Gwendoogle – Drunkards, Books, and Cucumber Water

GwendoogleAnswers served with a smirk and a lie

Kate Kearney searched: Wizards or sorcerers?
Wizards are lovely. They have magnificent hats. I’ve heard that their fireworks are beyond compare. They usually have good advice, if not advice that keeps you safe.

Sorcerers have all of that, plus secrets and smirks. And more is always better.

Fliptheotter searched: What DO you do with a drunken sailor?
Try not to laugh at them while they attempt to tuck themselves into their hammocks for the night, and tumble out the other side. Probably don’t succeed though.

Continue reading


Gwendoogle – My Least Favorite is the Jive

GwendoogleAnswers served with a side of cotton candy

Kate Kearney searched: Thoughts on state fairs?
First of all, state fairs usually take place late in the summer, the time of year when all respectable Gwendolyn’s are hibernating in deep, cool holes to outlast the outrageous heat.

Second, they usually involve some sort of sunburn. It’s not actually a problem until twenty-four hours after the fair, when it’s hard to sleep because your skin is nearly neon, but scientists have assured me there’s a correlation.

Third, they have absolutely beautiful things in them. Paintings and photographs and baby sweaters that people near you have lovingly created. Pies that look too elaborate to eat, and too delicious to leave sitting on the table. Cotton candy whipped into tornadoes that small children can pull apart with their hands. Ferris wheels that spin slowly, and carousels that spin quickly.

It’s not hard to talk me into going.

Continue reading

Gwendoogle – One Month, Six Months, and the Rest of My Life

GwendoogleAnswers served with a surprising plan for the future

Kate Kearney searched: Why did I feel a need to create an army of large eyed Disney characters?
For centuries, commanders and kings have sought the best way to build an army. The soldiers of Sparta were schooled to be deadly and sassy. The Sacred Band of Thebes was built in pairs of lovers. The Macedonians won battles with very, very, very long sticks. The Romans mastered teamwork. The Mongols moved massive hosts, very fast. The Chinese blew stuff up.

No one has yet tried an army built of the very doe-eyed, and the very animated. It’s very possible that you may conquer worlds.

Kate Kearney searched: Why is my Ariel so grumpy?
Ariel’s thesis for the best army included people who wielded scowls and glares like swords and shields. The generals turned her down when she pitched the idea, but now her face is stuck like that. (And after every battle, the generals look a little stupider.)

Continue reading

Gwendoogle – Bacon, Salt, and Sawdust

GwendoogleAnswers served on National Encourage a Young Writer Day

Kate Kearney searched: What is an efficient and organized way to store crazy writing papers?
Once upon a time, I had one of those hit-with-a-brick ideas, and wrote the entire thing down on freshly sawn-off two-by-four. And I got a splinter. Then I walked around with a Very Important Piece of a Two-by-Four in my purse for a week, because I was on vacation, and there was no better place to keep it.

When I got home, I put it in a pretty little leather box along with about a hundred torn notebook pages, fifty other strange-shaped scraps, forty napkins, a french fry sleeve, and half of a pizza box lid.

I gave up on efficiency and organization a long time ago. I’m just happy that the box still closes.

And yes, that box smells like bacon and salt and sawdust. What does your writing smell like?

Continue reading

Gwendoogle – Don’t Live in a Shiny Kettle

Gwendoogle EasterHappy Easter, everyone!

Kate Kearney searched: How long has that portal been there?
Since the unfortunate day when I accidentally dropped salt, paprika, coffee grounds, a silver fork, and rose petals on the floor. Then I swore. In Latin. It’s a mistake anyone could have made.

I haven’t had the time to see where it goes yet, but sometimes it plays nice music while I’m cooking.

Continue reading

Flash Fiction: Night Owl (182 words)

It was nearly midnight before the musicians started laying down Lea’s favorite spell. The lamps had burned down to a flickering mimicry of yellow sunset, and the drums began to tap the air. They thudded and hummed, slow, steady, dragging out for a long moment while she began to grin and her heart seemed to steady itself against the beat. Then the guitars climbed on top, one high, one low, whirling like things freshly taught to fly, and she forgot how to keep her heels on the floor, or her hands at her sides, or her feet still.

Continue reading

Flash Fiction: Share Space (608 words)

Men who made their money on a stage, strumming a guitar, rhyming promises and intimate curses, always seemed to live in the moral quandary of to use my hairbrush, or not to use my hairbrush.

That was the question.

Whether t’was nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous bedhead, or to take combs against a sea of cowlicks and, by opposing, end them…

Ryan realized that Leah was screaming with the rest of the crowd in the close air of the darkened concert hall. She flashed a grin up at him, and for half a moment, he took his joke back. It was hard not to grin back at her, just for half a moment, even if the screaming sounded like radio static from the wrong side of the universe, and the few lights in the room made shadows of them all.

Continue reading

Gwendoogle Part CXLI – Lightning Scars and John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

GwendoogleAnswers kicked off with a big ol’ WHAT IF

Kathryn searched: If someone were to drop a baby with a lightning bolt shaped scar on YOUR doorstep, what would you do?
Bring it inside and see if the scar washed off.

Then look for a note.

If I had no idea who this child was, I would call the police. (I assume that is what you’re supposed to do when you find someone’s child abandoned on your doorstep.) After spending whatever time it took them to arrive worrying that the kid’s parents had a reason for choosing my particular doorstep, I would wind up asking about the process of gaining guardianship of the kid. Because I have a protective streak about two light-years wide and even this imaginary infant is tripping it. Gosh darnnit.

If I had any sort of suspicion that I was related to this child, I would likely spent the next fours hours having a staring contest with it while I tried to decide which of my siblings to call first. With a one in four chance of getting it right and being able to deliver some righteous anger about babies in baskets, and a three in four chance of stepping into the world’s most awkward and most tense family conversation (“WHY WOULD YOU THINK I WOULD LEAVE MY BABY WITH YOU — wait — WHOSE IS IT?!“), it wouldn’t be something I wanted to get wrong.

Continue reading

Flash Fiction: Open Windows Part I (1007 words)

The first step in Zain’s master plan for the evening was to open a window.

It was a large window, set just to the left of the musicians, and he knew there was no way to do it without gathering attention. He paused to talk to the girl on the violin in between songs, chatted until the moment she had to put bow to string again, then walked straight to the window as if he were doing her a favor. The hall was warm from the dancing, but not uncomfortably so, and the drifting breeze from the window cooled almost nothing. Still, she flashed him a smile after he swung the window open, probably just pleasantly surprised to realize he was still lingering nearby, but from a distance, he thought it might be mistaken for gratitude.

It didn’t stop one of the servers from narrowing his eyes as he passed, or Selwyn from going suddenly still at the other end of the hall.

Shoving his hands in his pocket, Zain smiled back at the violinist and wandered back into the center of the hall. Because, for once, step two was not climbing out the window.

Continue reading

Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Forgotten Hour (410 words)

She tried to remind herself to walk slowly, but she kept slipping into a happy skip. It was too late at night for anyone else to be up to see her. Too late at night to risk tripping and falling on her nose, but too late to really believe in reasonable strides either. It was too late to be awake, but she was. She might have forgotten how to sleep, forgotten the need for sleep, forgotten how to shut her eyes.

The moon had been too full. The white light falling off it had turned the air cool and crisp and clean. The silence had so much blank space, a promise that every word she spoke into the dark would be caught and held and heard. Everyone else shut up into their houses had made then world so wide. She could have run for miles.

Shai hadn’t of course – or she didn’t think she had. She only ever went into the woods in the dark, and shadows were hard to measure. Still, it never took long to work her way into the clearing and wait for all the others to tumble in after her.

Continue reading