Can You Vague That Up For Me?

Bronwyn Green's Random Thoughts

Nostalgic Notes: Games


I confess, I’ve never been big into games. I mean, I do enjoy a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity, and back in the day I loved me some D&D, but for the most part, games aren’t really my thing. But, when you have visitation with your dad every other weekend and that involves going to your grandma’s where your family members all take naps after lunch while seasonal sportsball blares from the TV and you and your brother are the only kids, you learn to play games. These are a few I didn’t mind playing and others I resented the fuck out of.









Here are the games I resented the fuck out of.


I will forever hate this game. I loathe this game.


Fuck this game, too.


And fuck these little long-armed bastards with their judgey faces.


And really fuck this game. Literally the most boring game ever. And if we played Star Wars we had to play this one, too. Because “fair is fair and you have to share”.

So, what were some of your favorite games? More importantly (to me, anyway), what games did you despise? Be sure to check out Deelylah and Jess‘ posts.

Flash Fiction #44 – Sweet Surrender


This month’s song fic is inspired by the Sarah McLachlan song, Sweet Surrender. Here are the lyrics and the video, if you want to have a looksee.


You know how sometimes you fall asleep and when you wake up, you’re so cold you feel like you’ll never get warm again?

That’s exactly how it was–except, you know, worse. Mostly because I woke up completely naked. No underwear to my name. None that I could lay hands on anyway. And when I tried to sit up, I smacked my head on something–something metal from the sounds of it. Not only was I cold, but now my head hurt, and it was dark. The kind of dark that seemed like it would swallow even the brightest of lights.

I felt around, looking for anything. My phone. A flashlight. A blanket. Christ it was freezing, and wherever I touched felt like brushed steel. Fucking cold brushed steel. This had to be some bullshit hazing. I told Brently, I didn’t want to rush TKE. But that asshole never did listen and signed us both up, anyway. He’d get his, though. I’d make sure of it.

Rolling to my stomach, I pushed up to my hands and knees. My back immediately hit more freezing metal, and everything in my gut seemed to shift. It was a lot like the sensation in your gut as you go over the first hill of a roller coaster, but…looser, somehow. Almost as if things weren’t quite as solid in there as they used to be.

I tried to make out where I was. I knew the TKEs had a creepy basement until the rundown Victorian near campus they called home, but I didn’t think they had any spaces like this. But, I supposed they wouldn’t exactly be advertising that to pledges.

I banged on the metal floor next to my knee. “All right, quit fucking around and let me out, already!”

At least, that’s what I tried to yell. What came out sounded more like a moan. And a garbled moan, at that. Goddamnit, had they put ketimine or some shit in the vodka? Was that what was going on? I was going to fucking end people when I got out of here. Whenever this bullshit was over, there had better be a goddamn feast waiting for me because I just realized I was starving. I was suddenly so ravenously hungry, it felt like my stomach was devouring itself and everything around it.

“I said let me out!”

I brought my hand to my throat. It didn’t really feel swollen. Whatever was in my system was still fucking with my ability to speak. As I brought my hand down, it brushed across a weird rough patch on my chest. Was that what a tattoo felt like? My mom was going to kill me if I came home for break with a tattoo.

I banged on the floor again, and finally, I heard a noise that wasn’t just me. It sounded like a metallic clank and a seal being opened. Bright light flooded the space where they’d kept me. It was as small as it felt. I blinked and let my eyes adjust to the light.

“What the fuck is the matter with you assholes?” I tried to say that. Not sure if that’s what they heard, though.

A guy near the back of the group screamed and ran.

Brently, that asshat, was the closest. I glared at him. Fucker looked like he’d been crying. I could only hope he’d woken up in a cold as fuck room, totally nude.

“TJ?” he asked, stepping closer. “Is that you?”

He reached out a hand toward me, and I’d never smelled anything better in my life. I grabbed his arm and bit down on his wrist as hard as I could, tearing his flesh with my teeth. I groaned. Better than a perfectly cooked steak.

He screamed and tried to get away, but I pulled him closer and sank my teeth into his neck, his hot blood running down my chin and chest warming me, at least a little. By the time I felt somewhat sated, everyone else had vanished, and I hopped down and headed for the door. All I left behind me was a cold room.*

*Sorry, Sarah…

Check out the other flash fiction pieces. I’m gonna go ahead and guess that they’re a little less gruesome. Here’s Deelylah’s and here’s Norris’.

Promptly Penned: The First Line

Promptly Penned


Use the first line of a nursery rhyme as the first line of a dark narrative.

Side note before I begin this prompt. I was researching nursery rhymes and realized that most of them are plenty dark on their own without my help. Like Goosey, Goosey Gander is apparently about killing Catholic priests who were in hiding when they refused to convert, at Henry VIII’s insistence, to the Church of England.  Also, I recognized a vast majority of the nursery rhymes (including Goosey, Goosey Gander) from my own childhood. And my mom wonders why my short fiction tends to be on the darker side. Gee, mom…I can’t imagine why. I wonder why on earth that would be. *gives her the side-eye*

Okay, so here’s the story. (You’re welcome, mom.)

“Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,”

The sounds of children’s voices echoed through the valley–high and sweet, lilting through the chilly autumn air. Girls and boys rose from their beds or left their evening chores, shambling dazedly out into the dusty road, and turned toward the emerald green hill rising in the distance. They dragged hobbyhorses and poppets behind them as their song carried hauntingly across the land.

“To see a fine lady upon a white horse.”

The children plodded forward, eyes fixed unseeingly on some the middle distance, unaware or uncaring as their parents called to them, their cries becoming increasingly more desperate. Pitious. Attempts to tug or carry the young back into the houses failed. Even the smallest of the small were able to pull free of their parents’ frenzied grasp. They stood watching, shivering in the cold, their breath puffs of steam. The children didn’t shiver. Nor did their breath cloud the air.

“With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,”

Every house in the village stood empty of children, save those too young to climb from their cradles. But they sang their own mournful song, longing to join their sisters and brothers as they marched onward toward the green hill in the distance. The hill they’d been warned away from time and time again. The hill where none of the village folk would tread. The hill, it was whispered, would swallow a person whole. Perhaps none in recent memory, but it had happened, and so the warning remained.

“She shall have music wherever she goes.”

Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles followed behind, weeping  and helpless beneath the purple dusk that crept across the sky. At the head of the procession, I looked back at my new charges from atop my snow colored steed and smiled. Turning in my saddle, accompanied by the delicate jingling of bells, I led the children forward as twilight cloaked the land drawn toward the hill by the scent of sweetmeats and warm puddings, fruits and ale cakes.

Whispering the spell to lift the glamour, the side of the hill opened, spilling golden light on the ground, forming a pathway to lead the children forward.  Raucous music drifted out into the gloaming, the rhythm twining around the procession and urging it closer. As the music took hold, the lethargy that had claimed the children lifted and they began to dance as they made their way into realm beneath the hill, heedless of the cries of their parents. Centuries have passed since we’ve had fresh blood.

Be sure you check out the other bloggers’ stories. Deelylah and Jessica.

Happy Coming Out Day and Happy Anniversary to Our Family!


I just now realized that it’s National Coming Out Day. I’ve been mostly head down with work all day today, to the actual date slipped my notice. Also, I’ve been operating under the assumption that today was Monday. However, Jenny Trout publicly disabused me of that notion like a good friend does.

But today is an incredibly special anniversary for our family. Two years ago today, we learned that we have a daughter and a son as opposed to the two sons we thought we had. To say this was a surprise is an understatement. I can truly say none of us saw this coming. However, finding out that information didn’t change one iota of the love I felt for my kid. Nor did it change my husband’s.

Were we worried about her? Absolutely. We worried about people who might seek to harm her because of who she is. But let’s be honest, I’m always going to worry about my kids, my family, my friends–that’s just me. But, still being honest here, I probably will always worry more about my daughter and other LGBTQA people.

But here’s the thing I’d like people to know–this amazing kid is still my amazing kid. She’s as nerdy and sweet and hilarious and loving as she ever was. She’s developed a penchant for thigh-high socks and skinny jeans and baby doll tees. She’s still sarcastic, disdainful of my inability to math, and has to be reminded multiple times to do the dishes. But here’s the biggest, most important thing. And I’m giving it its own line because it’s that important.

She. Is. Happy.

I’ll repeat that just in case I haven’t been clear about how huge this is.

She is happy. 

I had put her moodiness down to the sort of ennui you get when there’re still too many college classes to plow through and wondering if changing your major was the right thing to do. Granted, those things weren’t helping, but they weren’t the biggest issue. The biggest issue was that she wasn’t being true to herself.

We’ve  been wildly lucky. Our family and friends have rallied behind my daughter in ways I’d hoped for, but didn’t truly anticipate. There is so much love in our lives. In fact, when I told Jen, the very first thing she said to me was, “Congrats! I told you you would have been a great mom to a daughter.” I cried. At that moment, it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard.

Just last week, my beloved aunt called to find out if my daughter would like the Arran knit poncho my gram had made for my aunt back in the 70s. My daughter never got a chance to meet my gram, but now she’ll have something special that my gram made.

There have been so many wonderful moments of acceptance, both large and small, and we’re grateful for all of them.

Since our daughter came out, she has been so much happier, more at peace and truly herself in a way that she wasn’t quite before. In a way that I’m not even sure I can articulate. Some writer, huh?

Here’s my request to you. If you know someone who’s trans, please, please, please use their preferred pronouns. Even if it’s something you’re unfamiliar with. Even if their preferred pronoun is something you feel is grammatically incorrect. It. Is. Not. But it’s not time for an English lesson right now. Just use the right words. Please.

If this person has changed their name, please respect that individual and use the their chosen name. Using their dead name or misgendering them can be hugely triggering. If you screw up, and you likely will, (sometimes I still mess up), apologize, mean it, and try harder.

If this person has shared this with you, this person cares about you enough to want you in their life. Please show them that you want to be there by opening your heart and arms. Unless this person isn’t a hugger. If they’re not, stop that shit right there.

As parents, we don’t think of this as losing a son and gaining a daughter, we look at this as the opportunity and the gift of getting the chance to know our child that much better.

Love is love is love is love is love is love.

PSA on Jenny Trout’s Catharsis

Two years ago, in August, I made the conscious decision to remove a toxic, manipulative individual from my life. This person and I had a decades long “friendship”. 

This relationship, of course, didn’t start out as the godawful, soul-crushing, gaslighting nightmare that it became. If it had, I would have run the fuck in the opposite direction. Even I, Brightside Barbie, doomed to look for the best in everyone, would have said, “Nope!” and kept on moving. 

A few weeks ago, Jenny Trout, one of my utterly amazing BFFs, stumbled across some shadyass Vaguebooking about me and snapped. The results of this were five blog posts that detailed years of emotional abuse at the hands of the individual I jettisoned from my life. Jen was pissed. And while she may not always stand up to defend herself, she’ll defend the fuck out of the people she loves and the ideals she believes in. I didn’t ask her to write those posts. She did it because she felt it was the right thing to do. Very much like what I’m doing here. 

If you’ve never dealt with an emotionally abusive manipulative person – or if you’re not the type to to get conned by them – that’s awesome. *high fives you*  

If you have, like so many of the people who’d commented on Jen’s posts, then you know how incredibly insidious and harmful these people can be. You know that the gaslighting techniques they employ can break you the fuck down until you begin to doubt everything around you—even your own thoughts. Hell, especially your own thoughts. I won’t go into all the gory details about how this works. That’s not the point of this post. There are tons of great resources out there if you find yourself in a relationship like this. This blog is a great place to start. But please be aware, those of you who’ve dealt with these sorts of relationships may find it triggering. 

But to illustrate just how damaging this behavior can be, I’d like to share something. About five or six months after I was no longer speaking to the person Jen wrote about, my husband, who’s known me since I was 15 fucking years old, looked at me and said, “There you are. I’ve been missing my girl, and I didn’t know how to find her.” That broke my goddamn heart. 

The reason I’m sharing this is because now that Jen has chosen to remove the five posts detailing the wild ride that was our life with this toxic person, there are readers out there who are upset. Some are upset because they didn’t get to read the last installment before they were all unpublished. Some were upset because they feel that Jen isn’t standing by her convictions by keeping the posts up. Some were upset because those posts that detailed this person’s behavior could have “real world consequences” for that person. 

I get that it’s frustrating to be really into something and find it entertaining and never be able to see the conclusion. But good news, it’s cached out there somewhere, folks. But I understand internet caches as well as I understand imaginary numbers and algebra, so…I’m not the person to help you out with that. 

To those who feel like Jen isn’t standing by her convictions, let me tell you what those posts accomplished for the two of us. And probably for Carol, too. Having those experiences laid out before the cold, unblinking eye of the internet did something amazing. It gave us both the courage to admit that this shit actually happened. This is the shit that shitty people do to others under the guise of friendship. It gave other people who’ve experienced similar shit solidarity recognition and understanding. It gave Jen and I those things, too. But when Jen unpublished those posts, it gave us both something more. It gave us the feeling of finally being fucking free. 

No matter what Jen and I have accomplished professionally, even after this person was no longer in our lives, those accomplishments were always tainted with the remnants of her voice in our heads and the echoes of her words in our ears. Trying to explain how detrimental that is in a way that someone who hasn’t been through this shit can understand would take months, and TBH, I’m not willing to to devote any more headspace to this person than she’s already had.

But, what I would love for you to understand is that really talking about these things, getting them all out of our heads, and then flushing them, finally felt like we were free of it all. That the garden of self-doubt that this person planted in our heads and carefully tended had finally gone fallow. I wish I could somehow translate our happiness sense of wellbeing to everyone to provide a glimpse of how amazingly beautiful and freeing that felt. For the first time, I was no longer worried about running into this person at the grocery store—a likely prospect since we live so close to one another. Just the realization that I wasn’t afraid of running into her in public was huge. That’s just one example of the power of releasing this. 

So for those of you who felt like Jenny wasn’t standing by her convictions, I realize there’s nothing I can do to convince you otherwise. But I hope you’ll consider that choosing to unpublish the posts wasn’t about convictions. It was about freedom from something that’s haunted both of us for years. Basically exorcising a demon—minus the priest and the holy water. 

And finally, for those concerned about the real world consequences those posts may have had, I have a question. Why are the real world consequences of income loss more important than the real world consequences of having one’s mental health maliciously chipped away for over a decade? I’m not sure how money is the most important thing here. Sometimes there are consequences for being a horrible person. Sometimes those consequences involve people no longer wanting to read your work. 

Additionally, some people may not have a problem if a homophobe profits by writing MM romances. Some people have a huge problem with it and would prefer to vote with their dollars.

Like most writers, the written word is my and Jen’s medium for figuring out our shit—both reading and writing. Sure, we talk a lot, too. But like many writers, I think we process better through reading and writing. I don’t know how Jen felt writing them, but I know that reading them felt like amazing therapy. 

One of the things I love and admire most about Jen is that what you see is literally what you get. There’s no public persona—there’s just Jen. And I will be forever grateful to her for standing up for me, and more than that, helping me stand up for myself.

The List (yeah, that one)

First off, before I jump into the post, I want to introduce you to our newest and final member of our blogging team: Deelylah Mullin. She’s an author, editor, and all around nifty person. I think you’ll like her, too!

Now, on to the post.

Remember that episode of Friends where they all had a “freebie” list of five celebrities they could sleep with without it being considered cheating by their significant others? Welp, we decided to make our own lists.

As it turns out, this is harder than I would have expected. I mean, there are metric fuckton of attractive humans out there. Well, attractive and talented. And intelligent. There’s something about that combo that just works for me. Add in funny, and it’s all over.

Now, these are in no particular order, because unlike some people, *gives Jess Jarman the side-eye* I don’t play favorites.

Aidan Turner


Colin Morgan

Eoin Macken

Hugh Dancy


Nope. I don’t have a type. I have no idea what you people  are talking about. Seriously. Move along. Off with you. Go see who the  other bloggers fancy.








Flash Fiction #43 – Goth/Cosplay Couple



“Seriously, Skyler? A field? We’re doing homecoming pictures in a field?

Skyler rolled her eyes. “Yes, in a field. It’s autumn. We want the photos to look all moody and spooky.”

Josh sighed. “Well, we need to hurry. We’re supposed to meet the others at the restaurant and our reservations are at six-thirty.” If Skyler wanted to play goth princess, he’d go along with it. The things he did to get laid.

They continued walking through the dried grass and dead plants. He was surprised she wasn’t flipping shit about all of the burs clinging to her dress.

“You need to hold my hand up higher. Like you’re leading me into a ball.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake. You’re taking this way too seriously.”

She glared at him. “I want a spot in the homecoming section of the yearbook.”

Sighed again, Josh lifted her hand higher. “Where the hell is the photographer, anyway?”

She nodded toward the treeline. “Over there, taking pictures of our approach. Now, look regal.”

He glanced in the direction she’d indicated and thought he saw a couple flashes of silver. Light off the photographer’s lens, he supposed. At least, the dude was out there doing his job.

The quicker they got this part of the evening over with, the quicker he’d get in her pants. Pants she’d been hanging onto far too tightly. But tonight was the night. He could feel it. After all, he was taking her to a stupid dance, an expensive dinner, and he was doing fuck knew what in this field. She owed him.

Skyler looked at him and smiled.

Yeah. He was getting his, tonight.

They drew closer to the woods, and he thought he saw movement beyond the tree trunks. “Is there someone back there?”

“Just some friends I asked to help with the shoot.”


She turned that smile on him again. “No one you know. They don’t go here.”

“You’re really going all out. I didn’t realize getting in the yearbook was that important to you.”

She released his hand. “There are a lot of things you don’t realize about me.”

“I realize you’re gorgeous. That counts for something, right?”

Her smile widened, and sudden chills skated down his spine.

“Of course, it does,” she said, leading him into a clearing in the woods. “It means you were just that much easier to catch.”

His brow furrowed, and he was about to ask her what she meant, but as he opened his mouth, black-garbed figures stepped into the clearing, surrounding them. He reached for her hand but ended up grasping only empty air.

Glancing around, he spotted Skyler walking toward a tall figure standing beneath an oak tree whose dried, brown leaves clung stubbornly to its branches. In the breeze, the leaves rubbed together sounding like the chittering of hundreds of tiny animals. The person beneath the tree looked directly at Josh, and in the waning light, he could make out a huge crown of antlers on the woman’s head.

What the fuck? 

“Skyler,” he called out. She ignored him and kept moving. He took a step toward her and the figure under the tree held out her hand, freezing him in place.

“Your assistance is not required.”

As he watched, Skyler knelt down in front of the creepy antler lady.

“I’ve brought you the human child you require.”

Human child. They didn’t have a kid with them. What was she talking about? Maybe they were in some kind of trouble and Skyler was trying to talk their way out?

The antler woman stepped away from the shadow of the tree and approached Josh. She was hot in an older MILF kinda way, he supposed. Reaching out, she stroked a cool hand along his jaw.

“You’ve done well, daughter. He will do nicely.” She glanced away from Josh toward the other people around the edges of the clearing. “Bring him.”

Be sure to check out Jess‘ story, too.




What I Hate About Writing


I’ve been trying to write this post for a while, now. But every time I look at the title of the prompt, I get that song, What I Like About You by The Romantics, stuck in my head, and then it’s there for days.

I really hate that.

Anyway, here are some things I also hate about writing, in no particular order.

  • When the words won’t come. That feeling of staring at the cursor and watching it mockingly blink on my empty page.
  • Imposter Syndrome. Feeling like any past success I’ve had was nothing more than luck, and that I’m not a “real” writer, and someday, everyone will know. 
  • When I’m writing to meet a deadline and I get all kinds of plot ideas or bits of dialogue for a different story.
  • When other obligations get in the way of writing.
  • When I get all up in my head and second guess myself about the anything to do with the my current project.
  • When I get on a roll riiiiiiiiiiight before it’s time to go to bed. (Yeah, I know, I could stay up later, but that pretty much makes me useless the next day.)

I’m sure there are more things I hate about writing. But I don’t hate writing. It’s truly one of my favorite things. In fact, I’m gonna go do some right now!

Be sure to check out Jess, Jessica, and Torrance’s posts to see what they hate about writing.

Wordless Wednesday: Comfort



These are just a few of the things I think of when I think of comfort. (Breaking the rules with captions. Like usual.)


The swing my husband built me is one of my favorite comfort things. Just the act of quietly swinging is soothing.


Being by the water, particularly when the waves are rolling in has always brought me comfort. This is Lake Michigan on a particularly turbulent day.


So has the scent of lilacs.


And cuddly kitties.

IMG_7955 (1)

I love this lantern. It’s warm glow always makes me feel a little more peaceful than I did, before I lit the candle on the inside.


Knitting is so comforting – both the act of knitting and listening to the clacking of the needles of someone else doing it.


And there’s probably nothing more comforting than being all cwtched up in sweaters that my mama knitted for me.


Here’s a closeup of some of the main patterns. Also, that one on the bottom left isn’t that orange in real life. The actual color is how it looks up above. It was just really sunny out when I took them out to photograph them.

Be sure to check the other authors’ posts to see what they find comforting.




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