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...no mad skillz, no sacred destiny, just a pink tracksuit that will take her places she never wanted to go...
It's been said that a sure sign of the coming apocalypse is an 80s roller skate disco movie coming to DVD (with special features). In my science-fiction novel series entitled Apocalypse Babes, a stylish group of twenty-something friends are torn from the Babylonian arms of 2006 West Hollywood and flung nearly thirty years into the past. It might be because one of them purchased the taboo film in a nostalgic moment, setting off a chain of events more disturbing than a roller skating conga line. They wake up in an apocalyptic—but strangely familiar—landscape, complete with a hidden mountain compound and retro survivalists, hinting at hidden and retro issues they must face if they want to survive.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Page 99 Test

Ford Madox Ford famously said, “Open the book to page ninety-nine, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.”

Now there's a website devoted to it. As a writer, you can upload published or unpublished page 99s of your work. Or as a reader you can go read the page 99s and vote/comment. You don't get to see who wrote it until after you vote. It's a lot of fun.

I posted two excerpts from my sci-fi series Apocalypse Babes. Thoughts? Advice? Would you turn the page?

The Z Word

   Stepping over the wood fragments, she opened the cabinet and found a bottle of disinfectant. Without giving thought to her actions, she found a washcloth and began to clean the bathroom, from the fixtures to the floor. Her movements made almost enough noise to block the hushed whispers filtering past the door. Almost.
    “How long does it take?”
    “When will we know for sure?”
    “How does infection spread?”
    “Through bites.”
    “Does that mean through saliva?”
    “God, she is so dead.”
    Seffy squeezed her eyes shut as her stomach roiled. Lifting the lid on the sparkling clean toilet, she threw up again.
    “Um, that girl is on the floor.”
Gareth turned to the brunette newcomer. She was pointing at the bathroom door. Ignoring Lani's and Addy's gasps, he rushed to the bathroom and wrenched open the door. Seffy lay splayed on the floor, her skin tone matching the dingy white tile floor, her blond hair puddled around her head.
   Gareth scooped her up and took her to the couch, shadowed by Malone and the girls.
    “Is she dead?”
    He looked up to see the tense expression of the blond guy. Gareth ignored him. As he settled Seffy on the couch, he touched his fingers to her throat. The pounding of his own heart made it difficult to detect a pulse, but he finally felt a faint flutter under her skin. 


 The X Factor

    Geez, I'm running out of supporters fast. I should be nicer. Or less infected. Or something.
    “We noticed that the air is dry in here and so we'll be putting in a humidifier. Leave it on all the time and we'll make sure to keep it filled for you.”
    “Okay,” she said in a sing-song voice. “Buh-bye now.”
    As soon as they were gone, Seffy heaved a frustrated breath. She could not just sit here and stew. She had to do something.
    She grabbed the candy bars, ate one, and stuffed the other two in her front pocket. Seffy peeked out her door and saw that the hall was clear. Taking a deep breath, she eased out of her room and pulled the door closed behind her. Still clear. I swear to God, if I see Trent, I will rip his head off...with my teeth.
    To the left was the cafeteria, which meant people. So, she chose the right, and hoped it took her where she was determined to go. If she didn't get some fresh air, she'd lose what was left of her frontal lobes. Stained linoleum floor tiles stretched in front of her. Seffy began a light jog and went to the end of one hall and turned down another, in the opposite direction of Trent's room. She kept running until she heard voices.
    Spying a storage closet, she nipped inside and held her breath until the voices passed. Seffy groped for a light and turned it on. A greasy set of coveralls was wadded up in a corner next to mops and brooms and industrial cleaning supplies, rolls of duct tape, toilet paper, and light bulbs. On one of the shelves was an old baseball cap. Yuck. But she knew it would help.
    She picked up the coveralls, wincing at the stale smell of cigarette smoke, and she pulled them on. Next came the cap, and she stuffed her hair up underneath. Seffy wondered if grabbing a broom was going too far. She debated, then decided to take one. If she got caught she could say she was cleaning up a spill on aisle five.

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