Pump up the pen

On Wednesday morning, I was reviewing a short, flash fiction (only 100 words) and I noticed that there didn’t seem to be an end. I brought it up with the author, and he informed me that it was a “drabble”.  To find a definition, look in wikipedia.com, this is where I found it.   So intrigued by the Idea that I thought I was up for the challenge.

Early Thursday, my friend and I were discussing ice cream flavors that will never be released, and I came up with the theme for my drabble; unusual food combinations.  I brought this idea up with someone else, and his response was less than enthusiastic, “That is the stupidest waste of time I’ve ever heard of.” Then he proceeded to tell me that his wife has written three books and she would never waste her time doing anything that frivolous.

I thought about his reaction, and couldn’t figure out why a drabble would be considered as a “waste of time”, and his worrying about things he can’t control, is important enough to talk about for two hours.

Each person has a talent, but that talent needs to be exercised.  With runners, it’s jogging.  With sketch artists and painters, it’s drawing shapes for hours (My mom, a painter, explained that one to me).  With writers, it’s more writing, ANY writing.

Exercise is about strengthening more than just the body; It’s also about strengthening the mind.  A drabble is a writing exercise that strengthens your ability to convey an obscure idea within the limits of a very specific amount of words.  As I found out on Thursday afternoon, it’s also a lot of fun.  Writing a poem exercises the ability to convey meaning with descriptive language, and rhythm.  Regardless what kind of writing you do, you are exercising your ability to write.  The other word for this is, of course, practice.

Without practice, our talent quickly becomes unnoticeable to others, and forgotten by us.  My nephew is quickly working his way to becoming one of the fastest guitarists ever. That’s not a biased comment, as you might think.  He practices four hours a day, watching the fastest guitarist and keeping up with his playing.

I think a better word for talent would be aptitude.  Just because you have an aptitude for something, doesn’t mean you’re naturally better than anyone else, it just means that you would be willing to work harder than anyone else to get it right.

For me, writing and photography are my two talents, and I try to exercise both on a daily basis.  This person who called the idea of a drabble a “waste of time” doesn’t have to spend his days writing, his job is watching a door that hardly ever opens, and delivering newspapers to tenants at six in the morning; to me, an incredible waste of time. (just joking)

Challenge: Try to learn new ways to exercise your talents, and spend time daily practicing.


Every Monday, early in the morning, the Little China Asian Market of Portland, Maine receives a fresh shipment of sea food, especially squid.  Pleased with his purchase, John Palmer walked in the door, whistling cheerfully.  He put the bag from the Asian market on the kitchen counter.
John took a half pound of squid, and placed it on the cutting board.  He chopped it up using his sharpest pare knife, and put it in a small bowl.
He then opened the freezer and took out a pint of Chunky Monkey ice cream.  “Ah,” he thought, “a meal made in Heaven.”

A drabble by

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