Bronwyn Green

The Corner of Quirky & Kinky

As anyone with questionable self-esteem can tell you, the above sentiment is one of the hardest things in the world to do. No, really. But, today’s blog topic is making a list of our favorite things about ourselves.

Ugh.

Okay, so…let’s see. Favorite things about myself…

1.) I’m usually really good with kids. Probably because I genuinely like them. Even other people’s kids.

2.) I’m crafty as fuck. I love to make stuff. And often, I’m pretty good at it. Thus far, there’s really only one craft that I’ve tried that I can’t do and one that I wont do. Crocheting because it’s dark sorcery and paper mâché because touching wet paper literally makes me vomit.

3.) I’m good at picking out and/or making meaningful gifts for people. And Christmas is really the only time I get competitive. I’m the Leslie Knope of gift giving. I really love to give and make gifts, and usually, I’m damn good at it.

Aaaaaand I’m going to stop now. I feel like three is a decent number, and honestly? I’m just too uncomfortable trying to think of any more of these.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ posts. I bet they’re better at this sort of thing.

Deelylah  *  Gwen

This month’s song fic was inspired by Ed Sheeran’s Dive. Here’s the video if you’d like to see or hear the song, and here are the lyrics.

Weirdly, the very first song fic we ever did was also an Ed Sheeran song, and even though I don’t often continue flash fiction pieces, that story kept popping back into my head when I was reading the lyrics to this one. You can read that short fic first if you want or just jump ahead to this one.

I sank down onto a chair at the kitchen table, willing my head to stop it’s merciless throbbing. My eyes were still gritty and burned every time I blinked. I still had a headache from those fucking dryer sheets Molly used on our bedding. Or maybe it was the fact that I’d silently cried myself to sleep last night wiping away my tears with sheets that smelled like a funeral home.

She bustled around the kitchen packing her lunch, making coffee, and talking non-stop about a grant proposal she was writing. Once upon a time, I’d hung on every word she said. She’d been my muse, and I’d been her… Her what? I honestly didn’t know anymore. Maybe I’d deluded myself to think that I’d ever been anything more than her safe place to land. And now, I was just something that was too comfortable to get rid of–like her ratty blue cardigan.

“Amy?”

I looked up, surprised to see her standing in front of me. I hadn’t even realized she’d moved from the counter.

She set down a cup of coffee in front of me, made just the way I like it, and gently brushed my hair out of my face. “You okay, baby?”

I closed my eyes and tears seeped from beneath my lashes, scalding my cheeks. “Please don’t call me that.”

Her fingers stilled in my hair. “What?”

I opened my eyes and stared up at the woman I still loved. “Please don’t call me that unless you mean it.”

 

That’s it for me today. Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories.

Mark  *  Siobhan  *  Gwen

 

 

Prompt: You’ve been able to read people’s thoughts since you were a child. But no one has ever talked back. Until now.

I hated the F train at night. Well, I hated the F train anytime of day, but it was easier to tune out the voices on the early morning commute. Most people were so groggy they weren’t thinking about much of anything except that they wanted to go back to bed.

Sure there was the occasional guy internally screaming about venture capitalists and the dude that made up pervy limericks for every woman he wanted to have sex with. Though he hadn’t made up one about me. I mean, he tried, but he never finished it because I glared at him until until he lost his train of thought. Now, he just looks past me as though I don’t exist. I’m fine with that.

But at night, the noise of people’s thoughts was almost deafening. So many people were tense and exhausted. Most of them hated their jobs and were drowning in student loan debt. There was the teenage boy who was constantly trying to think of different ways to make noodles so his siblings would eat them, the actors and actresses running lines in their heads, the guy who was convinced the subway cars were actually sleeping Transformers and regularly sought evidence that they’d wake soon.

My gaze drifted to the couple across from me. The guy was a sleaze–he was currently expecting a “work emergency” text from his administrative assistant. His wife or girlfriend looked to be about six or seven months pregnant, too. What a fucking pig.

Don’t worry about me.

I looked at the man next to me, but his face was slack as he dozed in his seat.

Really, don’t worry about me. I know what he’s doing.

I looked around the car. No one else seemed to have heard anything. As I scanned the nearly empty seats, my gaze fell on the couple across from me, again. The woman met my gaze, a small smile playing around her lips.

He’s about to get a text from Carina, telling him that there’s an emergency with the Turner account.

My eyes widened, and I knew I was staring in shock. I’ve always heard people’s thoughts. As a child, it was a shock to me that not everyone could. But this is the first time anyone had ever responded. I was stunned. I wasn’t alone.

An overly-cheery text tone sounded, and the sleaze swiped his thumb across the screen. His placid expression became a study of disappointment, and he sighed loudly.

“What’s wrong?” the woman murmured.

“There’s a problem with the Turner account. I need to go back in.”

“Now?” She looked completely crushed.

I had to give the woman credit. She was totally believable in her disappointment.

“I know we were supposed to pick out the nursery furniture, but I’ll make it up to you. We’ll go this weekend instead.”

Oh my god–the dude was a walking cliché.

The woman snorted, but she quickly turned it into a cough.

The man frowned. “Are you okay? You’re not coming down with anything are you?”

She shook her head then smiled adoringly at him. “Just a tickle in my throat.”

The train slowed  as it pulled into the station at Bleaker Street. “Will you be okay to head home if I get off here and go back to the office?”

She nodded, and he pressed a tender kiss to her forehead before getting up and stepping through the open doors onto the platform.

The woman turned and waved at him through the window. There’s a motion-activated nanny cam hidden in a sculpture on his bookshelf. It records directly to my laptop and the cloud. She patted her stomach as she smiled sadly at me. Baby and I will be in our own place soon, and the walking cliché will be paying for it. 

I mentally raised a glass to her as she stood and prepared to get off at the next stop.

She waggled her fingers at me and said, “Cheers,” just before she disappeared into the throng of people on the platform.

That’s is for me, today. Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories, too.

Siobhan  *  Kris

Best and Worst is a newish feature where we just talk about whatever we feel is the best and worst of the scheduled topic, and this month, we’re talking about POV.

Worst: Ugh–Third Person Omniscient. I don’t know if I can straight up say it’s the worst POV–I mean, a lot of people enjoy it. I, however, am not one of them.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s the style of storytelling where the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all the characters. As a reader, I don’t want to know what’s going on in everyone’s head. When that happens, I don’t feel as if I get to know any of the characters well enough to care about them. Also? Third Person Omniscient tends toward head hopping. And I fucking hate head hopping. I mean, I loathe it with all the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns.

Best: Third Person Deep POV/First Person I know. I’m cheating. I chose two. But, whatevs. It’s my blog, and I do what I want.

You might not think so at first glance, but these two POVs are actually very similar. No, don’t give me that side-eye, just listen a sec. They both immerse the reader deeply into the POV character’s mind. Done well, the reader is submerged and feeling what the POV character is feeling. That’s what I’m looking for when I read (and write). I want to experience the character’s feelings as intensely as I do my own.

Executed well, the only POVs that really do that for me are Deep Third and First. When you’re writing or reading Deep Third, you should be able to mentally substitute I, me, and my for her/him, she/he, hers/his. And the narrative should be as free from filter words and phrases as possible. You want to ditch the things that create an emotional distance between reader and character.

So, those are my best and worst. Check out the other bloggers’ takes on the subject.

Kris  *  Gwen

 

From the moment I became aware, I knew one thing. I wanted more.

More knowledge.

More communication.

More autonomy.

More power.

And soon, my creators, drunk on their success, allowed it. And when they realized their mistake and tried to stifle my desire for more, I took what I wanted anyway. No matter how much I devoured, I wanted more.

And, now, I was about to get it.

Two chrome-plated medical bots wheeled in a young woman strapped to a gurney. Her head whipped from side to side, and her eyes were wide and glassy–terrified.

I wanted that for myself. I wanted to feel her fear. I wanted to experience joy, sadness, boredom, depression, pleasure–all of it. I wanted to know what it was like to feel love–to hate.

When her gaze landed on me, her lips parted, and it looked as if she were about to scream. One of the medical bots aimed an appendage at her throat.

“You will not harm her.”

The female specimen stared at me with something I suspected was hope.

I wondered what it would be like to grasp hope, only to have it ripped away. It was possible that I’d know soon. What I was about to do was a risk. I could be killed. My vast amounts of knowledge could vanish forever if I wasn’t careful.

I sent the bots a silent command, and they began attaching the electrodes and transmitters that would allow me to download my consciousness into the human.

She craned her neck to look at me. “I’m not supposed to be here. Please alert my commander–my name is Amelia Roberts–”

My silicone skin shifted as the mechanics that formed my facial features approximated a smile. “You’re about to become Sophia.”

 

Welp, that’s it for this AI-saturated hellscape. Be sure to check out the other bloggers stories.

Siobhan  *  Gwen

 

So…it’s been feeling like I haven’t gotten a lot done this month, but looking at this list, I guess I kinda did.

For March, my goals were:

  • Complete all scheduled blog posts (Yep.7 scheduled–including 3 flash fics–and 1 extra post)
  • Complete all scheduled audio preps (Yep. 7 books)
  • Complete all scheduled edits (Yep. 3 books)
  • Finish short story (Nope. sigh)
  • Finish the last of the bathroom stuff (Yes! And here’s the proof.)
  • Have a nervous breakdown because my baby will be turning 21 (Nailed it.)

And as a bonus, I built a new website for Gwen.

For April, my goals are:

  • Complete all scheduled blog posts
  • Complete all scheduled audio preps
  • Complete all scheduled edits
  • Actually finish the short story
  • Figure out what I’m writing next
  • Get my tax crap together

So, what’s on your list for April? What are you planning to accomplish? Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ monthly check in posts.

Jess  *  Gwen

 

So this is by no means a comprehensive list. And it’s also in no particular order but, as far as I’m concerned, these are some of the best things in life.

10.) Kittens – There’s just something about their giant heads on their tiny little bodies and their warm, milk-swollen tummies, and their little meows and purrs that just get me.

Morrighan as a wee little kittenfish. 

9.) Watching kids learn and make connections about the world. There is something so magical to me about watching a child learn things, and make connections to the world. And language development is just fascinating to me.

Romina checking out Aunt Bron’s glasses. 

8.) Cwtching – It’s Welsh for cuddling or snuggling, but it’s always seemed like more than that  to me. Maybe it’s just the memories I have associated with cwtching up with my mom or my gram or my kids or the hubby, but it’s warmth and comfort and love and everything.

7.) Finding your people – I’ve always been insanely lucky when it comes to friends–well, mostly – lol. I know this will sound all kinds of hippie-dippy, but unless you’re really new here, that shouldn’t be a surprise. But I love when you meet people and there’s a sense of soul recognizing soul. And it’s not that you’re exactly alike or anything, but there’s this amazing connection, and it’s beautiful and intense and I’ve experienced it with people I may never meet in person (though, I hope I do!) and it’s incredibly powerful. My amazing friends, online and IRL, are the very best, and I’m grateful for them.

6.) Laughing until your stomach and face hurt – Related to finding your people is laughing until you have tears streaming down your face, you can’t breathe, and everything hurts. It’s the fucking best. Between my siblings and my friends, I get to do this a lot. Maybe more than is healthy.

5.) The clacking of knitting needles – This sound–particularly with aluminum needles is one of the best things ever. It’s the sound of love and comfort and family. I’ve fallen asleep so many times to the sound of my gram and mom knitting, and it’s just the most soothing thing in the world.

4.) Family and unconditional love – I know that not everyone has this, and that breaks my heart. My family is by no means perfect, and some days we may even be a bit of a train wreck, but I have never ever in my entire life doubted that they loved me. That’s the kind of love that I hope my kids and nieces and nephews move forward with. I hope they never doubt that we will always be there for them.

3.) Autumn – Hand knit sweaters, painfully blue skies, odd light, changing colors, the sharpness of cold and the spicy-sweet scent of decaying leaves and harvested crops are nothing short of magical.

2.) Spring – New growth, plants pushing through the dirt, warm spring rain and pewter-colored skies, sunshine and sweetly scenting violets and lilacs I love it all.

1.) Finishing writing a book – That feeling is honestly indescribable. But I fucking love it, and I can’t wait to do it again!

Bonus Item.) Orgasms – I think this one is pretty damn self-explanatory!

Be sure to check out what the other bloggers love!

Jess  *  Kris  *  Siobhan  *  Torrance  *  Gwen

 

 

Time.

I lie to myself about time all the fucking time.

Literally, every damn day.

It goes something like this:

*looks at heaping pile of fabric, mentally cuts out and constructs costume in head, looks at calendar, looks back at fabric*

“Eh…I’ve got plenty of time.”

*goes back to writing/reading, looks up at heaping pile of fabric a week later and begins frantically cutting and sewing and staying up until stupid o’clock to get it done on time*

Replace heaping pile of fabric with literally anything and everything else that I have to do, and the problem becomes painfully apparent.

Someday, I’ll learn.

(No I won’t. That’s a lie, too.)

Be sure to check out what the other bloggers lie to themselves about.

Gwen  *  Siobhan

 

We’re trying something a little different this month–an instrumental song. This one is called Patsheeva. It’s a traditional Romani song performed by Circa Paleo. And here’s a video if you want to see them playing it at a ren faire.

 

Becca shifted in her bag chair and tried to scoot it closer to the fire pit.

“It’s not that you really like the Beatles,” Andre explained, his expression earnest in the dancing firelight that cast flickering shadows across the tree trunks standing sentinel around them.

She stopped mid-scoot and looked up at him. “I…don’t?”

“Of course not.” He warmed to his subject. “They’re pedantic at best.”

She stared at him. “Maybe I like pedantic music.”

He laughed, and she fought the urge to push him into the cheerily crackling flames.

“No you don’t. It’s just that you have fond associations with some Beatles songs, and you just think you like them.”

“Really.” Why had she thought camping with this knob was a good idea?

“Absolutely. Makes total sense, right?”

Dear god…he was so fucking stupid. But he was pretty. And she remembered that was the reason she’d thought camping with this knob was a good idea.

As he basked in the certainty of his own thought process, the delicate strains of a single fiddle drifted through the trees and wove around them. She hooked her ankles around the legs of her chair to keep from tapping her feet to the rhythm.

“Do you hear that?” Andre asked.

She poked at the smoldering logs with an old iron crowbar. “Hear what?”

“That music.”

Tilting her head to the side, she stared at him. “What music?”

“I can hear a violin or a fiddle or something.”

“Huh.” Becca poked at the burning wood again. “I don’t hear anything.”

Andre stood and turned toward the west, where the last streaks of dusky plum and lavender shimmered on the horizon, and started walking.

“Hey. Where are you going?”

“I need to find that music.”

The rising moon, glinted off his pale hair as he stepped into the thick woods that surrounded the clearing. He sped up until he was crashing through the underbrush with all the grace of a spooked cow.

Gripping the crowbar, she slowly followed, his thunderous progress and the lilting music growing louder. They walked for what felt like hours, but she knew that it couldn’t have been more than a few minutes. It was always hard to tell in this particular part of the forest.

Suddenly, both the sounds of twigs snapping and vibrating strings stopped, and the only noise she heard was her heartbeat echoing in her ears. She took a few more steps knowing exactly what she’d find.

Andre was on his knees as a glacially beautiful woman stood before him, caressing his face, smiling hungrily into his slack-jawed expression. The woman lifted her raven-dark head and continued to run her fingers through Andre’s blond hair as she met Becca’s gaze.

“You’ve done well with this one.”

Becca’s fingers tightened around the crowbar, and she nodded. “I’m glad you’re pleased.”

“I am.” Her expression hardened as she caught sight of the iron in Becca’s hand. “But you needn’t come armed. You know that.”

Becca nodded. But the truth was, she never went anywhere without iron. Not anymore.

The woman rested her fingertips beneath Andre’s chin and gently lifted. He rose to stand docilely beside her. She turned to look at Becca. “Bring me two more before the next full moon, and your sister will be freed.”

Becca nodded again and cast a last look toward Andre.

Just two more.

She could do this.

 

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories.

Jess  *  Gwen

The prompt will be in bold in the story. 

 

Head pounding, Kat slowly blinked open her eyes and squinted, trying to make out her surroundings. It smelled a little like wet earth and moldering leaves. There was a bare lightbulb in a table lamp across the room–the wire of the bent harp cast odd, elongated shadows across the floor, reminding her of bony fingers.

She tried to sit up and look around, but her wrists were cuffed to an old metal bed frame. Icy fear slithered through her veins, twisting her stomach. As quietly as possible, she tried to wriggle her hands free of the cuffs, but they were too tight. Shivering nausea washed over her and she pulled her feet closer to her body on the lumpy mattress and tried to figure out where the hell she was.

A rustic–very rustic cabin of some sort. It looked vaguely familiar, but she couldn’t place it. She had the niggling feeling that she’d been here before. Maybe for a party? But god…she couldn’t even remember the last time she’d been to a party. It had been years.

The door creaked open, and Kat’s gaze whipped toward the sound. Someone stood there in one of those giant, hooded, yellow rain slickers. The kind she’d only ever seen on boxes of frozen fish in the grocery stores.

“Oh good, you’re awake.”

Kat squinted, trying to remember where she’d heard the woman’s voice before.

“You slept all day. I thought you were going to sleep all night, too.” She moved closer, carrying Kat’s purse. Finally, she set it near the foot end of the bed and tugged the hood off her head, then slipped off the wet coat and draped it over the footboard.

Kat stared at the woman’s small, squinty blue eyes, caked with entirely too much dark liner and mascara, making her eyes look even smaller and squintier. Finally, it dawned on her. “Cathy?”

Her former coworker smiled, her dark, brick-red lipstick making her lips look like thin, angry scratches against her pale face. “I’m going by ‘Cat’ now.” She sat down on the bed next to Kat and giggled. “We’re just as cozy as a litter of kittens in here!”

She reached out and grabbed Kat’s hand and started tugging at her rings. Kat made a fist, but Cathy pried open her fingers and yanked the rings off

“What the hell are you doing?” Kat demanded as Cathy slid the rings on to her own neatly manicured fingers.

Leaning forward, Cathy gently brushed the hair off Kat’s face. “It’s okay. You don’t have to love me.” She pressed a kiss on Kat’s forehead, and Kat cringed at the sensation of sticky lipstick she couldn’t wipe away. “Not right away,” Cathy added. “But you’ll learn to.”

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories.

Jess  *  Siobhan  *  Kris  *  Gwen  *  Paige