10 July 2010

The Drabble Tradition

Hello, and welcome to YOUR INTRODUCTION to a little Burrow Tradition.

First though, I'm supposed to do a little weekly summary, so here goes... YOU GUYS ROCK!  Each of us Burrowers has linked and invited, so ALL of you are probably a follower of ONE of us, but I've noted a pattern for those of you who followed someone over, to check out some others of us, too... I was just SO DARNED impressed with the initial outpour of fabulousness from all of you – 32 followers in one day had us feeling like rock stars, and things have kept trickling up since then (from 19 countries, too – nice start!)  I have tried to check out followers, but am sure I've missed a few (I am easily distracted)... if you are a commenter though, I will get there... I was distressed to see that every new blog I followed, Mari had gotten there FIRST.  I suppose that means she is more on the ball than me, but as she GREW UP with computers, and I had to adapt as a fully formed adult, I will take that excuse...  Anyway, we THANK YOU sincerely for being here!

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog...

We've mentioned Drabbles, but do you know what one is? It is a Monty Python term (a bonus) which means a STORY told in EXACTLY 100 words – a writing challenge if you will. It requires the writer to be concise to get the point across, flexible to tweak it to fit, and creative as to what might really BE a story that can be told that briefly.

Historically we've written Drabbles to IMAGES and we thought we would introduce YOU to the exercise, as it is a fun one when you want to keep nimble but don't have a ton of time. So TODAY, we will show an example of a single image with Drabbles several of US wrote to. Then TOMORROW we will post an image and ask YOU to write – you have until Thursday, and then starting NEXT Saturday, we will post the 'best'* of the Drabbles generated from reader responses (* best being a subjective term determined by the Burrow member scheduled for that weekend). It's a ton of fun, and we find, a GREAT writing exercise.

So without further ado... the image, followed by our Drabbles...  The particular series was part of our project for February 2009.



We met over a cup of coffee, can you remember? I was supping a creamy cappuccino, while you knocked back your espresso. The coffees matched us somehow; you, who are full of energy and are apt to be continually on the move, whereas I am usually lingering over anything and everything, eager to savor every last drop.

Of course, I cannot stand coffee at the moment. But that is alright; the reason my stomach heaves is because the fruit of our meeting nestles safely inside it.

But soon I will love coffee again, almost as much as I love you.

-Tara Smith


Every morning I cheat on my husband. I have tried to resist the temptation. I only end up with a pounding migraine headache.

I suffer from the absolute need for the delectable, awe-inspiring and indefinable quality of perfection you possess. No matter where I go, you are there. Every bodega, deli, diner and shop is stocked up with your warm, fragrant goodness.

I cannot be without you. Even while pregnant, I ran back to you. My husband cannot comprehend the magnitude of my desire for you.

I am forever enslaved to this legally addictive stimulant. I want you even now."

- Shaharizan Perez


"So, did you do it?"
"Do I look like I did?"
"But you're sure that you want him?"
"I've never been so smitten with anyone before."
"Then do it today. You can't delay much longer, anyway. Milk?"
"Hey, listen! It's Valentine's! You knock and put it across with a present, and that's it!"
"It's not like showing up half naked!"
"I did last time!"
"That was about something completely different."
"Really, I can't!"
"A chickenshit, you of all people! Honestly, no one I know has ever made such a fuss about returning an iron... Waitress! More milk, please!"

- S. T. Grahamer


"Mamma, why is he biting her?", the three-year old's voice cut through the chatter at the café.
"He is not biting, stupid. He is kissing her", declared the five-year old.
"Nobody kisses like that. Mamma, isn't he biting her?"
"They are kissing, baby", I whispered, embarrassed.

"But why is he eating her mouth?"
"Because he loves her!" When had my son become such a Know-it-all?
"I love you, Mamma, can I eat your mouth?"

People didn't even pretend not to stare as I dragged the kids away.

I am never, NEVER,
N-E-V-E-R taking them to a café on Valentine's Day.

- Rayna M. Iyer


"Low-fat latte. For here," she added, to her surprise. Normally, she'd take it to go. But the snow made it difficult to read the papers she had to go through. Ten minutes at the café was tempting.
The barista smiled, and handed her a cup. She picked up a spoon, about to stir the coffee before she'd even sat down. Then she noticed. In the middle of her coffee, a foam heart. She caught the eye of the barista. He smiled again, then blushed.

The following morning she looked into her cup before she lidded it. This time she blushed.

- Mari Salberg


I miss my friend. Standing in line at Starbucks, watching the barista making my macchiato, I recall messing around in the café at work, inventing new drinks and caffeinating ourselves beyond sanity. My phone beeps with a text message, and guess who it's from? "I did it - successfully ended things with Faith", it says. "Good on you!" I reply as I reach for my coffee. There's a quote printed on the side; I idly read the beginning and nearly choke on my first sip. "I have faith." it says. Whoever the coffee god is, I like his sense of humour.

- Leanne Rabesa


You really must add some sugar. Let me explain:

Steve said he loved me, and I believed him. He said he couldn't live without me! I roused him every morning and sustained him late at night while he studied for exams. My effort put the man through medical school. It was draining, true, but I knew we'd be together forever.

Then came Julie the nutritionist. Cold as ice, and a hussy to boot, she convinced Steve I was somehow bad for him. They got married and I was dumped like a quart of used motor oil.

You'd be bitter, too.

- Jason Drake


Books in bag, I descend the stairs quietly, my friends still asleep. It's Sunday after all, our earned lie-in. But, I tell myself, I have studying to do, reading for a test, a writing project.

I head to the coffee house; the Sunday morning man is there, the one who plays guitar and sings like Paul Simon, happy, yet mellow enough to read by. I order my latte and sit, pretending to read, not reading, listening.

I've chosen my table well, just one stir through my beverage and you come through the door, matching perfectly the froth in my cup.

- Hart Johnson


Smooth, rich, dark, desirable... comfortable.
Friends come and go, family let you down, men...
Don't get me started on men!
But coffee... coffee is always there to pick me up
When I am sinking.
I know you understand- you look like
A person of uncommon insight. Share a cup with me?
How do you take it? No sugar and a little cream-
Yes that is how I like mine too.
You want my phone number?
You are daring.
I see you drink Columbian:
Have you tried the new bean from Ecuador?
Yes I love it- quite bold.
Like you.

- Aleatha Ingleton

So we invite all of you back tomorrow for an image to give it a shot for yourselves!  And if you CAN'T come back tomorrow... just remember to check the day's blog... you have until Thursday. (posted by the Tart... just so you aren't totally disoriented... but FOR the Burrow)


Anonymous said...

Very enjoyable. Thanks for these.

All the best, Boonsong
PS: I didn't want to mention any for special attention or praise for fear of offending. I hope that I did the right thing.....

RosieC said...

What great drabbles! I love them all.

Looking forward to tomorrow :)

Natasha said...

@ Boonsong - if you do have a favourite, do mention it. Each of the drabble is different (just as each of us is different), and we would love to know which appealed to you the most.

@ Rosie - and we look forward to the drabble you come up with for tomorrow's picture.

Hart Johnson said...

Boonsong-it is always GREAT to get feedback, even if there is not additional reason--thank you so much for stopping in!

Rosie, you too!

Rayna-that isn't your competitive side coming out, is it? I know you have one!

Mason Canyon said...

The Drabbles are always so much fun to read. Enjoying this blog very much.

Thoughts in Progress

Hart Johnson said...

Mason, you should join us for WRITING one! They are pretty fun--I especially love the variability we sometimes get. Depends on the image.

Deb and Barbara said...

I love LOVE drabbles! Of course, Rayna intro'd them to me over at her blog, but these are ALL delicious. (Rayna, yours was so funny, I read it to my 16 year old daughter -- who laughed out loud.)

CA Heaven said...

Cool idea with the image and 100 words. Will be back to morrow to write my hundred unless my fantasy is completely absent or my mind takes off in an indecent direction >:)

Cold As Heaven

Amber T. Smith said...

Deb and Barbara - aren't they great? That's what I love most about these image and drabble combinations - the variety of ideas that are generated. I went completely smooshy with my one, but Rayna's was sweet and funny, while Jason completely turned the idea on its head.

Cold As Heaven - Come back ESPECIALLY if your mind takes off in an indecent direction. *nods firmly*

Unknown said...

Great turn out. I really do hope everyone joins us tomorrow in our drabble challenge.

Writing to an image is not only fun but a great way to focus your writing.

I am looking forward to the differing point of views as everyone has their own perspective.
Happy Writing!

Hart Johnson said...

Barbara-I don't think I knew you had a 15 (I have a 15)--my sympathies! But I can totally see that age loving that one (adults TOO of course, but that one is so visceral!

CaH--I really DO hope you enter tomorrow!

*smooches Tara & Chary*

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

That coffee photo made me want to reach through the screen and drink it up! And the drabbles were just as delicious. :) Thanks for sharing them.

LTM said...

these are terrific! LOVE Tara's, love Rayna's, love Hart's, love them all~

good stuff! :o)

Anonymous said...

BRILLIANT idea! Great inspiration and challenge. Too bad I've missed this week's deadline. But maybe I'll take a stab anyway or return for the next 'un