Robin Hawke

November 30, 2011, 2:17 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

A visit to France gave Annie a taste for pastry. And hot chocolate. Within a few short weeks, her morning habits changed for life.

A Week of Six Word Stories, November 22-28
November 29, 2011, 3:35 PM
Filed under: Six Word Stories

Battle weary; love ready. Escape planned.

Michael carried the burden. Sally’s deed.

Exposed, Jeff’s castle of love tumbled.

They held hands during movies, still.

Moonlight, sunlight, starlight, neonlight—incandescent kisses.

Imperfect ring tempered holiday cheer.

Hopes carried them over stoop, threshold.

Link to related posts.

(These stories were posted, one by one, on DIY Romance, where you will find more six word stories. Feel free to submit your own.)

November 29, 2011, 3:17 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

The professor singled Donna out from the scores of virtuous philosophy students. Apprehensive, she listened as he inspired precision, specificity rather,  while watching his long ear lobes quiver.

With a freedom few students shared, she ditched his advice in a memory bank, “It’s okay; I’m gonna paint.”

November 28, 2011, 3:09 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

A writer’s routine disintegrated during the holidays when older traditions diverted her thoughts. The generosity of her musings succumbed to the necessities of a list. In a post office line, with hundreds of stories winking past, the writer looked at her watch.

November 27, 2011, 3:24 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

The red planet twinkled before them, as if to guide them. Lola pointed to the heavens with her flashlight, fingers no less nonsensical in the dark. The light of a reflected sun traveled worlds—the light from her flashlight disappeared into space beyond the power lines.

Heating Up
November 26, 2011, 3:07 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

Daylight disappeared and warm pools of light took its place. The streetlamps were festooned with flags and greenery. Only the nip of wind reminded Ben that his pockets were frayed.

November 25, 2011, 3:58 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

In front of a monument, the couple posed for their shot. The chemicals that bound their image to paper lasted longer than the dopamine that triggered a mad love. The photograph slipped behind a dresser, forgotten, to suffer the indignities of dust.

Marsh Mud
November 24, 2011, 3:18 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

The slimy mud sucked at Ben’s toes. He pushed one foot in, then the other, undulating his weight until he felt something hard. His fingers pushed down through the muck to grab a clam.

November 23, 2011, 3:57 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

Industry overcame her. Gabrielle practiced cooking every dish on her menu. The holidays were here; soon her relatives would butter the bread that never rose with once-polished silver.

A Week of Six Word Stories, November 15-21
November 22, 2011, 3:36 PM
Filed under: Six Word Stories

A synchronous orbit followed starry eyes.

First look, interest. Second, acute awareness.

Jacob pulled Molly. Into arms, future.

Felicia read him, undeterred by handwriting.

Jazz laughed in response to love.

His infidelity, hers? Did it matter?

Carnivals of feeling attended lover’s burial.

Link to related posts.

(These stories were posted, one by one, on DIY Romance, where you will find more six word stories. Feel free to submit your own.)

Too Soon
November 22, 2011, 3:29 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories | Tags:

Her dream woke Sarah up.  Caught by fears her memories departed prematurely, at forty, she prepared for the rest of her life. It was an unlucky dream, which took years of adjustment.

November 21, 2011, 2:59 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

She argued with herself, running through the reasons she should keep her job. There was only one reason to quit, self preservation. She wanted her work to matter.

November 20, 2011, 4:02 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags: , ,

Love doesn’t mean doing extraordinary or heroic things. It means knowing how to do ordinary things with tenderness.

—Jean Vanier

This describes the relationship I want to have with my writing. I want to love the word ‘and’ as much as the word ‘fragile’; I want to craft a three word sentence with the same care as one with multiple clauses; I want to quiet the voice that says, “Get on with it.”

November 20, 2011, 2:56 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

When Marley was in love, you could tell. Her clothes scattered across the floor the way her toys did when she was five. She spent heartsick days cleaning and folding.

November 19, 2011, 3:06 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags: , ,

Ellie loved the lake in front of her house at the foothills of the Appalachians. She swam daily in the jade waters. It didn’t feel like exercise; she liked to imagine she belonged in water. At the end of her swim, Ellie turned over to float on her back, her long white hair fanning out like a halo.

While her breathing calmed, Ellie’s feet drifted down to the bottom of the lake. When her legs became leaden, her swim was over. Without urgency, she waded up the embankment.

After the heavy snow, they found her floating, gaseous, blue and white.

Read entries to the prompt...snow...

November 19, 2011, 2:16 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

Cynthia adapted to the recession. Every year she rented a smaller apartment and added to her skill set. Her brain was about to explode with the demands of an expanding virtual environment.

November 18, 2011, 4:53 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags: , ,

He was a weasel. My boyfriend. He slithered whenever I wanted to talk. I asked for help with the dishes—he left with a grin and something important to do. Things were so bad, I pondered a Dear Weasel letter. But, he’d see me through another fit before sidling, a fistful of hair left behind.

The coarse brown hair reminded me of something. I found a riding stable, rented a horse, followed a trail, and plucked a long tail. The weasel hair, the horse hair and one piece of bamboo made the perfect calligraphy brush. The ink was my ire.

Flash Friday

Click to read entries and see photo prompt...

Comfort Zone
November 18, 2011, 3:38 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

The world winds too fast: I can’t multitask, not even at breakfast. Unless you call watching birds, warming hands and drinking coffee three separate actions. I’ve already learned I can’t dream and drive.

I write because I’m no good at politics but I want to change the world.
November 17, 2011, 7:12 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff

That was my answer. Now, go, now, answer this post:

The Reasons We Write


November 17, 2011, 5:08 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags: ,

All week, the judge visited the contestants with questions. But when they answered, the marbles in their mouths took hold. It was too easy to spout the inanity of constant thanks and appreciation. Mr. Montoya looked for a flash of intelligence, betrayed by a word out of place. For he had no doubt these women were intelligent, though they chose the easiest of words during interviews.

They strutted through the hotel lobby in high heels, aware of watching eyes. Mrs. Montoya rode up in the elevator with three of the long legged beauties. Looking at their feet, she realized she would never wear those heels. Though her center of gravity was much lower, she’d look like a house on stilts, sway like a fallen leaf. Little could be gained by asking the polite question “Where are you from?”—that she knew from reading the sash each one wore. Instead she asked, “Are you enjoying your visit?”

The contestants nodded, flashed teeth, and told her how beautiful her city was, how friendly the people were, how interesting the history; they described her home with the same words used for Athens, Taiwan, New York. Her question appeared too easy. Like her husband, she didn’t know them well enough to trip them into betraying imagination.

At the end of the competition, Mr. Montoya took his wife in his arms. Her insecurity beached itself on his shoulder. They moved together to the beats of salsa.

Click to read more...Inspiration Mondays...too easy...

Evening Meal
November 17, 2011, 4:17 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

Jeff argued her ideas, opposed her politics, and judged her clothes. These were civil fights, but one day Lucy left in peace. Jeff, who never complained about her cooking, hated his franks and beans.

NaNoWriMo at 50K
November 16, 2011, 9:05 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges

I didn’t write a novel. Far from it. I didn’t write draft zero, my goal. I wrote something more intriguing, a fully fleshed out backstory silted with story ideas. Should I ever participate again—I expect I will—I won’t begin NaNoWriMo with the same constraints. I’ll give myself new constraints, besides the ever daunting 50K. After all, I know what I got. I won’t need to revisit this particular exercise, though I will adapt it in ways that will benefit my writing process.

Today, my last day of NaNoWriting, was the hardest. Two days ago, the story I was telling ended, but I followed the characters through another challenge. Yesterday, the story ended a couple of times. Somehow I came up with one more thing my characters had to see through.

Today, the story ended after a hundred words. It ended another time, after two hundred fifty words. And so it went. Horrible experience. Three thousand words of extra torture, at least ten more endings: when an author knows the story is over, the story is OVER.

I know my characters better than ever. My challenge will be to forget the backstory I have written, all the opinions that came pouring out of my heroes, and write their story.

I’ll begin by not reading what I wrote. In January, I’ll make an outline. Meanwhile, I’ll incubate. It’s exciting to give myself time to let the story filter through my consciousness. (I’ve missed the incubation part of my process.)

Draft Minus One over, an odd thing happened: I realized what I’d written about, exactly fifteen minutes after I updated my word count.  It took sixteen days, a record achievement! Usually, I’m in one of many rewriting passes when I begin to dovetail the joints of my story.

What happens when you’re always second best?

And that’s what I’ll be thinking about for the next few months.

November 16, 2011, 5:37 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags: ,

“What the funk is she doing?”

“Red, back in place.”

The tiny girl in the big red cape called over her shoulder, “I’ve got to get something.”

“I think we should fire her.”

His associate shrugged.

“The money we’d save….the time…”


They heard her yell from off set, “Where’s my bag. Who took my bag? I want my mouthwash.”

The director used the mike. “Places.”

Instead, the hooded girl walked up to his chair. “I have to show you something.” She took his hand.


The mechanical jaws opened at her insistence.

“Are you sure they should be that color?”

“What are you going on about?”

“Yellow. They are yellow. Tartar.”

“Don’t start that crying.”

“Go on. I dare you. Put your head in there.”

The director turned to his assistant, “Find the mouthwash.”

(I’m still pleading NaNo for the liberty I took with the prompt.)

100 Words for Grown Ups

The prompt this week is: …are you sure it should be that colour….Click to read entries.

November 16, 2011, 4:17 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

Worry, worry. An empty nest should bring fewer worries, not more. Moira called her children.

A Week of Six Word Stories, November 8-14
November 15, 2011, 2:09 PM
Filed under: Six Word Stories

Plumed love letters stayed their relationship.

The professor admired his saucy Juliet.

Hit. Run. Hide. Cower. Hit back.

Late, the peacock’s escapade was noticed.

“Who will kiss me?” asked Beak.

Undefeated by temptation, Chantal’s eyes cheated.

Sour fruit. Usual date. Pucker up.

Link to related posts.

(These stories were posted, one by one, on DIY Romance, where you will find more six word stories. Feel free to submit your own.)

Saving Hank
November 15, 2011, 1:59 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

She met trouble in an abandoned theater. They scrabbled, but Gina became the victor. Trouble came home, bound by a tshirt,  a ball of fluff renamed Hank.

Cleaning Lady
November 14, 2011, 3:08 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

Daisy cleaned houses everyday. She mucked out laundry, sinks and toilets and floors, piles of dishes. Her employers loved her; her boyfriend shot her.

November 13, 2011, 1:58 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

The thousandth search through the want ads ended: Robert prepared his daily correspondence, copying, pasting, attaching credentials. A carefully tailored cover letter hardly ever supplied responses. People were becoming more ordinary.

Solitary Confinement
November 12, 2011, 3:59 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags: , , , , ,

I can’t forgive myself for what I’ve written this month of November. I hang my head with shame.

If I maintain my current NaNoWriMo progress, my self-imposed confinement ends in four days. Escape is in sight, but my fingers are lethargic. Tempted to write 6,000 words today, to make a last effort to finish in two days, I resist because of my experiences with gorging. A few of my writing buddies envy my steady progress. I envy what they must be writing; their words must be better than mine.

I’ve looked inside, found the blank slate, rubbed it.  My words come because I chain myself to the computer, resist food and water and email. But I have nothing to say. I sit. I wait for words. I type.  I don’t stop. I don’t get up. I wait for words. The discipline trains me.

I grant I’m in training—but not to write better prose, or a better story.

I’m in training to last out blocks, to push past dumb, to lower expectations. It is a small window in a large cell. In four days I win my freedom, no longer an innocent.

November 12, 2011, 2:42 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

He belonged to a different generation. Once a year, Dinah googled for news of his whereabouts, but his presence wasn’t found on the grid. Yesterday, she found one clue, the portrait now on her desktop.