Bradbury Revision Challenge Day 9

Each day in June I will follow Ray Bradbury’s MFA schedule of reading a poem, a short story, and an essay with the intention of revising a story already in my drive. I will share my reflections along the way.

I welcome your comments and insights as well! I also welcome any recommendations you would like to share with me.

June 9



Essay:The True Secret of Writing by Natalie Goldberg Happiness


The flash is one that I heard Cheryl read at a flash fiction festival earlier this year. I immediately was drawn to it and couldn’t wait for it to be published. As I have shared this piece it is interesting to me people’s difference interpretations of what it means. I suppose that it is the beauty of flash – it can be cryptic.

The more I facilitate discussions in my groups around text the more I see how individual experiences change the lens which people read the same piece. I see the elephant as a metaphor. It plays on the phrase “the elephant in the room” The marriage is in trouble and they are only passing each other and taking on the task of cleaning the elephant. They are stuck in a routine. The rest of their lives are just in the background. Cleaning the elephant is the only thing they do together – yet separate. The detail about the three time zones intrigues me as well.

The poem inspires the thought that stories are everywhere around us. In all the details while we live our day and we need to pay attention to them. Sparkly phrases are popping out all over the place to me since I have started this challenge – more so than usual.

Where do your stories come from?

The NG essay examines the question “When are you happy?”

During the May challenge one of the prompts was to write a happy story (it was Roxane Gay’s prompt as well who I adore) and I struggled. I think of stories as having conflict or transformation. There are different levels of happiness of course, just like everyone thinks different things are fun. Being a writer is about paying attention and also about seizing opportunities. You take those few minutes to write down that thought that crosses your mind or the overheard conversation in the grocery store aisle.

Today I will ask myself often, ” Am I happy?” I need to ask my characters this as well in the story I revise today. I need to notice it.

I would love to know your thoughts about these pieces or writing in general!

Feel free to leave a comment or question. Let’s have a conversation!

###We start the Fabulous Flash Fiction Class today!!! Last chance to join us for a generative class with a casual atmosphere of community and writing! Registration details here.

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