My 7-Word Stories

Last year I attended a Creative Writing workshop and learned about flash fiction which basically challenges writers to write stories in very short words. It’s like bottling up large-scale ideas and universal truths in very few, limited, and carefully-chosen words that would carry out the total weight of a story.

There are only a few rules in flash fiction such as: make your sentences short and clear, and never start at the beginning of the story. I took this challenge in a personal level and created my own 7-Word Stories which, as clearly stated, are stories embodied in a seven-word sentences. Each telling a different story, from different perspective and in a different way.

Here they are.

           I’ll tell stories with only seven words.

            Illusion. That’s how I define “us.”

           My Marius has already found his Cosette.

           Depressed: the state of being naturally me.

 

           Dear Heart,

                 You still functional?

           Love,

           Brain.

 

           Explain love in two words: nobody can.

           You promised “forever.” This fool believed you.

           I know you’re tired. I am too.

           Separated by circumstances, brought together by fate.

 

           Me: Love you too

           You: Wake up.

 

           I’m keeping my head above water, okay?

           He’s my favorite reason to live.

           “I’m so fine without him,” I lied.

           You realized you were wrong about us.

           She’ll always have what I never had.

           I’m a butter and you’re the sun.

           I’d rather be called ugly than stupid.

           It wasn’t a mistake, just a redirection.

           Then, you stopped wasting time on me.

           Why do we keep on loving, anyway?

           You’re the poetry that I can’t write.

           You’re the star in my moonless night.

           I used to be happy being alone.

           I used to be alone being happy.

           I was fine…and then you happened.

          Like tears, I fall for you every time.

           You can’t kill addiction by killing addicts.

           You don’t make sense to me, either.

           I’m a piece of his forgotten past.

           I thought I can forget about you.

           You were just being yourself, like always.

           How can seven words say so much?

          Please stop killing me with those smiles.

           Love is a sickness she’s immune to.

           Your gifts are not what I need.

           He sees me, but not my value.

           I’m so over him…anytime soon.

The power of short, simple and numbered words should never be underestimated especially in writing. It may be challenging and exacting, but what is not, right? Just keep in mind and make sure to always KISS (Keep It Short and Simple).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Smart Ways to Avoid Unwanted, Unsolicited Small Talks

5 Smart Ways to Avoid Unwanted, Unsolicited Small Talks

 

Anywhere you go around the world, you’ll get to meet at least one or two of their species. They are scattered in the crowded corners of the universe and exist in the least parts you thought they would. Whether you are riding a bus, a train, a plane, or you stroll in a park, the market, the mall, and even during holidays and in between family gatherings, you can be sure to rub shoulders with them from time to time. I call them the “small talkers.”

Have you ever had to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger? If yes, how did it go? If no, good for you. I have had several experiences to know how exasperating it is to endure an unasked for conversation with someone I barely knew. And yes, even the awkward exchange of pangangamusta (social pleasantry) with an old friend can cause me an episode of panic attack.aaeaaqaaaaaaaayaaaaajdy0ztm3njhklta4ytctndjiys1imgjmlti5ntvkmjfin2m2yq

The bad news is nobody is exempted from meeting people whose apparent trade in life is to initiate and perpetuate unwanted small talks that are usually just one-sided.  And the thing is, you hate those insipid chats—you’d rather get lost in your own thoughts, read a book, listen to your iPod or play video games than engage in their hobby. But at the same time, you also don’t want to just walk away, so you just suffer silently. But you can do more than that—way more.

Carefully follow these few tips on how to avoid such unpleasant pleasantries.

Tip #1: DON’T ACT INTERESTED

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Don’t make eye contact. Stand on one foot bearing your weight and start tapping the lazy foot rapidly like you’re waiting for the bus while running late for a final exam. Check dirt on your nails, which are not there. Nod your head fast and frequently even before they start on another line. Scratch parts of your body that don’t itch. If you are wearing a watch, take an “accidental” look at it and mention you remember to do something urgent.

 

Tip #2 BEAT THEM IN THEIR OWN GAME

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Give them a taste of their own medicine by over talking. Take all the chances you can get and don’t let them beat you to the next sentence. When they are trying to cut you off, change the subject—and do that very often. Don’t let them interrupt you by interrupting them.

Pretend to give them a chance to speak, only to cut them off again. This way, they’ll get irritated the same way you do when they’re the ones giving you the talk. Discuss taboo topics like religion, politics, sexism, and racism.

Tip #3 MAKE A SMART MOVE

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Act like you have a stomachache, headache, backache, brainache, etc. Or start to get busy with your phone and press the song set as your ringtone and mock a phone call.

Tip #4 PRACTICE STRATEGIC AVOIDANCE

Remember who the small talkers are and avoid their presence as much as you can. If you see them approaching, don’t look in their way and start walking towards the opposite direction. But if luck is not on your side and you can’t avoid to bump into them, give a quick “hi” and walk fast.

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But what if you’re still not in luck and it seems the universe is conspiring against you that you happen to be just stuck and cornered in, say, a jeepney or a bus? Just look at the window and casually say, “oh, look, there’s my stop right there.” Then call the driver’s attention to drop you off the hook.

Tip #5 LEARN TO GET AROUND

The last and probably the least horrible thing you can do to escape from small talkers is to tell them nicely.

Say that as much as you want to talk to them about the job you landed in to, the accomplishments you have achieved so far, or how fair the weather is, tell them you also have other better things to do like write a novel, sleep, and brainstorm for ideas on how to change the world and stuff.

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But of course these are not the advisable exact words that you should say. Try to be more creative.

Craft socially acceptable phrases and words to feign concern. You can hide these words under more polite terms and wrap them up in pretty packaging called implied sarcasm and sugar-coated euphemism.

Most people don’t get the irony anyway. Anything you can conjure at the rare moment of colossal ingenuity you can muster would be enough.

So yeah, try to follow these nuggets of admonition and you will be sure to get by and get around these atrocious situation of awkward conversations.

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The Wall

I have always wanted to be your friend, always wanted to break that wall that separates your world from mine. I realized I wasn’t only interested of being your friend, but I know wishing too much is being too greedy already. So I just kept on wishing and thinking if there are ways in which I can penetrate through that great vast wall between you and me, only to realize that you’re not interested.

Knocking endlessly, I was the crooked, creepy stranger outside your door. Though I know you found me all annoying, still I kept on pursuing. I thought of climbing over, digging under, and even go round about that giant wall just to have the chance to enter to your barred domain. When in desperate attempt I tried everything I thought would work, you came along and opened the backdoor to let me in. I thought you chose the back because you were too ashamed to let other people know you let someone undeserving like me enter your premises. But i was wrong–you never intended to open the door for me at all. I came to know that you opened that tiny door for something else. But I was determined to get through, oblivious of the foreboding consequences lurking over me.

I was so big and the backdoor was so small that it took great effort to push myself in. I was too impetuos to get in that i didnt think of anything else aside from entering the passage so freely opened before me. I was too rash to know that it wasn’t opened for me so I thrust myself in, anyway. Regardless of my unfitness, I conquered the task laid out before me with so great a risk of either breaking the wall, or breaking myself. The odds I was fighting agaisnt should never be underestimated in this so vulnerable a moment and so slim a chance.

However impassable it may seem, I manage to get through just in time to see the hope gleaming into my fog-shrouded soul. From the depths of despair, I struggled to inhale the air of ecstasy. I hold my breath, not wanting to ruin the breathless moment of my life–I was drinking in the sight of the brightest star in my moonless night. Just as my preoccupied mind never fail to be fascinated and be mesmerized by your presence, I started to feel the cold ghastly air solidifying into a hard lump churning in my stomach. I stood there, motionless. Almost invariably, I watched and waited for the light of that beautiful smile I had always wanted to flash before me. The foolish part of my heart was shouting, wishing, and even begging for the sign of happiness to show in your face as it proudly shows in mine.

The defeaning silence struck like a fist into my gut, forcing me to choke out the words I know I would soon regret to have said.
“Am I welcome?”
I was still waiting… Dead silence filled the room. I was almost slipping away behind the wall of silence and indifference as your painful words left unspoken hangs in every fiber of my being, their invisible weight oppresive enough to drag me down into the deepest nook of the earth. I was helpless to stop the inevitable rejection smirking sardonically beyond those unopened lips. The next words stopped me cold.
“who said you were?”
My eyes found yours unerringly in the gloom. Your eyes narrowed, my countenance fell. I suppose I had been too proud to listen to the thoughts I had previously conceived. But those thoughts I erroneously rejected are the very same thoughts that could have saved me from the terrible pang of regret, had I chose to listen to it. I listened as the throbbings of my heart echoed the regrets i have accumulated through time–regret for the things that might have been, but never would be. I tried to shut the words, tried to detach myself from the throb of remorse reverberating in my chest. I smiled–probably the worst faked smile the world has ever known. But it didn’t make me feel any better nor did it make me feel less alone. My life was falling apart the same moment when I hoped that that wall should have fallen instead. Finally, I did the best thing I could have done that was left for me to do at that moment–I walked away. Slowly pacing, I drag my feet noiselessly towards the door in which I compelled myself to enter right from the start. This time the door wasn’t as small as it had appeared to be the ment I forcefully entered in. I raised my head to see how far and wide the door seemed to hold itself as wide as possible for me to find my way out. It was as easy and effortless for me to get out as it had been the other way around when I tried to get in. Before I took my last step, I turned to look back on you and hoped for a wave of goodbye. But even that last gesture I wished to see you heartlessly deprived me of. I nod and continued treading on my way out of that darkened realm of unforgettable past.