Maybe you’ve been watching the photo lab with a certain amount of envy, because your camera is covered with a thick layer of dust that inspires nothing short of shame and dread when you think about picking it up. Maybe you’re like me, and write with a certain compulsiveness that is just short of unhealthy. Maybe you want another opportunity to participate, or want to give writing a try. Maybe you want the opportunity to see how we would illustrate a story that you’ve written. Whatever the reason, we’re starting a weekly drabble feature, and you should participate! Read on for details.
So, what’s a drabble?
A drabble is 100 words of prose. Usually fiction. No more, no less. Drabbles are fun because they’re quick to write (only 100 words!), and because they challenge you to be concise, and to clearly demonstrate one idea. In some cases, they force you to be a little bit flexible about the wording in order to get the word count exactly right. Here’s one I wrote, a couple years ago:
There’s something that legitimizes dying wishes; your own rosy-tinted memory makes you comply, even if the request is absurd. I think my grandfather knew that, and that’s why he whispered, on his death bed, “Avenge me.”
It calls up all sorts of fairy tales, doesn’t it? Kill the evil baron who poisoned my grandfather’s wine, right countless yet-unknown wrongs, back in time for supper.
But things are never that simple. My grandfather died of a stroke. High cholesterol and higher blood pressure did him in: genetics and a lifetime of smoking, drinking, and eating red meat. Whose fault is that?
And here’s a few from Charles:
The daughter sat near enough to the fire to keep the chill from her bones, playing with a doll made of scraps of cloth and grain husks. The mother sat nearer, stirring a pot of something comprised of the last scraps of food that was nearly a stew. The food would simmer through the night. In the morning they would pour it into skeins and and start the long walk west. All the food stores, and the neighbors, and civilization for that matter, had moved on without them. For mother and daughter the last night, and the journey, must begin.
The stiffness in his bones seemed to radiate from his spine. Nothing moved easily out of bed in the morning, and the stiffness never helped. The worst part wasn’t the stiffness though, that worked its way out before long. It was the pain in his heels. His feet would move just fine, but each step in the early morning sent signals of sharp pain to his brain. Time was catching up with him, though he wasn’t so old he thought it was about to catch him. Shuffling to the coffee pot he cursed poor circulation and sedentary living once again.
Jason took the high-road, when given half the chance. He was never sure if It was out of a sense of propriety, cowardice, or ego though. In this case though, the high-road meant he was going to lose something important to him. He wasn’t sure if Rosie was the love of his life, but she was certainly the love of right now, which counted for something. This morning though, he had decided that it was time to make the tough choice and put her old man, the president, out of his misery, for the good of the country.
What’s the feature?
Every week we’ll post a theme. You have until Friday to write a drabble, and post it in the comments. We’ll pick out winners, Jill or Brian or one of our other fabulously talented folks will illustrate them, and the winners and illustrations will be posted the next week, with a new theme. Lather, rinse, and repeat!
What’s the theme?
For this week, since this is our inaugural round, the theme will be “Beginnings”.