April 13Rain is misting like sprinkles from a watering can. Sphagnum peat moss is greening a different shade than blades of new grass. Buds and blossoms are near to bursting, and daffodils popped up overnight. The morel mushroom flush is right behind the yellow indicator flowers. This is spring as I think of it in the Inland Pacific Northwest, not the hot dry days we encountered in 2015.

How odd that the year it feels like a normal spring, normal is far from my doorstep.

Real estate agents and buyers poke through my closets. Our property managers continue to cheerfully tell  us we can leave…any time. I’m in no hurry to pack; I have nowhere to go, yet. The Hub leaves tomorrow for Reno after accepting a year-long contract at a Nevada airport. He’s leaving; I’m staying and writing my way through. Several magazines and clients currently have me busy, and I’m reminded that I’m living life on my own terms. It’s my new normal.

In the morning flurry of tasks — an 1,800 word article due to an editor, profiles to polish for a client and edits to make for a floundering publication — I received a great gift. Rough Writer, Lisa Reiter, sent a Guest Post for today’s prompt! Without further dithering about daffodils, duties and dilemmas, I turn the Ranch over to one of the rock solid Ranch Hands. Thanks for the offer to help!


LisaApril 13: Flash Fiction Challenge Guest Post

By Lisa Reiter, Sharing the Story

I’m a problem solver and I try hard to solve my own problems. Part of this is due to a supposition that no-one else is going to solve my predicament or botheration quite like I can myself — and a lot of the time that’s true. It’s just a lot of the time, sharing a problem, means others can help you shape that botheration until it’s more of a pussycat or just come along the road a little way and keep you company while you extract yourself from the predicament.

I’m not very good at asking for help for other reasons. Sometimes I don’t want to burden people with something that brings them down — I can’t see any benefit in that for me. Many’s the time a friend has pleaded that they would do anything so please let them. Even knowing and finally accepting this, sometimes I just never think to ask. It is because I’m a survivor and perhaps I am a survivor because of being like that.

Lately I’m learning that you can sometimes frame an issue to make something useful out of it for someone else. An old friend who is an excellent Leadership Coach, Developer, Trainer and near Guru managed to re-frame a writing task she had been procrastinating for months, package it up and sell it to me. I’ve both hated and loved it. Learned a load and I am grateful for being given her ‘problem.’

So when I saw that the Boss at the Carrot Ranch was having a bit of trouble with the stabling, I knew she’d be flying around bareback trying to keep everything going — perhaps not imagining any way in which anyone else would gladly help. It hit me — in a flash — I realised I could help with a little bit of maintenance around the place and love the challenge of writing a fiction prompt! What’s more I knew a whole bunch of others that would gladly lend a hand.

So bear with us, some weeks there’s going to be a rough ride with a Rough Writer from somewhere around these parts but probably not Idaho. I went and made the crazy suggestion that we help out at the Ranch with a few guest flash prompts. We hope you’ll join in.

April 13, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about offering to help someone. What’s their situation? What’s yours? Do they think they need help? How is it received? Could you be misinterpreted?

Respond by April 19, 2016 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here. All writers are welcome!


Flash Fiction by Lisa Reiter

“Call me,” I said walking out the door. I always said call me. She never did. I said it again knowing now it was an empty offer, just an exchange that eased the parting. She hadn’t long left and we were playing the game, the dance around the truth — dealing out stock phrases that were all part of the expected moves.

Call me.

She didn’t.

I knew she wouldn’t. No-one would know except me. I was suddenly afraid what that would mean when she’d gone. My guilt would define our friendship.

I picked up the phone.

“It’s me.”


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