Fifty-Word Inspiration

This week, find inspiration in fifty words. Use a fellow blogger’s response to a previous challenge, “Fifty,” as a springboard for this week’s post.

Image by Fonna Seidu (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A few months ago, in our “Fifty writing challenge, Vincent Mars of Boy With a Hat asked us to tell a story in fifty words. I bookmarked a number of responses that intrigued me: tiny tales that said a lot with so little, that resonated long after I closed their tabs in my browser.

For this week’s challenge, use one of the fifty-word stories below as inspiration for a post. It doesn’t matter how you use it: you might continue the scene, develop a character, expand on a sensation you felt as you read it, or focus on a specific word. Your post can be in any format, and of any length — another short story, a piece of memoir or nonfiction, a poem, a journal article, an opinion piece, an essay with photos, and more.

My interpretations of these stories are distinct from yours; we all generate different ideas and feelings from what we read. So, choose a story that speaks to you, and just run with it. Use these super-short stories as springboards for your own creations.

Regret by A Lady in Waiting

Gazing at the quaint street below, Nick watches couples come and go. Kids are playing with a soccer ball. He remembers the flea market open for the weekend in Long Island City. He lazily says “We should go.”

Nick turns toward the empty bed. He remembers now, that she’s gone.

Homecoming” by Jen Groeber: Mama Art

Chik, chuk, chik, chuk; the hazards beat a dull heart.

We line the cars up along the sepia-tinted streets of my childhood.

There are flags trembling, a light drizzle.

I am alone in my car, waving to my best friend just ahead.

It is a parade, a homecoming,

a funeral.

Simply Smitten” by Pocket-Sized Musings

Simple. She observed her nephew and boyfriend stacking white dominoes on the living room floor. Like an eager apprentice, her nephew was smitten. If a pillow was on her boyfriend’s head, her nephew put something on his. Fast buddies, always laughing together. She knew love doesn’t get simpler than that.

Little Matters” by Motus Gratia Lux

Feelings are mixed, when being so far for so long. I wonder how it is, back there, everything at its same place. Maybe not quite the same.

Little matters anyway, things have changed, things have grown. In unexpected directions, perhaps, but they look lovely, in the sunlight, by the lake.

He Didn’t Leave” by Moonstonemaiden

I fear being left behind, uncared for…alone, and you were leaving early.



Fearful, I cried. I don’t think you heard me, but you may’ve.

Be brave, I thought, only to discover you were staying after all.

“Did you change your plans for me?”

“Does it matter?”


Unexpected” by ReFreshing Life

Hours roll by without a break. Meetings, flow charts, spread sheets overwhelm her schedule.

“Just one moment of peace, please,” she screams internally to no one in particular.


Traffic jammed up for miles before and behind.

Smile twitching the corner of her mouth.

Unbusy at last.

Someone was listening.

On the Importance of Not Being Literal” by Standing Ovation, Seated

Decade is a period of ten years.
Century is a period of one hundred years.
Millennium is a period of one thousand years.
“Together forever” lasts a fortnight.

That is, statistically.
That is, in about 90% of cases.

That is also why romantic mathematicians are so hard to come by!

If you’re not moved by any of these stories, write about inspiration in general. Where do you find it? Who is your muse? 

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  1. On the 1st anniversary of my mother’s passing while gazing into my eyes I see through hers. Her voice echoes my whispered gratitude for the short time we shared in space, love vibrantly alive in every tear and cell that carries the continuum of infinite mercy and elegant grace.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Love what you wrote, Lynnclaire. I’ve written a memoir about losing my parents (which I’m looking to self publish) and it brings me back to those poignantly powerful moments. Thank you for the reminder.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Miraculous day:
    The day begins: alarm rings, coffee shared, lunch packed, both off to their own pursuits. The silent prayers of each reach up to God. Each receives a different response. One’s miraculous; the other’s not. Life together continues, yet each wonders. Joyful or resentful?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I could not believe it until the moment I saw it happening in front of my eyes. At first I thought it was just my futile imagination. I rubbed my eyes, looked back and front, took a step back and no sooner had I uttered a word than she hugged me..all is well

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is a variation on the Fifty Words challenge. In this instance, we’re asking readers to craft a story based on one of the responses we share in this article. You can, of course, adapt the challenge as you see fit — just wanted to make the point that this is variation of that topic, not a repeat.


    1. This writing challenge isn’t calling for only fifty-word responses — your response this week has no word count restriction; these stories mentioned here are simply used for inspiration.

      In other words, your response can be any word count.

      I will update the post to clarify.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As a result of this 50 word challenge a few months ago, I started doing a weekly wrap up post on a Friday using only 50 words (or less), which I called 5 seconds on Friday. I have found it to be a really good way of cutting down unnecessary words and making every word count. It’s hard but well worth the effort and makes me think – I do love a challenge. Thanks for sharing the creativity that these posts show in their 50 words.

    Liked by 2 people

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