the kinetic pen

wired by words

A Flash Fiction First


I have a swelling folder of information on places to submit my writing, and this morning I gave myself a challenge – to not only start helping that folder slim down, but to dedicate today’s creative writing time to a style outside my usual wheelhouse.

Flash fiction.

I’d found this prompt in a Twitter post from @Charli_Mills: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story influenced by a musical score. Where do you drift, hearing the notes? How does it fire you up to grab the story and hurl it into existence? Or is it gentle, and leading you into lyrical pastures of green?

After getting comfy in my favorite chair, I wrote this entry:

Flight by Robin L. Flanigan

Terra presses the wet cloth to her skin, the color of spoiled milk, and closes her eyes, thinking about what it would be like to leave, to sweep herself off the porch and up the hill toward the clouds. Her mother did it. Her grandmother didn’t and look where that got her. She carefully doubles the washcloth and drapes it over the edge of the tub. She couldn’t care less if he will miss her. She can picture only the weightlessness, the smooth waves of her limbs as she dances through the hemlocks on her way to the next.
Written to Anand (Bliss) by Snatum Kaur

It was fun. I feel like I exercised my brain in a new way, I look forward to participating in more of these, and I feel good that I’m doing more than just stockpiling submission ideas.

If you’ve written outside of your go-to style lately, how did it go?

Author: thekineticpen

Freelance journalist working on a narrative nonfiction book about a woman who, after the freak death of her husband, decides to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to deal with her grief and finds a second chance at love.

5 thoughts on “A Flash Fiction First

  1. Wonderful flash that undulates with the music, artfully paced. They say that flash is the tip of the ice berg and a 99 word constraint challenges you to reveal what lurks below that tip and you have accomplished that. We have several memoirists writing flash fiction and you are the second journalist to join. Come and go as your time and interest allows, but I do hope you see some gains in your go-to writing from practicing the constrain and creative push behind this challenge. When I worked in marketing, I used to have my team write a 5-line poem before each weekly meeting just to break the hold of the daily grind and open us up to creative thinking. It had a profound impact. Thanks for sharing your flash!

    • I appreciate the depth of your comment! Yes, I will continue to push my boundaries when it comes to different types of writing (essays are typically where I teeter on a creative edge), and am so very thankful for people like you who continuously give me reasons to do so.

  2. I’m pleased you joined in the challenge and shared your story. You certainly made full benefit of the 99 words to provide quite a depth to your story. A great choice of music accompanies it also.

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