Wednesday, May 6, 2009

39 Drop the Needle

TITLE: Man Shy
GENRE: Contemporary Romantic Comedy

Who’s the cat? Who’s the Mouse? Lady Prudella, Prudie to her friends is on an emotional roller coaster called Rexill. He’s a hunk and she hasn’t been living up to her nickname of late. He’s more dangerous than a Jimmy Choo sale….

June 21st this year was miserable. It was raining and bitterly cold. One of the coldest winters we’ve had. In fact, despite the dire warnings of Global Warming, they say it hasn’t been this bad since 1963. It was supposed to be a happy day.

I looked at the man beside me. Mr. Perfect.

Yes. Mr. Perfect. I can’t quite put a nail on it. What annoys me about him? Is he too perfect to be true? Do I feel there is a bubble set to bust some time? Is he a bubble gum that, when busted, gets stuck in one’s hair? And has to be surgically removed with scissors?

I’d been expecting the top hat to look absolutely ridiculous on this tall magnificent specimen of American cowboyity, but it didn’t. Quite the opposite. He was one hell of a chameleon. Even that’s annoying.

One would think that the Royal Enclosure at Ascot would be a Rexill-free zone but oh no. Not so. Not sexy Rexy. I’d made it quite clear to the Queen’s equerry that Rexill should not get a badge. That he absolutely was not fit to be admitted…

He currently was doubled over in laughter. He’d had too much to drink. They’d all had too much to drink and the jokes were hitting rock bottom. Even Daddy was caught up in this testosterone-joke filled jousting match. That was it. I’d had my last ‘fucking’. I left. Neither Rexill nor Daddy noticed.


  1. I liked this. I've never read any chick lit or contem. romance, so it was all new to me.

    That may explain why in your intro-the cat and mouse, the "emotional roller coaster called Rexill" I thought Prudie was on psychiatric medication called Rexill.

    But when I read the story, I got it. (still don't like the name though) Rex is good. Sexy Rexy works. Rexill- I don' know.

    I liked the guy! And I sympathized with Prudie.

    The writing is good. The setting- all works.

    Only one place I'd tweak- the bubble gum lines. "set to burst some time" Don't need "some time."

    And is he bubble gum seemed odd-made me pause a second.

    I'd say,
    Is he like bubble gum that when busted gets stuck in your hair, and has to be surgically removed?

    it also cuts down one of the question marks.

  2. I love chick lit but the sentences seem a bit clipped to me.

    I would leave out the "bubble gum" sentence, just doesn't sound quite right.

    I also thought that Rexill was a drug (hence the roller coaster ride) but I like Rex.

  3. I echo the 2 comments above me. First thought was that Rexill was a drug.
    It also threw me that June 21st was still winter??
    I like your style of writing. It's quick and humorous.
    I don't understand what she means when she says she'd had her last f-ing. Was she tired of the language being used in the rock-bottom jokes? Was she tired of feeling screwed when Rex is around? This part was unclear, but overall I enjoyed it.

  4. You have a nice breezy style that I found engaging. A couple of sentences stopped me. "Do I feel there is a bubble set to bust some time?" To give it more urgency, I'd probably change it to: "Do I feel a bubble about to burst (rather than bust?) at any moment?"

    In that same vein, I think bubble gum "pops" rather than "bursts," but that could just be me.

    Like the others, I had a bit of a problem with Rexill. It sounded to me like a drug store chain (Rexall).

    My biggest concern was the second to the last paragraph. It took me by surprise. I couldn't place myself geographically. You already described Rexill as "cowboyity" (which I liked a lot!) and then we the the enclosure at Ascot.

    All in all, an enjoyable read and a good voice for your MC.

  5. I didn't really get the "over the top" emotions here so this sample didn't really fit the requirements to me. I'm not so much into contemporary or chick-lit but I'd probably read more.

  6. I liked this but I felt that the sentences were a little overwritten. I'm also assuming this is taking place in Australia or somewhere similar? I'd leave out the rest of the paragraph after "Yes, Mr. Perfect." I don't think it adds anything. I liked the writing style too and would keep reading.

  7. The June 21st = winter thing makes me think it's in the southern hemisphere, but then the Royal enclosure at Ascot is in London. So that confused me a little.

    To be honest, I liked the writing in your blurb better than your excerpt. Each blurb sentence was great. I'd definitely get rid of the bubble gum sentences in the excerpt.

  8. June 21 isn't winter in England.
    English ladies don't tend to say 'He was one hell of a...'
    I'm not entirely sure but I imagine that getting drunk and telling 'fucking' jokes in the Royal Enclosure would mean instant ejection.
    cowboyity? 'He currently was' is a bit clumsy.
    Prudilla is a really strange name and yes, I too thought Rexill was a drug.

  9. I'm going to assume this is set in Australia, not England (there is an Ascot racecourse in Australia, right?)

    I like the voice here, and her gradually building annoyance at this perfect guy. I think you portray that well. Some of the tense switches threw me, though - "he WAS one hell of a chameleon. Even that IS annoying."

    Having never been in the Royal Enclosure (shocking, I know), I have no experience with how ribald they get after drinking. I always hoped the upper class showed more class, but I don't know that it's so.

    Good luck!

  10. I know it's not original, but I have to echo the comments above. I do enjoy being taken to places I've never been before, Australia being one of them. I look forward to reading the rest as I sense there is more to the story than is evident in this small excerpt.

  11. If it is set in Australia then that needs to be clear - Ascot and the royal enclosure are so quintessentially English that it'd come as a bit of a surprise.

    Lady Prudie is a bit of a prude to object to rude jokes, whether she's Australian (but why Lady?) or upper class English.

  12. Is her full name Prudella de Ville? Just kidding. Okay. I liked the voice a lot. And the humor. Good job. I think the scene got confusing in the fifth paragraph (One would think...). I blame dropping into this scene "midstream" for that. A little bit smoother segueing and it'll be in tip top shape.

    I like this construction better:

    June 21st was supposed to be a happy day.

    It was miserable. It rained and was bitterly cold. One of the most frigid winters ever. In fact, despite the dire warnings of Global Warming, they say it hasn’t been this bad since 1963.

    It took me a while to link "June 21st" and "coldest winter." You're below the equator! Oh, I made minor changes. These are only suggestions.

    Instead: I can't quite put my finger on it, maybe?

    Repetition of "perfect." Second could be "right."

    The segue from the ellipses to the last paragraph with Sexy Rexy doubling over threw me. I think the reader needs to know what the trigger was that set him off. I wasn't under the impression he was chatting or joking with anyone.

    I’d had my last ‘fucking' She had her last fuckin' what? Seems like a word or two are missing after this.

    That's about it. Good luck.

  13. I liked it. Not sure it fit my understanding of Drop the Needle, but a nice intro to characters.

  14. I can empathize with your MC.

    I'd try rearranging the sentences in your first paragraph. I'd start:

    June 21 was supposed to be a happy day. Instead it rained bitter cold drops. Despite the dire warnings of Global Warming, they say it hasn’t been this bad since 1963.

    Or not. Just a suggestion.

    To me, your logic skipped around.

    You've got a good start. Keep at it.