Gwen Meninford
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Joined 06-08-11, id: 2975328, Profile Updated: 05-17-17
Author has written 3 stories for High School Musical.

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A B O U T / M E

I am many things right now. Most noticeably a college student, barista, and a tutor. Oddly enough, I see myself as much of a writer as any of those aforementioned identities, but nobody else can. Every once in a while, people can spot the writer in me, but I try to downplay it as much as I can. Admittedly, I am slightly embarrassed at being a High School Musical fanfiction writer at 20 years old. I feel myself having to defend myself and my stories more often than not, saying, "they barely can be considered High School Musical fanfiction. My characters and stories are entirely my own creations, but wearing a Disney mask and costume." Which is mostly true. I disregard the movies and all of my stories have been AU. I think it's important to discuss my writing process for one to fully understand the reason behind this deflection.

M Y / P R O C E S S

Whenever I begin a story, it doesn't look anything like this: I sit down and ask myself, "Gwen, what are we writing today? What's the plot? Who's the main character? What's their problem? Who's their problem?" That has happened 0% of the time, ever. I will say that when continuing stories, that is a useful process. You know, "How are we moving from this scene to the next? What are they doing before this next part comes up? What does their location look like?" Those are smaller details that help move the story along for which I will need to brain storm, but the main events of my stories and plots are never searched for. Rather, they find me.

This all started one exceptionally boring day in my childhood, abandoned in a Minnesota cabin while my family went fishing. No television, only a cousin reading her book to keep me company. I laid back on the couch next to her and stared at the ceiling. Mr. and Mrs. Smith had just came out, so I randomly started daydreaming about their exciting lives as spies. I then realized that day dreaming was freaking awesome. I kept with the ritual after that day and would often imagine Mr. and Mrs. Smith in a variety of situations. Around this same time, High School Musical came out. I somehow stumbled upon Zanessa (RIP) fanfiction stories on YouTube (which was also relatively new at this time). I thought to take my day dreaming habit and combine it with the HSM cast instead of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and the rest is history. I had the whole cast of HSM in my head to continue their stories in different worlds and situations. I actually thought I was crazy at some points in time because I day dreamed too much. I would put my body on autopilot through the day while watching the characters in my head (which I'm still guilty of doing during boring shifts at work). Back then it was the equivalent of a kid who wouldn't get off the computer to the point where their parents were legitimately concerned, but I was playing my own parent concerned about my mental health. However, I don't want to mislead you into believing that I crippled myself with compulsive day dreaming. It sometimes felt like a bad habit and at its worst, rarely felt unmanageable. I had a good childhood. (However, I am a writer and you know what they say...)

I've probably imagined every scenario one could with daydreaming. A practiced imagination truly has no limits. Although, sometimes it's not really a full story. It's just a random snippet. For example, I got my idea to write The Sacred Rays because of a tiny scene I imagined. Gabriella and Troy were inside of a luxury apartment. They had only recently met, but they had grown close very quickly. Still, he hadn't told her everything. There was a lot of darkness in his past. On this night, he opens up to her about a specific event that is inherently heartbreaking and life-shattering (I'm not giving specifics for fear of spoiling). She comforts him. That's all. Really, that was all I saw, but that tiny look into their lives made me want to discover everything else that had lead up to it and its eventual resolution. I had to find the real story. So the other 99% of those 65,000 words that create that story has essentially been discovered (that's my artsy way of saying "improvised") so that one particular scene can exist in their world and make sense.

In short, the HSM characters themselves and their world at East High are not what drives my stories. I've borrowed their physical form, much of their personalities, and sometimes their dynamics. However, as I've told people before IRL, they are first and foremost my own creation and are written entirely by me and myself alone. What really drives my stories is my day dreaming. Sometimes I only stumble upon the most intriguing parts of these characters' lives. I then must find the rest of their stories and where it all started that makes this piece possible, and where it ends.

P H O T O

The profile photo is of my glasses on my dining room table. I don't get compliments often, but when I do, they're about my glasses. I actually got this exact pair about three or four years ago. The reception was great. Then a puppy saw to their destruction. I went back into my optician to get another, not expecting to find its exact frame on the wall. I actually didn't realize it a first, I had completely forgotten about those buried stylish blue frames. I was narrowing down my selection to this new one when I realized it was the exact same ones that I had before. For my profile picture, I wanted to set them atop three or four books that inspired me to write, add a cup of tea with Spanish and French on its mug (the languages I still study), and my copy of the original HSM soundtrack. Unfortunately, I can't find my box of books post-move! Once I find them I'll take a new photo and update it again.


M Y / S T O R I E S

You can already find the summaries of the stories down below, but here are some of my additional thoughts on them and info on their progress.

T H E / S A C R E D / R A Y S

The format of this story is unique; it moves both forwards and backwards simultaneously. The present-day chapters occur close together and follow Troy and Gabriella's developing relationship circa early 2016, whereas the past-tense chapters move further and further away and expose more of Troy's past as the story progresses. This story has been over a year in the making. I started it January 2016 and stuck with it until June, at a time when I pushed updates out nearly weekly or semi-weekly...for six months straight. I wasn't anticipating a break, nor did I officially announce a break, either. When you spend 6 months with a project front and center of your mind, you'll need to rediscover yourself sooner or later. I never forgot about this story when I disappeared. I would think back on this story in particular and yearn to return to it, but it didn't feel like it was quite the right time for awhile. After I reread The Sacred Rays its 1 year publication "anniversary", I felt that it was time to finish what I started. I returned on Valentine's Day, 2017 and am still continuing the story.

Last updated: April 3rd, 2017
Next Update Release Date:circa April 20th, 2017*
*April 19th, 2017 Progress Update: I have to postpone the next update until April 27th. I'm sorry, I wish I could have kept with the original date. I have a big presentation coming up for class (it's essentially our final) and other obligations outside of writing. My schedule is already tight enough without the update. It's certainly not an ideal situation for any of us. Thank you all for your understanding and patience. I'll see y'all on the 27th!
*May 17th, 2017 Progress Update: I fell out of my routine and am lounging around more instead of juggling all my projects. This is kind of what happened last year, I kind of dropped off once Summer was here. However, unlike last year, I still have finishing the updates on my mind to do in the near future. I can't say when that will be, but it's definitely on my mind.

T H E / U S U A L

I think the inspiration for this story was actually from one of those writing prompts on Pinterest or tumblr to be completely honest. I think it said something along the lines of "Character A is a regular at the coffee shop where Character B works as a barista". From there, I imagined a demanding Troy interacting less-than-kindly with a chill barista. I thought that'd be especially challenging because as a barista myself, I can confirm that we grow to especially dislike the rude frequent customers. Developing their thoughts and feelings for one another after the initial not-so-great first impression is an interesting dynamic that I like exploring. It's a little bit of that "I don't want to like you, but damn it, I do." If that's not true love, then I don't know what is. Mix in a little mamihlapinatapai and mental illness, and it's a story!

Notice: Currently on hiatus. (Will be continued after TSR completion.)
Last updated: June 3rd, 2016
Next Update Release Date: To Be Announced...

S I Z Z L E

This is going to be my next main project. After I finish TSR & TU, I will take another look at the current chapters for this story. I may or may not take the story down entirely and start it up from scratch again. It was so long ago when I first started this one and I may have a different idea of how to start the story now. Different visions and all. We'll see!

Notice: Currently on hiatus.
Last updated: June 16th, 2016
Next Update Release Date: To Be Announced...

G A B R I E L L A - G A B R I E L
November 17th, 2015 - April 1st, 2017

Original summary: Gabriella Montez was born in control of her body and her life. It took one traumatic event five years ago to scar her so badly that she developed a second personality. Gabriel. (Troyella, TxG)

Status:
Deleted


" G W E N / M E N I N F O R D "

This name is the only lie, everything else was entirely true.

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The Sacred Rays reviews
Troy Bolton's life is split into two distinct parts. His past contained enough catastrophe to break him, whereas today's second chance has given him hope for the future. Will his experience with loss and self-destruction prevent him from trusting his heart again? (Mainly Troyella, some Troypay. Chaylor featured.)
High School Musical - Rated: T - English - Tragedy/Romance - Chapters: 21 - Words: 65,836 - Reviews: 132 - Favs: 30 - Follows: 53 - Updated: 4/3 - Published: 1/23/2016 - [Troy B., Gabriella M.] [Chad D., Taylor M.]
Sizzle reviews
Gabriella Montez was horrified to wake up to her bed engulfed in flames, flames that she had produced in her sleep. Troy Bolton tried hiding his powers, but was quickly discovered to be capable of producing ice with his bare hands. What will happen when fire meets ice? Sizzle.
High School Musical - Rated: T - English - Supernatural/Romance - Chapters: 2 - Words: 8,146 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 6/16/2016 - Published: 6/8/2016 - Troy B., Gabriella M., Taylor M., Chad D.
The Usual reviews
The story of a struggling writer and his impatient, forgetful, inspirational barista. (Troyella, TxG)
High School Musical - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Friendship - Chapters: 6 - Words: 11,151 - Reviews: 30 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 18 - Updated: 6/3/2016 - Published: 3/19/2016 - Troy B., Gabriella M., Sharpay E.