A few weeks ago, novelist Janet Fitch (White Oleander, Paint It Black) headlined a USC Master of Professional Writing Program student-faculty reading at Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles. (Fountain show, what-what!) I attended because Janet is so famous that when I bump into her in public places I yell "Janet Fitch!" and then turn to whomever I'm with to announce, "That's Janet Fitch! She's famous!" I have no sense of decorum about these types of things, but that's why, I suspect, you love me so.

Janet read short-short fiction that debuted on her blog. Each piece was created by using the same writing exercise:

Inspired by a simple word, chosen at random, write a two-page double-spaced story, using the Word at least once.

The exercise may seem simple, but it has yielded—at least in Janet's case—remarkable snapshots of unexpectedly fascinating characters. The prose? Sharp, concise, and often bitingly funny.

I love "All but Dissertation," inspired by the word "clip"—but all her work is worth a read.

Check out Janet Fitch's blog for more (free!) short-short fiction.
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