Six Word Story (62)

Honesty is beautiful. When it’s brutal, when it’s gentle, when it grieves, or when it stands on the borders of our perception, just waiting for us to look its way, it’s still beautiful.

May I never lose the love of honesty.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Story (61)

Dreams, it’s what we’re made of.

Even the ones that are never realized shine in our eyes. Don’t let them die. Finding new dreams after the first ones fade is strength.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Story (60)

Spring, a time many of us long for after a long dark winter. We grow again and unfurl our blooms… Just to have a frost crisp their edges.

Some of us weather it fine, some of us might carry blackened scars from unexpected transitions. Still, some of us might have to drop our first blooms. But don’t worry, you will grow new ones. Whispers of what once was, and promises of what will still be.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Story (59)

We overlook small things. But it’s often the smallest things that hold the most power.

Atoms and molecules, snowflakes. Building blocks of unimaginable potential, and sometimes destruction.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Story (58)

Just existing in this world makes a stink. How often have we all wrinkled our noses at it?

But truly, each whiff of yuck comes with blessings. It tells a story of what you did or didn’t do that day.

Next time I smell that laundry pile, I will remind myself to be thankful for things done and stink well made.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Story (57)

When something is hard to achieve, or difficult to grasp. When holding on comes with a cost, our human minds do one of two things. We cast it aside as undesirable, or count the risk as worth it, and raise the monetary value.

Sometimes, worth is more about the emotion behind the thing than the thing itself.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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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

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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

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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

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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