1000 Words | Essays by L.A. Holly

The Concept

I love words. I love their power and their beauty. I love that they can evoke every emotion we are capable of experiencing. They can induce homesickness and encourage greatness

“Ask not what your country….”

“Four score and seven years ago…”

“I have a dream…”

“I love you.”

I also love the economy of words. The longer I live, the more I read…and write, the more convinced I am of this: the most powerful deployment of language is not found in the flowery trails of waxed eloquence, but in the ability to say the most with the least. [See the Gettysburg address (270 words) or the Sermon on the Mount.]


Picture this

I got stuck the other day. In traffic. And on a phrase – one I have heard or read at least a thousand times in my life. I bet you have as well.

“A picture’s worth a thousand words.”

Words have been my life, my passion, my vocation.

There in my Toyota Tundra on Interstate 30, halfway between work and home (and glad it wasn’t the other way around), I ruminated on that idiom as common as any in my native tongue. What emerged was this thought:

The artist says a picture is worth a thousand words. The wordsmith wonders how many pictures a thousand words can paint.

From that silly, slightly self-serving thought came this notion…

I will write a book! A short book. A book of essays. A book of short stories. Really short stories.

I will write a book where each essay/story is exactly 1,000 words in length. I will mix autobiographical tales with fiction. I will tell stories. I will see how many pictures a thousand words can paint.

And I will hope someone reads them with the same critical eye, the same attention to detail, the same anticipation as a lover of art approaching a museum piece for the first time.

The essays will be added to this site as I complete them. Please mark the site and check back often or follow me on Facebook for updates.

Welcome to the Thousand Word Museum. Enjoy your stay. Watch your step. And please(!), do not touch the artwork. But I hope it touches you.

internet The Stopover – a fictional slice-of-life essay focused on a man down on his luck and stuck in a small west Texas town. It is a stark look at living, loving, losing, and learning.

Peace. Like a river… An autobiographical description of growing up with Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer in your head and the Bible in your heart. It is about finding your place…and peace.

Cade & The Kid – this slice-of-life set in the Old West catches up with a seasoned, grizzled gunman on the lonesome Texas Llano Estacado entertaining an unexpected guest. What will the young stranger teach him about himself and life?

Some Through the Fire – coming April, 2018

Some Through the Flood – coming May, 2018

Masters of Lamaze – coming June 2018


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