Work, Wonder, and Windows

Work: Have you heard the term micro prose? I recently took a class from Darien Hsu Gee, a fellow Rainier Writing Workshop alum, in which she illuminated the benefits of writing micro prose: pieces of 300 words or less. She is passionate about this form, and offered much practical advice and inspiration. The writing process she outlined included writing a first draft in ten minutes and then revising in two ten-minute sessions. The short timeframes makes this a flexible and doable practice. For me, this form will be a way to get difficult material down on the page in short bursts. For more information on micro prose, and free prompts, visit Darien’s website Writer-ish.com.

Tech update: On my website, the “subscribe to blog via email” is now available on mobile devices. After the blog post, scroll past the comment section, and at the very bottom is a place to put in your email and subscribe to my blog. Please let me know if that is not the case. I’m pleased that I figured this out on my own, though not thrilled at the number of hours I spent on it when I just needed to add a widget, which was obvious in hindsight and took mere minutes.

Wonder: I continue to ponder form and structure. I listened to two audio books this month—Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya H and You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith. I highly recommend both just for the pleasure of reading/hearing them, and also as examples of different ways to structure a book.  In Hijab Butch Blues, Lamya H weaves, and interrogates, stories from the Quran with her own experiences, and moves nonlinearly from her childhood through adulthood and back again. In You Could Make This Place Beautiful, Maggie Smith writes in vignettes, many of them the length of micro prose. The pieces feel complete in themselves and contribute to the larger story.

Windows: Many of us can look out our windows and see the effects of climate change, the no longer slow havoc the gradual warming of the earth and its oceans are causing. Smoke from fires in Canada and eastern Washington have lingered in Bellingham a few times this summer, and most notably from the now not-so-unusual early fires in Canada in May. And now a fire closer to home on the east side of Lake Whatcom. When we moved here in 1998 from fire-prone southern California, we were happy to be informed that western Washington doesn’t have forest fires. Well, change comes for us all.

Looking north


  1. Victoria Doerper

    Thanks for the info on micro-prose. Sounds like a useful and interesting approach. Also the book recommendations. And the fires….sigh. If it’s not human-caused, it’s a lightning strike, as at Lake Whatcom. Grateful for relatively clear skies today.

    • Laura Rink

      Glad it’s not too smokey there!


    I like the idea of micro-prose and the formula to write them in short bursts. I’ve been noticing when I do Morming Pages (caps intended 🙂 each page usually takes about 10 minutes. Knowing that, makes me write with concision…but not always with precision. Thanks for your three-pronged blog, Laura

    • Laura Rink

      Thanks for reading!

  3. franceshowardsnyder1

    Another excellent blogpost. I will check out Darien’s website. I need inspiration. The fires are depressing, aren’t they?

    • Laura Rink

      Thank you! Yes, the fires are depressing.

  4. Jes Hart Stone

    Sounds like a good morning exercise to fire the brain for longer projects. Thanks!

    • Laura Rink

      You’re welcome. Thanks for reading.

  5. Donna

    I guess some of our school day essay assignments were micro prose. Regarding the Lake Whatcom fire, we got to actually do an evacuation test yesterday.

    • Laura Rink

      Wow! What does an evacuation test entail? Did you load up your cars with your most important and precious things?

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