A 75-word story – Other residents’ symptoms confine you

Perretts Park during lockdown by Judy DarleyMy 75-word story ‘Other residents’ symptoms confine you’ is the story of the day on the excellent Paragraph Planet.

I often use writing to soothe myself, and this small piece is a response to my worries about my dad, now confined to his room in his care home due to other residents’ Coronavirus symptoms, with no way of understanding why. It’s a situation that makes me feel powerless, so all I can do is wish him memories of tree branches and leaves, and transform his four-wall cell into a forest.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’m writing rather a lot of Coronavirus fiction at the moment.

Stories published by Paragraph Planet are live for just 24 hours. In case you missed mine, here it is:

Other residents

Submit tiny flashes to Paragraph Planet

Hot Water by Judy DarleyI’m growing increasingly addicted to Paragraph Planet. This fabulous website publishes a single 75-word flash fiction every day (word count includes title). The stories selected are brilliantly diverse and powerful. Visiting each day feels akin to pond dipping – you never quite know what wonders will appear.

They’re also a great place to submit to. Their online submission form is easy, and free, to use, and while there isn’t payment for writers, there is notoriety up for grabs. Each story is shared via Twitter to more than 3,600 followers.

The picture above is the one I created for my story Leavings, which is available to read in the Paragraph Planet archive section – just scroll to December 30th.

Isn’t there something satisfying about crafting a piece that exactly hits 75 words, including title, and ensuring it’s still meaningful? If you write, I urge you to give it a try, and if you read, swing by to read today’s tiny yet powerful offering.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley(@)ICloud(dot)com.

Leavings

Hot Water by Judy DarleyMy eco-story ‘Leavings’ is live on today on paragraphplanet.com. And yes, that is a photo of a dribble of hot water on our kitchen countertop, pretending to be a planet. Read the 75-word story to find out why.

I’m afraid it’s less CliFi (Climate Fiction), than an entirely true tale.

The story will only be on the site for one day before it disappears, so it really is a blink and miss it situation, which feels dauntingly apt. The tale will eventually, however appear in the Archive section, unlike our planet… Just choose December 30th to read it.