For fiction writing course – fact/fiction

I. (1 fact, 3 fictitious statements)

As I look around the empty house, I think how it would be if I had children. I cringe to think of toys strewn about, stains on the carpet from spilled juice, shoes kicked off in odd places. It’s even worse to imagine the constant noise. No, I was never meant to be a mother.

II. (3 facts, 1 fictitious statement)

As I look around my messy house, I think how it would look if I’d never had children. I hardly notice the toys strewn about, the stained carpet, the shoes is odd places. I feel I’ve known them all my life; it’s hard to think that the inconvenience of being a mother would matter to me now.


Trifecta says: This weekend, we are revisiting a prompt we’ve done before.  We are giving you three words and asking that you add another 33 to them to make a complete 36-word response.  You may use the words in any order you choose.

Our three words are:



As I remember, my teenage rebellion was pretty dorky: walking in the rain with no umbrella, in the cold with no coat. No cheating, lying, or sneaking out. I hope my kids are nerds like me.


Trifecta says: This weekend, we want you to give us a thirty-three response using the word stone as one of your thirty-three words.

A new birth, plus two. They fill my heart with a love as weighty as the heaviest stone in my pocket. I tread deeper, to drown in the joys and fears of motherhood.


Trifecta says:

For this weekend’s challenge, in honor of all of the writers throwing rationality (and perhaps sanity) to the wind and writing til their fingers bleed, we’re asking for exactly 33 words about why we write.

I open my mouth to speak what things I know to be true. From my 34 year old self cracks the voice of an insecure child. So I pick up my pen instead.

“What I tell you three times is true.”

“We haven’t seen you in forever!” she exclaimed, crushing me in an unwelcome bear hug.

I stepped back from the hostess, pasted on a fake smile, and told her I’d be going to the kitchen to fix myself a drink.

“Help yourself, honey! You know you’re just like family to us!” she gushed.

I mentally throttled her, thinking, “this is MY family’s restaurant, you overbearing nitwit. You don’t get to tell me I’m like family.” A sigh of relief escaped my lips when the broken swinging door clinked to behind me. No one would touch me back here or tell me I’m “like family.”

“Haven’t seen you in a while!” said one of the prep cooks, as I grabbed a cup.

“Oh, yeah,” I said. “How are you?”

“Can’t complain, can’t complain. How’s the family?”

I took a deep breath. Was I ready for the reveal? Why not try it out in the kitchen? “I’m pregnant again.”

“Say what? Didn’t you just have a baby?!”

“That was almost a year ago. I’m pregnant with number 3 now.”

“Do I need to have a talk with your husband?” he joked, walking back to his prep station.

I opened my mouth, not quite sure how to respond. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard such a comment, and I had no idea what people were expecting in reply. The answer that sprang to mind was quickly discarded. “Oh, yes. Please ask him to stop having sex with me. It’s becoming painfully clear that he’s not making the connection that this is how I keep getting pregnant. Thanks.”

I was saved from having to answer when the dishwasher burst in through the back door, pulling his apron on over his head. “What’s that?” he asked, having heard only the last remark.

“I’m pregnant again.” I smiled and walked out the back door, drink in hand.


Trifecta says: Write a 33-333 word response to the following quote: “What I tell you three times is true.” by Lewis Carroll. You do not have to use the actual quote in your response, but you may if you wish.

And, for the record, what I said three times is true. 🙂


I sit here, on the edge of things. Because I’m edgy. I’m different. I’m me. I doodle in my notebook, watching the cheerleaders flirt with guys who’ll never look at me, watching the nerds ignore me. I used to be one of them. But now I’m different. I’m finally being myself. True to myself. I sit back from my doodling, aloof.

“Oh, honey,” my only friend says, stooping beside me. “What is that?”

“What do you mean?”

“That,” she says, pointing at my face.

“Um…” I stammer, not following her.

“You look like you’re going to cry. That’s the saddest face I’ve ever seen.”

“Not sad. Mysterious,” I say emphatically. “I’m an enigma. These other freaks,” I gesture across the cafeteria, “they just don’t get me.”

“No, honey,” she says, “they do. They just don’t care.” She puts her arm around me and sighs. They don’t care about her either.


Trifecta‘s prompt: enig·ma noun \i-ˈnig-mə, e-\
3: an inscrutable or mysterious person

Trifecta Intro, a little late…

  1. What is your name (real or otherwise)? Amanda
  2. Describe your writing style in three words. plain but inspired
  3. How long have you been writing online? off and on for a few years
  4. Which, if any, other writing challenges do you participate in? no others
  5. Describe one way in which you could improve your writing. practice
  6. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given? write daily
  7. Who is your favorite author?  I don’t know, but I like best the authors who focus more on story-telling than impressive prose (which is more impressive when it just happens along the way to telling a good story).
  8. How do you make time to write? sneaking at work (it’s shameful)
  9. Give us one word we should consider using as a prompt. Remember–it must have a third definition. What’s the word for “out of place?” Maybe a good prompt would be to write about something found in a place it doesn’t belong. Sorry my vocabulary is failing me just now.
  10. Direct us to one blog post of yours that we shouldn’t miss reading. I’ll go with this one, since it’s a Trifecta winner.


In a brief moment of clarity I wondered if I seemed like a crazy person swatting invisible gnats in the air. The thunder of my next contraction drove that and every other thought out of my head. Nothing outside my body had changed, but time stopped and space diminished as my son and I worked out the details of his pending arrival.

This week’s prompt is thun·der noun \ˈthən-dər\
3: bang, rumble <the thunder of big guns>

My take on the prompt is totally autobiographical this week. I guess birth is on my mind since my son will be a year old in a couple months. Time flies. And both of my labors are among my most cherished memories and favorite experiences of my life.

Overdue Apology

Thank God there’s a 3 entry limit on these things because I can’t stop.

Dear Husband,

I’m sorry I stabbed you with my fork when we were dating, but you were stealing my olives. Plus I owed you from that time you shot a Roman Candle at my head.

Your Loving Wife


And that’s a true story. (I love you Drew!)

This weekend’s Trifecta Challenge is to write a letter of apology in 33 words (addresses, salutations, closings not included in 33 word limit).