Beginning July 10, Carrot Ranch will raise a barn–in the form of a new page on this site–dedicated to the recently declared Congress of Carrot Ranch Rough Writers. From an idea born in the wild west–to wrangle weekly flash fiction from 99 words each week–a global lot has galloped in with saddlebags full of writing vim and vinegar.
Think of the upcoming page as a dandified “blogs I follow” with special attention given to the unique contributions of each Rough Writer to Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction. Each writer will be introduced in sequential Thursday posts with insights to their writing process, influences and goals.
Why do this? Well, I had hoped to create a “literary community” out of practicing flash fiction. Writing is like riding a horse–we ride/write alone. We imprint our ideas, imaginings, perspectives and sense of identity upon the page and our readers reflect back their own. Yet, often we don’t get to experience full literature (reading, writing, discoursing) because we are alone in what we do.
Therefore, a literary community writes, reads and has discussions. It’s a group dynamic. Writers can trot through once in a full moon or saddle up weekly. It’s not the frequency; it’s the contribution. The Rough Writers have each exhibited the talent to write; the courtesy to read; and the intelligence to reflect, comment and discuss. This is how literature connects us.
Flash fiction–as a weekly practice–does make one a better writer. I remember saddling up my horse in spring after a winter of not riding. I felt floppy in the saddle and sore after the first few rides. By the end of summer, my legs were strong, my reflexes quick and my sense of joy in riding was maximized.
Practicing the craft of fiction regularly results in a stronger, quicker and joyful writer.
So, onto the prompt. Last week we explored exhaustion, everything from birth to dying (and beyond); from the practical to the fantastical, which included the return of a few favorite unicorns. This week, we are going to look at the result of hard work. It’s the Rocky Balboa story of getting stronger:
June 18, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about getting stronger. What hard work or practice has paid off? Has the character, setting or story changed as a result? As you continue to write, may your writing get stronger. May your words fly! Respond by noon (PST) Tuesday, June 24 to be included in the compilation.
Ready to Ride by Charli Mills
Hickok stood holding the reins of an unsaddled roan. He watched what looked like a barn-fly bobbing on the prairie horizon until it waxed into a frothing mount and rider. Hickok flexed his gloveless hands. If the Pony ever paid him he’d buy a beaded pair with fringed gauntlets. His roan nickered at the approaching relay, anticipating the mail saddle that would soon pass to his back. Every morning when Sarah gathered eggs by the corral, Hickok galloped the roan through several maneuvers. Today he’d get the chance to show her he was more than a pretty stock tender.
Rules of Play:
- New Flash Fiction challenge issued at Carrot Ranch each Wednesday by noon (PST).
- Response is to be 99 words. Exactly. No more. No less.
- Response is to include the challenge prompt of the week.
- Post your response on your blog before the following Tuesday by noon (PST) and share your link in the comments section of the challenge that you are responding to.
- If you don’t have a blog or you don’t want to post your flash fiction response on your blog, you may post your response in the comments of the current challenge post.
- Keep it is business-rated if you do post it here, meaning don’t post anything directly on my blog that you wouldn’t want your boss to read.
- Create community among writers: read and comment as your time permits, keeping it fun-spirited.
- Each Tuesday I will post a compilation of the responses for readers.
- You can also follow on Carrot Ranch Communications by “liking” the Facebook page.
- First-time comments are filtered by Word Press and not posted immediately. I’ll find it (it goes to my email) and make sure it gets posted! After you have commented once, the filter will recognize you for future commenting. Sorry for that inconvenience, but I do get frequent and strange SPAM comments, thus I filter.