I am a fairly verbose writer who’s long been wedded to my nonfiction status and believed myself incapable of writing fiction.
But on just my second try, my bite-sized piece of fiction has been accepted by The Drabble, a blog featuring fiction, nonfiction, and poetry of 100 words or fewer. That’s quite nice, so I’d like to tell you about it.
The story began a few months ago, when I’d been blogging for just about a year. Suddenly, a strange black ink blot sort of thing appeared in my email. Some of you may recognize it, as it inspired my first Drabble effort, titled “What Is…?,” published here on July 1.
That ink blot, which I find ominous, is The Drabble avatar. They’re kinda mysterious there, so I’m not sure who’s behind The Drabble. Whoever he/she/they are (I’ll go with “they”), they had “liked” two of my lengthy nonfiction pieces.
I looked them up, and I then learned from other sources about the fascinating literary history of the drabble (going back to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and including a foray by Monty Python, as I explained here, in the Note beneath “What Is…?”). So I decided to try.
I sent “What Is…?” to The Drabble and, true to their word, they responded within a month. That one didn’t work for them, but they encouraged me to try again.
This effort occurred just as I was becoming aware (in a “Duh!” moment) that I was surrounded by short fiction. Indeed, “flash fiction”—brief little stories—are all the rage in the blogosphere.
I’ve since also become acquainted with fictional “prompts” that offer writers the challenge of weaving tales around individual words, photos, or maxims, with story limits set at 25 words, 37 words, and the like.
I’ve never tried one, but people seem to enjoy composing them. Turns out there are oodles of writers conjuring lots and lots of teensy tales—many of them very good.
And here I must mention Tetiana and Tony, who blog together as “Unbolt Me” and surely take the virtual prize: they often write stories that are six words long. As I suggested to them in a comment, six-word stories seem to me like hijacked haiku and come dangerously close to being a blank page. Yet they do it–provocatively!
I now see that there are even prompts for six-worders, and the prolific Fandango, who’s full of fun and ingenuity, frequently responds to those. There are undoubtedly many others dabbling diminutively whose talents I haven’t yet had the pleasure to discover.
But I digress. I published my second short fictional post on my blog in August and called it “The Limitation of Limits.” It is actually a satire on the genre.
Fortunately, The Drabble folks have a sense of humor because they informed me a few days ago that they’d accepted it for publication, and it would appear that very afternoon.
Again true to their word, it did appear. For one day “The Limitation of Limits” was the most prominent Drabble on their post.
Each day, a newly featured Drabble assumes that premium real estate. So if you check out my Drabble there, you now have to look under “Older Posts.” (It’s dated October 31, 2019.) And if you like it, please feel free to click Like—and comment if you so choose. Here’s the link.
The Drabble printed my original post verbatim, albeit with a different illustration from mine (above), and the descriptor I provided:
“After decades writing what others asked of me, I am thrilled to have the freedom to follow my curiosity wherever it takes me. Not incidentally, I’ve always wanted my words to change the world—preferably for the better!” – the writer
Thanks to all of you for your continuing support through thick prose, thin fiction—and a smattering of poetry. Who knows what’ll spring up here next? I certainly don’t, though I have some ideas and works in progress. Last week it was my confessions of beetlecide (concluding with my first haiku).
I try to stay true to my self-imposed mission–and hope you think I hit the mark more often than not: to encourage “Dialogue to Inform, Enlighten, and/or Amuse You and Me.” Stay tuned…