I just wrote a flash fiction in less than three minutes. And no, that’s not a brag. It could be better. The word choices are unpolished. The idea may not fully translate. I could let it sit, rewrite it a few more times, but I want to make a point.

Flash fiction can be a literary form that’s quick and powerful. Literary art itself can do good in the world. Case in point: Sarah Brentyn of Lemon Shark is using a flash fiction challenge to raise awareness of how to find reputable charities for natural disasters when we feel we want to help. She’s also donating a dollar (up to $50) for every flash fiction others write and link back to her challenge. Check out the rules of the challenge, links to charities, and join her in helping.

So why three minutes? Because I have much to do! Like all writers, I’m busy. I have three live readings tomorrow, negotiations with a book publisher for designing the interior of The Congress of Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology, I had to go buy chocolate and update the list of Books by Rough Writers, and prepare for the Rodeo that begins Thursday. I’m also meeting with KEDA again about Carrot Ranch, and a local dance troupe has asked to use my reading voice to MC their show Friday and Saturday.

Not every writer’s week looks like that, but it’s some jumble of book platform, marketing, revision, planning, relationship building, family and work. Oh, yeah, and we all write, too!

Flash fiction helps us break free of the busyness. When I’m frustrated with video equipment, trying to remember I actually need to look fresh and not like a reclusive writer tomorrow, and worried about the insanity of the world in ways only a writer can observe, I need a creative outlet. Flash fiction to the rescue. A three minute free write to a pattern my mind knows (59 words in this flash form) and acceptance that it’s raw and will do is all I need.

One of the recipes I have for Busy Writers is this:Ā  Write the flash fiction in five minutes. Serve quickly.

Take time to support Sarah’s worthy cause. She’s fully demonstrating how literary artists can use their craft to do good.

For All Who Suffer by Charli Mills

Harvey, Irma, Maria.

Names of friends who killed themselves on the rez. They had alcoholic parents, missing teeth. His friends took their pain and left. He took his pain and volunteered to clean up after the hurricanes. It gave his mind healing, his body strength.

He returned sober to Pine Ridge after Puerto Rico and rolled up his sleeves.


My inspiration comes from anther Rough Writer, C. Jai Ferry, who shared this powerful video story with me about an issue of fighting injustice and predatory capitalism on Pine Ridge.

Join us tomorrow (Oct. 3) at www.facebook.com/CarrotRanch at 10 AM, 2 PM, 6 PM (EST) for live readings or on the Rodeo Fest post for updated recordings. Comment on either platform to be included in prize drawings.

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