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Just for fun, a few segments of what I’m working on at the moment. I am a hop-across-things writer, meaning I often have at least five or six stories that I’m working on at any given time. Why this is, I don’t exactly know, except that I am often racing deadlines, plus it seems to work better that if I get stuck on one story, another one is already open and waiting for me.

Under the Light of the Moon (short story, paranormal, shape-shifting, set in the world of my mythpunk novel)

As soon as I hear the footsteps, the quiet pitter-patter of bare feet over still-green leaves, the swish of fabric soft against her legs, I think, “I hope this one chooses me.” As soon as I smell her—green like snapped twigs, a little sweet like sun-crushed strawberries, my tail curls up on its own and starts to wag, back and forth like a flag just asking to be looked at. I don’t know why. I haven’t even seen her yet, don’t even know if she looks mean or hard-handed, don’t know if she is tall like Rube or limps like Garn. All I know is the senses of her coming makes my heart go gallop in my chest and it makes my tongue itch, like that time I accidentally licked Scar’s knife after she’d been cutting witchweed.

One-Woman Town (steampunk-western-femme fatale story)

The door banged open and the song came in, so thick and woven it was visible in the air, colored with blood. The same color as her dress, which wove around her as thick and tight as hair, trailed behind her on the floor. She was all lily skin, alabaster, a color I hadn’t seen on a living creature since I’d been a Loyal in Herself’s long-ago Court.

The slinger had Annie’s head in one hand, holding it by the hair. Wires snapped and crackled at Annie’s neck. One of her mismatched human eyes was missing; only the brown one remained. Damn. There went my security system and my only semi-female companion. If I made it out of this alive, I was damn well going to make sure Cry got a chance to rectify that loss.

Learning Curve (straight-up erotica)

The tat was new since I’d seen him last. Dark ink across his forearm that read, lust for life, in a scrawling, sprawling script. Elaborate. An odd contrast to the thick, blocky ink-sun that covered his opposite elbow. His head bent over his laptop, the dark blue of his shirt accenting his mocha-cream skin, a cup of half-finished coffee on the table.

Typetypetype, his fingers went. I didn’t want to interrupt. When Alex was my student, he talked about how much trouble he had getting into the zone, but how, once he was there, he could stay there for hours. I didn’t want to jeopardize that, not to say hello to someone who may or may not remember me. He’d been my student for only a semester, and it had been at least two years at least since I’d seen him. So I headed toward the coffee counter thinking, I’d come to write anyway, it was better to avoid conversation, that time-killer of the professional writer.

Untitled (fantastical, of-the-sea, selkie-to-be story)

You can have your pick of the lot,” Sanders said. “A dozen of ’em, and not a one worth anything.”

Marissa leaned on the wooden fence and listened to Sanders complain without turning her head from the sight in front of her. The small group of horses, still wild as the dunes they stood on, ignored her as they moved together, testing the edges of their new enclosure. Mostly roans and pintos, their coats a smattering of reds and browns and whites, their long manes and tails whipped against their coats by the off-sea winds. No matter how long she did this job, Marissa never got tired of watching them move, the proud arches of their necks, the high-held heads, the bodies that were built for both speed and strength.

There were all mares, not a single foal or male among them. That’s why Sanders was spitting his words into the salty air. And why he’d given Marissa the pick of the lot, instead of second choice, which was her usual take.

That’s all she wrote, folks. What are you working on?

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

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