Around this time last year, I tried my hand at microfiction with The Writer Magazine’s 100-word contest. I don’t consider myself a fiction writer but, with time and a $10 entry fee to spare, I thought “Why not?!” So color me shocked when I finished as 1 of 50 semi-finalists. Ok. Not bad. Was I convinced I needed to begin creating characters and plotting a grand story? No. But I was, and still am, encouraged to keep challenging myself; trying new things, flexing new muscles and thinking outside the box. Step by step, a little more each day. How about you?
Here’s my 100-word story “Dear Kelly” (with a little homage to the classic Les Miserables):
“Dear John, Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I’m headed to New York. I can no longer deny my destiny. If I stay I will be devoured by bitterness and regret. I hope you understand. Please find a way to move on without me. Also, I have taken Marius. I don’t feel you ever had the time or capacity to give this brilliant soul the care he needs… Dear Kelly, A little surprised but also quite relieved. Hope you find what you’re looking for. And Marius was more your pet anyway. I’m allergic to cats.”
Writing Prompt: Interrupted by a chapter of loathing
Her mirror once reflected a distorted truth Skin too dark Hair too coarse Nose too big Distortion born of comparisons Fed by erroneous standards Created by inferior minds Her beautiful book of Life Interrupted by a chapter of loathing
Small Island by Andrea Levy and I’m now on a mission to read every single one of her books. Very seldom am I drawn to a book after seeing the movie adaptation but when Small Island aired on PBS (yes, I’m a public television junkie-PBS Kids, Masterpiece Classics, Independent Lens, American Experience…I love it all… but I digress) I missed the first hour of the four hour miniseries and was then put off by the ending. Not put off in a bad way but just left wanting more, thinking “I must have missed something.” The novel details the lives of Hortense, Gilbert, Queenie and Bernard. We follow Hortense and Gilbert from their homeland of Jamaica to 1940’s England where there lives intersect with Queenie and Bernard. I loved the way in which each chapter was a character’s point of view and I was amazed at Levy’s ability to give authentic voice to four vastly different characters. I think it’s the mark of a gifted writer to be able to capture the voice of a character totally unlike themselves (ie. a black woman writing as a white man, etc.) in a way that is not stereotypical or contrived. Andrea Levy is truly gifted. I loved this book and recommend it to lovers of historical fiction and anyone interested in learning about the black experience abroad.
Write in the voice of someone of the opposite sex.
Dude, when she told me I just freaked out. I didn’t know what to do! She was crying and all upset, and all I could think about was my scholarship and my parents. They are going to kill me, man! She’s asking me “What are we going to do?” and I’m like “What are we going to do? You’re going to take care of it! I’ll give you money.” I know, man. I can’t believe I said it either but I was just so scared. I love her but I’m not ready for this. A baby, what are we going to do with a baby!