.

  5. Hi,

    See for me, there are novels and novels, and if all were set the same they'd be much like moulded carbon copies. I love reading old books 30s/40s/50s/60s era authors alongside the classics and other great works, the reason being they wrote passages of descriprive prosethat took one away and deposited one in their fictional world. Needless to say I loved this page and would enjoy reading more, so would go out and buy the book! ;)


  6. I agree w/ the comments of the weather paragraph. Also, this line is AWESOME: "had given him a high weirdness tolerance." LOVES it :) I would keep reading. Thanksfor participating!

  7. The writing here is beautiful, totally vivid, and the voice comes through so clearly. I agree, it could be pruned, but just so that the most extraordinary parts command full attention. Like this one

    "And when Spring first shows her face… there is always one day in March when the temperature will shoot up to 65 degrees and the world will smell GREEN"

    I want to know what happens next. This is my kind of book!

  8. Ok this particular page goes absolutely no place and I don't care! I am dreaming of Fan Hall and the Swan boats down on the commons, of walking the yellow line or the red, for the joy of the history. If one can make me see the light in Boston, you have me. If I were an agent and the card reader even stops smoking or finds her dang shoes....I am reping this. Your decriptions have WOW, and move smoothly. You might watch the emphasis CAPITAL, I hear it's as disliked as my...ellipses. And sucks ass, is shocking enough that you should leave it small unless someone is shouting it in a tent revival. Sucks ass small will be more jolting in some ways because that way it can sneek up on you and say BOO...rather than be the first words that draw your eye on the page, warning you to expect it. Great Job!

  9. I loved the beginning. I was starting to get a good sense of the scene. Then the wonderful description. I LOVE New England in the fall and summer, however it did go on a bit and lost sense of what happened in the opening paragraphs.

    You write very well, I would cut down that huge paragraph and lighten the page up.

    I would read on because the opening paragraph intrigued me.


  10. Oh my god, I loved it and I'm not being super nice because we've never met before. I'm originally from New Hampshire so reading all of that was like reliving my existence up there (sans the tarot cards and fictional characters - mostly). I'd definitely read more and even without knowing what the story's about, I'd pick up the book. :)

  11. ZOMG *blushes* Thanks, folks. Point taken on the paragraph (and thanks to Leesh for no spoilers). I will say that this is the most serene moment in the book--there is a fist fight ~ three pages later--BUT there are many Boston moments (including an evening in the Public Garden and descriptions of driving). And SOD THE RULES! This is my story, and I'm tellin' it MY way, DAMMIT!

    Yep, I'm The Empress for a reason. ;-) Many thanks to all of you and to Leesh, Holly, Erin, Pam & Quita for hosting this. It has been GREAT fun, and I promise I will finish reading & commenting. Hasn't been a dud yet!

  12. The beginning was so smooth that I wasn't even sure the fall talk was really part of your page. Plus, were you addressing the reader? Usually not done...but like you say, SOD THE RULES. It is your book :)