Madness in 500 words or less

Our challenge this weekend was to write about madness in 500 words or less.  Can you relate to this madness?  Let us know!   The alarm is set; the math begins. Simple arithmetic, really—if the alarm is set for 7:00 A.M. that’s a solid six hours of sleep. I’ve operated on less. And hey, I’m not exactly tired right now, so why don’t I take a look at Facebook for a second? Knock out those flashing lights on the top of my phone that will drive me crazy. And you know what? Now that I’m through with that, I might as well do some more reading in this novel here. … Read more…

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Subterfuge

Ever since I’ve been confined to this damn wheelchair, I can’t really change my scenery all on my own. I have to get the attention of some orderly, raising my hand and waving someone over if I’m not near a call button. Don’t get me started about why I’m even here in the first place. It has something to do with the krauts, I know it. I enlisted with my friends, we fought, but they sent me home when I got injured. Hence the wheelchair. But why they had to put me in this place, I’ll never know. I guess they view anyone with fighting experience as a threat. They … Read more…

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Billy Joel

For a couple of weeks I wrestled with the guilt, certain I had helped burn the building down. And why wouldn’t I think that? My still forming eight-year-old mind equated the facts: we had been playing with matches right alongside the building; the building did burn down. It did not matter that the incidents were several weeks apart. WE had burned that building down. How could it not be us? What were the odds? Now new questions swirled around in my mind: Who was I supposed to tell? Should I even say anything? I whispered with my sister, one of my fellow arsons. “Do you think we did that? I … Read more…

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I Don’t Follow the Recipe — Yeah, Right

Ah, the romantic ideal of creativity! We all know how it works, right? In a flash of brilliance, you sit down and you write/paint/sculpt, and art suddenly appears! That’s how it works, right? Well, yeah. No. How many of you, by show of hands, have heard someone say something like this: “I don’t follow the recipe. I just get in the kitchen and cook?” Okay, thank you. Now put your hands down. You look silly sitting there in the coffee shop/at your house, holding your hand up in front of your screen. Yes, you have heard people say that. YOU might have even said that. But here’s the thing: it’s … Read more…

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The Exclusion of Dusza

Deep down Dusza knew he had missed out. It was not something in particular like an event or an opportunity that he had passed up. No, it was Dusza’s general preset every day he woke up. Some people are “outgoing,” some “nervous.” Dusza’s defining personality trait was “excluded.” He stirred his coffee, clinking the rim of the mug over and over. He never even looked down. He poured the untasted coffee down the drain. He turned away from the sink and the kitchen window that looked out into the neighbor’s garden, full and bright and green. He shuffled back down the hall, dark in the premature gloaming that settled in … Read more…

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Get Some Writing Done: It’s Okay to Ignore Your Children

The clamoring voices of my children are ever in my ear: “Play with me! Daddy, daddy, daddy!” I have to close my eyes sometimes and intentionally focus in order to quiet their cries for attention. But if I’m ever going to get some writing done, I have to set some of my children aside. It’s not that I don’t love them—I do! But that’s actually the problem. I am so in love with some of my “children,” aka the ideas that I have for projects, that I find myself jumping from one to the next without truly finishing ANY of them. So I have learned: some of my ideas, I … Read more…

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