Can You Vague That Up For Me?

Bronwyn Green's Random Thoughts

Wordless Wednesday: Summer Where I Live

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It’s another edition of Wordless Wednesday, and as usual, mine will probably have words.

There are some things that piss me right off about Michigan, but the landscape isn’t one of them. No matter the season, it’s almost always freaking gorgeous. Here are what some of my favorite spots look like in summer.

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Northern shore of Lake Michigan. We had so much fun swimming in the waves.

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Lake Superior in Gay, Michigan

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Lake Superior in Eagle Harbor, Michigan

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Lake Superior in Gay, Michigan

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Lake Superior in Munising, Michigan

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Lake Superior at Whitefish Point, Michigan

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Sunset on South Manistique Lake in Curtis, Michigan

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Floatie parking on South Manistique Lake in Curtis, Michigan

As you may have guessed, I really like being by (and in) the water. I try to spend as much time by the water as possible in the summer–as long as I have my SPF Vampire handy, that is.

Be sure to check out the other blogger’s posts to see what summer is like where they live.

Jess * Gwen * Kris * Paige * Jessica

Promptly Penned: One Last Time

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Prompt: S/he gripped the rim of the porcelain sink and tried to steady her/his hands.
“One last time,” s/he whispered to her/himself. “One. Last. Time.”

(I owe anyone who reads this an apology. I couldn’t think of anything until my husband made a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad suggestion. And of course, my brain decided to run with it. I’m so, so, SO sorry, you guys.)

 

Michael gripped the rim of the porcelain sink and tried to steady his hands. “One last time,” he whispered to himself as he dipped his fingers into the thick, white goop. Cringing, he began to smear it over his face and neck, covering every inch of visible skin with a slick layer of greasepaint.

He would have rather have used white foundation, but the greasepaint had a particular scent. One that would hopefully linger, long after he’d finished the job. At least, his employer insisted that would be the case.

Next came the red and black paint. He applied it to his face, trying to make himself look as much like the faded, ragged polaroid as possible.

“More red.”

Michael stiffened and looked in the mirror, toward the corner where the voice had come from. It was too dark to see much, but he knew Bill was there. Bill was always fucking there.

“Got it, Boss,” he muttered, dipping his brush into the red paint pot and adding a wider layer around his mouth.

“Don’t forget to outline it. Looks creepier that way.”

Michael nodded that he’d heard, and continued applying the paint. When he was finished, he dragged the motheaten wig onto his head, tucking in any hair that peeked out. He adjusted the stained ruffle around his neck and pulled on the gloves that hadn’t been white in years.

He glanced at his reflection and then toward the darkened corner. “One. Last. Time,” he reminded himself and Bill. Turning toward his boss, he picked up the recently sharpened carving knife and walked toward the back of the room and his employer. “Tonight’s the last one, Boss. After this, I’m out.”

The dummy’s eyes glinted, and his mouth opened, the splintered wood clacking as its jaw moved. “Last one, Mikey. Now, get moving. The show must go on.”

This is more than enough from me this week. Please read Jess and Kris‘ stories to wash away this awfulness. And again, I apologize for the fucking clown and dummy. I deserve whatever nightmares I’m plagued with tonight…

Flash Fiction #63 – Beach People

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42086649 - beach, party, summer.

“Emily! C’mon! You’re missing all the good shots! I want pictures with all my bridesmaids!”

It wasn’t that I didn’t like the beach. I liked it fine. And it wasn’t that I didn’t want to be there with Rosalind or our other friends. I liked them just fine, too.

“I’m coming. Hold your pants on!”

I liked the beach.

I liked my friends.

But I’d been in love with Rosalind for the last three years, and watching her getting ready to marry Brad was nothing short of torture.

That’s it for me today – super short flash fiction. Be sure to check out Jess and and Siobhan’s stories, too!

Cover Reveal: Rewritten

You guys! You guys! Look! Look what Norris made me!

Looooooooooooooooook!

LOOK AT IT!

It’s my precious…

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My next installment in my and Jess Jarman’s Bound series will be out this fall!

Top 10: Character Traits I Like Writing

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I actually like all of these traits equally, but since I numbered all the other posts, I prefer to stick with the pattern.

10.) Bookish – I like writing characters that are at home in a classroom or library and value learning…which is why I guess I’ve written a number of teachers and professors.

9.) Funny – I like characters with a good sense of humor. Actually, I feel that way about most people–real or imagined.

8.) Curious – I suppose this is where some of my own personality comes into play–I tend to end up down a lot of rabbit holes thanks to curiosity, and so do my characters.

7.) Artistic – I’m drawn to creative people–artists, musicians, writers, photographers, woodworkers, etc. I love delving into the minds of people who create art.

6.) Loyal – Loyalty is one of those double-edged sword traits that’s fun to explore. It can be an incredibly noble trait, but it can also be harmful when characters are loyal to people or ideas they’ve outgrown or aren’t who and what the characters thought they were.

5.) Quirky – I love characters who are a bit odd or unconventional. I feel they’re more true to life–at least, truer to the people in my life, I guess. I find them more interesting, more engaging.

4.) Awkward – Awkward can be fun or it can painful, but I think it’s almost always relatable and it can reveal a lot about a character.

3.) Unpretentious – I prefer people who are down to earth and comfortable in their own skin. I think that for the most part, my main characters are kind of WYSIWYG.

2.) Empathetic – Empathy is so important. Even if a character doesn’t start out with empathy, it’s a trait I want them to develop by the time their story ends. I’m not sure it’s possibly to truly love another without the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes.

1.) Resilient – Like real life, characters tend to go through a lot of shit. Even if that shit knocks them down, I think that the struggle to rise again is fascinating to write. Everyone’s journey to getting the fuck back up again is different, and it’s enjoyable to explore the different ways that trust and strength and perseverance factor into resilience.

What are some of your favorite traits to read and/or write? And be sure to check out the other bloggers’ list of favorite traits to write. Jess, Gwen, Deelylah, and Kris.

Monthly Goals Check-In: July 2017

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My July goals were pretty simple. I wanted to:

Write a wedding ceremony that the bride and groom would both love.

(Nailed it…unless they lied to me to make me feel better.)

Officiate said wedding without turning into a sobbing pile of goo.

(Eh…I made it through with minimal crying.)

Make progress on my current story.

(I’ve written over 15K and I still have a few days to go. I’m determined to make it to 2oK.)

Keep up on my scheduled blog posts.

(Yepper. Though I still need to write a couple non-scheduled wrap-up posts.)

See Jenny Trout and her daughter perform in Annie.

(Did it and had a blast!)

Catch up on sewing and knitting projects.

(I put the finishing touches on the wedding dress and flower girl dress, made a top for me and a couple journal covers, and started a few other things.)

Read stuff that wasn’t editing or audio prepping.

(Five books.)

Kept up with client edits and audio preps.

(Yep.)

Purged the clothes and bedding in my room.

(Nope.)

Organized my sewing crap.

(Nope.)

Reformatted, tweaked cover art, and re-released my YA.

(Yep.)

But, you know what? I’m okay with all of this. The most important stuff got done, and I’m super pleased with the 15K that I wrote.

That’s not to say that I’m not still fighting the trifecta of depression, stress, and exhaustion, but I guess the important thing here is I’m still fighting. Or moving forward. Or something.

I think Jess is the only other one who posted the monthly check-in, so pop over and see what she’s been up to.

 

Brain Dump

So, it’s brain dump time–we blog about everything rattling around in our heads. So, if you read further, please don’t expect a lot of coherence or cohesion. In addition to fighting with ADD, I’m also too tired and depressed and stressed out to try to do much beyond dump. So…here’s the unloading.

I’m tired, depressed, and angry. Lately, it seems the only news is bad news, and it’s not just bad, it’s catastrophically bad. It gets harder and harder to see hope beyond the latest horrific shitshow members of our “government” are pulling.

My house is a wreck a mess–too messy for the houseguest I’ll have Sunday, but trying to get everything organized seems almost insurmountable at this point. I know she’s coming to see me, not judge my house, but as I look around, I’m still freaking out about it.

Honestly, I’m stressed and sad about literally everything from school  issues to job issues to this country’s rapid slide into fascism. And if I actually take the time to write out all the thoughts I’m having about these things, I’ll probably end up in a fetal position in the bathtub.

So, I’m going to move on to other random thoughts in my head.

I really need to get rid of the rest of the wedding dress that was the base for the new wedding dress I made.  It’s ginormous box is taking up too damn much space in my house and my brain.

My feet are ugly and my toes need to be painted desperately.

I have two audio preps that I need to finish this week for a client.

I really want to finish the chapter of my book that I’m writing.

I wrote over 10K while on vacation and still managed to do family stuff.

I’m sick and tired of being the one who has to decide what stays and goes in the big house purge.

I really want some popsicles, but we’re out.

In five more sleeps, I’ll be driving to the U.P. to pick up Jess.

I still need to write my blog about this year’s writer’s retreat.

Jess Jarman, Jenny Trout and I are going to be at the Rust City Book Con during the first weekend of August, and I still need to do ALL THE THINGS for that.

Jen and I are going to go see Billy Joel in Chicago in a few weeks.

I have awesome people in my life who make me realize how lucky I am to have so many people who love me.

I need to remember to bring fabric and scissors when I babysit my niece Saturday so I can use their table to cut out tops after I put her to bed. It’s the perfect height. and I don’t have to fight with cats there.

Cutting out fabric with cats is a nightmare.

I still want popsicles.

Sometimes, I feel like I hate everything, and that makes me feel like a terrible person.

I’m tired of constantly feeling like I’m trying to swim upstream and getting nowhere.

I’d like to go to bed right now, but I have too much to do.

I bet that Gwen, Kellie and Jess have heads full of better thoughts. You should go read theirs.

Looking for for great kids books about LGBT+ families?

Unless you’re super new here, you know that I love me some great picture books. Despite the fact that my kids are in their early twenties, my children’s book collection continues to grow. I get some to read to my nieces and nephews, and some are just for me.

Because books.

The It’s Fundamental – Children’s Book Blog is a fantastic resource for all things picture books. Run by a former educator (though, trust me, she’s still educating) named Crystal, this blog features fantastic booklists (carefully and thoughtfully curated by topic) as well as book reviews.

Some of her booklists include: Shark Week, World Changing Women, Trains, Juneteenth, Ramadan, Women in Science, Books for Kids Who are Afraid to Swim, Civil Rights, Star Wars–and this is just a small sampling of the topics. Seriously, this blog has it all!

But, I’m not blogging today to talk about Sharks or Star Wars (and now, I have Queen stuck in my head) but to share It’s Fundamental‘s amazing LGBT+ Families booklist.

When I was a kid, books featured families that were comprised of a mother, father and kids. Or the parents were dead and the kids were orphans. There was no inbetween. I remember wondering why there were never divorced parents like mine in books. We all know that representation is incredibly important, and as a child, when you never see your reality represented in stories, it leaves you with a feeling of disconnectedness. The sense of being “other”.

That’s why I’m so happy to see books like Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino and I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O’Leary.

Please take a few minutes and check out this fantastic list Crystal has put together. And if you’re on social media, enjoy books, like to give books as gifts, like hanging out at the library and/or representation and inclusion, be sure to follow It’s Fundamental‘s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest pages. Oh, and duh…the blog.

You won’t be sorry!

Musical Musings: If you could define yourself with a song, what would it be, and why?

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It was much harder than I’d anticipated to narrow my life down to one song. But since I’m leaving for vacation four days before this post goes live, and I only have two days to finish all my work and get packed, I figured I’d better get to it.

But I went with The One Who Knows by Dar Williams. It’s beautiful and perfectly sums up how I feel about this stage of my life and my kids’ lives.

Here are the lyrics.

Time it was I had a dream, and you’re the dream come true.
If I had the world to give, I’d give it all to you.
I’ll take you to the mountains, I will take you to the sea.
I’ll show you how this life became a miracle to me.

You’ll fly away, but take my hand until that day.
So when they ask how far love goes,
When my job’s done you’ll be the one who knows.

All the things you treasure most will be the hardest won.
I will watch you struggle long before the answers come.
But I won’t make it harder, I’ll be there to cheer you on,
I’ll shine the light that guides you down the road you’re walking on.

You’ll fly away, but take my hand until that day. So when they ask how far love goes,
When my job’s done you’ll be the one who knows.

Before the mountains call to you, before you leave this home,
I want to teach your heart to trust, as I will teach my own,
But sometimes I will ask the moon where it shined upon you last,
And shake my head and laugh and say it all went by too fast.

You’ll fly away, but take my hand until that day. So when they ask how far love goes,
When my job’s done you’ll be the one who knows.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ song choices.

Jessica

Flash Fiction #62 – Breathe In, Breathe Out

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This month’s song fic inspiration is Breathe In, Breathe Out by Mat Kearny. Here are the lyrics if you want to check them out. And here’s the video.

Sweat stood out against his almost waxy-looking skin as he sat slumped forward on the edge of his bed, elbows balanced shakily on his thighs. Every part of him shook, and his sheets were in a sour-smelling tangle behind him.

He looked up at me, eyes completely bloodshot around irises that were still the darkest blue I’d ever seen. “Go away.”

I know he’d meant to growl it, but it had come out weak and almost lifeless.

Lowering myself to the floor, I sat cross-legged in front of him. He was older. So much older. And frail. Like I could break bones without trying. An amber-colored glint under the bed caught my eye. I reached beneath the bed and grabbed the half-empty bottle of whiskey.

“That’s mine.” He reached out for me–or more likely, the bottle as I stood and walked to the sink. I didn’t bother looking at him as I poured it out. I didn’t want to see the expression of desperation mixed with hate that I knew would be on his face.

After I washed my hands, I returned to my spot on the floor.

“Fuck you.”

There wasn’t as much heat behind it as he’d intended because he’d started shaking violently again. His hands clenched and unclenched, repeatedly curling into painful looking fists as his breathing turned jerky and panicky.

Reaching out, I grasped his clammy hands and held on. “Breathe with me, Dad. Breathe in. Breathe out.  You can do this.”

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

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