Ten Days Ten Short Stories
One a day for ten days. I write when I can, do the best I can, and I am willing to put my work out there! My thoughts are Don’t Be Embarrassed, Don’t Make Excuses, Don’t Stop Writing.
Recently I completed a 10-week term on Fridays with U3A Brisbane Creative Writing Group on Zoom and enjoyed the prompts, feedback and general literary discussions. The writers in the group are quite diverse in style and writing content.
The wordcount limit is 500 words and while I found their prompts were ‘forcing’ me to come up with something different each week, I really enjoyed doing it. I was quickly learning how to keep them short and sweet. Edit, edit, edit.
My characters are good, bad and ugly and the majority of the time I had no idea where they came from!
I say write for yourself first and don’t be precious about your words. For better or worse, here are mine—the prompt was Something lost something found.
Something Lost Something Found
When I lost someone precious, I discovered something unique. Inside. I found a hidden strength; strength I never knew existed within my core being. Compassion, knowledge, insights into human nature, a powerful understanding of the love, the joys, the sorrow of being alive. I look beyond the grieving widow, the crying child, the unhappy workers, and I see what is really going on beneath the surface. I’ve been there, experienced the hurt which shows on the faces of struggling men and women. Yet humanity so often hides behind a mask of stoic resignation, and this is accepted. When humanity rises up and protests at the injustices, it is not accepted. Because it causes disruption; it causes people to think, compare, feel uncomfortable. Next time you lose something, think about another person who has nothing left. Their despair at seeing everything destroyed in horrific circumstances; knowing they will never see another, never be the same again; family, home, job, life. I have had that happen to me. It is painful, it scars your heart, your soul for eternity. I carry on but it will always be with me, that’s why I see it in others. My hope is that one day when you too connect with that something within, you grow stronger in the knowledge of humankind. Thus, when a person masks their heartache and begins to stumble, you understand, you can reach out. After loss, empathy is found. Use it wisely, young one.
——© Gretchen Bernet-Ward 2021——