Author Archives: Jess

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Last song fic of 2017! This week, we're inspired by "Chances" by Five for Fighting.

Even though I love this song, it took me a while to come up with something, but I finally did. I'm actually revisiting a flash fic I wrote - the first song fic I wrote for 2017. Kind of bookending the year. LOL

You could read this on it's own, but if you want to take a look at the piece - it's a short one,

Albatross by Susan McKeown


God, I was going to barf.

I fiddled with the coffee cup in front of me and focused on breathing slowly—in and out, in and out—hoping it would calm my nerves.

A simple coffee date shouldn’t fuck me up this much. I didn’t even know if this could be considered a date.  And it was so far from simple it wasn’t funny. Meeting your husband for coffee after not seeing, or even speaking to, each other for nearly a year… Yeah, not remotely simple.  I bit back the hysterical laugh that bubbled up.

I had no idea what to expect. The last time I’d talked to him had been right after he’d left me. Oh, how I’d hated him them. Or I’d thought I did. Who knew? Maybe I actually did in that moment. Hated him as much as I loved him. Because the love hadn’t gone way. Even when I was drowning in the pain that had eventually driven him away, I’d loved him so much.

Now, months later, there was no hate. Just gratitude that he’d done what I couldn’t. I would have clung to him, to our marriage, until my last breath. And I had a feeling that would have killed the love—slowly and painfully and to the point of no return. He’d been strong when I couldn’t be.

Now, I was filled with a sickening mix of hope and fear. The fear was winning, by far. For all I knew, he’d moved on, and this was some kind of act of closure for him. I swallowed thickly and straightened in my seat. If that’s what this was, I’d deal. I may not have been strong then, but I was now. And I wouldn’t fall apart.

The bell above the door jingled, drawing my gaze as it had every time, and my breath caught painfully. Fuck, he looked good—healthy and tanned, his dark hair wind-tousled, his jeans and t-shirt molding his body.

Seeing me, he smiled and strode through the shop toward me. I rubbed my damp palms over my denim-clad thighs and pushed to my feet. He didn’t hesitate when he came close—he pulled me in a tight embrace, face turned into my hair. I heard him inhale deeply then let out a long sigh.

I squeezed my eyes tight, trying to hold back the tears that threatened. Wrapping my arms around his waist, I leaned into him, soaking in his warmth. When he pulled back, he brought his hands up to my face, cradling it as he stared down at me.

“I missed you,” he murmured roughly. “Thank you for meeting me. I was afraid you’d… I wouldn’t blame you if you told me to fuck off after…everything.  I…I’m so sorry.”

I shook my head. “No apologies. Please. It took me a while, but I know you did what you had to. For both of us. It’s okay.”

He pressed his lips together then huffed out a short laugh. “You were always too forgiving. Especially with me.”

I rolled my eyes, then we both sat at the small table. “Oh, do you want a coffee?” I asked.

“Not yet,” he said quickly. “We need to talk.”

My stomach dropped. This was it. Shit.

He reached out and took my hands. I looked down and couldn’t hold back the tears this time when my gaze landed on the gold band circling his finger. The sight pushed the hope inside me higher.

“How have you been?” he asked quietly, his thumb dragging over the ring that still sat on my finger. Was he as relieved by the presence of my wedding ring as I was by his?

“I’m good. Better. Still have some bad days, but I don’t think that’s ever going to go away. She was our baby, and she’s gone” I took a deep breath and met his gaze—so full of understanding. “But I’m not lost in the grief anymore. I’m…good.”

“I’m glad.”

“Are you? Are you good, I mean,” I blurted. “Did you get what you needed by leaving?”

“Yes…and no.” His fingers tightened around hers. “I hated myself for doing that, but I…we needed the time and space to heal. It was too hard—dealing with my own grief in the face of yours. I just wanted to make it better for you, and I couldn’t, not when everything I was feeling was so—”

“I know,” I said when he choked on his words. “I know.”

He smiled, eyes glistening. “So, yeah, I got what I needed, but I missed you so fucking much. I missed us.”

“So, this isn’t you…breaking up with me for good?” I joked weakly, even as panic tightened my throat.

“What?” His eyes widened. “Is that what you thought?”

I lifted a shoulder. “I didn’t know what to think, to be honest.”

He stared at me for a long moment. “I spent the last month trying to build the courage to call you. I was so afraid you had moved on, maybe found someone else, who could give you what you need.”

“You did give me what I needed,” I protested. “Even if I didn’t see it then, even though it was so damned hard and hurt so much. You were always good at that—giving me what I needed.”

“I love you,” he said simply.

I inhaled sharply. “I love you, and I missed you, too, missed us. There isn’t anyone else—how could there be? And, yes, I have moved on—away from that dark place I was in—but not to where I wouldn’t want to be with you.”

“I’m not asking to come home,” he continued. “Not yet. I don’t think rushing into that would be good for us. We can’t pretend the past year didn’t happen.”

I nodded slowly, practically holding my breath as I waited to hear what he had to say.

“But I do love you and want to be with you, so much I can taste it, but I think we need to go slow. Would you…” He wet his lips. “Would you go out with me?”

I laughed, feeling light for the first time in a long, long time. “Yeah, I would totally go with you. So, this,” I gestured around the coffee shop, “is a date, then? I'd been wondering that since you called.”

He grinned, relief clear in the way he relaxed back in his chair, still holding one of my hands. “Absolutely a date.”

With that, the hope overcame the fear, and I found myself looking forward to the future again, to trying to get back something I'd lost and building something new, something stronger. And no matter the outcome, I knew it 'd be worth it, because if anything was worth taking a huge risk for, it was love. My love for and with this man.


Bronwyn Green| Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

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I can only speak for myself of course, but I'm gonna share my writerly wish list. Some of these will be very general and some specific.

In no particular order:

Books - Fiction books, books on craft, books on self-publishing and promotion... Doesn't matter. I will take ALL THE BOOKS. 🙂

Notebooks - I've never met a notebook I didn't like. Well, that's not true. But regardless of how much or little I like a particular notebook, it will never be wasted. I have them and use them everywhere and can always use more.

Pens - I have a problem with pens. I have so many and will always always get more. From simple ball point pens to fancy fountain pens...I want them all. And when I find a pen that writes well...I stock the F up. In a big way.

Comfy seating - So, I don't have an office - comes with having a houseful of kids and family. So I want this

to be able to write in bed without my back paying me back for days afterwards.

Booze - Wine, cider...I'm not pick. And this...I honestly want this just for the name/bottle, but I do like a good splash of whiskey. 

New computer - While my trusty MacBook is trudging along, I would love a new computer, right now.

The last three? Not gonna lie - come straight from my Etsy wishlist. 


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

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It's time for photo flash fic - the last of 2017! Enjoy, and be sure to check out what the photo inspired everyone else to write!


ALL RIGHT

I walked around the dining table, straightening the place settings, fixing the ribbons—not that they needed it. I just needed something to do. Something to keep my mind off the coming meal.

“Why did we have to invite them again?” I said, knowing Bran stood behind me, even though he hadn’t made a sound. I could feel his gaze on me.

“Because it’s Christmas, they’re your family, and that’s just what you do.”

I turned and looked at him. With a soft smile, he pushed off the doorjamb he’d been leaning against and crossed the room.

“It’s going to be all right,” he said, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me close.

I closed my eyes and leaned into him, feeling a bit of the tension leave my body. Not all of it—not even close, but a bit. He ran his palms up and down my back slowly.

“I don’t know that I can forgive them for everything,” I admitted quietly. “They were thoughtless and cruel and…and…”

“They were,” he agreed. “And you don’t have to forgive them. You want I should call them now and tell them to bugger off?”

I choked out a laugh and burrowed closer. “Tempting…but no. How they behave tonight—towards me, towards you—will help decide if I can let them back into my life.”

“There’s a girl,” he crooned, pressing a kiss to my temple. “It really is going to be all right.”

I pulled back and met his gaze. “Yeah, but it isn’t right now.”

“No, it isn’t,” he said solemnly, bringing his hands up to cup my face. “But we are. No matter what—we’re all right.”


Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

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...for my writing career - What are they and why?

  1. Money - not to be super outrageously wealthy or anything, but enough to have the freedom to focus on writing (and not feel obligated to take on other jobs to help support my family.)
  2. More time to get away to write - Retreats and vacas with writing friends. To have time to write and not have to worry about the every day stuff. I don't want the every day stuff to disappear but a break from it now and again is nice...and needed.
  3. The ability to more easily (and without guilt) eliminate obstacles to writing - mostly things that suck my time

Let's be real - at the end of it all, all my wishes come down to time, yeah? LOL It seems as though getting pulled in a million different directions is the norm nowadays (and I know I'm not alone) and that is what I whine about on the daily.

So yeah, my wishes would all center around freeing up my time to write. Whether that was on an everyday basis or letting me get away for retreats regularly.


 Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease

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Posting late as Thanksgiving break (kids had w, t, F off of school) has me all off...had to ask one of the kids to confirm the day for me. Lolol

anyhoo, goals for this month:

  • Keep up with self-care and taking things one day at a  time. - def doing better. 👍🏻
  • KEEP WRITING - it all adds up and it makes me happy, dammit. - while not where I want to be with this one, I have been writing more so counting this as a win.
  • Start thinking about Christmas gifts instead of leaving until the last minute...as usual. - I’ve THOUGHT about what I’m getting ppl...does that count? Haven’t done a lick of actual shopping. But hey, I said think about so going to count this one too! Lol

On to December goals. Again keeping it simple.

  • All scheduled blog posts
  • Keep up self-care
  • Write daily - even a couple sentences
  • Enjoy the holidays and time with family.

Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease

 

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I feel like this gif perfectly embodies my life right now...

Despite how crazy life has been...and how out of control I've felt because of that...I am still very thankful for many things.

My husband - Not gonna lie; this man tops the list. Every. Single. Time. Lucky AF to have found him early in my life, and I've managed to keep him for the past twenty-three years.

My kids - Even when they drive me bonkers, these four people...make my life better in more ways then could actually be verbalized.

My family - parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins...including in-laws...all of'em. I was definitely born into the right - awesome -  family and married into a pretty nice one too.

My friends - the family I choose. And I'll let you in a secret? I've made some amazing choices, absolutely freaking amazing.

And I'm going to leave it at that, this time around. If you are in the States, celebrating Thanksgiving, having a wonderful day, enjoy whatever you're doing with whoever you're with.

And everyone...

I'm thankful for you. HUGS


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease

 

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Okay, this is probably the shortest damned flash I have ever written. But here it is... Set in the same world as my (poor, neglected) serial, Your LIes. The prompt is in bold within the text. 🙂


They'd found me.

I struggled to draw in steady breaths, vision dimming with my fear and panic. I couldn't go back. Wouldn't. I'd rather die fighting than be back in that cold white room...

I shook my head and tried to focus. I didn't even know if it was me they were after. It could beany of us. The small shack was full of magic users and Sympathizers - all painted as terrorists and targeted.

I looked to the older man standing near the window, taking comfort in the power radiating from him. He was helping me with my magic, teaching me. He'd gotten us out of the city, to this safe house. And it had seemed safe during the the two days we'd hunkered down. Until tonight, when sirens and flashing lights and threats had erased that illusion.

"Those of you with magic, get ready to use it," he said quietly. "We're going to have to work together to get the fuck out of this."

"You said we'd be safe here!" my friend, Peyton, cried, cringing as more shouting sounded outside - demands that we give ourselves up or they'd come in, armed, to take us.

“No, I said we were safer, not safe," he snapped. "I don't know what you thought you were in the middle of, boys and girls, but this is a rebellion. Plain and simple."

His bright blue gaze met mine, and I nodded. I hadn't been prepared for this - not even a little, as much as I'd tried to - but it wasn't a surprise. I'd known I would be hunted. From my parents' warnings, to my father's disappearance, to being taken...and escaping - the fear I felt now, no matter how overwhelming, was familiar. I'd lived with it my whole life.

"And if there is one truth you need to accept, sooner rather than later," he said, his power building with each word, "nowhere is safe. Not for us."


Bronwyn Green

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Happy Novemember!

We have a top ten today. Top 10 Things I Believe to be True.

10 - It's never too late to change.

9 - And change is necessary. (Even though it will be hated and resisted)

8 - You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

7 - Miracles happen.

6 - You are drawn to the people meant to be in your life.

5 - It's okay to ask for help.

4 - The relationships I have - with my husband, my children, my other family, my friends - are worth putting the time and effort into. They are worth fighting for...every single day.

3 - There is more good than not in the world - even if the good is more quiet/hidden than it should be.

2 - In the face of questionable or horrific action, being silent is as bad as or sometimes worse than making excuses for that behavior.

1 - Love is love is love is love is love.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris