Blog post

How I became a good new driver

By Joanna Kats

Today, I am sharing with you my very first flash fiction story, to start the month with a big smile. The Greek version has been published in the e-magazine 121 WORDS. An idea or a thought turns into a story with your beginning, middle – climax, end, using 121 words precisely.

The story in a nutshell: A woman driver is chatting and remembering her first big step forward


I’m having coffee with a friend, sharing assortments and driving experiences. As a young driver, before smartphone era, ready to pursue my ambition: visit Chalkidiki, driving and smiling.

The new driver sign, shiny and vivid, is on the car windscreen. I’m staying in the right lane. Up and down the summer hill, I hear the other drivers beeping. My ears are buzzing and I see a lady signalling to drive further right. “Where? In the ditch?” I ask myself. Farewell smile.

I’m on my way back, in thoughts. I hear the sea whispering in my ear. I remove the car sign. All’s quiet along the way. No beeping heard. Apparently, the sea breeze had turned me into a good new driver.


Ηave a lovely weekend

A blogger friend, Joanna

Note: Chalkidiki is a peninsula in Northern Greece, with sandy beaches and crystal clear waters along its three fingers.

Photo: Ed Yourdon

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Comments (30)

  • Debora Sousa

    8 March 2019 at 19:04

    An idea or a thought turns into a 121 words story !! This is great, looking forward to reading more

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 11:07

      Thank you, Debora. Looking forward to writing more flash fiction stories.

  • Nina Nichols

    8 March 2019 at 14:59

    Ha! Just what I need before I start driving again this summer. I need to pass lots of test so this is definitely an amazing find!

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 11:09

      Nina, how interesting. You must be excited, going back to driving. Now you know what you have to do (big smile).

  • swagata

    8 March 2019 at 08:59

    Great flash fiction! I had no idea about this concept! You did a wonderful job and full justice to this! Great write-up.

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 11:11

      Swagata, I’m glad you have enjoyed the story. I found out about the flash fiction concept last December.

  • Erica (The Prepping Wife)

    8 March 2019 at 05:39

    I’ve never heard of the 121 word story before. I’m impressed you can do it though! I definitely couldn’t. I’m way too wordy for that.

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 11:13

      Erica, thank you for your good words. I didn’t know I could do it either. Until I decided to give it a go, just for the fun of it.

  • Ashlee

    8 March 2019 at 03:51

    Flash fiction is always so tricky because of the word limit and having to still ensure that you take the reader on the journey with you, while ensuring that the plot is also very clear. This was a great story and I could just imagine myself in the car with you. Good job.

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 12:18

      Ashlee, that sounds nice, thank you. So, you were my co-driver. Then you can remember how it felt!! And thank you for explaining how flash fiction works. That may encourage others to give it a go.

  • Live Learn better

    8 March 2019 at 03:25

    A flash story in 121 words is a new concept to me and I find it very reflective. Great post!

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 12:19

      I’m glad you have learned something new. Mission accomplished!

  • Megan Kerry

    7 March 2019 at 23:31

    What a fun challenge! Great execution of the story with such limitation! Great job!

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 12:20

      Thank you, Megan. A fun challenge, indeed.

  • Kari Chairez

    7 March 2019 at 19:44

    Oh my goodness…I feel like I need to try this now! I’m not sure I could do it in only 121 words, but I’d be up for the challenge! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 12:23

      Kari, please try it and let us know how it goes. I’m certain you will enjoy it.

  • Candace

    7 March 2019 at 16:44

    Great write-up. I felt like I was in the car too. Lol.

  • Lindsay Brown

    7 March 2019 at 15:04

    Great story! Flash fiction can be tricky when trying to get your story to fruition and you’ve done a great job here of painting a great picture with imagery and feeling. Thanks for sharing your work!

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 12:25

      Lindsay, thank you. I do appreciate your comment. It helps to hear that I can ‘show’ rather than tell. I enjoy reading your stories as well.

  • Lauren | My Favorite Job Title Is Mom

    7 March 2019 at 06:13

    I’ve never heard of the 121 word story before, but it sounds like a really fun concept! Your story is one that so many people can relate to.

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 12:27

      Lauren, good to hear that you have learned something new. Maybe you’d like to give it a go as well. To have creative fun!

  • Anna

    6 March 2019 at 23:37

    I’ve never heard of the 121 words idea for story telling. You did a great job. I think I’m much too wordy to manage an entire story in so few words. I bet it would be great practice for learning to be concise.

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 12:33

      Anna, thank you for your kind words. Yes, it does feel like a creative way of learning to be concise. You may wish to give it a go as well..

  • Despite Pain

    6 March 2019 at 17:02

    I love flash fiction. Sounds a simple concept, but definitely not simple to write. This was a lovely story. Well done.

  • Subhashish Roy

    6 March 2019 at 16:00

    It’s such a great idea. It was nice reading the story. The concept too is different & challenges one’s creativity in meaningful writing.

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 12:34

      Thank you, Subhashish. It is a challenge – a fun challenge I would add.

  • Tracy @ Cleland Clan

    5 March 2019 at 23:09

    I love the idea of a 121 word story and may share this idea with my students soon. They’ll think it’s easier than it really is, and we can discuss the importance of imagery, plot, and precise vocabulary.

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 12:36

      Tracy, that sounds like an amazing lesson plan. I’m certain your students will love the idea and respond to it in a creative way.

  • Scott J DeNicola

    5 March 2019 at 22:31

    Admittedly I don’t think I’m a good enough writer or creative enough to capture a story in 121 words but you did. I remembered reading your writing before and your article on Natalie and the school bully. Great job.

    1. Joanna K.

      9 March 2019 at 12:39

      Scott, thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I think we can keep surprising ourselves, positively, when taking the opportunity to discover what else we are good at.

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