Posts Tagged ‘writing practice’


Flash Writing Exercise

February 15, 2011

Tonight’s writing class covered the art of flash writing, the creation of short stories in 250-1000 words. Until I started this class, I’d never heard of it, so I won’t blame you if you haven’t either. Our next assignment is to write a piece of flash fiction, due in two weeks, but tonight we needed to give it a shot in class. To spur things along, the professor passed around three bags with folded pieces of paper in them. We each had to take a piece from each bag (which represented occupation, an object/tool/appliance, and a location respectively) and write a quick story in 10 minutes. The three items I got were “balerina”, “high school yearbook”, and “bar in a corner of London.” For me, this was like shooting fish in a barrel. (Mythbusters not withstanding.)

I want to edit this, to flesh things out a bit better and slightly differently, but here’s what I wrote. I call it the “Ballerina of Her Majesty’s Pub.”

She twirled on her tippy toes, over and over, pirouette after pirouette, dizzying all who watched her in Her Majesty’s Royal Stein on the west end of London. She reminded me of a girl I had known only by a picture in my high school yearbook in years long past: beautiful beyond reality, long blonde hair, and a dazzling smile.

The ballerina spun dangerously to the bar and a couple of patrons that eagerly and lustfully looked on, but she paid them no heed. To her, there was only the dance as if flowed through her graceful motions. Drunk on a pint of Guinness or wine, the only things that mattered to her were the dance and the moment.

Her golden hair drew out behind her spin as a scarf on the wind, and captured the attentions of all in the tavern. There was more than one cry of “Brilliant!” as she leaped and spun, and even a woman or two could be heard commenting that the girl, Sarah, was a “right fine lass.”

Her dance ended in a sudden leap, landing with impossible grace. She threw her hands up, bowed her head, then emptied her stomach on the floor.


New Year’s Resolution

January 13, 2009

Under normal circumstances? I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because they’re usually meaningless, quickly forgotten goals. I’m not alone in making that mistake; millions of people do the exact same thing year after year, and rarely if ever achieve their goals.

This year, my only goal is to spend more time writing, to polish my skills as well as to attempt to get published. Yes, that is one goal with two motivations.

What’s your resolution?


More Time To Write… In Theory

April 23, 2008

I recently moved back to Michigan, leaving my wife and child behind in California, to be with my mother, sister and nephew. There are a whole host of reasons for this, and I’m not going to go into them here. But, part of the benefit of being here is that I should have more time for myself to do the things I like, including writing.

That’s the going theory at least.

Despite not having to chase after an 18 month old little boy, or meet my wife’s needs and desires (back rubs, foot rubs, diet Pepsi, etc.), I don’t seem to have the extra time I thought I might. I’ve been trying to keep the same work hours as my office back in California, so that lops off a good 9 hour chunk of my day. Several times a week I go to the chiropractor before I start my daily work cycle. And I’ve actually been eating breakfast on a regular basis for the first time in about 11 years. (Oddly enough, the same length of time that I’ve been living in California… imagine that…)

But I’m making a commitment to myself to being writing regularly, even if it is only a few minutes, once or twice a week. That is better than nothing, and you have to get back in the habit some how. So that will be my answer for now. Later, once I finish getting settled here, I’ll move back onto the routine that Maxx and I had agreed upon a couple years back: writing at least 1 paragraph a day, and then push that further.

I’ll let you know how things go.

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