Thursday, March 8, 2018

Slice of Life 2018 Day 8: 100-Word Nail Polish Disaster

Recently, I was standing in a long line at the grocery store, paging through a copy of Reader’s Digest. I noticed a page full of 100-Word Stories. As I am always on the look-out for mentor texts to use with my students, I was delighted to discover this section. And, one of the best parts, Reader’s Digest accepts submissions.
An example of a winning 100-Word Story in Reader's Digest 


After a quick Google search, I found that Reader’s Digest is not the only source for 100-Word Stories. Here is a link to another example. Medium also is a treasure trove for 100-Word Stories. Although I am not submitting this true story anywhere beyond my blog, here is my first attempt at a 100-Word Story:

“Mom, can I paint my nails tonight?”
"No. Bedtime. Your sitter is on the way.”
I gaze longingly at Grandma’s Avon box and sneak a pink neon nail polish bottle into my robe's pocket. Soon after I’m put to bed. After I hear downstairs television blaring, I tiptoe to the bathroom using a pillow path. I polish shiny pink finger and toenails. Suddenly, her footsteps gallop upstairs. I scamper down the hall into my bed.
“Bedtime!” Mother lectures. “What’s that sm-?”
Lights flicker on. Covers yanked off. My fingers, toenails stick to cotton sheets.
Neon pink speckles off-white carpet.
“GROUNDED!”  

To add a bit more to my story, I really did steal fingernail polish and paint my fingernails and toenails when my parents were gone at a meeting. I was about seven years old. As a pastor's kid, we lived in a parsonage. We didn't own our house (our church did), which meant that my mom was horrified when she realized that I got nail polish all over the carpeting in the hallway and in my bedroom. Money was always tight, so my mom was incredibly worried that we might have to replace the carpeting. I can still remember spending an inordinate amount of time scrubbing the carpeting with her that night. Thankfully, we got most of the nail polish out. However, my mom refused to replace my stained sheets and nightgown, as it served as a reminder for me to never paint my nails without permission again. 

8 comments:

  1. What an enduring slice of life - the memory and how you've captured it so well in these 100 words!

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    1. Thank you Sherri! I appreciate a challenge with words. It keeps me from writing too many pages about a small moment!

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  2. I love this idea for a Slice and definitely bookmarking to try. It sounds like it would be easy, but I'm guessing it's quite challenging to condense a moment into 100 words! I enjoy word count writing challenges, though. I was so horrified for you when the nail polish ends up everywhere. How often would we have been spared a painful consequence if only we had listened in the first place!

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    1. Hi Elisabeth! I am honored that you are bookmarking this one to try! You are right, writing a 100 word story isn't always easy. I rewrote it several times until I was satisfied enough with my story! I will say that having a word count helps me from writing too much and rambling (that is often my problem)

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  3. Great little story and I love the 100 word stories. I will pass that on to a few teacher friends for their classrooms. Thanks for the fun story and great idea!

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    1. Thank you, Joanne! That is a really nice complement to receive. I hope to use a 100 word story with my seniors this year.

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  4. I love the concision a 100 Word Story requires, and yours is a hoot! I also love learning you’re a PK! I have found memories of my church and PK’s growing up.

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    1. Concision is really hard for me! As a writer, I tend to ramble way too much (and I guess in real life, too). I am glad that you enjoyed reading my story. Yes! A PK...I have many stories...

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