A Productive New Year for Writers: 2019

Just when things are looking up, the lead buckaroo falls down. She has a vision but did not see that coming. Read this post if you need a template for your resolutions, aka, visioning.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Ho-ho-ho, or rather ha-ha-ha. 2018 seems to be getting the last laugh at me, but I’m punching back. I didn’t fall off the ends of the earth, but I did take a nasty spill down our steep basement stairs.

Good news is that I didn’t break a leg. Bad news is that I won’t be dancing for a while. Wait, I don’t dance. However, even writing or trying to sleep is excruciating and I can’t drive or walk. Friends are graciously helping me finish holiday errands, loaning me a cane, and taking me shopping with a motorized scooter. I’m laughing at the thought of trying to drive one already. I’d be more comfortable on a horse!

All week long, I had been collecting your stories for Cora Kingston and squealing with delight. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to have writers join me in making historical fiction…

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Rodeo #5: Sound and Fury Winners

The results for Rodeo #5: Sound and Fury are in. Charli Mills is wrapping up another fun and successful Flash Fiction Rodeo at Carrot Ranch. Hop over and see all the stories from all the events.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

By D. Avery

Sometimes fear, respect, and awe are the braids of one rope. Sometimes that one rope is all a buckaroo has to hang onto. Your flash should never let go of that rope.

That was my lead-in to the prompt for the final rodeo contest, the Sound and Fury. I wanted contestants to write about a dangerous situation that people willingly engage in.

I have learned so much here at the Ranch even since penning such tough talk over a month ago. The prompt was to write of danger and risk, but for many just sharing one’s writing is a risk, and to compete is an even greater risk. To be willing to face a fear, to do what is not easy to do, engenders learning and growth; it is an act of creative courage.

Creative courage is what Carrot Ranch is about. The rope here is a…

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Safe Harbor

Working-Template-for-FF-Challenges86.png   At Carrot Ranch Charli shares her passion for hunting stories in cemeteries. We might never know the story behind the marker that Cora Kingston left in memory of her friend John Yendow.  December 13, 2018, prompt: “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about Cora Kingston. You can answer any of the questions history obscures or completely make up a Cora Kingston story. Go where the prompt (and the name) leads you.”

 

A shooting star streaked across the night sky. Tears welled as Cora thought of John.

At his death she heard the sympathetic whispering. “Now they’ll never marry.”

Before his death they whispered, “When will they marry?” Maybe John was waiting until he had more to offer; maybe Cora’s parents were against the union. There was much speculation. But John and Cora clearly enjoyed each other’s company. The whispers sometimes became unkind.

Cora and John had loved one another. Now she alone knew why they would never have married.

“Rest in peace, dearest friend,” Cora whispered to the starlit night.

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Giant Problem

His obsession with golf had become a giant problem.

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Then a giant became his problem.

When he awakened a sleeping giant while playing disc golf in the forest he was made an offer he couldn’t refuse. His life would be spared but he must teach the giant to play golf- after coming up with the equipment.

A machinist, he had a ball making the iron. A perfectionist, he made sure everything about the ball itself was in proportion; the diameter, weight, even the dimples. After many calculations and much puttering, it was finished.

Tee time. What could possibly go wrong?

****

The photo is by Douglas M. MacIlroy . The prompt is from Rochelle for Friday Fictioneers

The Artist

Uh, I added another 99 words to the original response to the Carrot Ranch graffiti prompt.

ShiftnShake

working-template-for-ff-challenges84.pngAt Carrot Ranch a post about winter lake snow storms and artistic collaboration led to a prompt about graffiti. “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about graffiti. It can be an artist, art or the medium itself. Get out your can of spray paint and go where the prompt leads you.”  You might recognize the school secretary in this double 99 word story. Hint: after school she’s going to have a beer or two in  a two bay garage with her friends Ernest and Marge

“Ms. Higginbottom, you do recall that I’m the principal?”

“Bob, I’m not calling.”

“Graffiti can’t be tolerated. And you know this boy has problems.”

“And suspension’s a solution, Bob?”

“What can be done, Ms. Higginbottom?”

“Pull him from Health and Geography. Put him in Art, Theatre Workshop.”

“Health and Geography are required courses!”

“I see more of him than…

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The Artist

working-template-for-ff-challenges84.pngAt Carrot Ranch a post about winter lake snow storms and artistic collaboration led to a prompt about graffiti. “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about graffiti. It can be an artist, art or the medium itself. Get out your can of spray paint and go where the prompt leads you.”  You might recognize the school secretary in this double 99 word story. Hint: after school she’s going to have a beer or two in  a two bay garage with her friends Ernest and Marge

 

“Ms. Higginbottom, you do recall that I’m the principal?”

“Bob, I’m not calling.”

“Graffiti can’t be tolerated. And you know this boy has problems.”

“And suspension’s a solution, Bob?”

“What can be done, Ms. Higginbottom?”

“Pull him from Health and Geography. Put him in Art, Theatre Workshop.”

“Health and Geography are required courses!”

“I see more of him than those teachers do, they send him to the office so often. He’s going to have to repeat them anyway, so let him learn to like school first. Channel his artistic ability.”

“You’ve already made the schedule changes, haven’t you?”

“Yes.”

****

“Administrative Assistants should not be making these sorts of decisions. I’ll remind you again that you work for me.”

“When you hired me you said everyone here worked for the students. Everyone. I figured I’d assist you in assisting this kid to stay in school where he belongs.”

“Ms. Higginbottom… You are neither an educator nor a guidance counselor.”

“You said that everyone in your school is a teacher and a learner.”

“Yes, but…”

“We can put a brush in his hand and a canvas in front of him or send him away with his spray can.”

“Oy. Okay.”

Waking

working-template-for-ff-challenges82.pngA second attempt for the Carrot Ranch November 29, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase “into the dark.” What must a character face? Write about an encounter, journey, relationship, or quest. Follow the ship’s lights on gloomy seas. Go where the prompt leads you” by December 4, 2018.

What could be darker than a funeral? Marge’s mother has passed. 

 

Waking, D. Avery

Regret is darkest dark, long and lonely night; dawn must crack within your heart, forgiveness be your light.”

“Lloyd’s a poet.”

“Look, Ilene, Marge is hugging the air right outta your boy toy.”

“I’m his muse.”

“You’re his cougar, Ilene. Least his poetrics stopped Marge’s blubbering.”

“Shut up, Nard. Besides, you were as upset as any of us. Billy.

“I’m a poet. You just don’t know it. Into the dark, six feet of dirt, no more worry, no more hurt.

“Nard…”

“Lloyd’s right though. Poor Marge needed closure. She’s more upset over Betty’s life than her death.”

“Billy lives!”

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