This is a #ThrowbackThursday post.
When I first began using a blog as a means of expressing myself in writing and getting my words before an audience, I was fortunate enough to become acquainted with a writing website called Trifecta. Each week, the folks at Trifecta issued two writing challenges; a short piece of writing that was only 33 words long and a longer piece which, if I remember correctly, was one hundred words. Each challenge was based upon a single word that was given to us. Our task was to take that word and create a whole world around it.
One of the great benefits that I derived from writing for Trifecta was having the opportunity to meet so many incredibly talented and generous writers from all over the world. These fine folks would post the most amazing works of fiction and would invite newbies, like me, to offer our thoughts and critiques. They, in turn,would do likewise for the work I submitted. Everyone was so kind. After a while, I felt like I actually belonged in the company of these artists and was beginning to be considered a peer. Those were heady times.
Unfortunately, the Trifecta writing group disbanded a few years ago and the regular contributors have scattered, once more, to their corners of the world. I am lucky to have made friendships that have survived the end of Trifecta and that continue, via social media, to this day. I will list some of my favourite writers and their blogs at the end of this post.
But, for now, I want to ask for your help. Since resurrecting my blog, I have not posted any creative writing. Not a single work of fiction. No one poem. Nothing. That needs to change. I want to get my Trifecta-style writing muscles back into shape so, I have a request. Once you have finished reading this post and are ready to comment, please leave me a one-word writing prompt. I will, in turn, take your word and create a 33-word story or a 100-word story….you decide. In order to give you a flavour of what to expect, I am going to share with you two pieces of writing that received warm consideration from the Trifecta community back in the day; one is 33 words long and the other, 100 words long.
Throwback Post #1
This is a 33-word post. The word prompt was Devil. (It was near Halloween). We were instructed to use a photo or a video and build our story around it. I chose a video of when the Rolling Stones first appeared on American TV. Unlike The Beatles, the Stones were viewed as satanic from the get-go. So, my story went, as follows:
Watching Dad’s Cigarette Burn
Dad stares. His cigarette burning down.
Mick, seemingly possessed, writhes on the stage.
The song ends.
Dad turns the TV off.
Silence fills the room but, the Devil remains.
I actually was awarded “First Place” for this piece. It was my one and only “triumph”, as it were.
Throwback Post #2:
This is a 100-word story. The word prompt was Hollow. My inspiration for this story were some of the kids I had as students in my classroom at school and the lives I knew they lived.
Waving at Stars
I hate the Super Bowl and the World Series and any other night that gives my Dad a reason to drink
If his teams wins, he drinks to celebrate.
If his teams loses, he gets angry and drinks to feel better.
When my Dad drinks, my Mom gets hit…..a lot.
No matter who wins the game, my Mom always loses.
I hate my Dad.
He never really hits me that much.
Before he gets to me, he’s usually used up his anger hitting Mom.
After he hits her, he always feels bad and says, “I love you” to her.
But, his words are hollow and won’t fix her heart.
I love my Mom.
Her heart is strong, though.
It must be to hold all the Love that she says she has for me.
Some nights, while Dad watches the game on TV, my Mom and me lay on blankets in the backyard.
We stare up at the night sky and look at the stars.
There are stars everywhere!
Some stars are small and others are big but, they all twinkle.
Like diamonds in our sky.
Mom says that on some stars, there might be a Mommy and her special boy on blankets in their yard.
Maybe that little space boy is waving at us right now.
We’d better wave back, just in case.
So, we wave at the stars, Mommy and me.
“Goddamn, fuckin’ refs!” Dad screams from the living room. A glass breaks.
Mom kisses my forehead.
She brushes the hair away from my eyes.
She asks me to look at the stars that twinkle and shine so bright.
To count them and keep on counting until I run out of numbers
or the sky out of stars.
She hugs me tight and holds me close.
I can feel her heart beating fast and strong.
“Promise me you’ll keep counting until I come back.”
She gets up and goes inside.
I wave at the stars and start to count.
So, now you have a flavour for what you will get in return if you leave a one-word prompt for me. You can choose whether you want a 33-word story or a 100-word story but, one way or the other, a story is what you will see on the pages on this blog.
Here are some of the wonderfully talented writers I met over at Trifecta. If you think I am a good writer then, you’ll really like these folks. They are my role-models. I can’t recommend them highly enough.
Start with these four fine folks. If you like what you read on their blogs then, let me know and I will include more links in future posts. For now, thanks for reading. As always, I appreciate the fact that, out of all the things you could be doing with your time, you chose to spend these past few moments with me. Thank you.