Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tom's Story, A Saturday Centus

Jenny Matlock

This week’s Saturday Centus is all about me!

That’s right!  For week 94 Jenny Matlock, our hostess with the plentitude, has made this week’s assignment autobiographical. Regular visitors to this blog will remember that Jenny hosts this weekly challenge at her blog, off on my tangent, and that we are typically given 100 words plus a supplied prompt to create a story or poem.

Not this week though.

In something she labeled as “Autobriefagraphical” Jenny has chopped our word count so small you can count them on two hands (one hand if you live near a former nuclear test site.)  

Six words, people!  Can you imagine describing your life with six words?  I mean you really need ten or twelve words to do a respectable job now, don’t you? 

Here is my effort for this week’s Saturday Centus.  Those of you who know me will understand.  I have labeled this week's six-word epic "Tom's Story."

Looking at life through Groucho glasses.

I'm writing an unauthorized autobiography.
- Steven Wright 


Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Best Man's Speech, A Saturday Centus


Jenny Matlock

Hello my bloggy brethren!

I’m back once again to participate in week 93 of that popular literary mental workout known as Saturday Centus.  Hosted by that legendary litterateur, Jenny Matlock, from her blog off on my tangent, Saturday Centus is a fun, weekly writing exercise where participants are challenged to create a short story or poem using no more than 100 words plus the words from a supplied prompt.

Writing a Centus can be an ambitious proposition, particularly when we have an odd prompt to begin with.  But what Centusians will tell you is that chopping your story down to just a hundred words plus the prompt words can be just as demanding, if not more so, than writing it.

As writers we often let our imaginations run free to paint elaborate images with words.  To edit a story down to its bare essence to hit a word count like with Saturday Centus is as much an exercise in personal sacrifice as it is in concise writing.  

For me that is the real crux of this challenge…letting go of those creative elements that you desperately want to keep.  It’s maddening sometimes, but it’s taught me something important about writing.  You don’t need all the words to tell a story, just like you don’t need all the colors to paint a picture.  You just need the right ones.

Thank you, Jenny, for showing me the way!

If you haven’t tried writing one of these you really should.  You would be amazed at what you can do with just one hundred words!  Our prompt this week is “the wedding was at the firehouse.”  Here is my take on this week’s assignment.  I have entitled it:

The Best Man’s Speech

“When I first heard Bob was getting married I was alarmed.  

Sure, he could extinguish a ten-story structure fire, but marriage?  That’s a lot of pressure.  

But Helen is special.  

Bob’s burning affection for her is out of control and no sprinkler system can damper their love for one another. 

However, since the wedding was at the firehouse I felt it was appropriate to alert Helen about a safety concern we’ve nicknamed ‘Bob’s Backdraft.’

Noxious fumes, Helen. 

I’m just saying a hazmat suit might not be a bad idea.    

Nonetheless, please raise your glasses in a toast to the happy couple!”

Jenny Matlock

My wife suggested a book for me to read to enhance our relationship.  It’s entitled Women are from Venus, Men are Wrong.


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