Category Archives: Fractured fairy tale

Readers’ Favorite 5-star Review for Alice in Monologue Land

Readers’ Favorite 5-star Review for Alice in Monologue Land

Below, find the amazing and wonderful review for Alice in Monologue Land that Readers’ Favorite said via email last summer that they had found no one to do. Guess this lovely lady did do a review in September, after all, and the email about it to me got lost in political spam. Well, I didn’t go hunting for Alice’s page on Readers’ Favorite until today, when I thought I’d bite the bullet and pay for a review. But to my surprise, here it is! A freebie! 5 Whole Stars!


“Fun, fun, fun! That’s definitely how I would describe Alice in Monologue Land by author Amy Gettinger. following the story of Alice Chalmers, adjunct English professor, single mom, and basically all around stressed out woman. And when she’s ‘encouraged’ or, more aptly, ‘required’ to read a part in her campus’ upcoming “Venus Monologues,” things in her carefully orchestrated life start to fall apart. A coveted job opens up, but Alice is certain that the conservative selection committee would not appreciate her participation in the Venus Monologues. Her Dean pretty much forces her to continue with her participation though, and, resigned, she does so. It’s at practice for the monologues, that she meets the “Venus Warriors,” an interesting group of fearless college women who aren’t afraid to discuss or do just about anything. Throw in some special attention from not one, but three men interested in her and the fact that some of her female students have gone missing, and you’ve got yourself one heck of wild ride of a book.

I so enjoyed Alice in Monologue Land. This was an exceptional read and I read it from cover to cover in just a few days. Author Amy Gettinger has done a fantastic job in creating characters that are funny, intriguing and exciting, sometimes all at once. The story is truly laugh out loud funny at times, and in one scene I actually laughed until I had tears in my eyes. Alice in Monologue Land is a book that would be enjoyed by any reader who enjoys a book with a fun female lead, a book with a little mystery, a little suspense and a little romance all wrapped in one, or just a plain good book. I certainly hope that Amy Gettinger is working on her next novel in this same vein, because I, for one, will be eagerly waiting to read it!”

~ Tracy Slowiak for Readers’ Favorite

I am overjoyed! Thanks, Tracy, for reading and reviewing!!! Alice was meant for just your type of audience!


Alice in Monologue Land Excerpt


Alice cover 1

Alice shoved the scripts at Maya like she was sending a salad with a caterpillar back to the chef. She owed Maya something in return for the lunch, but reading one of these scripts? Aloud? On stage? No. Her whole body constricted at the thought.

Maya shuffled through them. “No, not ‘Venus Interrupted.’ It’s about the killing of innocent women all over the world. You know, like those awful honor killings and dowry deaths in Asia, the maquiladora killings in northern Mexico, and female infanticide in places like China.”

A chill went up Alice’s spine, and she heard Kali giggle from her shelf.

“Too depressing for you,” Maya said. “Ah, here. Try ‘Venus Nipples.’ Start here.” She shoved the whole script pile back at Alice, pointing to the top one with her long, slim index finger, so tan and refined next to the graffitied cast below it. “Aloud.”

Alice obeyed out of old habit. “I am Venus’s rosy, erect n-n-nipple, open and tamarind sweet, full and ripe and waiting, pulsing to nourish the world. My dark au-au-aureole, its rich coffee halo roots taste of warm bergamot, yearns and blooms, aches a saxophone echo of my plummy, t-tart Venus l-l-labia, q-q-quivers the sweet, tender—”

“Going to lunch with us, Maya?” came a tenor voice from the doorway.

“Ahh!” Alice lurched upright, clutching the scripts to her chest.

A shaggy male head in a worn-out baseball cap appeared at the office doorway. “Oh. You have company.” She saw worn brown corduroy pants on a medium, stocky build. His Birkenstocks stepped inside the doorway.

Alice saw a chance to bolt.

Maya said, “Hi, Joe. Lunchtime already? Alice, this is Joe Dancy from art history. He and I eat with a group of colleagues on Fridays.”

Alice stood and took a step, but her long, flowered skirt caught on her chair leg. Rip. Pulled off balance, she grabbed Maya’s desk, and the bundle of scripts fell through her grasp like pornographic confetti.


Private female words danced around the office floor like a bunch of naughty four-year-olds. Alice dove at the scripts, ripping her skirt farther.

But Joe, Boy Scout-quick, was already kneeling and chuckling at the top script. “Nipples? Lick me, suck, me, and drag me howling to your famished depths? Whoa, momma!”

Maya grabbed the script. “Joe, Alice here teaches ESL part time.”

In her mad scramble after pages, Alice mumbled hello.

Maya said, “Alice, what was your last name again? I’m sorry. My memory plays more tricks than Kali and Shiva together.”

“Hey, don’t call in your demons, Maya,” Joe grumbled. “I’ve got enough trouble this week, thank you.”

Alice finally looked up to see a wild sandy beard and sandy eyebrows to rival Groucho’s. Joe’s gray eyes lit up as he glanced at another script. “A climactic, pulsing, reverberating sunrise of glossy, moist, pink vibrations?”

Alice wrenched the whole paper mess from his hand. “Hi. I’m Alice.”

“Alice …?” he said expectantly.

“Chalmers.” Three … two … one. Alice evened the stack of papers and checked that her cell phone was on in case one of her kids barfed at school or her house caught fire. The best thing about her ESL students and city folks in general was that they didn’t blink at her famous name brand.

Joe nabbed three more scripts from the floor. “Oh, Nora Rohmer mentioned you.” Nora Rohmer was ESL department head. “She and I just served on the technology committee together. She likes your enthusiasm for the new classroom computers. They were her idea, you know.”

What a relief not to have to discuss her name further. “Always glad to be in good with the full-timers.” Alice performed her I-love-this-job-so-much-couldn’t-I-just-have-an-office-and-tenure-with-a-side-of-benefits? smile.

A wiry young woman with low-slung cargo pants, tiny tank top, four-inch platform clogs and Coke-bottle glasses slouched in. She reeked of cigarette smoke and fresh nail polish. “Lunch time, Maya. Get a move on! I f-messed up my toenail. Gotta get to a nail place. Now.”

“Go ahead, Lila,” Maya said. “I’ll lock up if we’re long.” She frowned. “Wait. Alice Chalmers. Isn’t that a famous actress?”

Joe fingered his beard. “No, I’m thinking a porn star.”

“Joe,” Maya laughed. “No sexual harassment. Please!”

Lila clomped back to her desk, shaking her head.

Then the corner of Joe’s mouth went up. “Oh. Allis Chalmers.” His eyes twinkled like a sandy Surfer Santa on a Laguna Beach Christmas card. “Listen, I’ve got car trouble. Do you rent out for towing? Or even better, for spring planting? My garden really needs work.”

“It’s not easy being green,” Alice sang. “Eight cylinders. Always towing a wide load, sowing seeds of knowledge, spreading around loads of sh—manure.”

Maya said. “Seeds? Manure? Are you a gardener, Alice? But a green toe? Isn’t it a green thumb?”

Joe cocked an eyebrow. “Alice will tell us over lunch. Won’t you?”

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From the Offices of Silk and Weaver, Inc.


Look, I could easily have hidden in a wall somewhere until this thing blew over, but I came here today to tell my side. Now I know what they say, that I was taking advantage of a minor, exploiting him for my own financial gains. Well, I guess I was showing off a little, but not that much, not the first time, anyway. I might have enjoyed it, too, the poetry of it, the sheer audacity and elegance of it, if it had gone as planned. Like Frieca, I’d be saying, “Na-na-na-na-na,” now, and actually mean it. But things didn’t actually go like clockwork, not like you think, anyway. And contrary to popular opinion, I wasn’t just trying to make a buck off the poor orphan by using his situation and my writing skills to make the whole world see his poor, pitiful case in bright, shiny letters. Well, to be truthful, my writing and weaving skills. Weaving is big in my family. Our warp and woof, so to speak. It’s how we normally make ends meet. Oh lord, a pun! I’m so sorry.

But anyway, believe me. I honestly do have some compunctions about using others’ pain to make a buck at their expense, and it wouldn’t cross my mind. I mean I simply would not do that. I’m way too genteel. So today, I hope to make you see that although I really was aiming for a very public reaction to occur and though all that attention we garnered was indeed quite welcome, even necessary, as it turned out, for the good of all concerned, the subsequent offers of exalted advertising positions were just that. Subsequent. Not schemed for. Not even expected or hoped for. I mean even though I am now working with a highly reputable advertising firm in New York at an even higher yearly remuneration, that wasn’t the initial goal of my carefully crafted work. Far from it.

Nor, to tell the truth, was the goal to save the idiot pig. I mean, come on. Pigs live to get made into bacon and sausage daily, hourly. It does seem to be their pitiful lot in life to provide us with high fat and sodium content offerings of this type. Let’s face it. It’s really all they’re good for, unless they’re good breeders, and this little piggy definitely wasn’t one.

Who did he think he was, anyway, wanting to live forever?

Like if he lived to old age, he could provide wool or milk or transport for the family like the other animals who stayed on for years? Right. But the truth was that all he ever really produced in that sty was manure and bad jokes. “Knock-knock” this and “the rabbi and the priest” that. Polacks and Russkis coming out our ears. We all took turns being bored to tears or raging on the warpath to stomp on him. Even Fern was disgusted and raged off a few times. But Lurvy’d fixed the fence so the rest of them couldn’t escape. And I, well, my balloon broke.

I guess I could have hit the road on my own, but my sisters wouldn’t budge, and I needed them. But more on that later. The day the blond arachnid jokes started, my migraines kicked up and so did horrid nightmares where I took a knife and completed the abattoir job myself. One little thrust up the windpipe with a hay claw and… you get the idea. As far as I could tell, the whole reason for Little Porky’s whiny, “walk-into-a-bar” existence was as a rudimentary garbage disposal, and he couldn’t even finish that task. Templeton had to help him.

So you see, the real reason for my actions was fairly simple. From the moment Fern stood up to her father on that farm, the moment she asked what he was going to do with that ax, all my arachnid relatives on the Arable farm spoke of her in hushed tones and she became our little mini-goddess. Our fervent worship of her actions led to a great spiritual energy that consumed us until it was unthinkable that we do anything other than to speak out, in the only way we knew, with our voices on the web.

Oh, you don’t think I did all that website work myself, do you? Good grief, no. I’m sure that my work was considered miraculous at the time partly due to its speed, but let me tell you, between us and the wallboards, that three of my sisters helped me that night. Of course, we’d had to rethink our original idea some. A lot, actually. A huge rewrite, a giant revision. See, if I’d had my way, our first message would have been shining on the front door of the Arable house in about April. But Leucania’s stupid idea to meet in the new crate for secrecy about that time changed all that. It just happened that we were having a very serious meeting of our secret female society when we got caught up in the crate with the stinky little ham when he got moved to the Zuckerman’s farm. You don’t think we would have suffered that little pork rind otherwise, do you? We were just so excited and intent on our anarchistic meeting goals in our upper left corner of the box that day that we thought it was the spirit moving us when really we were getting loaded into the truck.

Then it was too late. When we got to the other farm, we found out that big fat Zuckerman woman was a housekeeping terror. She never let a web stand for even ten hours. So we had to rearrange everything and create our masterpiece in the damned barn doorway. A miserable place from which to start a movement, let me tell you. But I wasn’t to be deterred, and I pressed on, though my sisters were all for letting the idea slide in the dim light of the place. I had to work for months to find just the right place to stage our gigs, and we had to look up words and spellings and alphabet nonsense. It was really tough. You get the picture.

And here’s where I get to my main point. As it turned out, what ended up on the barn doorway that wondrous shining morning for Lurvy to read wasn’t even my message. As to the spelling, I’m sorry to have to admit that Leucania was the good speller. And the handiwork was mostly that of Frieca and Clavia, who helped me execute the thing while Leucania crawled over and edited our work from a distance, watching for messy workmanship and stray strands. I’d been so busy all day guarding that corner of the doorway against incursions from that retarded Avery child. So when I went off exhausted for a little nap in the middle of the night, my “Women Unite” slogan somehow (I’m still investigating this) got transmuted, losing letters on the ends of words with some substitutions in really bad penmanship to become “Some Pig“.

Can you believe that? “Some Fricking Pig?” The sun had risen and the alarm sounded by the family before I saw those words. Then all I remember is a hollow, resounding feeling in my gut where the spinning thread usually resides. I was bone dry. Couldn’t muster a wisp of silk. I was so utterly furious that my brave feminist message to the world had been permutated and reinterpreted, I mean rudely boiled down to a marketing ploy to save an irritating, presumptuous, chubby male oinker. Not even a female. I could have just spat. I probably did. But Frieca was laughing her head off and wouldn’t help me, and Leucania and Clavia had disappeared. And me without a thread to write with.

My theory now is that Clavia, who was soft on the damned pig, just couldn’t resist his big, lazy sighs and his begging for mercy and she took pity on the dope. This theory is reinforced by the fact that she took off for parts unknown that night and the others wouldn’t talk, but I have no proof. All I know is that I’d worked so hard for so long on this derailed thing, and the crowds arrived before I found the energy or ammunition to go back and fix the damned message.

And then it was too late.

Then the “Save the Pig” thing took off, though I tried, I really tried, to change subsequent messages to something more in line with our cause. But “Terrific Fern, Leader of Women” got shortened to “Terrific.” I was so mad that the girls got started late and then got sloppy and made the letters too big. And “Radiant Ladies of the Farm,” well, you get the picture.

And that’s how our strong, multi-species women’s movement got pipped by a fricking pig.