Wednesday Randomness

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(Keeping it short and sweet this week - only halfway through and I'm yearning for the weekend and a couple days of no running!)

SONG I CAN'T STAND TO LISTEN TO - Right now? Any song from toddler/preschool shows, in general. Any song from Daniel Tiger, in particular.

SONG I COULD LISTEN TO ALL DAY WITHOUT GETTING TIRED OF IT - "Gang of Rhythm" by Walk Off the Earth and any song from Hamilton.

SONG THAT GREW ON ME - Any song from Phineas and Ferb (sensing a theme? All the littles that come to my house daily... there is always a kids shows on...I just can't think beyond that right now, regardless of how lame that makes me LOL)


Bronwyn GreenGwendolyn Cease

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It's time for another promptly penned - we all start with the same prompt and see what we come up with. I changed the tense of the prompt and split it all up because...well, I did. The actual prompt is in bold within the fic. 🙂


They said I was a traitor. That word was spat at me more than once today. Maybe I was. Though I’d pin that label on them before taking it myself.

And wasn’t that a kick in the fucking nuts. My own parents. That they were capable of… That I’d been blind to everything they… That… That…

I fought the sudden surge of vomit in my throat. Struggled to maintain control. Now wasn’t the time to lose it. That would come later. But fuck—spots danced across my vision, and I couldn’t draw a full breath. I dragged shaky, clammy hands over my face and tried to stay upright.

“Samuel?”

The small trembling voice penetrated the panic crippling me. Effectively obliterating it. She was what this was about, what I needed to be about right now. And keeling over, puking my guts out, wasn’t going to help my sister.

I turned toward her and cringed. She wasn’t looking at me, but at our parents…her tormentors. I could only imagine what was going through her young mind as she stared at them. Sprawled across the wood floor, lifeless, expressions of horror forever etched on their faces, completely lifeless.

Because of me. Another violent wave of sick pushed up my throat, nearly gagging me. She had to be scared out of her mind…of me. How was I going to—

“Samuel?” she said again, turning and rushing at me. Tears burned my eyes, blurring everything as her rail thin arms wound around my waist tightly.

“Hey,” I murmured, running my hand over her snarled hair. Fuck them, they couldn’t even bother to brush her motherfucking hair! “We need to go, now, Mel.”

“Go?” She tipped her head back, and wide, all-too-serious green eyes blinked dup at me. “I can…I can leave?”

“Yeah,” I breathed. Clearly my throat, I continued, “Yeah, sweetheart, you can leave, and you don’t ever have to come back. They can’t ever hurt you again. I promise.”

“With you?” she said, so loudly it echoed off the walls around us. “I can go with you, right, Samuel? ‘Cause we’re the same…” She smiled brightly. Despite everything, joy radiated from her. “They didn’t know that. They thought it was just me, but that was so wrong. I knew before you killed them with—” Her smile faltered slightly then firmed up again. “We’re the same,” she repeated. “I can feel it.”

She lifted her hand and grasped mine, sparks of the power housed in her tiny body pushing out insistently. I nodded and let my own magic answer, let it twine around hers, surrounding her protectively.

“Yes,” I croaked. “We’re the same.”

I dropped a kiss on her forehead and tightened my grasp around her fingers then led her out of the house. She blinked then squinted as we stepped into the bright sun.

“Where are we going?”

“I don’t know, yet. But I’ll figure it out, and it doesn’t matter.” I helped her into the car and buckled the belt around her before meeting her gaze straight on. “We’ll take care of each other, Mel. Do whatever it takes. Just like we did today. It was us or them.”

She nodded solemnly. “Us or them.”

I straightened and shut the door. Staring at the large house—a rich and beautiful prison, nothing more—I stopped trying to hold it all back. With a rush, my magic, fueled by my rage, exploded outward.

Flames filled the building before me, engulfing and destroying the evil that lived there, that dared to hurt that sweet and innocent girl. I didn’t wait, didn’t need to see the end result. It was done.

Yeah, they could call me a traitor—and many would—all I knew was that I did what I had to do.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

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This week we're talking about our writing hopes and aspirations.

I'm not difficult to please... Really, Im not. I don't have aspirations of selling x-number of copies or landing on any lists. Not that I would run away from that, mind, but it's not the "dream" for me.

When I think about what I want - what my hopes and dreams are - what I really want is to be able to write full-time. To make enough that I don't have to work the other jobs. To be able to put writing first without feeling like I'm taking away from my family by doing so.

And that's really it. That is what I hope for, what I aspire to.

See, easy to please? LOL


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Kris Norris |Torrance Sené

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Well, this post is going to be a short one... LOL I was far from the perfect child, but I didn't really do a whole lot of rebellious things. I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with something for this post/topic and kept drawing a blank.

I didn't sneak out, didn't drink or do drugs or do any wild or crazy things. You'd be more likely to find me hanging out at home with my nose in a book.

I did think of one time, finally...but I don't know if it super rebellious and is probably quite tame compared to most people's most rebellious thing. LOL

The summer I was sixteen, I was hanging with some friends, and we decided we wanted to go swimming. But it was late and the state park we wanted to go to was closed. Now, why we didn't go to one of the other parks, that didn't lock up (even if they were technically closed) or hit a random beach - because there were plenty of places to choose from around there. But no, we decided we really wanted to go to the state park (too long ago to remember our exact reasoning *snort*)

So we drove out there, parked on the side of the road and hiked through the trees, hopped the fence and snuck through the park to the beach. And had a great time, skinny dipping in dark.

So there you go....not very crazy or particularly rebellious, I know, but it's all I have!


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Jessica De La Rosa

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It's time for promptly penned flash fic. This one is a short one - I'm currently sitting at O'Hare waiting to take the 2nd leg of my journey home from my mini-vaca.

For this one, I'm visiting the world of my Albion's Circle series. This is a glimpse into one of the Circle's previous lives...before the start of the series. The prompt will be in bold within the story.

I hope you enjoy. 🙂


"One Last Time"

~Merlin~

I gripped the rim of the porcelain sink and tried to steady my hands.

“One last time,” I whispered to myself.

“Merlin, you can’t do this.”

Lifting my head, I stared at the warped mirror, at the blurry reflection of my best friend. My king. Always, always my king.

“I have to do this.”

“No, you don’t!” he protested. “We’ll find another way. You’re not thinking clearly…so soon after Annwyl—”

“Damn it!” I slapped the sink with both hands and spun around to face him. “There is no other way. Losing Annwyl isn’t blinding me to reality, Arthur! Don’t you think I’ve searched? Looked at every motherfucking option before settling on this?”

“She wouldn’t want you to do this,” he said, voice quiet and shaky as he grasped my arms. “I don’t want you to.”

“We’ve run out of options, Your Majesty. Our wants no longer factor into the equation. This is how we will stop Mordred, so we’ll do it.”

His blue eyes, so unfairly old even though they peer out from a youthful face, glistened slightly, then, finally, he gave a curt nod.

“One last time,” I repeated my earlier vow.

“Logically, I know we don’t have much choice. This is what we agreed to back in Camelot, the first time around. We have to use whatever we can, even dark magic, to stop the threat, but I hate it,” he practically spat the words. “Every time you go down this path, we lose a bit of you, Merlin, and one day…”

He cleared his throat, released my arms and turned away. Before walking out of the tiny bathroom, he continued, his back to me, “One day, I’m afraid, you’ll be beyond our…beyond my reach.” His entire body went rigid. “I’ve had enough heartbreak, and that is one I don’t know if I could come back from. So please, no more than necessary, Merlin. Promise me.”

“I promise.”

Alone again, I turned back to the mirror and glared at my reflection. I felt my magic expand, pushing almost painfully against my skin, in anticipation of what I was going to allow it to do. “One. Last. Time.

Liar.


Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris

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Though they're numbered, they aren't really in a particular order...

10 - Trustworthy - I write romances, so this is a big one. If the hero and heroine can't trust each other, there's a big problem. I try to write characters who are there for each other, there for their families and friends, who are someone who can be counted on, no matter what.

9 - Artistic - I love to write artists... Don't really know why. Maybe it's because I don't have an artistic bone in my body, although I certainly wish I did. It is certainly a trait I admire - in what I write, in what I read, and in real life.

8 - Confident - Oh, confidence is sexy. Not saying the character doesn't have moments of insecurity. They most certainly do, but whether it's something that develops as the character grows, or it's confidences in a specific aspect of their life or with themselves, I find that very, very appealing.

7 - Honest - I don't like liars, so I certainly don't like writing them. Also, I like writing characters who are honest with themselves...even if it takes them a while to get there.

6 - Persistent - I don't want to write people who give up easily. I want them to fight for what they want and need. So much more satisfying that way. 🙂

5 - Creative - Not the same as artistic. It could be creative in how they show they love someone, how they solve a problem, how they talk to their lover, how they are in bed...

4 - Sensual - Kind of a must for erotic romance. 😉 But I really like to write characters who explore that side of themselves.

3 - Humorous - I LOVE a sense of humor. I try to write characters who have one. LOL Who like to have fun and laugh.

2 - Empathetic - Being able to understand and express emotion is a big character trait I love to write. Even the struggle to be empathetic is awesome to explore on the page.

1 - Strong - I don't necessarily mean physically strong here. For example, there's nothing wrong with heroine who kicks ass and takes name, but a heroine who isn't that, but stands up for who she is and what she believes, and loves passionately and goes after what she wants...she is no less strong, IMO. I definitely tend to focus more on the emotional/internal strength than physical, I think.

BONUS - Emotionally Broken - I don't know a better way to phrase this, but it has been brought to my attention frequently (LOL) that I "break" my characters. Now, I love me some angst and pain, I will admit that. But books that have that in abundance are, for me, the most satisfying to write. To take a character through a trauma and have them at their lowest (or close to) and then write their rise from that, the re-building of themselves....OMG...it's the best. 🙂


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris

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Well, a lot's on my mind, right now. Forgive me if this post is a bit...all over the place. It will be truly representative of my brain. LOL

Life is a bit crazy - the hubby is overseas for work (again), but HAPPY HAPPY, he'll be home tomorrow, a day earlier than expected. And yeah, that day is a BIG deal.

We are heading to a family reunion over the coming week. I'm very much looking forward to that - seeing family I don't get to see very often and having some down time with the hubby and kiddos.

My youngest daughter is preparing for a trip overseas. Very exciting, but a bit nerve-wracking getting everything ready and making sure she has what she needs. But I'm excited for her and know she'll have a wonderful adventure and I can't wait to hear all about it.

After the reunion, I'm getting a bit of a break, as well. A working break, as I'll be writing, but a break all the same. One of my besties (and fellow Wed blogger) Bronwyn is picking me up from the reunion, and I'm invading her house for a little over a week. And while I'm there, towards the end of my visit, we'll be attending Rust City Book Con. It's going to be an amazingly fun time - and I get to hang with Bron and Jenny Trout - no way a good time will not be had. 🙂

Finding the balance of writing and...well, everything else is still an ongoing battle. I'm trying not to get all up in my head about it, because that never leds to anything productive. I need to focus on making time to write. Luckily, I will get that when I'm at Bron's house. Whenever I visit, I end up getting a ton written, so I'm fully expecting it to be the same this time.

There are other, not so great, things rambling through this mind of mine, but those are things I'm not giving voice to - because they don't deserve it. LOL Honestly, those things can just...

Because I'm focusing on the positive...at doing my damnedest to. 🙂

Make sure to check out the other brain dumps posted today.


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn CeaseKellie St. James

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Today Musical Musings topic is: IF YOU COULD DEFINE YOURSELF WITH A SONG, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Okay, seriously, this was hard. I've been pondering this for a while, knowing this was coming, and I'm still having a hard time summing up me in a song. But...I'm gonna share a song anyway. Not the perfect "Jess" song (still on the hunt for that!), but it's close.

I've chosen Matchbox 20's "Bent". Here are the lyrics:

If I fall along the way
Pick me up and dust me off
And if I get too tired to make it
Be my breath so I can walk

If I need some other love, then
Give me more than I can stand
And when my smile gets old and faded
Wait around I'll smile again

Shouldn't be so complicated
Just hold me and then
Oh, just hold me again

Can you help me I'm bent
I'm so scared that I'll never
Get put back together
Keep breaking me in
And this is how we will end
With you and me bent

If I couldn't sleep, could you sleep?
Could you paint me better off?
Could you sympathize with my needs?
I know you think I need a lot

I started out clean but I'm jaded
Just phoning it in
Oh, just breaking the skin

Can you help me I'm bent
I'm so scared that I'll never
Get put back together
Keep breaking me in
And this is how we will end
With you and me bent

Start bending me, it's never enough
As I feel all your pieces
Start bending me, keep bending me
Oh, until I'm completely broken in

Shouldn't be so complicated
Just touch me and then
Oh, just touch me again

Can you help me I'm bent
I'm so scared that I'll never
Get put back together
Keep breaking me in
And this is how we will end
With you and me will let them
Without understanding
Here I go there again

Can you help me I'm bent
I'm so scared that I'll never
Get put back together
Yeah, you're breaking me in
And this is how we will end
With you and me bent

Why this one? Not having a pity party here, promise. But this definiely sums up how I've felt at many points in my life. Bent, broken, and pretty sure I was alone. But I wasn't. I had people touching my life, holding me up, helping me put myself back together. Just needed to remember that, and I'm sure there will be times in the future I'll need that reminder again.


Bronwyn Green

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It's time for another promptly penned - we all start with the same prompt and see what we come up with. This is part of an idea I have floating around in my head... The actual prompt is in bold within the fic. 🙂


“Ma’am, you can’t go down there.”

Cecilia froze at the loud announcement. Then, mortification washed hotly over her body as she realized her leg was still hiked up in the air. Like a damned dog about to take a piss on a hydrant. And wasn’t this just the fucking cherry on this perfect shit sundae of a night?

Lowering her foot back to the ground, she took a deep breath and tried to reclaim even a fraction of dignity. Coming up woefully short—and getting to the point she really didn’t even care anymore—she turned.

“The floor down that aisle has just been washed and waxed. You can’t go down there.” The store employee rolled his eyes then, with a sneer, added, “That’s why there’s tape there...ma’am.”

Fisting her hands, Cecilia focused on the bit of her nails in her palms and counted to ten. She didn’t need this. She just wanted this night to be done. She’d escaped dinner her parents, their meddling, the ambush of her cheating ex…

“Look,” she said, trying to keep the sharpness out of her voice, “I only need to grab one thing and—”

Ma’am.” Well, he certainly wasn’t trying to keep anything out of his voice. “You cannot go down there.”

“I just—”

“It’s a liability issue,” he continued, talking right over her. “We can’t risk a customer injuring themselves, which is why we have the tape up. Please move along, ma’am.”

Annoyance flared, and Cecilia took a deep breath, and even as she opened her mouth to speak, she knew she was going to regret this come tomorrow. Hell, come ten minutes from now, but she was simply out of fucks to give.

“All right.” She bit out each word, glaring at the pimply-faced, condescending child lecturing her. “Then, why don’t you hop on over and grab me a package of toilet paper, so I can ‘move along’?”

“I can’t do that, ma’am.” He folded his hands in front of him.

“You can’t do that?” she repeated. “All right. Can you tell me where else in this store stocks toilet paper? You are a twenty-four-hour store, aren’t you?” she said quickly before he could answer. “I should be able to come in here, at any point during the twenty-four freaking hours of the day, and be able to get what I need, right? That’s the point of this place, isn’t it? If a customer can't even count on being able to—”

Her throat tightened suddenly, cutting off her tirade, and her vision blurred. Well, this was it. She’d hit Rock Bottom. Yelling at a kid about toilet paper in the middle of the grocery store… Yeah, Rock fucking Bottom.

“There’s no need to raise your voice,” the employee hissed. “I’m s—”

“Whatever.” Cecilia shook her head frantically and, fighting the emotions choking her, spun on her heel.

Get out, get out, just get out, was all that ran through her mind as she rushed from the store and hurried across the lot to her car. Breath hitching painfully, hands shaking, she pulled her keys from her purse…and promptly dropped them.

“Fuck.” She twisted and, back against the car, slid down until she landed on her ass. “Get a hold of yourself,” she muttered.

So, it had been a shitty day. People had shitty days and didn’t freak out at innocent—albeit annoying—grocery store employees over stupid things. She swallowed thickly. Okay, it was more than just a shitty day. It’d been a series of shitty days…weeks…hell, months. And every time she thought she had a handle on things, that she was making some sort of progress and getting back on track, something or someone came along and knocked her for a loop.

Tonight was just another one of those times. She hadn’t expected Nick to show up at her parents’ house. She sure as hell hadn’t expected to learn they had invited him. Or to have them plead his case for reconciliation.

She pressed the heels of her hands to her eyes. They’d backed her lying, cheating asshole of an ex-husband. Accused her of being selfish and unreasonable. How did she deal with that? Where did she even start? By freaking out in public, apparently. She laughed—a strangled, desperate sound that quickly morphed into a sob she tried desperately to pull back inside.

“Oh, hey, now.”

Cecilia startled at the deep voice and, dropping her hands, found herself staring into the clearest blue eyes she’d ever seen. Eyes that seemed even bluer for the smudged black lining them. She couldn’t move, couldn’t make her mouth form words as she took in the man crouching in front of her—his shaggy black hair, pierced ears…and lip...his dark shirt with the sleeves rolled up to expose lean forearms, his long almost elegant fingers and the simple silver rings adorning them, his tight black jeans…

“That bastard certainly isn’t worth your tears, caridad,” he continued, voice low and soothing, a hint of an accent she couldn’t quite place. Not British…not exactly. He tilted his head to the side, his full lower lip caught between straight white teeth, and studied her a moment.

“Though, I’m guessing this,” he gestured from her head downward, “isn’t simply because of some loo rolls or a bratty kid with his head up his arse.”

When she continued staring, silently, he sighed. “Well, I can help with one of your problems tonight.” He held up a package of toilet paper and grinned. “Jumped his blasted tape when he wasn’t looking. Can’t have a pretty girl going without the necessities, now, can we?”

Cecilia pressed her lips together, unsure exactly what she was feeling. Whatever it was, whatever this man, with his blue, blue eyes and simple kind act, was pulling from her, it was overwhelming. Almost too much after…after everything. She tried to calm down, to thank him. Then, he reached out and laid his hand on her shoulder. And, she promptly burst into tears.

Well, shit. Apparently, Rock Bottom has a basement, and Cecilia had just tumbled headlong into it.


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris