Hopscotch

hopscotchBy Tom Fegan

A moment of living stunned me cold.  My attention connected to two little girls playing hopscotch on a crudely drawn pink chalk diagram in the apartment complex courtyard where I lived.  Parents played sentry as the girls giggled and skipped back and forth.  The playmates stopped to draw figures with different chalk colors.  Their imagination and faculties of play danced from their young minds.  There were no laptops or smart phones for toys, just simplicity and allowance for fun.  These little girls were liberated from the computer age.

8 thoughts on “Hopscotch

  1. Drabbles are nice and many are neat and most are very well-written, a few are exceptionally well-written and quite memorable, but too many are simply little moments of symbolism with no real action. In fact I have one that is slated for future publication, but it will be at the other end of the action spectrum, a little moment of horrific violence with no intentional symbolism. Anyone can see symbolism (a movement which was mostly out of vogue decades ago) in anything. I think a drabble should have some action, a “pop” or “snap” that makes it memorable in contrast to its brevity. There is nothing wrong with revelation, but, to my mind, it should be something truly revelatory, earth-shattering, something that enlightens in an instant. Of course that will be very difficult, but it will also be very worthwhile. I know the first response to this post will be “well, then, Mr. Smart-A__, you write one.” Okay, I will give it a shot: a moment of symbolic revelation. I do not want to throw down a challenge that I myself would not take up. It will be a while, and I will undoubtedly fail on at least the first several attempts, but I will give it a shot.

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  2. Thanks for the feedback guys, this site has been active for less than 2 months, and, frankly, we’re still figuring out our publishing criteria. The concept of “drabbling” wasn’t even a “thing” until very recently, but there is most definitely an art and science to the <100-word form. It's true that much of what we've posted doesn't adhere to the constraints of what most folks consider "story" (i.e., having a narrative "arc"), but we certainly encourage our submitters to give it a shot. I think most folks will see that it's a lot harder than it sounds. Whittling an already-short piece down to its essence is a huge (and ultimately worthwhile) challenge, we think.

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    1. I agree completely. Please don’t misunderstand my previous post. Writing a story in exactly 100 words is an exceptionally tough and challenging task. It is difficult to write one in 1,000 words or less. Once I wrote one for http://www.sixsentences.wordpress.com and writing a story in less than six lengthy sentences is very tough. Maybe I am too stuck in a traditional frame of mind. I enjoy the challenge myself, but if one receives only compliments, there is little incentive to approve. I guess I am in one of my verbose, judgmental moods today. I have learned most and benefited most from unforgiving, though fair, critiques. If I have been tough, it has been with the best of intentions. Thank you all for tolerating my day’s ranting.

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  3. I would like Mr. Fegan to know that, although there are issues with his story, he has done one of the best things a writer can do, which is to stir up discussion. If people are talking about a story, for whatever reason, it just enlarges the writer’s audience.

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  4. I like Drabble! I certainly could relate to Tom’s perspective. I live next to a park that is always abandoned. A few decades ago, it would’ve been crawling with kids 24/7. Americans are losing much in their fascination with technology. They’re losing physical fitness, an appreciation for the environment and they’re losing the wisdom of choosing criticisms and battles carefully. It’s easy to criticize when there are no social consequences. I commend Mr. Fegan on his topic. I enjoyed it.

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