Wednesday, April 8, 2009

challenge 1 results

In the Winter 09 issue of the MFA newsletter, readers were challenged to write a mini-story in exactly 100 words without repeating a single word. Congratulations to Lindenwood faculty member Charlene Engleking for conquering this challenge! Her winning submission appears below and will appear in the Spring 09 newsletter (which will be distributed mid-May).

Feel free to continue trying to tackle this challenge by adding your own mini-story in the comments sections for this post.

By Charlene Engleking:
In creaking rocking chairs six porch dwellers watch the sun set on another day without visitors. Floorboards answer every dip and return, each sigh; this chorus of complaining joints, sensible shoes, furniture, planking. They remember childhood, but have forgotten today. Most recognize kindergarten classmates' pictures eight decades past, can recite state capitols, Old Testament books Genesis to Proverbs, yet neighbors' names sift through arthritic fingers, lost. Life may be easier without parental memories. No children's snub can damage reality. Moon rises, television noise beckons. Maybe Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson, perhaps only bedtime. Tomorrow--sunrise: more rhythmic waiting, sitting, remembering, forgetting.


LUmfa said...

Only three hours old, the baby slept deeply. His skin was red, wrinkled, papery; both eyelids were swollen like eggshells. Small sounds could be heard as he rested, quiet wheezes without tension. Teresa looked down at this new person, no longer part of her body, and sighed. After being for so long just an idea, Timothy now had two eyes, ten fingers, pudgy little toes, everything real. Time slowed, details heightened: impossibly soft hair, a powdery scent, silky lashes against rounded cheeks, tiny chest lifting then lowering with each gentle breath. All pain forgotten, life became clearer, focused, certain. Lovely.

Anonymous said...

Great submission to follow the first. Not only beautiful but seniors to a newborn - there's balance! Here's another shot at the project. It was inspired by a real post in my alumni news. I did change the woman's name.

I hadn’t updated my profile since graduate school. Time had come. Thus, our alumni newsletter trumpeted: Barbara Lynn Gordon now teaching sixth grade English in Pawnee, Oklahoma and working part-time at Wal-Mart. Goal missed: no impressing fellow alumni! Depression hit swiftly. So sad that repeating, “Thank you for shopping this discount store,” is more profitable than molding minds of hormonal adolescents. Truth confirmed: grammar doesn’t pay! Yet, perhaps better messages are found here. Rewrite the headlines: Dedication confirmed! Woman part-timing to afford positive habits! Subject/verb agreement may not matter when texting, but spinster grammarians force better practices. Always good news.
--Charlene Engleking