Sunday, March 21, 2010


So I had NO CLUES for today, and very little time. I'm trying to get my cozy chapters ready to send to MY AGENT tomorrow, plus the bathroom badly needed my attention, as did my mid-month bills... So when I first popped onto the computer, I noticed fellow Burrower, Natasha (Rayna)--hard to call a twin by a new name... had posed a BRILLIANT Drabble. My own drabbles are not that clever, but I do HAVE several of them. So I thought I'd post a couple.

For novices:  a Drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.  It's a good exercise in word economy... or silliness, depending on the author *cough*  (y'all are probably clear where I fall)

Image courtesy of Mike Hudson (a friend of mine from high school): shot taken on the Palouse--area around Moscow, Idaho

March's bleakness makes surreal the cranberry sun's promise of pleasure and beauty. It seems unreachable across the vast, empty sky. A faraway dream, never to be attained.

Only the work of spring – rains, investment, toil – allow that promise to reach fruition. In the chill it can all feel pointless, too hard to ever achieve.

But if we look about, reach out, touch what is near at hand, there is beauty in the bleakness. And the grasses left from last year remind us that the vivid ball keeps her promises, if only we hold up our own end of the bargain.

“Lemon and Lime”
Sarah Graham (Courtesty of Castle Gallery, Cardiff)

Chupa Chup. What a good word. Makes you pucker just to say it, sour, then sweet shooting flavors through your mouth. If only the English were so blunt. Lollipop. What is that anyway? We could call it a suck suck, too. I'd like a suck suck please, and wrap it in bright paper. Happy presentation. I suppose maybe something is lost in translation, but it seems to me, presented elsewhere, this company could not possibly keep up with demand. "Suck suck, fifty pence!"

I suppose that is a cynical view. Or not. Suck suck for fifty pence... definite mass appeal...

“Chocolate Spread”  Sarah Jane Szikora 

"Martha, are you coming?"

"Oh, Frank, just let me enjoy how you look a little longer."

"But Martha, I'm getting cold. Did you open the freezer?"

"I might have. I had a little something special in there. Would you like me to show you?"

"It's not the frozen Hot Wheels again?"

"No, love. It's better."

"But I'm cold already."

"So do you want me to enjoy it alone?"

"No. I just want you to warm me up."

"But Frank, we can't waste it. Here, just hold on a second."

"Ahhhh! That was freezing!"

"Here darling, let me warm you up."

Ode to a Murder
(I took this pic across from my house)

I hear the faint hum and then see the leaf-bare trees against the strawberry sky. The hum becomes a buzz and I recognize it, though it would be indistinct to an untrained ear. As I turn the corner, houses momentarily block the trees from view but the sound grows more distinct. Individual cries. Caw. Caw. A stray pair of birds veer as far as the street I am walking on and I am confirmed, but by now I have passed the houses and can see the branches well enough to recognize the congregation. A cacophony of noise welcomes me home.

So there.


TreeX said...

I made an egg with that first picture last year... When are the new omelettes ready btw? :)

trying to post piccy

Jan Morrison said...

oooh, I love drabbles. I always eat up Natasha's and I like yours too! AGENT? What agent?
Just thought you'd slip that in did ya?

Hart Johnson said...

Joris, you DID make an egg with it! As for omelettes, you're on your own. I don't like eggs, so haven't a clue on preparing.

Jan--I signed an agreement for this cozy mystery gig, so it is job specific, but hopefully if I get the gig, then she will be willing to read some of my other stuff. I'm going through a lack of confidence phase on CONFLUENCE, but will give it another look--I have two others though, that, if I showed hooks and she said 'polish that one' I could get ready (or so I think)

TreeX said...

You even sent me your own ingredients separately for this gig though; although I was told to use my own for one of them ;)

And I'm afraid that I'm of the opinion that baking an omelette is amongst the basic skills every human should have. Along with tying shoelaces, sewing on a button, putting on a reserve wheel, &c. :)

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great drabbles! These were all really clever ones. Love the picture you took, too. So now you even have Poe's ravens after you? You ARE getting into mysteries... :)

Mystery Writing is Murder

B. Miller said...

Cool drabbles! I've given this a try but am SPECTACULARLY bad at flash fiction. The shorter it is the less able I am to get my point across. (And to think, a year ago I thought I wasn't a novel writer - ha!) Thanks for posting, this was a fun read!

Hart Johnson said...

Joris: omelettes are evil unless they are entirely buried is some very strong flavor (salsa is okay, lots of cheese... sour cream. I HATE eggs though.

Elizabeth, thank you! Yes, the crows can be quite creepy, but they're our crows. There are places here that have noise makers to scare them away...

B. I can't do a regular short story to save my life--VERY hard to get my point across that fast, but oddly, these super shorts work. My writer's group has a website devoted to drabbles (in my sidebar)
Though I read a short of yours, and it was amazing....
Funny these identity shifts. a month ago I didn't think I was a mystery writer, and now WAHOO!