“I am loving everything about this homeschooling, Liz—mostly the fact that it is at your home and your husband is the teacher and that after school pick up includes a patio drink with you.”

“I need a drink after the shock of coming home to my front lawn all torn up; apparently our pupils are planning a butterfly garden as a part of their studies of migration. Oh, and look, here comes a scruffy refugee now on his migratory route through the shrubbery.”

“Um, so the border’s still open; I thought Tommy’s father was going to close it.”

“Not yet, so there’s still hope for our little emigrant.”

“Yes, let’s hope, for though it’s hard to believe, even an ungainly caterpillar has wings to fly.”


six sentence story copy The word I heard from Denise at GirlieOntheEdge was “migration”. Then she said, just write Six Sentences. Just six! The prompt led me to write way more than that but here are just six, a sort of a snapshot from a Marlie story in the works. Recall that Marlie and her friend Sofie are getting homeschooled by her work-at-home dad. See the related stories below for more Marlie.


Simple Possessions #writephoto


balefire.jpgSimple Possessions

She had little in the way of possessions but had always possessed a keen and curious mind. When do beginnings end and endings begin, she had always wondered.

Her playthings were simple; natural materials, raw elements fired by imagination. She gathered and molded ashes and dust. She sculpted with ice, forged with fire.

What began as child’s play was her life’s work. She had seen many come to their end, seemingly forever. She would not. For as things might end, so might they begin.

She was close. She stood in the ashes. She kept playing with fire.



A 99 word response to Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt. Thank you Sue!

Rodeo #4: TUFF Beans

It’s the final Rodeo event at Carrot Ranch, and it’s a TUFF one. Play to win. No entry fee, cash prize, loads of fun.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

With Pepe Le Gume on the prowl at Carrot Ranch, I might regret prompting anything with beans. But beans hold a special place in my heart. I grew up on pinto beans, cowboy beans. A special treat was refried beans. I never had navy bean soup or chili beans or baked beans until I was an adult. Chili was a con carne served over pasta, soup was sopas, and whoever heard of maple-sweetened beans in buckaroo country? Now that I’ve had Vermont beans, I understand Pepe’s appeal.

In case you aren’t familiar with the mainstay challenges at Carrot Ranch, D. Avery created Pepe along with a host of characters in her weekly Ranch Yarns. Like beans, once a writer gets a taste for 99-words, you’ll keep coming back for more. We make sure the pot is always on at Carrot Ranch, where we create community through literary art. I…

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Character Building

“What’s the word, Bird?” Ilene asked as she returned to her desk without even glancing up at Vinny, who cawed as he slowly spread his arms and stretched his neck before tucking back into his vulture pose on the file cabinet behind her.

“The word I heard was quite absurd.”

“Do tell,” and Ilene spun her office chair around to look up at the gangly youth who used to be notorious for getting sent to the office daily but now appeared randomly and of his own volition to visit with her.

“Ah, Ms. Higginbottom, you know how it is, my living legend status means I’m still a target. That fossil they have teaching geography can’t stand that I got out of her class, still hunts me down in the halls, can’t wait for me to mess up; guess she needs someone like me to be correcting and disciplining, makes her feel all righteous.”

“She probably thinks she’s doing it for your own good, Vinny, she’s a bit of a legend too, in her own mind.”


six sentence story copy


Here is a second entry for Six Sentence Stories, brought to us by Denise of GirlieOnTheEdge. The prompt word is “legend”. This is Ilene Higginbottom who first met this young man at her job interview HERE, and who helped him out in her role as school administrative assistant HERE. You can get to know Ilene and her friends HERE.

Lost Legend

six sentence story copyBlue-green veins, raised rivers, gully the topography of work worn hands. Parchment skin, brown stained translucence, is crinkled and cracked. Cast tracks edge pewter seas of fog-strewn eyes. Sinewy lines map a history, mark a long life, deeply etched yet inscrutable, the mystery undecipherable.

Something is torn, there’s a missing piece; the legend to the map is gone. Treasure remains hidden, mysteries unresolved.


The Six Sentence Story prompt word is “legend”. Come Wednesday you can share your six sentence story at the linkup at GirlieOntheEdge

More Quilling– Lighthouses

I am showing off more of my friend’s artwork. Check Bonnie out here

The Great Point Light, built in 1785, was destroyed by fire in 1816 and rebuilt. In 1984 it was undone through erosion and destroyed by storm and again rebuilt. It remains today, though without any keeper’s house. 

Sankaty Head  Light was built in 1849 and was the first U.S. lighthouse to have a Fresnel lens, making it extremely powerful. The lens was replaced by aerobeacons in 1950. It was automated in 1965, though the keepers’ residencies remained until 1992. In 2007 the lighthouse was moved farther back from the eroding bluff that has claimed many houses in the past three decades.


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Great Point Lighthouse – Nantucket
Sankaty Lighthouse – Nantucket   

Nantucket is an island located off the coast of Cape Cod.  Often shrouded in fog, it’s lighthouses have safely guided many a vessel through treacherous waters.

Truro lighthouse

The community of Truro is located on the outer cape.  It’s lighthouse is the tallest and oldest one on Cape Cod.

Rodeo #3: Three-Act Story

What’s the story? The third rodeo event would have you tell it in three acts, 99 words. No entry fee, cash prize. Write on!

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

What is a story? We all tell them, and as writers, we craft them in the written word. A story is about Something that happens to Someone, Somewhere. It’s plot, character, and setting. A story has a beginning, middle, and end. Because we are hardwired for stories, we retain data better from narrative. Storytelling is in my blood.

When I was a kid, my mother ran a general mercantile in a town of 99 people. One of those 99 was Eloise Fairbanks, a one-eyed shut-in born in 1908. Her father operated the water mill, and when she was a young woman, she rode the backcountry of the Sierra Nevadas as a telegraph lineman. Weezy, as she was called, would call the store and order a six-pack of Coors. My job was to pedal the brown bag over to her house. She’d holler for me to come in when I knocked…

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dverselogoIt’s a haibun Monday at d’Verse, and Frank J. Tassone is serving. On this dubious day of remembrance we are asked to use “indigenous” as our prompt word. Here’s where that prompt led me. 


You have displaced me. You have disparaged and disowned me. You have left me behind, left me out, left me for dead.

Now you seek me out, entreat me to take up with you again; beseech me to be your guide. You’re beginning to realize that the knowledge you sought cannot replace my innate wisdom.

No matter where you are, I am native to your place. I am native to you; I am your indigenous self. But somehow you have lost your way. You cry for me, the child you once were.

I cry for you. I have reason to be wary, yet I appear, hopeful you will listen, hopeful I can lead you back.

all lost in conquest

interior landscapes razed

wild voice echoing

Comfortably Off

She actually won the lottery. Not millions. But thousands, enough to make some changes. She walked through her home, taking stock.

She would have the bathroom totally renovated. She didn’t mind the bedroom, but would get a new mattress. The downstairs floors could use refinishing. Maybe upgrade the appliances, at least get the dishwasher repaired.

She thoughtfully surveyed the living room. Without taking his eyes from the television her husband told her to not even think about replacing his recliner.

That was not what she was thinking of replacing.


An 89 word story for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #127. The prompt word is “replace”.

Rodeo #2: Pro-Bull Mashup

Hang on to your hats! The second Carrot Ranch rodeo event has begun. Give free rein to your creativity. This free writing contest will have you spinning and bucking.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Where else would you find a bull-riding flash fiction 99-word contest but at Carrot Ranch? Come on, all you pencil crunchers, gather ’round and listen to a  tale.

My dad rode bulls. His dad and his dad’s dad rode bulls. My second great-grandfather wore high-heeled vaquero boots in an 1880s photograph, and while I have no more evidence than those boots, I suspect he rode bulls, too. When you grow up around ranch critters, you ride everything that will hold your weight (you can’t ride a chicken, but you can ride a pig).

Getting bucked off is fun, or so you grow up believing. Your relatives and their friends, congregate in the corrals, hold down a critter, set you on it, hoot like crazy throughout your ride, and dust you off when you faceplant in the dirt and critter-pies.

Following this generational bent, I wanted to ride bulls, too. I…

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