In one of my previous posts (100 Word Challenge in 2009), I had talked about taking the hundred word challenge that my daughter and her friends had started sometime in their sophomore year in college. I tried it a couple of time. These college students graciously accommodated me as a guest writer. It was only a dip, a taste, a sampling. But it was great fun!
Since then, I started my own blog sometime in 2010. But once I finished designing and positioning images and widgets, I found myself doubting my ability to express adequately in a way that would be understood, in a way that would appropriately describe or illustrate, while at the same time, letting the words flow smoothly so as not to be jarring or pretentious or even tedious to a reader. Eventually, I overcame my fear, having convinced myself that I have nothing to lose, really, and that if I wanted, I can always delete my work.
In 2011, I revisited the 100 word discipline that All of A Hundred has stood for. It requires creativity and a strict discipline to express as completely as possible, an idea, a story, a thought, even a significant human experience through prose or poetry, all in exactly 100 words.
Here were some of my entries in 2011 as guest writer to their blog:
January 14, 2011. This was to commemorate the moment when a close friend knew that she had to leave a long empty relationship once and for all:
The days have passed and still I carry this heavy sense of foreboding, all the time. You shatter my reality by appearing on my last day. I hesitate to come near you. You try to smile and reassure me things are just fine. On the way to the airport, I ask, “So what’s your plan?” You pause and look at me, expressionless. ”I guess I have to stay and take care of things.” And I reply, “I see.” I step out and say good-bye. And that’s when it became clear to me: I will not wear your ring anymore. Adieu.
Then in February 2, 2011, I saw my friend again for coffee. I was devastated at how the entire ordeal had reduced her to something other than the vibrant self she always was:
I see a mere shadow of the person you once were. Flimsy and fleeting. Wishy-washy. Procrastinating. At times, almost catatonic. This is not the person I grew up with, shared my room and toys with, played house and “Simon says.” We planned the parties. We paid the house bills. We could not make enough cakes and pastries because everyone wanted them. How could time erode all of who you are? More importantly, how could you have allowed it? Have you sold your soul to the devil to hang on to a farce? Take it back. Take yourself back. Come back!
In February 5, 2011, I visited her in her apartment and entitled the piece “The Idea:”
The apartment remained unchanged since I last visited her. Magazines and books were haphazardly stacked on coffee tables. On one corner were reading glasses, pens, some change, and old receipts. The paintings, model ships, sea shells. Still untouched.
“Have you considered clearing these rooms? Might be good to have your own home theater here, you know.” And your own things.
She looked at me tentatively. “Yes, I’ve been thinking of doing it. Lately, I’ve taken an interest in Indie films.”
“Great! Get your kids to help.”
She nodded slowly. But I knew, the idea would remain just that. An idea.
Sometime after that, I imagined a scene where someone was waking up in the morning and entitled this piece “Awakening:”
Consciousness gradually fades in as he slowly becomes aware of his surroundings, one sense at a time. The smooth sheets, the warm embrace of his body’s heat sequestered by the blankets. In the distance, a bird flies by. His eyes sense the daylight through closed lids. They slowly flutter open. He stirs, ever so slowly. Then the body stretches and unfolds, a muscle at a time. He looks around the room and takes a long deep breath. He rolls on his side and his eyes rest on her as she quietly sleeps. Her even breathing. How peaceful she looks. He knew instantly that the day would be all right.
I am thinking that perhaps I will challenge myself again with 100 words. Another blogger, Lucid Gypsy, has ventured into it too, and it looks like she’s having fun. I will look to the stars for my inspiration!
Previous Post on 100 Word Challenges: https://likeitiz.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/100-word-challenge-in-2009/