Cherry Gripe

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Cherry Gripe

I am absolutely appalled.

I have seen three long-time Talers having a bit of a meltdown recently. OP, myself and now Fatboy. He took a slight personally, though it wasn't intended towards him.

Somebody was talking about people getting undeserved cherries.

Fatboy feeling the slight was aimed at him (I read the post and thought it might be aimed at me, anybody else with more than one cherry would probably instantly think the same) made the grand gesture of offering the slighter the chance to de-cherry any of his work that they didn't feel worthy.

The slighter gleefully took the slightee up on his offer and went trotting off to de-cherry his work.

Yes, we can all shout that the Eds administer cherries unfairly, all work is subjective, until they come up with a fairer way of doing it, that's the way it is.

But fat boy, love,... you were awarded those cherries because one of the Eds thought that you'd written something that they deemed to be better than the average on the site. You wrote, you posted and you earned every one of those cherries. They are yours by right. Personally, I'm opposed to anybody taking them from you.

Isn't picking somebody at random to de-cherry you, exactly the same as the original grievance, that it is the opinion of one person? If one Ed awards you a cherry and somebody objects to it, and then one person strips you of that cherry because they feel that you didn't deserve it, surely that is one and the same grievance and the taking of your cherries is just hypocritical.

Cherries are given by merit... I don't think anybody should have the right to take another users cherries. Please keep hold of all your cherries FB.

What happens next? Does somebody then strip the slighter of all their cherries?

And for people who think that the cherry system is unfair... there are plenty of writing sites that don't have 'awards'of any kind.

I agree totally with you Sooz006. FB is a GREAT writer as are many on this ABC SITE. And I look upon the cherries as a very nice way for the editors to say one deserves a pat on the back for a special insight which was perhaps very creative in its newness. Thank you editors for your time, patience and encouragement in awarding these cherries. In my own case, some may say I write a massive amount and I do. My mind is a whirlwind of ideas and must get them on paper. Thankfully, ABC allows me to share them. And one day I hope to be in a position to give them some financial help to keep their site on-site for others to be able to post, for a long time. So come on any who critique too severely. Be pleased with your own creative work. Notice the number of people who have read your work, and they are from all over the world. Imagine. And don't expect comments all the time, simply enjoy the gift God gave you, and for your desire to enhance it. Esther and Richard send best wishes to all their ABC friends.
Richard L. Provencher
Can't say I understand the cherry system. I didn't when I joined over a year ago and left, and after re-joining still don't. To me it's not important, getting pieces read and commented on is what I want. If that doesn't happen then there's no point in posting on here or any other writing site. However, if the Eds give cherries, as far as I can see they should be the only ones to take them away as it was their decision . . . for whatever reason. (I think I've heard this discussion before somewhere)


I largely agree with Sooz and Richards' comments. I feel the cherry system is good, in that it gives a writer something to aim for. The thrill of seeing my own stuff being read on this site is reward in itself as Richard says, and getting cherries is the icing on the cake. Or the cherry on the icing. In fact the 'slighter' has already indicated support for the cherry system, and recognises the difficult job the Editors have, admitting to being unqualified to 'pick'. Fatboy74 is indeed a wonderful writer. I have read most of what he has posted on here and am humbled by his talent. If I were a 'picker' I reckon I'd have picked all those already cherried and then some. I have to say that discovering ABCtales and its community has been therapy for me, and has helped me through the last sad and very difficult year. Long may it continue.


This is a perennial. I've never had a cherry for any of my poetry that I know to be fabulous. Thank god I can write prose!
I'm still new to the site so i doubt i have much business in here. But surely these cherry awards are, in the grand scheme of things, just another person saying they like your work? I'm thankful to have some lovely feedback from people which is just as valuable i think.


Indrani Ananda Sooz006 I think my Cherrygripe poem and Fatboy74's comments have prompted this from you, but I don't think you have fully grasped why I wrote it in the first place. You seem to be very involved with the politics of the whole thing rather than the face-value. In the last stanza of my 'gripe' I wrote: "for all the world to see ......", ie. first impressions, outward appearances. A newcomer to this site will see cherries as badges of merit, small rewards for writing an outstanding poem - a gold star for pleasing the professors at the top. Now when I first read people's work on here the distribution of them seemed to be 'average' overall, until I found that some people were getting cherries for practically everything they sent in. At first, I thought, "Blimey, they must be very good indeed to get all those," but on closer scrutiny those cherries did not live up to the wall-to-wall genius which they promised. There were several poems and stories on these pages which I found were just 'competent', not impressive, and it appeared they were being 'favoured' either because of the writer's popular reputation, or just for the sake of continuity. I can't cite examples because of name-dropping. At the other end of the scale there were cherry-bleak pages containing some very excellent work which had not, perhaps, struck a chord in the Readers' range of partiality. It beggars belief that some individuals can be awarded a cherry for every little anecdote or saga sent in that one wonders how many times Shakespeare and his ilk have been re-incarnated to be able to pull this off! It's only clip-art, after all, and whether the Readers are stingey with them or not makes no difference, but alas, the word "trophies" springs to mind, which in turn is promoting an intangible stratum of elitism on here. A golden cherry award for who's got the most will be next, I suppose. I have noticed that those with a good harvest of fruit seem very supportive of this regime. If one receives a cherry it's very encouraging and ego-boosting; If one doesn't it's neither here nor there unless continuously - then it becomes discouraging. It's when they become "automatic" that speculation kicks in. Even so, I have found just four people so far who, in my opinion, genuinely deserve the large number of cherries they have acquired, because they are truly brilliant poets. Chain cherries are an anomaly unless the poet posting is an infallible genius in the eyes of the 'Readers" who likewise in their own role, must prove to be infallible too! It's amazing the cherry-police are still rampant after all these years - I've found numerous gripes on pages of the forum going way back to the early days. I have often wondered if one of the aforementioned cherrymasters posted one of my uncherried poems to their site as if it were their own work, would an image of the red fruit become manifest? Could William Blake, Keats, Tagore or Shelley pull a cherry? ..........Don't think so. Indrani.

Indrani Ananda

Maybe we should have another award.. the sour grape. The site is never going to please all of the people all of the time. That's a given. The people who have cherries like the system. Is it therefor generic that the people who don't have cherries (yet)are the ones who shout loudest about cherry rigging? The simple fact is, that the ed who read a particular piece, liked it. Cherry'd it and moved on. You find the same piece unworthy. Two opinions, two view points. Surely people who haven't yet been given one can see it as something to work towards. I did, and since getting my first one I always strive to produce worthwhile writing, as does everybody on the site. Another point worth noting is that I was told that cherries aren't always given because the piece is fantastic, sometimes they are awarded because the member has made significant progress. If a writer improves, their work may still be far inferior to, for instance, the four poets you were impressed by, but if they have improved in their own portfolio a cherry may be given as encouragement to continue. But.... nothing in your post has any relevance to mine. I wasn't talking about the good or bad of cherries. I was annoyed that one member of the site felt that they could strip cherries from another (even with the member's permission because he felt slighted) The old argument about which pieces deserve cherries and which don't will go on time immemorial.


Indrani Ananda We have differing opinions, you and I, Sooz006. You are a writer of stories; you have a column of cherries therefore your boosted ego sure is pleased with itself! You are a good writer and should be content with that (if you follow your own advice), but how would you feel if you had not been awarded well over half your work's worth of cherries? As for this supposition that cherries may be given for "improvements or progress of quality" in someone's work, that's only the case if we post-as-we-write. We are not in school, though the Readers hover over us whether we like it or not. If they want to act as teachers they should give us marks or write a critique. When I found this site I just posted work randomly from my portfolio of poems and songs written over several years. I write what I write in my own style like others do, and the fact that some of my teenage poems have received cherries blows your argument out of the water. Perhaps, at the end of the day, they should grade the pesky things - Sour grapes for those who get none; cherrystones for budding novices, red cherries for the racy stuff, black cherries for the melancholy; cherry tomatoes for the greedy - right up to cherry brandy for the genius calibre among us! Whatever, but they sure do interfere with the number of times work is read - people are persuaded to read 'cherrypicked' in preference to those left plain. It's a shame someone hijacked this argument, it has detracted from what I originally set out to say. Indrani.

Indrani Ananda

Indrani Ananda Good point, FTSE100. Poems and songs are interchangeable, a song is, after all a poem set to music. Music is usually described and presented in a category or genre, so is art in galleries, but poetry just seems to be all jumbled together, thereby endorsing the subjectiveness of its appeal. Maybe we should have categories of style on here rather than subject. This is the root of the cherry debate - we are being persuaded to read what is considered to be outstanding by someone else's opinion rather than being allowed to decide our own preferences. Indrani

Indrani Ananda

Just my opinion- I'm younger than most of the people here, and I only recently joined. What I like about the site is that I am able to get feedback on my work! That is the most important part for me, personally. I have not got any cherries yet, but it is something that motivates me, however, only to an extent. I write for my own pleasure and that of others, not for rewards. Realistically, I do not ever expect to get published, though that would be wonderful. So yes, cherries/the opinions of the editor do matter to me, but I am not heartbroken due to the fact that I have no cherries yet. The bottom line: I am neutral in this argument, but I just don't think that cherries should be the motive for our writing. I have received feedback and encouragement on this site that I have never before obtained anywhere else. Natalia

Natalia :)

And still you go on about the system of cherry picking. My 'hijack' was, as I have patiently tried to point out, on a different matter, which is why I had the good manners to take it away from your piece and onto the forums where all cat fights should be thrashed out. Usually, by about the second volley, both parties start to look just a little bit childish and silly and by the tenth are acting like a pair of dickheads who should be sent to the naughty step I've made my point, I didn't like the way that you and another person (mainly the other) were more than happy to strip third member of his cherries if you deemed them unworthy. On the plus side this will have garnered loads of reads for your piece and, with luck, one of the eds will come and give you a cherry (that you clearly don't want.) The great Cherry debate has run since the site began and will continue to do so. Opinions are like smiles, we all have one (I made a minor adjustment of anatomy there) I'm going to use mine and bow out of this one.


Indrani Ananda Sooz006 One last rant, which I should have mentioned last night. You did me a favour by removing this episode to the Forum, as the lady in question altered the whole nature of the discussion, and I appreciate this. She has revealed in her writing that her opinion on cherry-getting has changed somewhat. However good or bad this is she has a subjective opinion which she is entitled to pass - even on the poetry of kings. You have made the wrong point because, at no time did I mention any stripping of cherries from another person's site. That would be spiteful. I was not invited to participate in such a venture, it was the Reader himself who invited this lady as an equal to manage some kind of appraisal of his cherry awards. This was an extremely noble gesture on his part, and it would be undiplomatic of her to take up his offer in this instance. You have revealed yourself as a member who potentially helps to build pedestals for the 'elite' I mentioned in an earlier post, because with all your cherries you must feel entitled to consider yourself part of that trophy - achieving hierarchy. There must be a grain of truth in this, otherwise you would not have been outraged at the Reader's offer to have his work de- cherried in this way. What a gentleman he has proved to be - he has made himself real to us, and does not masquerade in the shadows like the other anonymous phantoms. Whether "loads of reads" have been garnered is another matter - it was just another poem. But, as it was not jocular, like some other people's on this subject, you must have deemed it too close to the truth to avoid becoming 'outraged' at some of the points I made. Indrani

Indrani Ananda

There is seldom "just another poem" on this site...everybody is trying and good on them! Some get a lot of cherries because their work is worth it- those who don't get a lot of cherries just have to try a bit harder- it helps reading others stuff and especially the cherry-picked to get some good hints as to what good writing is...Yes all the Eds have different tastes and that is only an advantage for the writers. With the several Eds who read everybody's stuff you have a wide range of cherry-picking quality. Of course it is about the cherries- how else do you know whether you have something outstanding and can use it to keep on writing good stuff. Sometimes one of your pieces may just not be "good enough" for a cherry and that you just have to accept. We don't have Eds who worship some particular writers. Editting is voluntary but it demands time and energy and I think we shoulod take our hats off to the Eds and leave them to the cherry picking. (flag something of course if you really mean it to be cherry worthy- this is an option everyone on the site has and that is pretty fair!)
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