Friday, December 5, 2014

Short and sweet

Jenny Gordon has been hosting a weekly writing exercise, 50-word vignettes, on her blog. She posts a topic (usually it's one word), and we write on that. I've enjoyed it because of my passion for very short fiction (and nonfiction). Also because I like the quickness, the doesn't-have-to-be-perfect, aspect of writing exercises. Here are a few of the prompts and the way I responded to them:

Prompt: Toolbox
I made the wooden toolbox for my dad but it sat, unused, on the shelf in his workshop. He kept using this old tackle box instead. Finally I said, "How come you hate the toolbox I made you?" His face wrinkled. He rubbed the side of the box, which I'd sweated over, sanding it to silk. "It's too good to use," he said.

Prompt: Circus
We juggle staplers, mouse pads, pens. We hold paper clips in our mouths. We slide under the desks to jiggle the power cords back to life. Cutbacks, they say; more layoffs are coming. They pile more work on our desks. Don't expect a safety net either, they tell us.

Prompt: Second chance
The next flip of the coin
Erases the first; heads
Turning tails, the do-over,
The rewrite, the mulligan.
Nobody's looking. Flip
Until you get the answer
You want.

Prompt: Safe
You said it would be safe, the branch was sturdy. "Look," you said, your heels planted on the wood, flexing your knees. The branch trembled but held. You extended your hand. I laced my fingers in yours and stepped out. With a crack, the wood splintered.

If you want to read more, check out the vignettes on Jenny's blog. If you want to play along, join in on Fridays.


  1. Sounds like a great exercise! I like that the prompts are simple and the length is so short. Great job!

    1. Thanks! Yes, at this point I favor short and simple exercises.