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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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.


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Coming About

It’s a difficult thing
coming about.
Shifting position,
turning around.

Humbling questions,
confusion galore.
But brave souls
can also restore

An off kilter compass,
foot steps astray.
Brave hearts holding
pride at bay.

Utter “I’m sorry,”
cry when they pray.
Know, failure
is more than okay.

©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

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


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Uncracked Spine

Books beg to be read
as their pages whisper,
syllables of loneliness.

“Love me,
as I love the touch of your hands
on my untracked spine.”

“Choose me.
Let me linger in your mind
as slow sipped wine.”

Once the pages open,
words walk through soul.
Hook, to your whole.

Tethering other’s stories
to what makes you,
you.

“Meet me,
in pages of cream,
Through ink dark as dreams.”

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Reflections (1)

Thoughts on this statement?

I know keenly that things I once assumed proved wrong. My opinions have changed. So the way I write and interpret poetry will do the same.

Does that make my earlier work obsolete? No. They give glimpses into the journey my heart has been on since birth.

Read poetry, any literature really, with a grain of salt. Thoughtfully. Joyfully.

Words will change you, words will challenge you. Give yourself some grace and space to grow past them.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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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


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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


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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


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