In keeping with David’s short and Misty’s joke, I have something for readers today too. But first I want to talk about (yeah-yeah, type, I know) all the new stuff about the Magical Words website.
First, you will see that we have a new format, two columns rather than three. This is so Google’s search engines can find us easier. (I have no idea what that means, but I trust the webmaster. J ) The new MW is easier to read, especially for those with smaller screens. It will be easier to search. The new hosting site is much more agreeable to helping us, and our readers, navigate.
Also, you may have noted that the book covers of the regulars are no longer on the front page. They will appear on our (soon to be updated) bio pages, and we will (of course) post the new books and anthologies on the front page on release day! But the clutter of the covers on the front page is gone. The site is growing leaner, cleaner, and easier to search. We have planned for new art and new banners and even some downloadable avatars. (Fingers crossed for all that art.) And the changes are being made slowly, so that we don’t interrupt the site for an extended time.
And yes, I love the changes! Kudos to the web designer and web master! Excellent work!
On a more personal front, I will be out of town for the next two weeks. (The house-sitter is waffling on when he can come, so cross your fingers for me.) I am going on a research trip to Louisiana (by way of rivers to run, of course) and I am so freaking psyched! But the reason I bring that up is that with me out of town, I want to do something especially nice for our commenters. So. For two weeks I will be offering something special for all of you, a chance to become connected to each other and to the new, updated site. Stay tuned.
Nope. No hints. Stop twisting my arm.
Now for the treat. I have for you a small bit of Jane Yellowrock’s world. A short vignette from Beast’s POV. POV is important especially with non-human sentient beings, and Beast’s was such fun to discover. Her POV added to the world building and the primitive voice added to the sense of violence of a big-cat predator. I hope you like.
Vignette From Beast’s Point Of View
Jane dresses. Dress with little skirt. Shoes on feet with tall heels. Wobbly. Prey clothes. But Jane is not silly kit. Jane does not need killing teeth. Straps killing claw to each leg. Shoves silver stakes into hair. Smears color of blood on mouth, color that says to world, “Jane is killer. See blood of my prey.”
I watch from the dark place in her mind, my den. The place I crept to when I/we nearly died, long ago. It was after the hunger times. Long years had passed, and I/we had changed forms several times—when my big-cat body grew older, joints stiff, body scrawny. I would demand a shift of the beta-kit who had stolen my soul, would force her to remember her human form, and compel her into the hairless, weapon-less, puny thing that humans are.
And we would shift back, hungryhungryhungry, starving, empty. Need to hunt now!
But young again. Strong. Good hunter.
It was good. Good hunting and long life and many kits.
Then white men with guns found big-cat. Shot from far away, pain of death in chest. Sound of white-man gun coming later on air, over and over, softer and softer, like sound of laughter in trees. I raced into brush. Chased laughter of gun. Downhill. Bleeding. Heart weak. Felt death racing close behind on silent paws. Knew death had weapons I did not.
Beta-kit in our mind reached out and pushed. Shifted. Painpainpain. Into human. And jumped into stream, letting waters carry us away from hunters before they found us. Saved us when big-cat with claws and killing teeth could not.
Beta-kit in human form found boulder of our first shift, found place where she stole my soul. Dirty human fingers scraped yellowrock, called gold, out of white stone. Beta-kit wandered out of woods, carrying stone. Became Jane Yellowrock Doe. Then Jane Yellowrock.
Beta kit Jane became alpha. We stayed in human form for many moon-times. Many years. Learned human talk. Human ways. White man god and white man people. Reading and writing and math. Stupid white man thinking.
Big-cat hid in back of Jane-mind in den, safe and silent. Listened. Learned. Waited as Jane grew into human adult. Alpha-human. Now Jane and Beast are together in mind. Together, we are better hunter then big-cat alone. I/we have become Beast.
Still… I do not like it when Jane is alpha. Do not like it when Jane will not shift and hunt. But I like being Beast—better hunter than Jane or big-cat alone. I/we are Beast.
Jane sticks cross into her pocket—pouch like opossum has, but not for young—lined with stinky metal. And I/we leave Jane-den. To go dancing. Looking like prey, but really we are hunter, predator, killer.
Thanks for letting me play!