Friday, January 28, 2011


Today I am entering in the No Fear Blogfest at Dom's blog Writes of Passage, he's celebrating his 100+ followers. Congrats Dom! Write a excerpt that shows your favorite character at their bravest moment. This should be GREAT! So don't forget to hop by his blog and read the other entries.

I am also entering Erin, Holly, Pam, and Quita are hosting the 99th page blogfest at their blog Slice of the Blog Pie.  Post the 99th page of your novel. Make sure to drop by and read the other entries.

I would also LOVE to congratulate erica and christy for reaching 150 plus followers. YAY Erica and Christy! Drop by and visit these ladies you will just love them.

Now for the entries. They are listed below. Have fun hopping around the blogesphere today.

And now an excerpt for Dom's contest from THE BLINDED GARDENER.
(WARNING: this might be offensive to some readers.)

Before I knew it, I arrived home and pulled into the driveway. Dad waited for me on the front porch. 
Is this going to be a daily event now?
I couldn’t read his expression. I never knew what he had on his mind or how he’d react. I had to keep it light and casual.
“Hey, Dad.” 
He didn’t answer at first. He watched my every movement as I approached the steps. When I reached the top he spoke. “How was your lesson?”
“Not as bad as it could’ve been.” I looked into his hollow eyes. “I did learn the basic box step today, though.”
“If I ever hear that you give the instructor a hard time again, it will be your last. Get in.” 
He opened the screen door. 
I hesitated a moment not knowing what he’d do to me. 
I better not keep him waiting. It could get ugly. 
As I passed by him, his scotch breath almost got me high. With my back exposed for a brief moment, I prepared myself for possible strangulation, a kick to the back, or a smack to the head. 
Nothing happened. I wasn’t surprised. Last night he caught me off guard. 
He knew I’d be expecting something, so he’s biding his time. Let’s add mental torture to his ongoing list. At least I knew his game now. 
I had to keep one step ahead of him. 
“Sit.” His voice stayed controlled even though I knew he had been drinking for a few hours.
I sat in the chair and faced him. He stood straight and tall like a flag pole. He looked down his sharp nose at me, and then locked his eyes on mine. 
I stared into them, not afraid, but I shook a little. Despite everything Dad had presence. He took a step toward me and kept our contact. 
Then took another. 
I blinked, but remained staring. Sweat tricked down my back. Beads formed on my forehead and ran into my eyes. They stung, but I still held his gaze.
He took two more steps, now only a few feet away from me. 
Did I just see his lips curl? 
I wasn’t sure.
He lifted me to my feet. He reeked of scotch. A smile crossed his lips. 
“You’ve got balls, kid. I might make a man out of you yet. Your dinner’s in the kitchen.”
I hesitated for a moment, I didn’t want to expose my back to him. He forced me around and booted me in the ass. “Move you little pussy.” This seemed odd. It didn’t hurt and his tone seemed almost playful.
The devil’s human transformation unnerved me more than I could say. The questions he asked at dinner didn’t have a threatening edge or a a bit of sarcasm. 
Who was this man inhabiting my Dad’s body? He must of had a really good day. 

Here's my 99th page also from THE BLINDED GARDENER.

“I-I didn’t mean to insult you. But how do you do it?”
Through gritted teeth, he said, “I feel, I smell, and I taste.”
“Yes, taste!” he snapped. “I like to plant herbs, too.”
“Wow. I see — oh shit, I didn’t mean to say that.”
He ran his hand through his hair and a crooked smile formed on his lips. “It happens all the time.” He took a deep breath. “People have a hard time talking to me because of my situation.”
“Just because you can’t see?”
“That and something else. Look, I didn’t ask you over here to talk about me.” He turned his head. A  glint of blue peeked through his bangs. “How much do you remember about last night?”
“Well, Dad got me drunk, but I don’t remember a thing after that.”
Danny stepped past me and advanced up the driveway, crunching on the pebbles. “Come on, Aidan.” He waved to me.
Shaking my head, I followed him. He opened the wooden gate and walked through it. As I entered my mouth dropped open. Did I just step into Munchkin Land in the merry old land of OZ?
I rubbed my eyes, not believing what I saw. Blinking them open, the brightness still overpowered me. Flowers of every size and color grew on trellises, walls, and around the lilly pond, also in bloom. Did Danny create this amazing garden? I just can’t believe it. I had never seen such awesomeness. 
Swallowing a few times, I uttered a garbled “Wow.”
“This is what keeps me going. It needs me.” His voice choked. “I have nothing else.” 

This is a sample of the novel I entered into the ABNA contest. Scroll down for my pitch if you like to take a look.


  1. Two solid scenes, exhibiting very different types of writing. The emotional impact was especially strong in the first. Well done! Best of luck with the submission.

    Thanks so much for signing up for my Bernard Pivot Blogfest! I'm looking forward to reading your answers and getting to know you better!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. The real monsters are often the ones we must live with daily : abusive spouses, parents, or worse their intangible voices once they have passed on physically. Strong entries -- both of them. Good luck with your ABNA submission! Roland

  3. Great scenes. I'm especially interested in the Danny character.

  4. Both intriguing snippets. The fear entry had some great tension and you did a fantastic job staying in the character's head.

    The 99 page snippet started a little slow, but that's the way it is when you hit a page in a middle of a book. The way it finished, with the vivid description, definitely makes me want to read the next page.

  5. Oh I loved your 99th page. Very intriguing! I'd definitely keep reading.

  6. Great entries- I felt connected to the boy in the first scene- Parents are not always who they seem. Good luck!

  7. These are great scenes, and I would definitely turn the page from 99 to 100 to see what comes next.

  8. I liked both scenes, Michael! Like Mara, I'd certainly read on to page 100. Well done!

  9. Both scenes are great. I'd definitely read on.

  10. Both good scenes, Michael. Your revisions show. The garden is awesome, we are struck by it's vivid beauty that the gardener himself cannot see.

  11. Wow- two completely different experiences. Really fantastic. I'm glad for the garden trip, because that first scene In the good way.
    Whew. Both really well written, and evocative in very different ways. I would definitely keep reading!

  12. Wow. The first entry was so tense- it was the type of passage where I wanted to hide my eyes, but couldn't. My stomach was in knots while I was reading it. His dad really got to me. Nicely done. The liked the 2nd entry too- you did a great job of showing the 2 different sides of the story. I'd keep reading, definitely.

  13. I would definitely continue reading!

    Great entries.

  14. Michael,

    I really felt the intense emotion in the first scene, and just how menacing Aidan's fathers anger is. And I enjoyed page 99 too. Nicely done!

    Good luck with your entry, the pitch is enticing!

    Happy weekend to you! ;)

  15. Michael - Nicely done. Both scenes were good and made me want to keep reading. I thought it funny you gave a disclaimer at the beginning. I guess I'm so jaded cause I didn't think any of that would offend.
    Good work and good luck.
    Thanks for sharing.

  16. Nice work.I wish you the best for your entries :)

  17. Both scenes would make me turn the page...definitely. Nice twist there at the end of the first section.
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  18. (Re: 99th Page)

    It's a nice scene. I like the irony and tension of the situation, and that garden really added some magic to the scene. I want to read more.

  19. Hi,

    Wow! Way to go. These are both great snippets, and I'd read both from the start: page 100 cometh! ;)


  20. You did a great job with both of these, Michael. I am wishing wonderful things for you.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  21. 99th page - An interesting set of dialogue. While by nature I don't know what is going on, I do like the two characters and how they interact. I could be interested in this story.

    No Fear - Tense. I'll admit that the main character sounded female to me at first but figured it out later.

  22. Awesome. I love the tension. You've got such strong voice. Excellent.

    Thanks for joining in on the fun.

  23. Okay, I'm trying to prove to christy that I can write and not just blog hop, but I ended up putting up my 99th page, too. SO - I only read the end of today's post for you so I'm not here too long!! I like it - the title just hit me even though I read the beginning - the concept of a blind gardener!! (duh, erica!). I hope the flowers can help heal Aidan, too!
    (oh, and thanks for the shout-out and congrats to you as well!)

  24. "The devil’s human transformation unnerved me more than I could say. The questions he asked at dinner didn’t have a threatening edge or a a bit of sarcasm.
    Who was this man inhabiting my Dad’s body? He must of had a really good day."
    wow that was a strong ending. All the time I was reading the first section I was holding my breathing and hoping too - Good job!

  25. Excellent work Michael. You are a talented writer.
    You created great tension in the No Fear piece and page 99 shows that your writing is consistently good.

    Well done


  26. I like your word choices. Awesomeness, garbled. We're kindred. :) I would keep reading, definitely.


  27. Good intensity, I could feel the fear of your protagonist.

  28. Great scenes! Danny is intriguing. I like the Munchkinland reference. I want to know more about Aiden. I'd read on.

    Thanks for sharing.

  29. Both scenes (and everything else you've posted from the Blinded Gardener) are great! The first one has nice (fearful) tension, the second would definately make me want to read page 100!

    Well done Michael, thank you for letting us read this!

  30. To great entries, Michael. The tension in the No Fear piece had me gripped! Thanks for sharing!

    No Fear Blogfest

  31. Nice writing, here, Michael! :) I had expected worse when you gave your warning about possible offensiveness. It's really not that bad. Yes, definitely tension in those scenes, and your dialogue flows along nicely w/o peppering it with too many tags and actions. Thanks for posting these!

  32. These two excerpts are excellent, Michael. I've read a few from this story now and the sinister and gripping elements and emotions have me wanting more. There is so much tension. I really wish you all the best with this - I want to know the outcome!

  33. Wow, I just read the first and felt as relieved as I'm sure the MC did, lol. Great emotions there, especially as we were able to get into his head.

  34. Your No Fear excerpt had me wanting more. It takes a certain brand of bravery to face an abusive parent without outward show of fear.

    Your 99th page entry is really touching. In both excerpts the dialoge is very engaging, and the writing is powerful.

  35. Both of these were great. I would keep reading -- I feel connected to the characters, concern/suspicion/fear/hatred for dad... really well done.

  36. Really strong scenes. The first especially, it was difficult to read - in the sense that I was reacting to it, not in the sense that it was bad. I got involved right away.

    I would keep reading.

  37. The tension was tangible in the first scene. A difficult issue. Both of your entries were very strong. All the best for ABNA.

  38. Abuse is such a hard thing to write. My current WIP involves an abused wife. I applaud you for tackling it and making the tension palpable. Worthy nominee! Congratz!

  39. I love the way your 99th page ended. Made me want to turn the page! Nice work. Also, thanks for commenting on my page 99! :)

  40. Both great entries, Michael! I appreciate that you don't hold back in the first entry. With subjects like abuse, it's hard to read sometimes, but I know the publishing world appreciates an honest and candid no-holds-barred approach to it. I think you do this very well. And your Danny character just holds oodles of fascinating story possibilities. Thanks for sharing and best of luck to you!

  41. Your Page 99 was really well done! It makes me want to learn more about Danny and what happened. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting on my 99th page!