Tag Archives: Flash Fiction

Say It Aint So


mbm2011Evergreen Lakewtmk

Today was my first day back to school and it was extremely difficult to get going. I will be happier  when we get kids back next week, but this week is all the boring stuff. I have tried to dial back my night owl ways lately, but it really was hard to wake up to an alarm again today. I didn’t get to relax this summer in the way I had planned and I am sad to see this break go. It is truly amazing how fast time flies.

For all intents and purposes, my last week of summer was the best. There was one terrible hiccup on Tuesday, but for the most part I was able to relax, release, connect and have fun. I had a sleepover with one of my favorite kiddos and I had some deep connecting experiences with great people in my life that I really care about.

I also participated in a flash fiction contest. I registered a couple of months ago and didn’t realize that I would need to do it in the last 48 hours before I went back to work. It was a little tricky, to say the least, but I got it done. It’s not the best thing I’ve ever written, yet it was good to see that I can still pull something out in a crunch.

I wrote more this summer than I have written in a long time and I am going to do my best to continue a regular writing practice as I am teaching full-time again. I am also intending to move more and spend time doing yoga and meditation as often as possible. They are grounding for me and it is good for me to fill my time with good things.

Last year was one of the most stressful I have ever had in my professional life. I don’t want another year like that. Some things have already changed to help this be the case, but I have to do my part too. It’s easy to come home and just turn into a vegetable, but I can try to establish time after school to write, exercise and mediate.

I am not setting up any rules or rituals, but loose guidelines to ease me into more productive experiences during the school year. It might not always been smooth waters like I saw at the lake last Monday, but grounding practice can make things feel more smooth. I’m willing to try.

In a Flash


I’m sorry to be posting late but I was busy scrambling to write a flash fiction story last night for the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. Flash Fiction is short fiction, anything under 1,000 words. Some contests only allow fiction that is 55 words. Flash Fiction is tricky, but fun to try. It makes you think twice about every word choice because you have a limited amount of space to tell your story. One of the first short stories I was ever proud of sprung from a Flash Fiction exercise in college. We could only use 500 words. It wasn’t much to brag about in the first draft, but it led me to a great story.

One of the most famous flash fiction stories was written by Ernest Hemingway and it is only six words, but those six words are potent and powerful.

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

One of the best books I’ve read in the last year was an anthology of six-word teen memoirs from Smith magazine. You can check out a bunch of funny, devastating and amazing memoirs here.

The NYC Midnight competition  groups all the contestants and each writer is given a genre, a location and an object. My genre was open, my location was a butcher shop and my item was a block of ice. At first I was excited that I could write in any genre I wanted, but as I was trying to think of a story, I started to wish I had some more parameters.

As someone who was a vegetarian for many years, I wasn’t stoked to write about a butcher shop. However, after a couple of hours of research I found myself grounded in a particular character, but I still didn’t know what his story was. Then I started writing dialogue where this character recognizes a woman in his shop as the girl who killed his father decades before.

I love when that happens. I often doubt that another idea will show up for me to write, but what I learned again last night is that the ideas always appear if I am connected and committed to the process.

There will be another round of the contest in late September. I’ll be given a new genre, location and item to write about. I almost decided not to participate. I’m glad I changed my mind 🙂

If you haven’t ever tried flash fiction, give it a try. You might be inspired and intrigued with what you come up with.