Bronwyn Green

The Corner of Quirky & Kinky

Truth time…

I have a very difficult time just doing nothing.

Like…I know that everyone needs a good lazy day here and there and relaxation is important, but doing nothing makes me hellishly anxious. Like…borderline panicky.

I know. I know, that’s probably not healthy.

Trust me, I’m aware.

I can’t even just sit and watch TV or a movie without doing something like knitting or drawing or stitching. Since I can’t just not do anything, my perfect day would be spent by the water…like Lake Superior. But in a shady spot where I can look for pretty rocks and listen to the waves and go wading or swimming when I get too warm.

While I’m relaxing in the shade (fully slathered with SPF Vampire, of course) and drinking iced tea, I’d also have plenty to do, because I can’t just sit. So, I’d have a notebook for writing, a sketch pad and colored pencils for drawing, whatever knitting or stitching project I’m currently working on, and my tablet for reading.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ posts and see what their ideal lazy day looks like.

Jess  *  Jessica  *  Kris  *  Torrance  *  Gwen

This month’s song fic was inspired by The Cab’s “Angel with a Shotgun”. Here’s the video and the lyrics if you’d like to check them out.

 

He watched them from his perch above the doors. They scurried into the ancient brick building, walking briskly in an attempt make it inside before the clanging bell echoed through the frozen gray air. Even so, there were always a few stragglers–dragging sleepy children by the hand, arguing with their spouses in hushed icy tones. But still, he envied them. Envied the fire in their eyes, the tension in their shoulders, the tightening of one hand around another.

And he’d watched again, a short time later, as they flowed through the doors like slow-moving water, groups of three and four pausing on the stairs, creating human-shaped boulders and logs that the rest of the river needed to wind around to gain their freedom. What would it take for him to leave his post and join the crowd below?  What would it be like to lose himself in that warm tide of bodies?

 

The bell hung silent in the tower now, and the sun had set hours ago. Stars twinkled silently above him, taunting him with their cold, dead light, tormenting him with their freedom. He was so tired. Tired of just surviving. He wanted to live.

 

Pushing hard against the marble that held him, he heard the stone crack, felt it give way. Wriggling until he was free from confinement, he jumped, landing on the top step in front of of the heavy wooden doors. He’d left his wings behind in a pile of crumbling mortar and marble. He didn’t need them. Heaven wouldn’t take him back.

 

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

Jess  *  Kris  *  Siobhan

CW: Domestic violence, murder

Because of the nature of this prompt, it will appear in bold as it occurs in the story rather than at the beginning like usual.

 

“Just come meet him, Molly. He’s nice, I swear. And besides, Mark will vouch for him.”

Molly rolled her eyes. “That’s the same thing you said about that Davis guy, and he ended up being really weird, and far more into Dragon Ball Z than any grown man probably ought to be.”

She could practically hear Elle rolling her eyes. “Okay, I was wrong that one time. Sue me. But, I checked, this guy–Brad–isn’t into anime at all.”

Molly snorted. “Fine. I’m off at eight. I’ll meet you guys at O’Toole’s.”

When she finished her shift, all she really wanted to do was go home and go to bed, but she’d promised Elle. The pub was loud and crowded by the time she’d arrived, but she’d spotted Elle, Mark, and Mark’s roommate at a high-top table near the back. She’d started toward them when she noticed shiny black tentacles gliding out from under their table.

Nausea and fear coiled in her belly, and she ducked behind a server then darted toward the door. She couldn’t believe she was seeing them again after all this time. Nope-nope-nope. Not meeting Brad. No chance. No way. 

Head swimming and tears brimming, she slid into her car and locked the doors before pulling out her phone to text Elle.

–I’m so sorry, hon. Migraine hit before I left work. I’m going to have to pass on meeting Brad. 

Elle’s response came back almost immediately.

 🙁 Feel better, sweetie. We’ll try again next time.

Molly couldn’t remember how old she’d been when she’d first noticed the monsters, but she had to have been young–too old for a crib, but too little to feel comfortable sleeping in a regular bed. Most nights, she couldn’t see or hear them. They only ever appeared under her bed when the screaming started. She didn’t know how he’d done it, but she was sure her father had summoned them with his booming voice and his big, meaty fists.

One night, she’d laid awake long after her mother had put her to bed. It was summer–too bright to go to sleep and too warm to have the door shut, but her mom had shut it anyway.  It hadn’t been enough to mask the sounds of dishes shattering or the screaming. When Molly heard her mom crying, she’d tried to go to her, but when she’d dangled her feet over the side of the mattress, undulating black tentacles slithered out from beneath the bed. She’d pulled her feet back up and dragged a sheet over her head and stayed there until she’d finally fallen asleep.

She’d seen them again the summer she’d turned thirteen. She’d been walking to her friend’s house. Annie had a pool and had invited Molly swimming. It had started to rain, and a car pulled up next to her and asked if she wanted a ride. She’d been considering saying yes when the tentacles had snaked out from beneath the car, and instead, she’d turned and ran, cutting through yards not slowing until she got to Annie’s.

What the hell were those things doing in the middle of a crowded pub? Hadn’t anyone else seen them? Taking a shaky breath, she drove home, checking all the shadows as she made her way to her apartment.

The next morning, her phone woke her. Molly glanced blearily at her screen. It was Elle. She wasn’t up for that conversation right now–didn’t want to try to set up another time to meet Mark’s friend–so she let it go to voicemail. Elle called right back. Three more times.

Molly finally picked up. “Hey. What’s going on?”

“It’s Brad.” Elle was crying–hard.

Molly’s stomach sank as she remembered the slithering tentacles from the night before. “Is he okay?”

Elle sniffled, and it sounded like she was trying to muffle a sob. “When you bailed, he picked up another girl who was there with her friends.”

“Okay. That’s fine.”

“No, it’s not,” Elle wailed. “She was just found murdered this morning, and Brad is gone.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean he’s gone! Mark spent the night at my place last night, and when he got home this morning, all of Brad’s stuff was just gone. I think he killed that girl.”

“Oh my god.” Chunks of ice slid through Molly’s veins and somehow made their way to her stomach, sloshing around like icebergs made of horror.

“I know. I can’t stop shaking,” Elle gulped. “If you hadn’t gotten that headache, that could have been you.”

Molly froze, and chilling realization swamped her as she suddenly saw things in a far, far different light. Her entire life changed. The monsters had been protecting her.

 

Okay, so technically, the prompt was: His/her entire life changed when she learned the monsters were protecting him/her. But…close enough.

Be sure to check out what the other bloggers did with this prompt!

 

Jess  *  Siobhan  *  Kris  *  Gwen

Best and Worst is a new feature for the Wednesday Random Bloggers. It’s not best and worst for everyone–just the best and worst for each blogger participating.

First, the worst. These are things I’ve tried, and they actually made my brain curdle. So, I refuse to ever do them again. The end.

Super intensive plot outlines. They just don’t work for me. I have absolutely zero interest in writing a story if I know everything that’s going to happen.

Color coded index cards. A lot of writers use colored index cards as part of their writing process. Pink for characters and character development. Blue for internal conflict. Green for external conflict. Yellow for plot. Purple for setting. Or…whatever. But the idea is that the writer spreads them out and rearranges them until they form a cohesive storyline. And as the writer is writing, elements can be rearranged if they find the previous order didn’t work as well as they thought.

This method is so not for me. For starters, the whole concept just distracted and overwhelmed the hell out of me the few times I tried it. I couldn’t focus on the story I wanted to tell because I was too busy trying to remember what color corresponded to what story element and again, I had no interest in writing the story because I already knew what was going to happen. 

No solid story idea whatsoever. This is also a terrible idea for me. Too little plot usually means that I start dinking around on social media instead of writing. I suspect I’m beginning to sound a bit like Goldilocks, here. “That bowl has too much plot,” she whined. “That bowl doesn’t have enough plot.”

Shut up, and write the book, you whiner!

Now, on to the best process for me.

What works best for me is to know who my main characters are, what they want out of life, why they want it, and why they can’t have it – goal, motivation, and conflict. I also need to know a little bit their pasts, what their futures hold, how the book starts and have a few snippets of dialogue in my head.

Once I have that, I can just start writing and let the story unfold as I move forward. Like the map through the Hundred Acre Wood, there’s enough information there to guide me where I need to go, but there’s enough room for me to wander and discover new things–like heffalumps and woozles–as I go. The trick is to trust the story, the characters, and myself.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ Best and Worst posts!

Jess  *  Gwen  *  Siobhan  *  Jessica

 

 

It’s time for another photo flash fic, and this one made me laugh as soon as Jess and I stumbled across it.

 

“I’m serious, Mark. I’m this close to just walking out and never coming back.”

He took a sip of his coffee, his expression placid. “That’s what you said last week.”

“It’s even truer this week.”

He snorted and I crossed my arms over my chest.

“I’m not sure how much more I can take.” My eye twitched at the flickering fluorescent light above the breakroom table.

“If you quit, you’ll have no money. If you have no money, you’ll end up living in a cardboard box. More importantly, I don’t hang out with people who live in cardboard boxes. And you would miss me.”

“You’re a dick. A classist dick.”

“And?” He shrugged. “Besides, quitting is going to look really shitty on your resume. How do you expect to get another job if you just quit for no reason.”

“It’s not for no reason,” I huffed. “She’s driving me nuts. I can’t even think when she’s around. Which is like…constantly.”

“I still don’t think that’s a valid reason for quitting.”

“She’s lost my insurance request forms three times, she relabled all of my presentation files and put panda bear stickers on the all of the folders, she keeps inviting me to sex toy parties–who has sex toy parties every other month?–and now?! Now, she’s dressing like me.”

Mark snorted. “Don’t you think maybe you’re exaggerating a little?”

“Last Tuesday, she asked me where I got my burgundy dress. The next day, she strolled in wearing the same one. That’s the fourth time that’s happened. It’s fucking creepy.”

He looked like he was about to laugh, but shoved a cookie in his mouth instead. Opening the file folder he’d brought on break with him, he began making notes on a spreadsheet.

I pushed to my feet. “You wouldn’t think it was so funny if it was happening to you.”

“I admit the panda sticker thing is a little weird,” he murmured as he turned the page, “but you’re acting like she’s trying to single white female you.”

“Yeah, well, wait til she dyes her hair blonde and my dead body turns up in a ditch somewhere.”

“Now, you’re just being dramatic,” he said, highlighting a column of numbers.

“I’m telling you, she’s got crazy eyes. Just maintain eye contact with her sometime, and you’ll see.”

He opened his mouth as he looked up and his eyes widened.

“She’s standing right behind me isn’t she?”

That’s it for me, be sure to see what the other bloggers came up with.

Jess  *  Siobhan

 

01-Top 10_ Things I Should Do...But Don't

(Apologies for the lateness of my post, but for some reason, it refused to publish. GAH!)

So, you may notice that things look a little different around here, again. The super talented Kris Norris linked my blog together with my website and redid my site and we tweaked the blog to coordinate. Take a look around – I just love it! Norris does amazing work!

Now, on to the blog post.

As always, this is in no particular order, and I’m sure you’ll notice there are a lot of things I should be doing but I’m not–hence the point of this post. However, this is an informative post, not a cry for help or an invitation to extol the virtues of all of the things I’m not doing but should.

 

10.) Not hitting snooze three or four times in the morning. I know I should just get up when the alarm goes off, but I’m so damn tired.

9.) Getting enough sleep. Yes, I know. That’s clearly related to the previous item, but since I haven’t figured out a way to eke out more hours from the day to make all of my work deadlines, something’s gotta give somewhere.

8.) Meditating. Or you know, some other calming activity that would probably help quell the never ending anxiety. Even when I try to find time, I end up unable to relax because I can’t muzzle those helpful inner voices who constantly remind me of the shit I could be getting if I weren’t trying to meditate.

7.) Exercising. Yes, I know I should do it to help reduce stress and be healthier, but trying to squeeze in a workout on top of everything else, especially when I fucking loathe working out? It’s not happening, right now.

6.) Drinking more water. This is actually a pretty easy one. I don’t have a good reason for not drinking more.

5.) Eating. I have a bad habit of forgetting to eat during the day. I know this isn’t good for my metabolism, and yet, here we are. Conversely, sometimes, I just eat all the things. Neither, is any good.

4.) Writing every day. Still looking for that elusive balance between editing, audio prepping, family, other obligations, and writing.

3.) Purge the house of excess stuff. There’s so much stuff around here that’s not getting used, and just needs to be donated. I just need to find the time to do it.

2.) Practicing Self-Care. I absolutely suck at this. I don’t know why it’s so hard to take any time off. Right now, I’m managing one or two episodes of Parks and Rec a week. It’s something, though, but some nights, I’d like to just sit and knit or sew something that was just for fun rather than squeezing in a project in time for gift giving or a specific event.

1.) Asking for help. I don’t know why this is so hard.

So…what do you feel like you should be doing that you’re not?

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ post and see what they’re feeling like they ought to be doing. 

Kris  *  Siobhan       *  Deelylah  *  Torrance  *  Jessica  *  Gwen

 

 

MonthlyCheck-in

Trying to blog right now could be interesting as I’ve been locked in a tiny bathroom with only an exhaust fan and no openable window breathing primer fumes for the last three hours.

Let’s see how it goes, shall we?

In addition to all the scraping and sanding and painting, this month for Boho Barbie’s Dream Bathroom, I’ve also accomplished:

  • All of my scheduled blog posts.
  • Prepped 6 audio books
  • Updated a client’s website
  • Read 3 books
  • Started a short story submission that I’m really happy with
  • Updated my blog
  • Did some market research
  • Sorted through all my clothes and donated three kitchen garbage bags full
  • Mailed out all the packages that needed sending
  • Finished setting up my bullet journal for all of 2018
  • Made this Eliza Schuyler Hamilton dress for my niece

IMG_0505.JPG

So, for next month, my goals are:

  • Complete all scheduled blog posts
  • Complete all scheduled audio preps
  • Complete all scheduled edits
  • Finish short story
  • Sort bedding
  • Bring donations to the donation place
  • Finish Boho Barbie’s Dream Bathroom
  • Get house cleaned before Jess comes

What do you want to accomplish in February? Be sure to check out the other bloggers and see what’s up with them!

Jess  *  Gwen

 

Okay, so I don’t know how exciting this is going to be for anyone, but my bathroom is on my mind. Constantly. There is so much drama in there right now, I’m having a hard time focusing on anything else.

Let me explain.

We live in a pretty old house. It was built in 1927, and it’s very much a product of its time. This is it from the back. I have no idea why there are no pics from the front. But I’m not going outside now. It’s cold.

Also, Jenny Trout refers to it as a “witch’s cottage”. Whatever, Trout.

1462751_10152066379263851_1320934453_o.jpg

So, as you can see, it’s a 91-year old house. And like most 91-year olds, things tend to start falling apart. Like my toilet that’s leaking into the basement. And my bathroom sink that’s also leaking into my basement.

*sigh*

The short version of this frustrating story is that both the toilet and sink are irreparable and need to be replaced.

Our bathroom is super teeny-tiny. I mean really small.

 

IMG_0522.JPG

When we moved in, it was painted neon apricot and screaming white with textured plastic, avocado green, sliding shower doors. They were hideous. We tore those out and decided that cream and forest green was a good idea to counteract the neon apricot and screaming white. Mistakes were made. 

The slightly longer version is that I am a bargain hunting goddess–which is impressive since I loathe shopping.

But, we got a recommendation on a good toilet. It was $80 bucks–but then we saw it had a $30 rebate. Score!

We went to one of those places that salvages usable pieces and parts from old houses and found a porcelain sink that’s likely from the 30s and is in mint condition for $12!  <–that is not a typo!

However, it’s a basin sink. This means what little counter  space we had is gone. so, my husband is going to build a new base for the sink to sit in. And I’m going to go to the University of YouTube and learn how to tile and grout a new countertop and backsplash with these glass tiles that I found for $24.

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 10.00.54 PM.png

And, of course, we’ll need to paint. So, the cream is for the walls, and the siesta dreams (4th one down) is for the cupboards and wainscoting. $50 (plus there’s a percentage off rebate, but math…)

IMG_0543.JPG

These are my lovely $20 glass reproduction knobs. Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 3.35.02 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 11.43.49 AM.png

And my $25 shower curtain.

Project total? $195

EDIT: I just found these gorgeous antique tiger’s eye glass door knobs on Etsy for $14.95. But I had a giftcard from my mom, so…free!

Screen Shot 2018-01-25 at 3.31.41 PM.png

And here’s the best part of all. Hiding under the hideous, fugly linoleum are these gorgeous turn of the century porcelain hex tiles! Clearly, we have a lot of glue and backing to scrape off, but it’ll be worth it!

IMG_0520-2.JPG

I’m now referring to this project as Boho Barbie’s Dream Bathroom. 

I’ll post pics when we’re done!

Now, go check out what the other bloggers are dumping.

Jess  *  Kris  *  Siobhan  *  Kellie  *  Jessica  *  Deelylah  *  Torrance

mission statement in wood type

Hmmm… I guess I never really thought of individuals having personal mission statements, but let’s go with it.

I write because I have these stories in my head, filled with quirky, delightful people I adore (and some that I super loathe – looking at you, Nigel) and I want to know how their stories end. I share them with you because I want to give us both an escape hatch into other lives because I not only need a break from reality, but I also need hope, and I figure you might, too. Sometimes life can be pretty depressing, and I want to create worlds where, even if it’s a struggle getting there, good prevails over evil, and love wins–and wins fucking hard. Ultimately, I guess I just want to make the world a little better–even if it’s only temporary and make people smile.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ statements.

Jess  *  Paige  *  Deelylah  *  Siobhan  *  Kris

FlashFicSONG

Don’t panic…you’re in the right place. I just did some remodeling over the weekend. What do you think? Anyway, on to the post.

This month’s song fic was inspired by “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine. You can read the lyrics or watch the video and listen to the song. Or both. Or neither. Totally your call. But anyway, here’s the story it inspired.

Lizzie’s phone lay on the couch between her and Cilla, vibrating almost constantly with missed calls and ignored texts.

“What do you mean you told him no?” Cilla stared at her best friend in amazement. “Literally all you’ve been talking about this past year is how you couldn’t wait for Grant to propose. You were going to be so upset if he didn’t. I can’t believe you turned him down.”

Except that she kind of could. She’d had a feeling this would be how it would go if Grant ever asked Lizzie to marry him.

Lizzie  wiped her her eyes and nose. “I don’t know. One minute we were having dinner at that little pub down on on Cherry, and the next, he gets up and starts singing, and a bunch of diners got up and started dancing–”

“Wait,” Cilla said. “He proposed with a flashmob?”

She sniffled and nodded miserably.

“But you love flashmobs. You…you have a whole Pinterest board devoted to them.”

“I know.” She sniffled again.

“What happened then?”

“He did the whole getting down on one knee thing.”

Cilla covered her face and peered at Lizzie through her fingers. “I’m afraid to ask,” she said, her voice a bit muffled. “but then what happened?”

Lizzie grabbed a throw pillow off the couch and wrapped her arms around it, doubling over as she leaned forward. “It’s awful. I don’t even want to tell you.”

“Too late now,” Cilla muttered.

She buried her face in the cushion. “Mraphaffal nramd.”

“What was that?”

Lifting her head partway, she repeated, “I hugged him, and then I ran.”

Cilla’s mouth fell open. “Oh, honey…”

She felt bad for Lizzie, but goddamn, right now, she felt worse for Grant. Normally, Cilla would be going down with the ship of sisterhood, But it wasn’t like Grant had just proposed out of the blue. Lizzie had been dropping hints for months. Showing him flashmob proposals and talking about how Art Nouveau was the most gorgeous era for jewelry.

“Did he also happen to propose with a nineteenth century style ring?”

“Actual antique from the looks of it,” she murmmured, staring at the floor. She look up at Cilla, eyes swollen and red from crying. “Why do I do this? Why can’t I just be happy? That was everything I ever wanted.”

Cilla scrubbed her hand over her face, dread and frustration tightening the muscles in her shoulders. “How long have we known each other,  Lizzie?”

“What?”

“How long have we known each other?” she asked again.

“Since freshman year of college, so…what–nine…ten years?”

Cilla nodded. “Okay, I need to know…do you want comfort? Or do you want the truth?”

“I want a big cup of do-over.”

Cilla frowned at her. “But would you really change anything if you could do it over?”

“I don’t know–yes, I do. I would have canceled lunch today.”

“That’s not making a choice–that’s avoiding one.”

Lizzie scowled at her. “Fine. Since you seem to know all about what’s in my head, give me the truth.”

Wondering if their friendship would survive this, Cilla took a deep breath. It was too late to stop now, anyway. “You don’t want to be happy.”

Lizzie opened her mouth, but Cilla cut her off.

“Before you say you do, I want you to think for a minute about every relationship you torpedoed. It’s like once you start feeling comfortable with a guy, you start picking fights with them until they break up with you. Except Grant didn’t go anywhere–so you had to.”

Lizzie didn’t say anything. She just stared.

“I love you, Boo, but it’s like you’re afraid to be happy. You want it, but you hide from it. And if that doesn’t work, you kill it however you can.”

Lizzie sat there for the longest time–not speaking, not crying, not moving. Finally, as if she were a living marionette and someone else was pulling the strings, she grabbed her phone and stood then walked toward the door. Cilla watched her go, wondering if her calls and texts would get answered or if they’d just vibrate into nothingness on someone else’s couch.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories.

Jess  *  Kris  *  Siobhan  *  Deelylah  *  Gwen