No Extra Words

one person's search for story


July 2015

Writing Prompt: Lenin and Symbols

Please note revised deadline.

In the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle stands a statue of Vladimir Lenin.  Read more about it here.

As mentioned in that article, this statue was rescued from Poland after the Iron Curtain came down and was relocated to Seattle.  Displaying it is controversial.

It may be a bad comparison to mention the Confederate flag here or any other kind of symbol, but in light of that ongoing discussion and of a story coming to you in Episode 8 of No Extra Words, Lenin is again on my mind, and here is my challenge to you.

Write a story about how this makes you feel.

Note the word “story.”  I am not looking for commentary, whether or not you like it, what your political opinion is of it.  Those things are important, but that is not your job here.

Tell me a story.  Give it a narrative arc.  Give it plot points.  Show me how you feel rather than telling me.

I will try to feature a few of these responses in Episode 8 alongside a fascinating story about just this issue.

Limit: 500 words (no minimum)

Deadline: August 13

Send to, leave it on the Listener Feedback line (425) 686-9495, put in the comments or use the Facebook or Twitter links to your left.

Happy writing!


Episode 7: Love and Heartbreak in the 21st Century

Click here for full episode

In “The Frog Prince,” three frogs watch from a lily pad while the princess conducts her happily ever after search on Twitter.  They remain passive observers until she decides to turn to an old story for help.  By Lucy Mitchell, copyright 2015, used with permission.  Find more about Lucy and her writing at

In “The 18 Facebook Statuses of a Relationship,” we follow the relationship of Jen Smith the way most of us do these days – vicariously through her facebook page.  By Kris Baker Dersch, copyright 2015, all rights reserved.

Reminder: our current Challenge to the Listeners is ongoing!  Write your up to 500 word short story on the Lenin statue for your chance to be featured on episode 8 of the podcast, coming August 19.

Meet Episode 7 Contributor Lucy Mitchell!

Episode 7 is all about light and funny and Lucy does that better than anyone.  So looking forward to featuring her fractured fairy tale. Lucy Mitchell is the author of the writing blog Blondewritemore, which gives an alternative and funny view on being a writer. She enjoys writing humorous short stories and watching people smile as they read them. Find her at Happy reading! Kris

Gone Fishin’

I was listening to a great podcast on social media this week, and one of the things she talked about was if you are going to go on vacation and step away from your social media/marketing, don’t announce it.

I respectfully disagree.

The world is a complex and connected place.  It demands a lot of us, and one of the demands is a 24/7 presence in the world.  Which you sometimes need to step away from.  And it needs to be okay to admit that.

I’m headed out with my family on vacation.  To a lakeside cabin with 2 typewriters and a whole lot of people I don’t get to see that often.  So I am going to try to stay off my phone.  We are bringing a camera.  Remember those?  The purpose of the camera is to get to document the events without having to remove my phone from my pocket.

I’ll still be writing (what do you think the typewriters are for?), and according to my scheduling software, episode 7 of the podcast and several blog posts will happen while I am gone.  Facebook and Twitter may languish a bit, but I kind of think that Facebook and Twitter can live without me.

Unplugging is an imperative for anyone, but for artists, including writers, I think it is even more important.  The world is a noisy place.  How else do you get all that out of your head?

Exciting things are ahead for No Extra Words, and I look forward to them.  I will see you all in August.  in the meantime, watch this space because episode 7, another challenge to the listeners, and more is coming.

Where do you go to get away from it all?  What do you say to the people who demand more and more of your time?

Wishing you peace,


Episode 6: The Microfiction Triumvirate – On Becoming

Click here for full episode.

Very short stories on becoming who and what you really are.

In “On/Off” by Taylor Eaton, a small boy uses a magical power no one else can see.  Copyright 2015 by Taylor Eaton, used with permission.  Find out more about Taylor at

In “Selkie” by Lisa Falzon, a mythical creature does not do what the myth says she will do.  Copyright 2014 by Lisa Falzon, used with permission.  Check out Lisa’s visual storytelling at

In “Requiem: for piano” by Nancy Stohlman a man’s true love is becoming something he loves, but her transition will come between them.  Previously published in “Literary Oprhans,” copyright 2012 by Nancy Stohlman, used with permission.  Read more about Nancy at

Editor’s commentary features the six word short story “Semicolon,” an homage to Ernest Hemingway.  Copyright 2015 by Kris Baker Dersch, all rights reserved.

Thank you to our show sponsor, The Catapult Podcast.

Join us August 5th for Love and Heartbreak in the 21st Century, our “flash fiction summer beach reads” episode featuring a story from BlondeWriteMore.

Happy listening!


Episode 6 Contributors Part 3: Taylor Eaton

This episode is jam-packed for being just six minutes long.  I’m absolutely thrilled to have Taylor be part of it.  Her story makes me think of Harold and the Purple Crayon, bet you can’t wait to hear it!

Taylor is California native who, after traveling across Europe and the US, finally migrated back to her hometown in Southern California. Journaling, blogging, fiction-ing – she’s always found herself at her happiest when she has a pen, paper, and an hour to kill. Her work has appeared in various literary magazines and collections, but you can find her flash fiction on her site (Little Write Lies). Reach out to her at Little Write Lies, Twitter, or Facebook

Full episode on Wednesday!  Can’t wait!

Happy reading, Kris

I’m Guest Posting This Week

…come check it out!  Thank you to Armand for the opportunity.  If you’re visiting from his blog, welcome to No Extra Words.  Be sure to check out the links to get the podcast and submit your story.

Armand is a big believer in writers supporting writers and I agree.  If you are a writer who wants to discuss guest blogging or post exchange, please contact me and let’s talk!

Happy reading,


Episode 6 Contributors Part 2: Lisa Falzon

Lisa is a woman of few words and her bio bears that out.  You have to visit her Tumblr page to see what she does with her short short stories (some as short as 5 words) and images.  So excited to feature her story on the show.

Lisa Falzon is a visual storyteller, hailing from Malta in the Mediterranean sea.  See her unique take on microfiction with her 5, 50, and 60 word short story images at

Watch this space!  I have one more contributor to feature and then the episode itself in its short short glory, coming on Wednesday.

Happy reading,


Episode 6 Contributors Part 1: Nancy Stohlman

Episode 6, coming Wednesday, focuses on microfiction stories under 300 words, so it will be short but jam-packed.  I’m delighted to share that it will feature a story by renowned flash fiction author Nancy Stohlman.

Nancy Stohlman’s books include the flash fiction collection The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories, the novels The Monster Opera and Searching for Suzi: a flash novel, and four anthologies including Fast Forward: The Mix Tape, which was a finalist for a 2011 Colorado Book Award. She is a founding member of Fast Forward Press, the creator and curator of the Fbomb Flash Fiction Reading Series in Denver, and one of her pieces was recently called one of “our favorite recent pieces of flash fiction” by The Huffington Post. Find out more about her at

Watch the blog for information about our other contributors and for the episode release, coming Wednesday!

Happy reading,


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