I'm working on two short stories this week. One will be my submission for a zombie anthology, Hungry For Love edited by Sommer Marsden. (You can find the submission details HERE - the deadline isn't until July 31st.) I do believe I've never written about zombies before. I'm in the process of struggling with giving enough details about the zombie pandemic without info-dumping.
Sidebar: I'm really starting to enjoy reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, but I find Harkness guilty of info-dumping about vampires. That part wasn't a whole lot of fun to read. It felt more list-y than fiction-y, which took my head out of the story. In Harkness' defense, she's awesome with sensual details, especially smells. There should be a designer fragrance called Matthew Clairmont.
I'm also trying to finish up the next chapter of my collaboration with Ken Charles, Billy's Color Palette. Here's a taste of what I've written so far.
|Imagemanagement05, Creative Commons license|
Not five minutes after Billy took his seat ringside, a strange woman took the seat beside him. She seemed painted into a leather dress of an artfully faded red-brown color that reminded him faintly of cinnamon-sugar. Its hem cut sharply across the middle of her long, firm, brown thighs, exposing a succulent bit of flesh that then disappeared inside suede boots two shades browner than the dress with fierce black heels. Her chin-length bronze hair was rolled into tight curls that framed her face, bringing out the high shine of her full, glossy lips, the top one brown and the bottom one cherry-pink. She sat with her knees snapped together, legs crossed at the ankles.
On the other side of her sat a female companion. Billy took his eyes from the first woman long enough to notice that her companion had a lighter brown complexion. She was almost the color of the first woman’s leather dress, but a little darker and a little redder. Her brown-black hair was pulled away from her face into a bun, and not a single hair was out of place. Her dark green eyes stood out, surrounded by severely-drawn black eyeliner and long, glittering eyelashes. Thinner and more muscular than her companion, she wore a tight white tank top that did nothing to disguise her ample breasts, black leather pants and a studded belt. Her boots, too, were covered with metal studs and buckles. She wouldn’t have looked out of place inside the ring.
The one in the tank top sat comfortably, casually, with her knees apart and her hands resting in her lap. The woman next to Billy cleared her throat loudly, and suddenly the other woman straightened up, her back pin-straight, her legs together and crossed at the ankles, perfectly mirroring the other woman. Billy knew there was more to this than mere coincidence.
The coffee-skinned woman made the first move to introduce herself. “I haven’t seen you here before,” she said. “I’m Melody Franklin, and this is Graciela Ramirez.”
“Call me Grace.”
Melody cleared her throat as she offered her hand to Billy. Billy couldn’t see Grace’s reaction, but Grace was silent. Billy shook Melody’s hand. Her fingernails were not overly long, but they were neat, and painted a blood-like shade of dark reddish-purple. He could smell her jasmine perfume.
“Billy Callum,” he said. “Nice to meet you – both of you.”
“Do you box?” Melody asked him.
Billy shook his head. “I went through a few personal trainers when I lived out in Cali, and some of them were into teaching boxing moves. I’ve never gotten into the ring, if that’s what you mean.”“Us either,” Melody said, nodding. “We both enjoy the classes, though. Grace especially; she’s gotten ripped from the workouts. She could be quite the little champion, if only she had a little more self-discipline.”