A #2 pencil.
Tiny, nervous teeth marks on six sides, identical, yellow paint flaking: sharpen it after forty years, write poems until the marks bite into your fingers, until the pencil nubs, vanishes.
Hold high the words. Declare a miracle: Look! Look what is written by the hand of God!
Larry D. Thacker’s poetry can be found in more than eighty publications including The Still Journal, Poetry South, Mad River Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Mojave River Review, Mannequin Haus, Ghost City Press, Jazz Cigarette, and Appalachian Heritage. His books include Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia and the poetry books Voice Hunting and Memory Train, as well as the forthcoming Drifting in Awe. He’s presently working on his MFA in both poetry and fiction. Visit his website at larrydthacker.com.
A proper story requires three main components:
All important to form a complete story, no matter the size.
If any of it is missing, it is called an unsettled plot.
I want to share a personal recollection:
A true finished story.
Preeti Singh is an Indian French Interpreter and Media Professional who is engaged in writing scripts. In her free time she loves to play sundry characters for television series. Find her on Twitter or her website.
Laughing under the bright sun, my hands are appeased, my pen can’t write. But come night, black ink spills from my past, disfiguring page after page. My past claws itself out, hideous and raw, writing off who I used to be. Then day breaks and my head is calm again.
Gretchen Ivers is 16 year old who loves Jesus, laughter, and unicycling. She is currently teaching herself Braille.
It couldn’t be that hard.
Weeks of careful planning were in place.
She lacked one final step: action.
A glance at her watch told her she was out of time. It was now or never.
She put pen to paper, paused, digging deep, before finally succumbing to a consistent flow.
Hillary enjoys sending words to Tim’s house for consideration when her mind wanders away from the autobiographical words that most often claim all the blank pages at her house.
“Write what you know.”
Posit: the here and now.
Twist: the here is grubby, the now is relative, but menacing concerns lurk in the shadows.
Outcome: blocked; none of it matters.
Not knowing how long my cardboard shelter will last isn’t letting me think straight.
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability manager by day, but is trying to transition into writing full time.
I read just one novel, the Great American one. I don’t recall what it said. I didn’t read it for its words. I read it for its intentions, its wonders, its accidents and daydreams. I read it slow and neat and kind, and when it was over, I wrote voraciously.
Robert Hoekman Jr is a writer and the cohost of Spillers, downtown Phoenix’s premier short fiction storytelling event. Learn more about him at rhjr.net
“I did it! I wrote a story in exactly 50 words!”
“Really?” Maxwell snatched the slip of paper from my hand. Crumpling it up, he shoved it into his mouth, chewed, and swallowed.
“You… You ate my story!”
Maxwell burped. “Your writing’s very tasteful,” he said, and left the room.
Bill Waters, a lifelong poet and writer, lives in Pennington, New Jersey, USA, with his wonderful wife and their three amazing cats.
I would listen from bed as Father scribbled upon paper. To the soundtrack of snoring I would sneak into the study, steal his pen, and muffle the click with my pyjama top.
I stared at blank pages and waited: but Father had not left any words in the pen tonight.
Guy Preston writes with a pen he found abandoned in a train station car park. He has never changed the ink, and hopes there’s at least another 50 words left.
Putting pen to paper is an ominous sign.
It means that the demons whom I had so painstakingly put to sleep will arise and come knocking at my sanity. That I’m out in the open to be ground, scathed, churned, and burnt.
It means that I haven’t forgotten you, yet.
Swetha B Ram wrote this story.
Ted Henson had just finished up his pitch for his crime thriller masterpiece, Graves, and was waiting to hear the verdict.
A suit walked out and ushered him back in. Another suit started, “We’re sorry, Mr. Henson, but we can’t…”
And then he noticed the gun in Mr. Henson’s hand.
Eric has been writing short stories for around a year.