Six Word Story (74)

There are special people in this world that thrive in the background. Do you know one?

They know how to work with their hands and make things happen.

Or say just the right things to light up the darkness before melting back in to the shadows.

Are YOU one of them?

If you are… Thank you.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Six Word Story (73)

Though cracked and dry, the riverbed is still there.

The broken boat evidence of past actions.

Our hearts? Can they still hear the whispers of the waves? Can we still praise in the drought?

It’s hard, but nature doesn’t forget past blessings even as the landscapes change. The earth buries its evidence in layer after layer of newness.

I will try to sit, be silent, and remember the sound of waves lapping the shore. I will remember past blessings. I will praise.

©2022 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


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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

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


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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

Fireflies of Red and Blue/Honeyguide Magazine

When you find the right home for a story, it’s always a blessing. I struggled to find a home for my story ‘Fireflies of Red and Blue’. Many editors had great things to say about it, but ultimately it was never quite the right fit for their magazine. That is, until I submitted to Honeyguide. It thrilled me to get an acceptance from them and I true believe their magazine is the perfect home for this story.

“I wanted a magazine that examined the intersects between the human and animal experience, how one fed into the other, and although we are very different, our lives, questions, struggles, hopes and fears are very often the same.” 

Amanda Marrero
Chief Editor – From Honeyguide Magazine About Page

‘Fireflies of Red and Blue’ is a story of grief and love between a dog and her human companions.

I encourage you all to visit Honeyguide Magazine’s website and check out their sister magazines, The Field Guide Poetry Magazine and Parakeet Magazine.

You can now read ‘Fireflies of Red and Blue‘ online, or purchase an individual digital or print copy of Issue 3.

Thank you!
Mary Grace van der Kroef

Six Word Stories (37)

I am so small, and that climb is so high. There is no railing.

What makes the difference? A guiding hand to help me hold my balance and keep me from filling backyards while I take one step at a time.

What if I can not find that hand? What if I am alone? What if no one, will help me?

I still can, even if it’s on hands and knees. I won’t give up, I won’t turn back.

But how I pray for that one hand.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from Unsplash.com


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Six Word Story (35)

Even when the sky is overcast, a sunflower always knows where to look.

I am envious of this nature.

“How can you just KNOW?”
“I just do.”

A snippet of a conversation I have had on more than once occasion with someone close to me. How can you JUST know?

It is a nature given to a quiet few, and the sunflower too.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


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Six Word Story (34)

The word ‘art’ usually invokes images of paintings, drawings, or maybe woven tapestries from a different time. Or maybe the word ‘art’ brings a favorite story to mind, or a famous poem, or sculpture. But art is so much more than those things, and lives in so many places.

The hands of come in all shades, sizes, and from all places. They stir cooking pots, pull stitches through fabric, and yes, weld iron beams into place.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Picture sourced from unsplash.com


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Six Word Story (33)

Maybe it’s not the scribbles of a pencil for you, but we all have ideas we discard.

Do they scream at you from the wastepaper basket? Have your dreams died before you realised them? Did you fail mid way through? Did you cast them aside before you even tried?

Try again.

Every crumpled paper is a stepping stone.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com.


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A Six Word Story (31)

I love to watch the shadows grow. Some times the time goes fast and sometimes is crawls, but it’s always a blessing to watch.

When we rest, the world doesn’t stop spinning, time doesn’t stand still. But something inside of us changes and slows, and maybe even grows. Have you felt it?

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from Unsplash.com


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