Category Archives: Gwendolyn Cease

Flash Fiction Monday – Ghost by Halsey

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The inspiration for this week’s flash fiction is Ghost by Halsey. If you’re interested, you can read the lyrics here or listen to it here.

This is kind of short, but I’m just getting back into the swing of things…

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“Is that guy over there, watching me?”

“Which one?”

“The one by the pool table, with the group. Haven’t seen him play once, just keeps watching me when he thinks I’m not paying attention.”

I sneak a glance over that way again to see if I can catch the guy’s eye and I do, just as he glances away from me. Not bad, tall, dark hair, motorcycle jacket. My type on the outside.

“What do you think, Libby? Going to go introduce yourself?”

“No, I think he might come my way.”

I decided to put myself a little more in the mystery man’s realm and walked through the group of pool tables on the way to the bar to get another drink, Jackson following the whole time. I did my best to look like I wanted to be noticed, without trying to be noticed.

At the bar, waiting for my drink I felt a body move up next to me. A little too close really, unless that’s what you were going for.

“Hey,” he said. “Can I get you a drink?”

“Already have one,” I replied, as the bartender handed me a beer. “But you can join me outside for a smoke if you want.”

“Ok, sure. I’m Ethan.”

“Libby.” Taking a  drink from by beer I turned and lead the way to the back entrance of the bar, the one that let out into an alley between this building and the one next door.

“Lib,” Jackson said, trailing behind us. “What are you doing?”

I ignored him and pulled Ethan along with me. Once outside I set my beer down and pushed Ethan up against the wall, attacking his mouth with mine. He seemed stunned at first, but caught on quick.

“Libby, really,” Jackson was seriously annoyed now. “I thought you said it was going to be just us, for awhile at least. It’s only been a few months.”

I spared Jackson a quick glance, marveling again how the lights in the alley made a halo around his form. And he was right, I had promised him it would be just us for awhile. But, I was weak. And Ethan was cute. And who knew where things would go with him. Just because I made Jackson into a ghost who would stay with me, didn’t mean I would have to do the same for Ethan.

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Jess Jarman | Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease

Wednesday Randomness – Behind the scenes of my current project

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This week’s random Wednesday topic is a peek behind the scenes of my current project. I haven’t been super productive lately, or productive at all, but I’m going to give you a sneak peek of the project I WANT to be working on.

This story came about from a photo flash fiction prompt last year. If you’re interested and want to read the story that started it all, click here. I think this is going to end up being the prologue, or maybe some sort of flashback. I definitely want it in the story somewhere.

The main location of the story is a bed and breakfast in New England, I see a house in my mind kind of like this:

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I also have a pictures in my head for a few key characters. The main character is Abigail, a widow who moves out East to start over. For her, I picture someone very girl-next-door, wholesome, sweet.

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For her deceased husband (who I realize isn’t actually in the book but still plays a large part), I didn’t have a specific person in mind. Not someone famous anyway, but a certain look for sure. This character is based on someone I knew in high school, but we’ll need to add some curly hair.

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For the dashing doctor, Kyle, non other than the beautiful Chris Pine. Let’s all just take a minute to appreciate those eyes.

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And finally, for Abigail’s new friend Maya, who brings a wonderful group of people into Abby’s life:

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This is basically just the most beautiful town ever, obviously.

I’m not sure what else I can say about the story at this point. I guess it would be categorized as a contemporary romance, my first foray into that area. Up until now I’ve focused mainly on YA. I’m probably a third of way through the first draft and I’d really like to finish it by the end of the year. That’s my goal.

See what the other bloggers are working on, and say hello to our newest blogger, Torrance!

Bronwyn
Jess
Gwen
Jessica
Kris
Paige
Torrance

Wordless Wednesday – Anger/Rage

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Mrs. White 5

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Check out the other bloggers to experience their rage:

Bronwyn
Kris
Jess
Paige
Gwen

 

Wednesday Randomness – An Angry Letter

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This week’s topic is an angry letter to anyone or anything we want. I thought for a long time about the subject of this letter, and last night while I was trying to fall asleep, it came to me. Gizmo.

Gizmo is my neighbor’s dog. I can’t get a picture of Gizmo without looking super creepy and stalkery, so we’ll just substitute in this one:

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The Gizmo that lives next door is not that cute. He (or she) is some sort of tiny mutt that’s black and white (dirty, dingy white), with a Mohawk. But not even a cute Mohawk. It’s a dumb Mohawk. The neighbors (otherwise known has Creepy Old Dude and his Wife) tie Gizmo to the front door to let it out, which ends up being next to our drive way. So when we park and get out of the car, we are treated to a lots of high-pitched, angry barking. Or, when we go out on our front porch. Or take our dog out at night for a last bathroom break. Or, as happened last night that prompted this post, our dog and Gizmo saw each other through our living window which started a barking/beagle howling battle at 10:30 at night. Awesome.

I’ve never been a dog person per se, I’m more of one now that I have a dog. I’ve gotten to like many more of them in general.

I severely dislike Gizmo.

I guess this wasn’t so much of a angry letter. Here, I’ll end on a short one.

Dear Stupid Gizmo,

Don’t choke on a bone or anything.*

Love, Me.

*I would like to point out that I would never wish or condone harm on an animal, but that is the most annoying little bastard of a dog.

Check out the links below to read the other angry letters:
Bronwyn
Gwen
Paige

Wednesday Randomness – When I Grow Up…

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I’ve been missing in action for a little while, but I’m trying to get back on the bandwagon, starting with this week’s Wednesday post…What I Wanted to be When I Grew Up.

I was a little all over the place when I was a kid.

I wanted to be a marine biologist for a long time. Not to work at a place like SeaWorld. But to work with dolphins or whales in the ocean. That was, of course, before I stopped swimming in natural bodies of water. But that’s another story.

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Then there was my FBI phase. That lasted quite a while. And I’m not sure where it came from, maybe The X-Files. I think it fizzled out about the time I told my mom about it and she laughed at me.

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I think maybe I wanted to be a writer, but that was a little too abstract for me as a kid. Although I’m not sure why.

I did go through a serious phase where I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic. I think that one might still be going on. But I’m not that good at photography.

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I can tell you I damn sure never wanted to be an accountant. But if I could be as cool as this guy…

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Yet somehow, that’s where I ended up. For now at least.

Check out the links below to see what the other bloggers wanted to be when they grew up, or what they still want to be when they grow up:
Bronwyn
Jessica
Paige
Gwen

Wordless Wednesday – Sadness

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Check out the other bloggers below:

Bronwyn
Paige
Jessica
Kellie
Gwen

 

Promptly Penned

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Promplty Penned

 

Here’s this month’s prompt:

Person A: “I thought I’d made it clear we have a no abduction policy.”

Person B: “She wasn’t cooperating. What did you expect me to do?”

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From the backseat, Caroline could hear the two men arguing.

“I thought I’d made it clear we have a no abduction policy.” That was the guy behind the wheel.

“She wasn’t cooperating. What did you expect me to do?” This was the shorter of the two men, the one who had stuffed her in the backseat of the car.

“She shouldn’t have even known we were there. It was supposed to be an in and out, grab the money and leave.”

“Well, she must have heard us or something. She came up out of the basement and, uh…” Here the guy in the passenger seat trailed off, sounding kind of sheepish.

“Uh, what?” The driver said, sounding irritated.

“She saw my face, alright? I told her to get in the freezer after that and I was going to lock in her but she wouldn’t listen and since I figured she could probably describe me, I thought I should bring her with.”

The car suddenly lurched to the right in a squeal of tires. “How. How.” The driver took a couple of deep breaths. “How in the name of all that is holy did she see your face? You’re wearing a mask!”

 “I took it off.” It came out barely more than a whisper.

“I’m sorry. You what?”

“I took if off. It was itchy.” This time the passenger’s voice had a definite whine to it. “I told you I didn’t want to wear it in the first place. I don’t like masks.”

“You flaming idiot! The whole point of the mask is so people won’t see our faces. And then you go and take it off.”

“That’s why I brought her with. So she can’t tell nobody what we look like.”

At this point, Caroline had to stifle a giggle in the backseat. These had to be the two worst burglars in the world. Not just inept, but totally stupid. She continued to work at the apron that had been tied around her hands, figuring that if she could get free she had a good chance getting away from these idiots.

The car was still pulled over to the curb so Caroline decided to take a chance. “Hey, fellas?”

Both guys jumped and turned around to stare at her, now sitting up in the backseat with her hands in her lap.

“Hello.” She gave a little half wave and smiled.

“What the hell are you doing up?” The driver turned to the other guy. “Couldn’t you at least tie her up properly?”

“I thought I did!” He flinched as the driver smacked him in the back of the head.

“Boys. Boys!” Caroline smiled again as they turned to look back at her. “Did you maybe forget something?” She held up the bag of money they had taken from the coffee shop and waived it like a cape in front of a bull.

The two men looked at each other in horror. They started scrambling over each other to try climb into the backseat. As they fought to fit through the tiny space, Caroline opened the unlocked (how dumb were they?) back door and slipped out of the car. She wouldn’t have much time, but she thought she could make this work.

Caroline took off running as fast as she could down the dark side street toward the park that was nearby. If she could get enough of a head start she could lose them in the woods on the other side. She wasn’t the captain of her track team for nothing and those guys weren’t going to win any Olympic medals. She could hear them huffing and puffing behind her but their footsteps were falling farther and farther away.

Caroline made it to the trees and slowed to look behind her. The burglars were doubled over in the middle of the street trying to catch their breath, she was afraid one of them might have a heart attack. As they were still trying to recover, Caroline turned and kept making her way through the woods, slower now so she wouldn’t fall in the dark.

Eventually, Caroline made it home without any more issues. She had managed to lose the guys entirely, she figured they had given up on her. Once safely in her room, she looked in the bag and saw the men had taken about half of what was in the register at the end of the night, about a thousand dollars. All of that for a thousand dollars.

Sitting on her bed, she considered. She could return it to her boss in the morning. She could do that. Or, she could pretend as though they had broken in after she had left for the evening and consider this a bonus. After all, her boss was a tool. Always staring at her chest, making her close by herself, it wasn’t a great job. Her boss probably wouldn’t even report it, he didn’t report most of his income so why report a robbery? Yeah, this was going to be nice little bonus.

If she ever saw that burglar again, she just might have to say thank you.

Check out where this prompt took the other bloggers:

Bronwyn

Kris

Paige

Gwen

Wednesday Randomness – Writing Pet Peeves

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Writing pet peeves is the topic for this week. What annoys us? What makes us want to tear our hair out?

Where do I start?

There are so many things, big and small.

This is a weirdly specific one, but I absolutely hate it when people use the phrase, “It’s like deja vu all over again.” That phrase just doesn’t even make sense to me. What is the point of it?

Difficult to pronounce names for places, or people. There’s a series I really like and in it is a prep school with a name that I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to pronounce. I stumble over it in my head every time I come across it and it instantly pulls me out of the story. Someone has even told me how to say it a couple of times and I still can’t get it right. I get wanting to use things that are unique and different, but you can do that and still make them something that a reader can pronounce.

I have another pet peeves with names, certain names in general just annoy the ever-living hell out of me. As soon as I see them, I just want to stop reading. Names like Cash, or Tristan. For some reason, all bad boys are named Tristan. And on the subject of bad boys, why do authors  (often YA) always put bad boys in black jeans? I don’t ever actually see anyone in real life wearing black jeans, but in books, all the bad boys wear them. I’m sure they all shop at the only store that sells them, too.

“There are simply too many notes!” In other words, trying to stuff everything imaginable into one story. Let’s put in werewolves, vampires, witches, ghosts, psychics, and time travel all into one book! There is such a thing as too many elements in one story.

Insta-love. I know sometimes it’s the norm for certain genres, but unless it’s done REALLY well, just no.

And on the subject of love, love triangles. Are they ever necessary? There are so many more interesting ways to create conflict, either within the romance or not.

I could go on and on, but I think those are the important ones.

What pet peeves do the other bloggers have? Click the links below to find out:

Bronwyn
Jessica
Kris
Kellie
Gwen
Jess

 

Wednesday Randomness – Best Memories of 2015

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This week we’re talking about our best memories from 2015.

Winter is pretty lame around here, mostly because I work non-stop through January and February, so I’m going to blow right past those and start with March.

Puppy Thor turned one (and yes I’m a huge dork).

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In June, B and I went to a wedding in Traverse City. It was awesome. The wedding was small, maybe 30-40 people, and was at Mission Table on the Old Mission Peninsula. The place was absolutely gorgeous, I’d never even heard of it before. The ceremony was outside with the lake as a backdrop and the dinner was in a private dining room with a cut stone fireplace.

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The day after the wedding, the bride and groom paid for the guests to go on a wine tasting tour to three of their favorite places, which is how I discovered my new favorite place, Tandem Ciders.

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Me and B

A couple of weeks after the wedding, I headed farther north for my annual writer’s retreat with some of my friends. We stay at a cabin/house on Lake Superior for a week and write, eat, talk, laugh (a ton), and have basically an amazing time.

On the way up, we had a major tire blow out. That was not awesome, but Bronwyn’s driving was so we survived the horror.

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Later on during the drive we saw a rainbow, so that helped cheer us up. And then Jenny Trout found a newspaper with an article about a festival for her people.

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We got to spend a little bit of time at the Lake (it’s always super cold in June still). All in all, we had a great time.

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This September, I went to my first ever Renaissance Fair. I have Bronwyn to thank for this experience. I didn’t even know this thing existed in Holly, MI (because I’m so out of the loop in the world) but she goes every year with her family, so this year B and I tagged along. There was jousting, actual jousting.

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There was also a dog wearing a knight.

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I will definitely be going back to the fair next year, we had a great time. I might even be in costume next time.

In October, B and I went to another wedding. This one took me to UP again, but I was happy to make the trip for one of my very closest friends. It was an amazing party, she married the man of her dreams, and looked beautiful the whole time.

Since a lot of us had to travel for the wedding, we had the shower and bachelorette party the night before.

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(All wedding photos by Elizabeth Dahlstrom and Captured Blessings Photography)

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Also in October was the celebration for B’s Uncle Jim and his husband Al. They married in June after the Supreme Court passed the ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. They have been together since 1978 so it was great that there finally able to marry.

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The end of the year consisted of holidays and normal family get togethers. Not that they weren’t a great time, but there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary that happened this year. Except I actually made it to midnight on New Year’s Eve. That’s unusual. There were a lot of great things that happened in 2015, obviously. But at the same time, I’m happy to move into 2016. There are a few things I want to a make a new start on. So, I guess the last thing I have to say about 2015 is…

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Check out the other blogs to see what good times everyone had in 2015:
Jess
Bronwyn
Jessica
Paige
Kellie
Gwen
Kris

 

 

Flash Fiction Mondays

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photoprompt

01-2016 LightinForest

CW: Assault

“Go into the light,” she had said. “You have to go into the light.”

Apparently I died three months ago, but I just found out yesterday. I’d been wandering around the woods trying to find the way back to my car when I met a woman. She explained it all. I had fallen and hit my head and no one had found my body. But she had sensed my lost spirit and she was here to help me move on.

“What the hell,” I said. “It’s got to be better than walking around here,” I told her.

So, when the light appeared on the path between the trees, I took a completely unnecessary deep breath, closed my eyes, and stepped into it.

And man, I was not prepared for what I found.

I opened my eyes and found myself in my college dorm room. It was exactly as I remembered, down to the hole in the blanket on my roommate’s bed and the magnets on the mini-fridge. Turning around I caught my reflection in the mirror and groaned. Shaggy brown hair that looked like I had just rolled out of bed, a Weezer t-shirt, ripped jeans, and yup, Doc Martins. Apparently I was also back in college.

The door flew open and Rob, my roommate, came thundering in.

“Kyle, finally. Where you been man? We got to go, the party’s already under way. Ben’s waiting on us.”

Not knowing what else to do, not knowing what was going on, I followed Rob out the door. This was not what I had expected when I had decided to go into the light. Was this heaven? Had I somehow gone back in time? Was I actually here in the flesh? I pinched myself, it hurt but what did that really mean.

I continued to follow Rob across campus not paying attention to where we were going, trying to figure out what was happening. I looked up when I heard someone yell my name and found that we were standing in front of the Sigma Chi house. In that moment I knew exactly what was going on. I knew what day it was and why I was here.

This night had followed me for years, and I regretted almost every minute of it.

Not waiting for my friends I dashed up the steps of the house and through the front doors. I started looking everywhere for Amy, a friend that I had known since sophomore year. She was here somewhere, in the process of drinking too much. I had to find her and get her to leave as soon as possible.

Two hours later and I still hadn’t found her. The clock in the kitchen said 12:45, so I knew it was almost the right time. The time when I had made the worst decision of my life. It was clear to me now that it wasn’t an option for me to stop this before the fact. I had to change my actions this time, not the actions of others.

Heading up to the second floor I made my way to the last bedroom on the left, and pushed the door open. There I found Amy, passed out on the bed with three frat guys and Rob standing around her. Two of the guys were holding her arms and the other two, including my roommate, were discussing what they should do.

The first time I witnessed this I had tried to tell Rob he should leave her alone but after they threatened me, I had left. Four against one after all, right? Not this time. Without a word, I launched myself at Rob catching him by surprise and knocking him into the wall. I got in two good punches before the other three were on me. But I didn’t care. Before I blacked out, I saw other people running into the room at the commotion, helping Amy off the bed and getting her to safety. Maybe this is how I was supposed to die all along, but if so, then this was the right way.

When I opened my eyes, I was on the beach. The sun was shining, the water was a clear turquoise, and the sound of the waves was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. This was heaven, this was my heaven. I had finally made it. I corrected the biggest mistake in my life and I was rewarded.

Click below to see what the others came up:

Jess
Bronwyn
Kris
Jessica
Paige
Gwen