Walking on sunshine

Readers of this blog already know that I love short, short writing. Like the six-word story. Here’s one of mine:

Dementia stole speech. She still sings.

I recently entered a contest to write a children’s story in 50 words. That was hard. I ended up describing a piano recital, an event I dreaded every spring when I was growing up.

I heard just this morning that my 50-word story placed #8 in a field of 298 entries! The top 20 winners all get prizes (things like critiques from authors, editors, and agents) so I’m pretty excited about this, and wanted to share the news.

Here’s my 50-word story:

How to Survive a Piano Recital


Backstage butterflies
Beast waits, open-jawed

Take a seat
Deep breath
Music download, brain to fingers
Breeze through tricky passage
Get stuck

Rewind, try again

Heart pounds
Big chord
Grand finale


Next spring
Start again
Backstage butterflies

Paulette Bochnig Sharkey

This entry was posted in Music and emotion, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Walking on sunshine

  1. Judie says:

    Congratulations, Paulette!! Loved your story.

  2. Riff Noggin says:

    Congratulations, Paulette!!! The persistence and determination you showed in the recital era are serving you well to this day! Love the way your format captures the effort and emotions churning inside the young pianist-aspirant. Put me right back on the creaky stage in the grade school gym (but you’re forgiven for that).

  3. Sandy says:

    Ha, ha, ha….boy does that bring back the memories. Great story. I could feel the whole thing again. I wish you the best with this endeavor of short writing!!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    It was about like that!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Also, congratulations!

  6. Thanks to all for reading and appreciating my little story about the dreaded piano recital!

  7. Evie Kimball says:

    You’ll be here with your dad today (at Aunt Evie’s in Florida), but I have just caught up with my e-mails. Otherwise I would have commented sooner because you couldn’t have described any more precisely MY feelings at recitals! Great job!

  8. Kriss Ostrom says:

    Although I took lessons for five years, I only remember one piano recital — the one where my Dad and I caught the mumps! Your story also put me right back there, in vast living room of my teacher’s spooky Victorian home in the woods! Thanks SO MUCH for sharing! (I read the other winning stories, too.)

  9. Jessa says:

    Why do you suppose so many music programs put emphasis on the recital portion?

    • I don’t know, but I think it’s a mistake, and takes a lot of the fun out of learning to play an instrument. It was the same with your ballet classes. Starting each January, all the effort went toward preparing for the spring performance. Each class involved the same routine, practiced over and over.

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