Visualizing Self: Gender Identity in a Vacuum

Imagine your ideal self. How does it differ from how you look now? Are you more attractive? More masculine, more feminine? Skinnier, fatter? How does your voice sound? How do you have sex?

Now imagine your ideal self again, but in a social vacuum. Are you attractive in the way our society defines attractiveness? Are you masculine or feminine without the societal stereotypes attached to those things? Is the way you want to have sex the way society wants you to have sex?

How much of your ideal self is based on what other people think of you?

For a long time I didn’t want to medically transition. “I don’t want to go on hormones. I don’t want my voice to be lower, or to have more facial hair. I don’t want to have to explain the changes to people.” “My breasts are attractive, I don’t want to get rid of them. How would I explain it to my family?

Anxiety is a bitch. But I’ve been on anti-depressants that help with anxiety for a couple of years now. And I’ve started to realize that my reasons for not transitioning weren’t so much to do with what I wanted, but with what other people expected.

I’ve spent so much time trying to visualize my “ideal self.” Not having a societal representation of non-binary existence doesn’t help. But then again, the societal representation of “masculine” is not what I want to be either. I have to create that vacuum. I have to visualize myself in that space where “masculine” and “feminine” are not personality traits, but simply the body’s response to different hormones.

And more importantly, I’ve had to create a vacuum where who I want to be isn’t influenced by the anxiety I feel about coming out, explaining my androgyny to people, dealing with the response from my family. It’s just… who I want to be.

I do want to have a lower voice. I don’t want breasts. Maybe I do want to be a man,  but I want to be a radically different kind of man than what our current society says a man is.

Coming out sucks. Having to explain myself to people sucks. But it is what it is. And I can’t let those things affect my gender identity. As cliche as it sounds, I’m on the path to being the truest version of myself, and I don’t want to be stuck in traffic anymore.


Life updates!

In January I visited Dr Melady Preece in Vancouver, BC. I sat with her for an hour and talked about my experiences with dysphoria, and my desire for top surgery. At that time she suggested to me the possibility of going on a low dose of androgel to help ease the other symptoms of dysphoria. I didn’t like the idea at the time, but a few weeks later, I emailed her and asked if she could include a recommendation for HRT in her letter to my physician.

A couple months later, my physician received my diagnosis of gender dysphoria and letter of recommendation for top surgery from Dr Preece. He forwarded it to Dr. Bowman in Vancouver, and I’m now on the waitlist for top surgery.

I also asked my physician about my options regarding HRT, and he recommended me to Dr. Tregoning in Abbotsford, who is an endocrinologist who specializes in providing HRT to transgender patients. I made an appointment to see him, and we talked about my options. I stressed that my period was giving me a lot of dysphoria and I wanted a way to stop it without taking a lot of testosterone. I suggested the idea of estrogen blockers, and we decided to try that out.

So as of today I’m three weeks into a month-dose of estrogen blockers, and three weeks on testosterone! And the longer I’m on it, the more impatient I am for the results because, a few days before I started, I posted this picture on facebook:

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…and basically told everyone that I was starting HRT. And now that that’s out of the way, suddenly I do feel like I want the effects of testosterone after all. Hence what this post is about.

I posted about it so publicly because (besides wanting to get coming out out of the way) one of the main reasons I decided to transition medically is because I finally started to see other non-binary people doing it. Visibility and representation are so, so important for trans people. It’s where we look once we’ve finally managed to find ourselves in that vacuum. It can be lonely in there. And I want to be visible to others.


Promo time! I haven’t been working on anything much lately, but here are my three latest projects:

Junior Hero Blues is a gay superhero YA novel I published last year with Riptide Press’s YA Imprint Triton. Sea Lover is a m/m trans romance novella about a fisherman and a selkie that I published with Less Than Three Press also last year, and #TRANS is an independent collection of essays by trans people about their experiences online that I contributed to.

If any of these three interest you at all, please check them out!

And finally, no blog post would be complete without this beauty: IMG_0280

FEAST YOUR EYES!

Thanks for reading, everyone! I know I haven’t been active lately, but this blog still exists, and I really wanted to take the time to talk about my transition. Hope you enjoyed!

#Trans Blog Hop – An Anthology about Transgender and Nonbinary Identity Online

Hi guys! Guess who nearly forgot that I was supposed to write this blog post! In my defense I’ve been working all week and um… it’s  my birthday tomorrow?

b7b5193632599af1554c82fa0950e4f061ad71aeAnyway, this post is part of a blog hop to promote a new collection of essays put together by the amazing Evelyn Deshane called #Trans about how transness intersects with technology and the internet. It’s subject that’s near and dear to my heart because (like a lot of people) I discovered that I was trans because of the internet. If it wasn’t for the community and support I’ve found online, I would probably still be very alone and confused. I believe the internet and online communities have revolutionized the queer experience, allowing otherwise isolated young queer people to discover a community of people like them, to connect and grow together.

My essay, which is called Trans Romance and Radical Love: My Autobiography in Binder Rippers (couldn’t pass that title up,) is about existing as a trans person in the larger LGBT+ romance community. I talk about both the good and bad aspects of it, from discovering my identity alongside other non-binary authors, to the difficulty trans authors in the communities have faced and continued to face. It was actually a pretty difficult essay to write because some of the stuff I talk about is still pretty upsetting for me, but Eve was an absolutely phenomenal editor and she helped me turn my personal ramblings into an essay that I’m pretty proud of.

So, #Trans is available at Amazon and Smashwords now! Here’s the blurb:

#Trans is an essay collection featuring the works of twenty transgender and nonbinary writers as they share their experiences with online communities, video games, and dating apps–among other technologies. Each author’s experience of their identity breaks away from the typical transgender narrative that is predominantly hung up on surgery and medical intervention. While that aspect is still a part of the story for some of these writers, surgery has never been the sole inspiration which pushes these writers forward.

Whether it was the love of a particular movie, the desire to share a feeling on social media, or a song they couldn’t get out of their heads, these twenty writers’ experiences of their identity have been shaped by media, technology, and the internet. And now, #Trans is ready to share with all of you.

It’s also going to be available in print on March 31st. If it sounds at all interesting, please go check it out, and maybe leave a review if you feel up to it! That would be great!

You can check out the official site here, and I’ll list the other stops on the blog hop below.

Thanks for reading, and hope you’re all having a great spring!

#Trans Blog Hop Schedule:
March 10th: Eve Deshane blogging evedeshane.wordpress.com.
March 13th: Erika D. Price blogging on their tumblr.
March 17th Ariel Estrella on their website.
March 20th: J.K. Pendragon on their website.
March 22nd: Gabriel D. Vidrine on their tumblr.
March 24th: Velvl Ryder on his website.
March 29th: Allen Hope on #Trans site.

 

JUNIOR HERO BLUES Blog Tour! Dates and Giveaways

My hard work has finally paid off! JUNIOR HERO BLUES is now available and the truckload of blog posts I wrote about it are crashing out of the back of the truck at an alarming rate and onto a computer screen near you!

That was a weird metaphor. Anyway, blog tour!

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Along with me rambling about just about everything superhero and writing related I could come up with, I’m also giving away three $15 Amazon gift cards! Just leave a comment with your email address on any of the posts to be entered.

In case you want to leave your name on every single one of the posts, here’s the links to where and when they’ll be posted:

November 7, 2016 Joyfully Jay
November 7, 2016 Bayou Book Junkie
November 8, 2016 Prism Book Alliance
November 8, 2016 The Novel Approach
November 8, 2016 The Day Before You Came
November 9, 2016 Love Bytes Reviews
November 9, 2016 Diverse Reader
November 10, 2016 Dog-Eared Daydreams
November 10, 2016 Booklover Sue
November 10, 2016 MM Good Book Reviews
November 11, 2016 Book Reviews and More by Kathy
November 11, 2016 My Fiction Nook
November 11, 2016 OMG Reads

Have fun reading guys, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
Update: Giveaway winners have been selected. Thank you for entering, everyone!
You can purchase copies of JUNIOR HERO BLUES at all these fine retailers:
Cheers!

Sea Lover is Now Available!

Today is the day! Sea Lover is now available on the LT3 website, and available for download if you pre-ordered!

I’m really excited for this book, and really thrilled that it’s been getting some positive reviews, because I truly wrote it just as the kind of book that I wanted to read. There’s no huge world-threatening conflict or angsty misunderstandings or anything like that. It’s mostly just two characters spending time together and falling in love. While I could happily spend a whole book just reading about characters talking and hanging out and getting to know each other, I was worried that it might not interest other people, so I’m really pleasantly surprised by the response so far.

The main character of Sea Lover is also a trans man who is post-transition. And in the first draft, I actually had his transness be more of a big deal, including a big revelation to his friends and resulting angst about that. But I came to realise that while that is a perfectly valid storyline for some trans stories, it wasn’t for this story and this character. Ian is a person who has transitioned and moved on, the way a lot of trans people do, and I think it was most true to his character to have that be the extent of it. While a lot of trans people are activists and continue to be open and vocal about their experiences throughout their lives, there are just as many trans people who want to transition and then leave that behind them and continue living a quiet, private life. Ian is one of those people, and I hope that maybe some trans readers can identify with him, and perhaps see something to look forward to, if they’re in the midst of a stressful transition.

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled enough. ^-^ Please check out the blurb and link below if you’re interested. Right now, Sea Lover is only $2.39 to buy!

Thanks for reading!


SeaLover

Ian is happy with his life in a remote Canadian fishing town, where he has only the sea and his fishing crew for company. People say being alone is terrible, but he’s never had any problems with it.

Then his peaceful life is thrown into upheaval when he finds an injured merman washed up on the shore. With no idea what else to do, Ian takes the merman home and nurses him back to health.

But as he helps S’mika heal, a bond begins to form, and Ian starts to wonder if maybe there is more to life than being alone…

Buy Now from LT3!
Amazon
Smashwords
Add on Goodreads

GRNW 2016

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Hello everyone!

I’m writing this from my hotel room in Seattle! We drove down early today, and spent the evening having delicious Chinese food at PF Chang’s, buying lots of body products at Lush, and even more makeup at Sephora. Now were back at our favourite haunted hotel, the Moore, relaxing for our big weekend!

transficsThere are two main events that Alex Powell and I will be attending and speaking at this weekend. The first is TransFics + Love Bites, a free to attend reading at the Hugo House where we’ll be reading snippets of some of our published works, alongside Austin Chant, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Laylah Hunter and EE Ottoman! Then there will be an intermission followed by more short readings by a variety of LGBTQ authors! If you’re going to be in the Seattle area tomorrow (Friday the 23rd) night, please stop by! The readings start at 7PM.

Then on Saturday, the main event! Gay Romance NorthWest 2016 at the Seattle Library! Unfortunately, passes for the event are completely sold out, but if you already have a pass, I can’t wait to see you there!

Registration starts at 12, and then there are panels from 1PM to 4PM. Alex and I, along with the other readers from TransFics will be speaking on a panel called “Trans Authors on Characters, Stories, and Industry” that starts at 2:10. Austin is the moderator, and it looks like it’s gonna be a really awesome discussion!

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I made a bunch of these! Please come by and grab one!

Finally, from 1-6, basically the whole time, there will be a book fair where you can buy books from the bookseller, and from 4-6 there will be an author meet and greet! I’ll be at my table handing out my little business cards and candies that I put together! If you’d like a book signed, or just to chat, please stop by!

Also, when you get a swag bag, check inside for a “Hello, my pronouns are:” tag courtesy of Alex and I! Even if you’re cis, wearing a pronoun tag is a great way of normalizing the idea, and makes trans people more comfortable wearing them as well!

I think that’s everything! There will be an afterparty at the Rendevous after the conference, but last year we were way too tuckered out to go, so we’ll see about that one. XD

We have all sorts of other fun things planned for the weekend, including Alex and I getting matching tattoos and a visit to a cat cafe, The Meowtropolitan! I can’t even tell which of those I’m more excited about. I’ve wanted to go to a cat cafe since I first learned of their existence. I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated via twitter, so feel free to follow me there! I’m @JKPendragon.

And now, I must go wash a green mud mask off of my face and head to bed. Hope to see you all soon!

Cheers!

All The News! Cover Reveal, Tattoo, Print Copies etc….

Hello, everyone! Long time, no blog! I’ve been taking it easy, enjoying my new place, intermittently battling the great depression beast, as you do. I haven’t been writing at all, something I hope will change soon, but I have been editing and preparing for a couple of new releases, as well as preparing for GRNW in September! So, to that end, I have a bunch of stuff to share with you guys! Hold on, lemme get my camera.

Okay, so first off, these babies arrived:

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They are gorgeous, and I wish I could bring them with me to GRNW, but they don’t come out until November! *pout* But I think I’m going to see about maybe doing an advance giveaway possibly maybe. We’ll see. Anyway, next up is these!

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Please ignore the typo on the back. Oh great, now you can’t because I drew attention to it. Go me. I seriously can’t believe I didn’t notice that but… ah well, what can you do? Nobody’s perfect. They are still glorious and rainbow, and I’ll probably be handing them out at GRNW (with candy bribes attached!)

ALSO, I’m going to be on a panel at GRNW! It’ll be Trans Authors on Characters, Stories and Industry. We have an amazing line-up of trans authors, and it should be a pretty great panel! I’ll also be at the book fair selling books and just hanging out, if you want to come and talk to me!

So JUNIOR HERO BLUES is coming out November 7th (go pre-order!) but I also have another romance novella coming out sometime after that! No blurb or release date yet, but I just got the cover, so I have to show it off! It’s by the wonderful Aisha Akeju who like, takes images directly out of my brain and turns them into covers (she is obviously a witch) and this one is no different!

SeaLover

Perfect, right? Sea Lover is a fairly low-key, sweet romance between a seal-merman and a reclusive fisherman who finds him on the beach. I had a lot of fun writing it, and I can’t wait to share more!

And finally, in personal matters, I finally got a new tattoo!

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Taking pictures of your right arm with your left hand: surprisingly difficult. Anyway, it’s based off of the designs at Newgrange, and I couldn’t be more in love with how it came out. The placement, the size, even the fact that it looks like it was drawn by a human, and not a machine, are all exactly what I wanted. I actually didn’t know the exact placement I wanted going in, so I let the artist (Deborah at Unicus Studios) decide how it would look best, and she came up with this kind of off-centre position that I think looks so great and organic.

This one hurt like a mother-fucker too. Inside arm, and she had to start with a thin line and then go over it multiple times to thicken them. Ouch. It’s still quite tender and sore today, but it seems to be healing well. You can tell in the picture it’s still at that awkward healing, slightly swollen stage, but I’ll post photo updates on my twitter  to show how it comes out!

Thanks everyone for reading! 2016 has been an awesome year so far, and I hope it continues that way. Stay tuned for more info about Sea Lover, and a Junior Hero Blues giveaway.

Oh, and one more thing. No blog post is complete without this face:

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She loves the camera.

JUNIOR HERO BLUES is up for Pre-order! (Plus Cover and Blurb Reveal)

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So around this time last year, I was staring at this manuscript I had written, having no idea what I was going to do with it.

I had originally put off even writing it. I’d loved the story idea, had the whole thing planned out on paper, and was totally in love with the character and world. But it was YA. I wrote adult romance. What was I even going to do with it if I did write it? But the story and the characters wouldn’t leave me alone, so eventually, and after a few false starts, I settled down to write it. It was probably the easiest time and most fun I’ve ever had writing a book. I wrote steadily for about three months, and at the end of it, I had a manuscript that I was sure was the best book I’d ever written. And it was absolutely and definitely a YA.

And then, kind of like fate, a press I’d been wanting to publish with for ages, Riptide Publishing announced the release of their new YA line, Triton. A line of books about queer kids, for queer kids. How could I pass that up?

I read a lot growing up, but for whatever reason, the books I remember reading the most, the ones that really stuck with me, were about lgbt characters. So maybe I’ve always wanted to add to that collection of books, and maybe help a young person come to accept themselves, even subconsciously, the way those books helped me.

I’m still going to keep writing romance, of course. But I’m excited about this new direction as well. And I don’t think JUNIOR HERO BLUES will be my last queer YA.

So, with no further rambling, I present:

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Last year, Javier Medina was your average socially awkward gay high schooler with a chip on his shoulder. This year, he’s . . . well, pretty much the same, but with bonus superpowers, a costume with an ab window to show off his new goods, and a secret identity as the high-flying, wise-cracking superhero Blue Spark.

But being a Junior Hero means that Javier gets all the responsibility and none of the cool gadgets. It’s hard enough working for the Legion of Liberty and fighting against the evil Organization, all while trying to keep on top of school work and suspicious parents. Add in a hunky boyfriend who’s way out of Javier’s league, and an even hunkier villain who keeps appearing every time said boyfriend mysteriously disappears, and Blue Spark is in for one big dollop of teenage angst. All while engaging in some epic superhero action and, oh yeah, an all-out battle to protect Liberty City from the forces of evil.

Welcome to the 100% true and totally unbiased account of life as a teenage superhero.

Pre-order Now!

Rainbow Awards: To Summon Nightmares wins Best Transgender Fiction!

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I am beyond thrilled to announce that To Summon Nightmares received the award for Best Transgender Fiction in the 2015 Rainbow Awards today! This is my first time winning any sort of award for my writing, and I’m so glad it could be for this book, which is so very special to me. ^_^

I don’t have much to say besides a big thank you to all the readers and judges, (I’m so glad you enjoyed my book!) thank you to my fab publishers, Less Than Three Press, and a huge congratulations to all the To Summon Nightmaresother winners and runners up, particularly Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz, for their very well deserved awards of Best Transgender Romance and Best Transgender Book for The Burnt Toast B&B.

I also can’t help but hope that one day the pool of transgender fiction will be so large and full of talented authors, I’ll have absolutely no chance whatsoever of winning this kind of award. ^-^ In the meantime, I’m just excited to be part of a growing genre, and to be doing my part to make trans people like myself more visible in all sorts of different stories. And I’m going to savor my win, because this is pretty darn exciting.

Love you all, and hope you’re having a wonderful week!

J.K. Pendragon’s Witchy Giveaway!

~GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. THANKS EVERYONE!~

Hello everyone! Welcome to my giveaway to celebrate the release of my new f/f fantasy novella Witch, Cat and Cobb which comes out October 14th! I’m going to be giving away a collection of fun Halloween-themed goodies plus a free copy of the Witch, Cat and Cobb ebook!

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment with your email address on this post. You can also get multiple entries by sharing (or reblogging, retweeting etc.) this post on any social media platform you like! Just leave a comment with a link to the place(s) where you shared it (your twitter, tumblr page, facebook etc.) and your username on that platform so that I can see and add your entries.

Have a look at the photos and list of giveaway items below and please leave a comment and share!

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Giveaway Includes:

-One free copy of the Witch, Cat and Cobb ebook, any format
-Spiced Elixer ‘Liquorice and Snake Weed’ mason jar candle
-Wood Craft ‘Cracklin’ Fire’ candle
-Halloween-themed mug with adorable owls
-Set of handmade aluminum earrings
-Light up paper lantern
-Orange glass candle holder
-Witch’s hat with headband
-Ceramic witch’s hut figurine
-Halloween socks. They are very cute and have pumpkins on them.

Here are a few more pictures of the goods:


Finally, here’s the cover and blurb for Witch, Cat and Cobb:

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Witch, Cat and Cobb
Available: October 14th, 2015
Wordcount: 20,000
Price: $3.39
Genre: Fairy Tale, Lesbian, Trans

Destined for an arranged marriage she wants nothing to do with, Princess Breanwynne decides that the only option for escape is to run away. Upon the announcement of this plan, her trusted pet cat reveals he can talk by asking that she take him along. Listening to his suggestion to venture into the lair of the Swamp Witch proves to be a very bad idea, but Breanwynne would rather face a witch any day than be forced to marry a prince.

Pre-order Here!


Limit one comment entry per person, but you can share as many times and in as many places as you like! The draw ends October 14th, which is when WC&C comes out, and that’ll give me time to ship it to you hopefully in time for Halloween! You must be willing to provide me with a mailing address by email to enter obviously, too.

Thanks for reading, and good luck everyone!

GRNW is Happening!

Hi all! As I’m writing this, Alex Powell is driving down from Prince George to stay the night here, and then tomorrow we are heading down to Seattle for Gay Romance Northwest!

If you haven’t heard of it, GRNW is a convention and book festival open to everyone! On Friday night there will be a reading at the Hugo House, and then on Saturday there will be the conference and panels at the Seattle Public Library, followed by a Bookfest where you can meet authors, pick up swag and buy books. There will also be a bunch of books being given away!

I’m going to be on a panel called Celebrating and Elevating Underrepresented Characters in Queer Romance Fiction. My co-panelist all seem really cool, and I think it’ll be a great discussion! Then I’ll have a table at the bookfest, where I’ll be selling paperbacks. If you want copies of Geek Out, The Fairy Gift, To Summon Nightmares or Ink & Flowers to add to your collection, this is your chance! Also please feel free to come and talk to me, I promise I don’t bite, and I’m reasonably friendly. ^-^ I’ll also probably be furiously tweeting the whole time, so you can follow me @JKPendragon to keep updated on what’s happening.

We’re going to be in Seattle for a few days, so if there’s anything you think I should check out while I’m down there, please let me know in the comments!

Finally, since this post is a little short, I’m going to include and excerpt from Witch, Cat and Cobb, my f/f fantasy novella coming out in October. Please enjoy, and I hope to see you in Seattle this weekend!


I awoke to yelling outside my window. Disconcerted for a moment, I threw the blanket off and tripped over a pile of broken wands, then climbed up onto the tower of books under the windowsill to poke my head out, squinting in the bright sunshine.

It was the witch who was shouting. She was wearing a purple nightgown with the sleeves shoved up and wielding a broomstick at some invisible foe in the garden.

“I said out! You’ve ruined my cabbages with your bloody little swords! Try sticking each other with them sometime!”

“Is everything alright?” I shouted, and the witch looked up at me, her eyes wide and her hair a mess.

“Does it look alright?” she shouted back, and whacked her broom against the ground once more. I could have imagined it, but I thought I heard tiny, high-pitched squealing as she did so. “No!” she yelled at the ground. “I don’t want to hear about property titles!”

I pulled my head back in the window and looked around the room. The cobwebs and clouds of dust that I had kicked up in my scramble to the window would have looked pretty illuminated by the morning light were they not so disgusting. I thought about shouting out the window that the room was filthy, but thought better of it, as the witch obviously had enough on her plate that morning. Instead I hauled myself over to the door and went into the bathroom.

I figured out how to use the facilities by snapping my fingers fairly quickly, and spent a few minutes trying to salvage the mess that was my newly short hair in the mirror before giving up and heading out into the kitchen. The witch was there. She had changed into a very nice black and blue dress and had tamed her hair considerably, and she was currently pouring tea into a small shallow bowl for Fen to drink.

“Good morning,” she said evenly as I entered. “Please, sit. Tea.”

They sounded more like orders than suggestions, so I merely nodded and sat quietly at the table as she poured me a tankard of tea. I looked around at the kitchen, noticing that most of the counters, shelves and even the table we were sitting at had been molded from the same pale-orange clay used to make the walls of the house.

“Did you make this place?” I asked as the witch poured herself a mug of tea and sat across from me.

She nodded. “I’ve never been much of an architect, I’m afraid, but it stays together alright.”

“It’s not very elvish,” I commented.

The witch stared at me over the brim of her cup. Her eyes were a deep purple and her brows sharp and intimidating. “No,” she said. “I suppose it isn’t.”

Fen sneezed into his tea.

“Don’t expect to be the beneficiary of my hospitality for long, cat,” said the witch, giving him a sharp glare before returning her gaze to me. “And I’m not in the business of providing free room and board either. What is it you intend to do with yourself now that you’ve run away from all your responsibilities?”

“I don’t know,” I admitted, taking a sip of the tea. It was a rich black blend with a hint of sweetness to it. “I didn’t assume I’d stay away forever. Just until the Saishen Prince is married to someone else.”

“You’re engaged to the elf prince?”

“Yes.” I rested my chin on my fist. “It’s supposedly a long overdue political move. My father was supposed to marry the Saishen princess twenty years ago, but she disappeared.”

“I know that much,” said the witch. She stood, taking the black teapot from the fireplace and pouring a large dollop of it into her cauldron. “I do go into town occasionally. But I haven’t been in a few months, so your engagement must have been fairly recent. Hmm.” She leaned over the cauldron and sniffed, before making a critical face and turning to the table to sift through the herbs.

I took another sip of tea and crossed my arms. “They eventually gave up on the princess, and my father married my mother, and then he died only a few years later. Maybe an alliance between Priia and Saishen just isn’t to be.”

The witch selected what looked like a bay leaf and dropped it into the cauldron, prompting a display of pink and green sparks and a loud bang, followed by a poof of grey smoke. “So dramatic.” She coughed, waving the smoke away with her long sleeves. “So, you expect me to allow you to stay here, free of charge, for however many months it takes them to decide that you are dead and marry the Saishen prince off to someone else. Then what, you’ll return to the castle and marry whatever prince they pick out for you next? What’s so bad about the elf prince?”

“She doesn’t want to marry a prince at all,” said Fen from under the table where he’d taken cover from the smoke. “She’s dreaming of a princess.”

“Shut up, Fen!” I snapped. “She doesn’t have to be a princess.”

“Right,” said Fen. “You would have married that serving girl if she hadn’t run off with the duke.”

I scowled at him. “I liked you better when you didn’t talk.”

“And as for you,” said the witch. “Fen, is it now? Silly name. Who chose it?”

“I did,” I said quietly.

The witch looked stricken for a moment. “Oh. Well, it’s an alright name for a cat, I suppose.” She turned back to Fen. “You want to be human? What will you do for me?” She took a step towards Fen, who cowered under the table.

“What do you expect me to do for you?” he squawked. “I’m a cat! Very little in the way of things cats can do, actually. You’d be surprised.”

“Pest control,” said the witch.


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Witch, Cat and Cobb comes out October 14th from Less Than Three Press! You an pre-order it here and save 15%.

Thanks for reading, and hope to see some of you soon!