Zip; SixSentenceStory

Zippery Slope

“Bill, do you know where our daughter is?”

“Of course, she’s in the backyard working on her mathematics project— she set up a zipline. Oh, relax, Liz, it’s for her Destiny Doll; all morning she’s been sending poor Destiny zipping down from the tree fort and collecting data and then is going to graph the results. What?”

“Bill, Marlie is climbing to the top of the tree with a coil of rope.”

“Oh no— that’s why she asked if it was okay for her to do higher level math!”

I wasn’t thrilled with Denise’s Six Sentence Story prompt word, “zip”, but Marlie returned with her Destiny Doll to give me six sentences, so I was able to zip a story out. Then I got to thinking more about the word zip, and have to admit it has enough applications that there’s no excuse to have zip for a Six. The word had its beginnings in the mid 19th century and was “imitative”, which is easier to spell than onomatopoeia. Did you know that zip is code for zone improvement plan? Did you know that, (according to Wikipedia anyway), Whitcomb L. Judson invented the clasp-lock fastener in 1893 and the zipper began being used for clothing in 1925? And if you have ever wondered how Denise does come up with the prompt word, zip over to this interview from 2019 to find out about word selection and more from our venerable host.

Saddle Up Saloon; Howdy, Kerry E. B. Black

Heard of the Saddle Up Saloon? This week it’s where you can visit with authorbloggermothermartialartistmetalworkerandmore Kerry E. B. Black. Come by and say howdy!

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

“Ya know Kid, this here saloon thet Shorty set up fer us has been a lotta fun.”

“Sure has, Pal. I’ve injoyed the other fictional characters that come through.”

“Yep. An’ I’ve injoyed the real folks have come through an’ taken the stage, those thet read fer Five at the Mic, an’ the writers an’ other artists thet come by ta tell us ‘bout their work.”

“Well then yer gonna be happy ‘bout our first guest a the new year, Pal.”

“Who is it?”




“Someone I’ve heard of?”


“Gimme more hints.”

Herd of Nightmares.”

“Course I’ve heard of nightmares, Kid. Heck, I bunk with one.”

“Ha, ha Pal. Okay… Fairy Herds and Mythscapes.”

“Herds a fairies? Are you misspeakin’ Kid? Jist tell me all ready who this week’s guest is.”

“This week’s guest is none other than long time Rancher an’ Rough Writer…

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Kid Interviewed; facts on the fictional ranch hand

So, I went by tnkerr’s place and was hipped to a prompt by LRose, who brings us The Blog Propellant. The prompt this week is to: “Interview someone! Real or imagined. Come up with five questions and three follow-up questions to your interviewee’s answers. The Interviewer can be in first person, or a third person character.” I am featuring an interview of fictional character A. Kid, known as Kid. If you want to know more of Kid’s story go HERE. Go to The Blog Propellant for more. Who will you interview?

Interview of  A. Kid, aka Kid:

There are disclaimers that you are in fact fiction. Are you for real?

I am fer real, that is I’m pro-reality, well, mebbe not all realities, there’s some realities I’m def’nitely aginst. But yep, I’m really a real fictional character.

            What book are you in?

I ain’t in no book; I got me a real job, two jobs now. I’m a reg’lar hand at Carrot Ranch, not a Rancher or Rough Writer, but a fictional hand that takes care a chores. That shift don’t shovel itself, if ya know what I mean. An’ me an’ Pal also run the Saddle Up Saloon, a virtual waterin’ hole at the ranch, jist over the line.

If you could be in a book, any book, what book would it be?

Bet yer thinkin’ some sorta Western, ain’tcha? But funny thing is, since endin’ up as the residint greenhorn at Carrot Ranch I been rethinkin’ genre an’ tropes an’ sech. Yep, I’m willin’ ta talk like this, but we gotta ‘member a literary community knows no one time, place, or perspective. Anythin’s possible. I’m also thinkin’ my writer don’t read ‘nough fiction, an’ thinkin’ I’d ruther jist stay on the ranch than be in a book, but mebbe I’d be in somethin’ like Herman Hesse meets wild west, meets Cuckoo’s Nest. Yep, I’d git along jist fine in Howard Frank Mosher’s True Account, a novel tells ‘bout his fictional characters beatin’ Lewis an’ Clark ta the Pacific.

What’s the best thing about being a fictional character?

If my writer is payin’ attenshun she kin git me outta jist ‘bout any situation. ‘Course, if she were payin’ attenshun, she woulda kep me outta trouble in the first place, but I kin git inta trouble an’ count on gittin’ safely outta it. The worst case scenario’s been my writer cheats an’ takes an extra 99 words ta resolve my problem. Bet you real folks wish ya had it so good.

As a fictional character living and working on a virtual ranch, do you ever feel stuck?

Golly, no! First of all Carrot Ranch is boundless, a world wide literary community, so there’s lots of safe space and fascinating folks from all over. Every week there’s a new prompt so it’s never borin’. An’ ev’ry fall, in October, there’s the Rodeo, a fun flash fiction writin’ contest that’s open ta one an’ all, that’s always real excitin’. Ev’ry Tuesday there’s innerestin’ columns from dif’rent Ranchers. An’ a course there’s the Saddle Up Saloon that I’ve been runnin’ with my pal Pal since last March. We git ta meet great folks, artists of all sorts from all over, an’ we even git some other fictional characters in. ‘Cause even yer fictional characters need ta take a break now an’ agin, jist relax with those of us that git it, git away from their writers an’ the narrative. An’ there’s karaoke, which ain’t quite karaoke, an’ Five at the Mic, which is live readin’s, ‘cept they’re recorded. Tell ya what, if I was ta be stuck somewhere, couldn’t pick a better place than Carrot Ranch an’ the Saddle Up. Actually, I did pick it.

            So you never get off the Ranch or away from the Saddle Up Saloon?

Well, ever’thin’ we’ve done, me an’ Pal, is archived on the Ranch Yarn pages at our writer’s blog, ShiftnShake. An’ one time we did git away an’ blog hopped through some other prompts but it was prob’ly weird fer ever’one involved. I was glad ta git back ta the Ranch after that. But who knows, mebbe I’ll git out there agin.

What are your resolutions for the new year?

Like I said, I’m in a real good place. The real folks are real good, the other characters are lotsa fun. I been busy takin’ care a my puglet—


Well, it’s a piglet, but at first I thought it was one a them pug puppy dogs, but as the song goes, love the hog ya got, so yeah, I have ta walk the hog, an’ take care a all my kids—

You have kids?

Yep, goats, an’ they’s a lot a work, always gittin’ inta stuff, chewin’ on the poets’ tree an’ they et some a the weekly challenge submissions, but I resolve ta take better care a them an’ ta take good care a my puglet an’ ta jist keep havin’ fun with ever’one at the Ranch. I jist wanna write the occasional buckaroo-ku an’ I want folks ta come by the Saddle Up Saloon an’ jist have a good time, mebbe take the stage even. ‘Cause me an’ Pal do innerviews too ya know. Bet ya’d recognize some a the folks has been by. So yeh, I jist wanna keep on with all I got goin’ on. An’ I sure hope an’ pray fer yer real folks’ situation out there ta git better an fer y’all ta have a happy healthy 2021.

Distance; SixSentenceStory

The Six Sentence Story prompt word from Denise this week is “distance”. The task is to use that word in exactly six sentences (or stanzas, or lines) The link is open through tomorrow (the second day of 2021!) so head over to read more and to leave six sentences of your own.


The townspeople might have found it funny, but did not, that the one man who did not attend church services was the man with the least distance to travel, for Mr. Wolff’s farm was just next door to the church.

When they desired to build a newer larger church, Mr. Wolff gave them a generous amount for the old structure.

The townspeople might have found it funny, but did not, that Mr. Wolff then used the old church to shelter his flock of sheep. 

They were not amused when he used the signboard in front of the old church:

When you find your humor, God will find you.

The townspeople, realizing that it was not easy for him to be good, prayed for Mr. Wolff.

Mr. Wolff whistled a merry tune and went about his work.