Six Word Stories (56)

It usually surprises people when I tell them, “I do not care for the Christmas season.”
“Arn’t Christians supposed to love Christmas?”

I guess most of them do, but I can’t help but feel an emptiness behind the brightly covered packages and glitz this world throws around during the holiday season. Expectations are high, but things never seem to pan out the way I mean them to. So why write about this now that the Holidays are over, and becoming a memory?

Because the light of Christmas is not supposed to stay locked into a few weeks of the year. The person of Jesus Christ grew and walked away from the manger, taking his flame of light to the very valley of death.

So today I choose to remind myself that though a modern Christmas leaves me empty, and ancient Christ fills me with light.

Look beyond how culture paints things to deep roots.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photos sourced from unsplash.com


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Six Word Story (55)

Ordinary. It’s a word we dismiss, and a state of being we overlook. We search for the special spark of the EXTRAordinary. In doing so, we miss so much.

The gift of an ordinary love.
The strength of an ordinary family.
The hope of an ordinary marriage.
The protection of an ordinary house.
The wealth of an ordinary life.
The seeds of an ordinary faith.

For when ordinary built and maintained, storms reveal how it has grown the extraordinary. Don’t cast aside your ordinary.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Six Word Story (54)

For healthy development, both emotionally and physically, an infant needs touch. Though many of us hide our longing for intimacy that doesn’t involve sexual contact, adults need touch as well.

A hand to hold. A shoulder to hug. Playful jostling while laughing with friends. These things are important. Give them generously. Receive them gratefully.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com.


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Pointed Short Stories

Short stories bring moments to a sharp focus.

It’s challenging to wrap a whole beginning middle and ending into 3000 words or fewer, just as it’s challenging to write a 150,000 word novel. In fact, I am not sure if one is inherently easier than the other when done well. The latter takes planning and perseverance. The first, a lot of word skill. I see both as equally valuable.

It’s addictive and helps propel one forward to the next project with vigor and a sharper focus.

One thing short forms have going for them is time economy. I am a slow writer, and sometimes I take months to craft a short story draft. But I can do it. Whether I take a day, or a few months, I have tasted the flavor of finished work. For a writer, that is huge.

It’s addictive and helps propel one forward to the next project with vigor and a sharper focus. If you struggle to never finish a writing project. Try a short story on for size.

What is difficult to do in short forms is world build. Only that which moves the story forward can be present. Only enough detail as to not confuse the reader should be used. Focus, a sharp point to stay within the intended word count.

Short stories come in many forms. 10,000 words, 5,000 words, 3,000 words and anything in between. Under 1,000 is generally referred to as flash fiction. These brief flashes of creativity seem a natural fit to our modern busy lives. I see them becoming more and more important as our world spins faster and faster.

Then there is the micro-story, anything under 300 words. I particularly enjoy dribbles and drabbles, 100, and 50 word stories. You can read my latest contribution to the drabble world here.

To weave a story with words that are implied, but not written, takes skill.

The shorter your word count, the less the story becomes about the words on a page or screen, and the more in becomes about what is not there. Reading in between the lines, writing with emotions that are not spelled out. It’s truly an art form.

To weave a story with words that are implied, but not written, takes skill. It’s a skill worth honing for any writer as that word economy can be what lifts a full-length novel apart from all the other books on a shelf.

Short stories written about the same people, or place, can be used as building blocks to larger projects. Use them as bridges between your dreams and reality.

But we should never forget the power of the standalone short piece. Their honed narratives and pointed emotions can drive truth and learning into our busy hearts and minds.

When was the last time you read a short story? Did you enjoy it?

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Six Word Story (53)

Do you ever dig for those hiding morsels? Bits and pieces packed full of flavor and sugar like the chocolate in trail mix, or the chips in a chocolate chip muffin.

I have three kids and one is a gobbler, one is a nibble and one is a picker. It’s fascinating how a simple thing like, “how you eat your muffin,” can show so much of your personality.

Do you savor those small things? Do you gulp them down with ecstasy? Or do you pick at them, unsure if you are ready to partake or afraid to enjoy?

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Six Word Story (52)

Hiding in plain sight. Overlooked common things. Treasures of life, streaks of colour, unexpected smiles.

Simply ridiculous fun. Giggles that bubble in the middle of meetings. Brightly painted tea pots. Flowers planted in cups.

Look for them, they are there.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Drops/Bright Flash Literary Review

When you visit Bright Flash Literary Review’s about page, this is the greeting you will find.

Hello! I’m Kristen. Bright Flash Literary Review is a home for flash and short fiction. We’re here to provide a space for all voices, the heard and unheard. There is nothing more beautiful than a perfect collection of words.

They are a small online literary journal that specializes in flash fiction. They accepted and published my dribble (50 word story) ‘Drops‘ on December 1st.

The joy in writing short forms of fiction for me comes from finding just the right words. Just like in poetry, a single word must equal a sentence, and a sentence a paragraph. Limiting word use amplifies the meaning behind a short phrases.

Have you tried writing dribbles, drabbles, or six word stories? I encourage you to check out Bright Flashes collection of brief beauty, and let me know what you think of ‘Drops‘ while you are over there.

Mary Grace van der Kroef


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Six Word Stories (51)

The thing about truth is, it just is.

It’s many faceted and affects different people in different ways. But truth is truth.

We can disguise it, ignore it, or bury it, but still it is what it is at its core. It can not cease to be.

From the beginning of time, the human tongue has had a problem with truth. It’s the only thing in creation I know of that regularly spews out lies and truth at the same time.

It’s a tragedy of our human existence that we so often muddy those waters…

But our ability to do so speaks volumes. We are able to choose. We are able to change. We are able to learn better.

My prayer is that we would no longer be afraid of truth, and avidly seek it in everything. From who really put the empty milk carton back in to the fridge, to the truths about what is happening in the world at large. May truth always teach and become clear. Amen.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photos sourced from unsplash.com


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Six Word Stories (50)

Have you ever stood in the middle of a snowfall, and just listened?

Our world is so busy there aren’t many places quiet enough to hear snow. But I have been blessed to have lived in one of those places.

It can be hidden by the blowing of wind, but if you just stand and listen to the tinkle of it landing on a waterproof coat. You will hear joy.

The flakes never stay long. You can watch them melt almost instantly as body heat reaches out to their lace like structures.

It’s almost as if they never touched you. But the sound will live in your soul.

This winter, if you can, find a place to listen to the snow. It also sings for you as you walk though its drifts.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Six Word Story (48)

I heard someone say once, “Every moment is a story.” Do you believe that?

Could each moment that passes be a story unto itself, with a beginning, middle, and end? Could each single one have a hidden meaning all its own?

Just like each stitch in a embroidered tapestry is a stick unto itself, complete and whole. So is each of our moments. Whether you call them stories are not, that are precious. Look at them closely and you will see intricate beauty. Step back and view the moments held together, and they are magnificent.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.