I did something in September a bit out of character for me. I took a couple of writing classes. Normally, I would make a dozen excuses not to do something like this, mainly dealing with my lack of time. The truth is, we make time for what we want to do in life, more often than not. I will post a separate blog for each class, as they were so different in nature, and each deserves its own post.

The first class I want to talk about met on the four Tuesday evenings in September, from 5:30-7, and was offered through the Carnegie Center, in Lexington, KY. I had taken a one-day class in person at the Carnegie Center back in 2013, the workshop that helped me decide to forge ahead with self-publishing my first book, Dog Days and Dragonflies. Since that was such a positive experience, and I have such an interest in nonfiction, a course in Flash Nonfiction seemed like a great idea. The instructor, Suzanne Fernandez Gray, was one of my classmates in my Creative Nonfiction class at Hindman in July, and I really enjoyed her writing and commentary in class. Plus, at just over $50, it was an economical steal for an online class! (They offer a multitude of classes on a rolling basis — if you’re interested in writing, click here to check out the upcoming offerings!)

Our class had 12 people, so Suzanne divided us up into 4 students per weeks 2-4, to write and send out our rough drafts of our Flash Nonfiction assignments to our classmates, so they could critique and comment in that week’s class. I volunteered to go on the second week, to get it over with before we got too deep into my second class, Picture Book Magic, with George Ella Lyon.

What is Flash Nonfiction, first of all? As defined for this class, it’s Nonfiction that does not exceed 750 words. That’s right. A whole Nonfiction story in 750 words or less. It’s as difficult as it sounds, I promise.

My friend Matt suggested that I write about my whirlwind trip to NYC in November 2013, when I met Duran Duran at the Museum of Modern Art. I thought that there was no way to do that in 750 words! It’s such a monumental story, so many details!

That’s the challenge of Flash Nonfiction (or Flash Fiction, for that matter). To tell the story fully with just enough details to make it intriguing, polished, and leave your audience excited/fulfilled/on the edges of their seats. So, I accepted his challenge. And in thirteen bullet points, I told the story, “How To Meet Your Favorite Band, ” a fevered, rushed, frenzied telling of a whirlwind trip full of surprises, bad and good, that ultimately led to me meeting Duran Duran in the most unexpected of ways.

We received other writing prompts weekly, as well as published pieces of Flash Nonfiction from various sources that demonstrated various ways to craft work in this genre. All in all, I found it immensely helpful and came out of it with two finished pieces and three pieces-in-progress. That’s worth more than $50 and 6 hours of time, anytime! Many thanks to Suzanne for a great class experience!