April 6: Flash Fiction Challenge

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at CarrotRanch.com. She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

April 7, 2017

Our blast off from Mars was a bust. We did progress, successfully hitching our trailer to our truck, hoping never do they part. Logistically, living in a home on wheels is complicated. Our RV is licensed in Utah, but insured in Washington (state) where the Hub’s primary VA care is located right next door to Idaho where our household belongings are stored. That’s also where our car is registered, but our new truck is temporarily tagged in Kansas. Before we had lift off, I purchased a mail forwarding service. Our mailing address is Florida. We hope to arrive in Michigan by May, via Kansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Don’t get lost yet, we still have the southwest to traverse. The ranch truck has some dance moves known on the disco highways as the Dodge Death Wobble. It’s not actually deadly; it merely feels that way when the vibration strikes. Pulling a 16 ton RV, we want more waltzing and less jitterbugging. Thus we decided to avoid the high mountain passes of Interstate 70. We headed south, forgetting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is over 8,000 feet in elevation. We wound up, then down and followed the edge of the colorful Vermilion Cliffs on the other side.

I wondered if this was the beginning of the Grand Canyon, but when we arrived at Lees Ferry and crossed the Colorado River, it was already in a deep gorge. I glanced once, feeling slightly dizzy, and remembered that water formed the Grand Canyon. Think down as deep as mountains rise up. The truck and trailer honeymooned well, sticking together through the ups and downs. I wanted to stop at a cute desert town in northern Arizona, but the Hub was feeling the call of the road. That was before the North Rim. Along the Vermilion Cliffs, we saw plenty of pullouts on BLM public lands. By the time it was dusk, the Hub checked the running lights of the trailer and none turned on.

We couldn’t stop, because we were, by then, on the Navajo Reservation. We had no choice but to drive through and I kept the car close to the rear of the trailer to keep it illuminated. Each town on the map where we hoped to rest turned out to be tiny outposts of the reservation. We found a gas station and kept driving. It was pitch black, the kind of dark you’d never see a black Angus steer on the road. Thankfully, the Navajo raise sheep. Then the road began to buckle in what’s known as frost heaves. The Dodge never did its dance, but I felt we were free-styling across the plateau, and I wanted off the dance floor. I couldn’t even call the Hub on my cell phone because we had no service.

29 miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, the trailer belched black smoke, smelling of smoldering rubber. I flashed my blinkers and lights, trying to catch the Hub’s eye. He pulled over in an abandoned motel parking lot of red gravel where several semis were parked. I told the Hub about the smoke and he didn’t think it was the trailer but rather something “back there.” Wishful thinking. We are not so lucky as to bypass someone else’s smoldering rubber. While he walked the dog around the lot I shined my light on the tires. I found two oddly together; an unwelcome union.

With so many places to represent, we are not off to a stellar starship start.

The steel frame beneath the trailer busted. Day One, and we are broke down on the rez. Day Two dawned after a fitful night in our cramped trailer (no electricity to expand the slides). My office exploded. Never again will I think a printer “heavy enough” to stay in place and now I understand why the cupboards all have big latches — except my office cupboards. It’s a minor miracle the shelves and books inside didn’t smash the pretty etched glass or that the printer which went airborne at one point, didn’t bust like the frame. Books littered the couch and floor between the desk and couch. The sight demoralized me. With the dog tucked between us, we retreated to our bed.

Day Two dawned crisp and sunny on Naabeeho Binahasdzo, the 27,000 acre Navajo Reservation of the Colorado Plateau, bringing with it the the hope of a new day. Volcanic activity is recent here, surviving the oral history of the Navajo and Apache, who both came here around 1350. They parted ways as sub-groups, one raising desert sheep, the others developing one of the most impressive warrior tribes of North America. While the Navajo were more peaceful, they were warriors, too and once harassed the Mormon pioneers back on Mars (southern Utah). Both tribes preceded the Pueblo culture who dwelled in apartment-like structures on the cliff faces of the southwest, including the Grand Canyon, and Zion. The Navajo refer to themselves as the Dine — the People.

Among the Dine, we’ve enjoyed pinto beans, stew and fry bread. Fry bread is the ambrosia of this culture and how you eat the lamb stew, beans or thinly sliced grilled meat. Yet, I’m stuck at Burger King because it’s the only place with internet. The Hub has worked most of the day on the trailer, trying to lower the axle so we can limp it into Flagstaff, the nearest city with services. A few truckers have stopped to advise him, and one gave him the name of a welder. Our nephew in Kansas advised us on the type of weld it needs to be. And Good Sam is as worthless as the insurance they sold us. We specifically purchased through them to be protected in a situation like this. Not so.

I’ll spare you all a sermon on the ills of American insurance, health, RV or otherwise. Suffice to say the Hub has to fix it himself. Another trucker got him in touch with a place that rents welders, hat and gloves. The Hub is not a happy camper. The poor dog is a nervous wreck. She doesn’t understand why the trailer “shrunk” and it scares her. I’ve found my happy place at Burger King. It’s in a beautiful, though small, tourist complex with a Navajo timeline on the floor and beautiful jewelry and art. The Dine are among the most talented weavers, potters and silversmiths in the world.

According to their culture, the Dine have several creation myths — the World of Darkness, the World of Blue and the World of Yellow. Various stories involved First Man and First Woman, animals, insects, gods and the trickster Coyote. They boldly embrace their mythology and state, “Contrary to our creation stories, scholars believe…” This idea is the one I’ve explored between my characters Dr. Danni Gordon and Michael Robineaux. She’s a historical archaeologist and he’s a member of the Kootenai Tribe. It’s the tension between science and cultural interpretations.

If I had to be broke down somewhere, at least it’s someplace interesting. We hope to fix the trailer tomorrow and continue.

April 6, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about a creation myth. You can write your own, use one in a story or create tension (or comparability) between science and culture on the topic of creation. Go where the prompt leads leads.

Respond by April 11,2017 to be included in the compilation (published April 12). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!


Where Fact Meets Fiction (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills

With Bubbie at her side, Danni addressed the children. “The Kootenai tribe left evidence of living in this watershed for …”

Hands shot up. “What’s a watershed?” one boy asked.

“Well, that’s the area…”

“Our history is sacred.” Michael spoke from behind the children, walking up the fort path.

“It’s in the dirt, Michael.” Danni was nervous enough without Michael interfering.

“Nupika created animals and spirits. Man Spirit followed the river to be transformed.”

Danni noticed the children were more transfixed by Michael’s tale of transformation than her facts. She began to think of a way to blend them.



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  1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Well. I do not have an idea about this prompt yet, but the lead up… thank you for giving so much, even in your circumstances. You continue to write so many more than 99 words; to like other’s efforts and to respond via the digital avenues. All while trying to keep umpteen wheels on the road. While I do not envy you, I certainly do not pity you, as I somewhat envy you. Yes, you broke down, but you are on the road. And what a place. Congratulations and good luck.

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you for finding Carrot Ranch to be the welcoming place I hope it to be for writers. I once led a marketing workshop for a conference with the theme, “Do What You Love, Love What You Do.” I love the literary arts, artistry with words, explorations of humanity and searching history for untold stories of unlikely characters. To have you and all the other writers who join in each week to jam with 99 words, is doing what I love. Reading the diversity of responses here let’s me connect with others who love what they are doing with writing. That’s what makes this satisfying. I’m relieved to have found ways to connect even with unexpected road delays. I’m completely having fun with the idea that I’m living on the Rez right now! We were able to rent a welder in Flagstaff and the Hub fixed the beam. We hit the road (softy, I hope) in the morning with all wheels (12 between the dually truck, car and trailer).

  2. elliotttlyngreen

    What an adventure!!! And May can be beautiful in SE michigan. Idk there is anything round here quite as intriguing as your terracing from Mars, through these various stretched visions lighted by the moons of Saturn, or the indigenous folks developing as simultaneous and as significant as the story…. but if ur in ma area, this may, do say hello!! =] wishful thinking

    So much has been going on, it feels good to have inentions to return to the ranch, and hopefully i can work in some consistent flashes. The practicing really does help crafting and creativity. Things have settled back to some normalcy for me. So… oh, And last night i read Ginsburgs’ Howl …. I must experience. And i must write. Thanks Charli

    Rain Ruinates, and Still Remembering
    by Elliott Lyngreen

    Underneath the screaming sirens uselessly parting traffic; where I lost my fingernails turning your letters into a digital poem; my stomach winces.

    Thoughts spiderweb the windshield and drip rose petals scattered along the dash.

    Stuck: fenders, fire crashes, belts, and pulleys – through the sidewall. Bent abysmal in the worst extending.

    Summer’s crawling from across black sky. Thunder holds itself upon darkness. I slump in frozen, lucid wonder, as rain spins above me.

    And rolling (now dizzying) path reflects straight down the rearviewmirror as if remembering the carved or parted way rain on a dust particle started this whole infinity.

    • Charli Mills

      I think SE Michigan holds plenty of beauty. I wandered around this abandoned motel complex on the Rez as the Hub welded today and what looks like trash is “rose petals scattered along the dash.” Someone painted an old water tower with LOVE LIFE, showing sheep and water as central to the Navajo experience, all set upon the back of an insect. It reminds me of your last line, “…rain on a dust particle started this whole infinity.” Life feels that way, a bit unspun, yet there is a pattern, a purpose and art finds the way. Howl is a poem I need to revisit with it’s push back against conformity with insanity and artistry. So good to hear you are regaining some normalacy and to see your writing! Who knows — I’ll keep you posted on where the road leads. We’ll be in Houghton, for sure if you want to visit the UP and meet over a pasty. 🙂

      • elliotttlyngreen

        Road trip!!!! Lol I have never been to th UP. Imagine that. Always wanted to. Its just wild that your journey lands u in my regions of this place. Well close…. you never know… might have to get you cheering Go Blue!! And wearing block M’s on everything.

      • Charli Mills

        I just might cheer Go Blue! Alas, can you believe it? We broke down again! So I’m eve further south when it’s north we’re headed. But Navajo fires are burning tonight and Zuni artists are giving me ideas. I will be north in your UP eventually and you’ll have to take that road trip. Maybe I can get us a ride on MI Tech’s lab ship if we come up with a flash science spoken word session!

    • Norah

      I always enjoy the poetry of your words and the way you align what doesn’t seem aligned. You have used so many vivid images, too many to quote, but really love this: Summer’s crawling from across black sky. Your final phrase is great too. Much to ponder.

      • elliotttlyngreen

        That is much appreciated response. i always aim for things that are coming together, but as Im still finding what details are mine, comments that are always uplifting are always welcome. Thank you so much Norah.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for reblogging, Lady Lee!

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you for an interesting conversation, Reena!

    • Norah

      Interesting. Well done.

    • Deborah Lee

      I like this platform. 🙂

    • Liz Husebye Hartmann

      A learning platform has so many more possibilities than a bobsled-slick tube.
      Nicely done!

  3. robbiesinspiration

    This was a lovely read, Charli. I admire you and The Hub’s adventurous spirits. My husband’s idea of camping is a 5-star hotel. Shared your challenge on twitter.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Robbie! I think I’m more adventurous than the Hub, but then again, I’m not the one having to fix the break downs. For future reference, there are some 5-star lodging facilities near Zion National Park and you could have a wonderful stay and adventure. 🙂 I appreciate the Twitter share, too!

    • Norah

      I’m with the Hub on the 5-star. Though even 4.5 stars will do!

    • Charli Mills

      Zany is good! 🙂

      • floridaborne

        Thanks. 🙂

        Hope you’re on the road again soon and having a bit better scenery that Burger King.

    • Norah

      Love it!

  4. floridaborne

    Those are the kinds of adventures that no one wants to endure. Truckers can be so helpful. Please let us know how the welding turns out and if you made it safely to Kansas.

    • Charli Mills

      Truckers led us the right way and we got the welder in Flagstaff, drove 80 miles round trip only to realize we forgot to pick up a welding helmet. We drove around the reservation and the first person we asked, drove us to a neighbor’s garage and he loaned us a helmet. It’s all fixed, welder and helmet returned to their proper places and we are going to see the Grand Canyon in the morning. Then it’s to Kansas.

      • floridaborne

        Amazing! You could make an entire book of short stories. Drama, adventure, getting to know a community by virtue of a welder and a helmet. 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      It was fun to read the various Navajo creation myths at the Burger King. I hoped it might be interesting! Thanks, Michael!

    • Norah

      You won me with a mention of a Queensland blue. Mighty good pumpkin. I’m a Queensland blue too. No, not a pumpkin, a redhead!

      • Michael

        Yes Norah I have been aware of us being Aussies thanks for stopping by.

    • Liz Husebye Hartmann

      This was the cutest creation story ever. Loved it!

  5. Liz Husebye Hartmann

    Oh dear, I think I already used up my creation myth two weeks ago! OK, time to push the boundaries even further back… 😉

    So sorry for your transportation problems–sounds harrowing! But your spot on the rez seems to have brought out less Coyote and more…I don’t know any Dine mythology…generous spirits. Sending good thoughts from my Northern lands!

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for your good thoughts! Lots of good Dine spirits and people around. Today, I taught Todd how to spot hogans, the traditional Navajo houses. I picked up a Tony Hillerman mystery and am getting a full dose of mythology in a crime novel. You’ll have to expand your myth, Liz!

      • Liz Husebye Hartmann

        Oh he’s a good read–enjoy the Hillerman!

  6. Joe Owens

    I think I will sit this one out Charli. I am a Christian with a firm belief about Creation and there is no mythology for me. See you next week.

    • Charli Mills

      I was thinking of that, Joe, when I read the Navajo creation stories. I went to school at NAU back ages ago and took Navajo language. I was the only non-native in the class and learned much about traditional views. They do not refer to their creation as mythology either. I guess that’s why I was intrigued by the juxtaposition of who is calling what “myth.” I have a great respect for those who stand firm in their convictions. See you next week!

  7. julespaige

    OK, Hello everyone – I’ve been a tad slow recovering from sore muscles and a very short trip out of state. I really hope to catch up with visits as soon as I can… At least today I can bend my leg enough to put socks and shoes on without holding my breath and wincing.

    Charli you have reminded me of a mystery series (I’ve read some but not all of): http://www.dancingbadger.com/tony_hillerman.htm – his books were about Navajo Tribal Police.

    I’ll hopefully be back soon with a tale. I just wanted you all to know I’m home and fairing much better. Thanks for your visits. ~Jules

    • Charli Mills

      Hi Jules! Oh, ouch — heal up soon! I absolutely love Tony Hillerman, but I haven’t read his books in years. Of course they sell his books at the gas station down the road and I’m half-way into a delicious Navajo mystery. “Fair” thee well, sore muscles and see you soon at the ranch with a tale.

    • Deborah Lee

      Those Tillerman books were pretty good.

      • Deborah Lee

        Der…Hillerman, not Tillerman. It’s been a long day. ~sigh~

      • julespaige

        That’s OK I have had a few long days in a row. I though I posted my story a day or two ago and found it wasn’t here…So it is now!

      • Charli Mills

        Maybe, like me, you were thinking about reading Hillerman and nibbling Tillamook cheese!

      • Deborah Lee

        I’ll go with that!

  8. denmaniacs4

    Occasionally, while wandering around in my head, I trip and stumble. Often I find myself going into places I have no right to visit. But what’s a writer to do, Charli? Writers should never mind their manners. Totally happily, sadly revelled in your post this week. I am humbled by your skills.

    A Transfer of Power

    God-Like-Critter: It’s on your head now, writer. Go for it.

    Flash: ME! Why me?

    GLC: Because I SEE inside that fomenting cranium of yours. You writers are constantly reinventing the world. Demented, pretentious beings the lot of you. Never satisfied with what is. Always fabricating some fanciful imagining.

    Flash: I admit we are stringers of words. But we don’t want to be all-powerful. That’s your job.

    GLC: Not any more. You’ve worn me down. Hell, some of you even DENY me.

    Flash: Evolution does make sense, doncha think?

    GLC: No comment.

    Flash: I’ve got a bad feeling about this.


    • Charli Mills

      Bill, I know what you mean and no, I don’t think writers are meant to pen polite paths. We go where wander and as Tolkien once told us, it doesn’t mean we’re lost. You’re flash is perfectly pitched in humor, yet resonates in seriousness — we do reinvent the world and imagine much.

    • jeanne229

      Great take on the long tussle between evolution and creation…. But I do disagree with you on one point. I believe it is not only your right but your duty as a writer to follow your head where it takes you!

      • denmaniacs4

        Thanks Jeanne. I think you are probably disagreeing with my character, Flash. Probably…

    • Norah

      How clever. From one creator to another – of sorts. I’m not saying which one. 🙂

    • Deborah Lee

      I love this!

    • Charli Mills

      Oh, yes, it’s definitely okay! 🙂

  9. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    I hope to return but have to say now that life on the road with you Charli, although traumatic, is always more than interesting. Hope you managed to get your repairs done and you can continue on your journey.

    • Charli Mills

      We made it a ways down the road but not completely. Taking in the sights in New Mexico as adventure billows around us. Glad you find it interesting because there’s more interesting developments! 🙂

  10. Kerry E.B. Black

    What a journey! I must say sharing fry bread and stories must have been fascinating! I love mythology and studying belief systems. There is a universality in the messages, even within stunning diversity.

    For my take on the prompt, I looked internally to family history and personal beginnings.

    How Ellie’s Life Began
    Written by Kerry E.B. Black

    Doreen’s life bled away on the gurney, seeping into sanitized linens. The doctor nestled a bundle of blankets against the cold. Doreen buried her face within, savoring the warmth, relishing the smell. Too young to die, yet passing with skill, Doreen’s tear-slicked vision blurred. Iron coated her palate, and dust clogged her throat. With trembling fingers, she peeled back a layer of blankets to reveal skin soft as a tulip. Here Doreen found immortality, here, in this tiny person whose eyes squeezed shut against the garish hospital and her mother’s death, this person whose birth brought about her death.

    • jeanne229

      Ah yes, so we participate in creation and achieve immortality. Very sad flash but beautiful too.

    • Norah

      I agree with Jeanne. Sad, but beautiful. And so the imprint is passed from one generation to the next.

    • Deborah Lee

      So bittersweet, immortality.

    • Charli Mills

      Such a powerful story of recognizing immortality in death. My fry bread stories were not of such depth and yet had the raw elemental taste of humanity to them — the young magician with card tricks; the woman who told us about the time she took her son to meet his father and he was laid up with a broken leg and a box of romance novels. She told him, “Read. You might learn something.” Life, death and moments in between.

  11. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Reciprocation D. Avery

    Do not forget Turtle who brought the earth up from the watery depths.
    Do not forget Tree, whose roots hold and cradle the earth, whose branches hold up Sky. These ones, Turtle, Water, Tree, Sky, are sacred.
    Long ago these ones spoke together, and together thought to provide and to sustain; they thought us into existence that we might use their gifts.
    Be humble. Our creations are mere imitations, expressing gratitude, expressing wonder. Be mindful. Give thanks to Turtle, to Water, to Sky, to Tree. We are their thoughts that receive their gifts, and they think us most sacred.

    • Charli Mills

      This has the story-tone I feel immersed in at the moment. It is humbling to think that we are thought to be sacred, the creation of what we strive to imitate.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Thanks. Story-tone was all I could come up with; there really isn’t an original or creative idea in there, the ideas are borrowed from here and there, but I enjoyed threading the words for it, all 99.

      • Charli Mills

        It reads like a medicine wheel looks. You brought it to life in 99 words.

    • Liz Husebye Hartmann

      “they thought us into existence that we might use their gifts”
      I could not agree more. Love the Voice in this flash!

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Thank you.
        I read somewhere recently the idea that God needs us as much as we need God. It’s a relationship…

      • Liz Husebye Hartmann

        Yes…you expressed this so well in your flash!

  12. jeanne229

    Charli! I have completely missed the reason for your move but am enthralled by this next step of your journey. You are a traveler, indeed, and a brave and spirited one. I know the land you are describing. Vast and magnificent. Etched deep from time and water and weather. But I have never had to haul a rig like yours through it! And I know the Navajo fried bread with beans and lamb or honey for dessert. A Burger King patty is a poor substitute but praise the lord(s) of creation for those Internet outposts. Thinking of your prompt. Ans wondering where you are as I tap away. Gallup?
    As for myths, I take no umbrage at the word. Some may focus on the implication of falsehood, but there is also the symbolism inherent in myth that expresses some deep truth. Which is what you get at so well in your flash.

    • Charli Mills

      Hi Jeanne! Your Land of Enchantment has me by the ankle. Umm, yes I did save a few pieces of fry bread to drizzle honey upon for dessert. Now I’m enjoying homemade tortillas, blue corn tortillas and chilis. Still refried beans, always refried beans, the food of the west. Mythology is mystery and that’s what drives us to know and to experience our own existence. Science, religion and funny alien stories fill up our imaginations. But as Kerry pointed out, there’s a universality to origin myths. Thank you, that’s the balance I’m going for in Danni’s life — that she can see a deeper truth where mystery still resides but reveals. If you want to visit Gallup, we might be here a spell!

  13. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me

    Really hope (and plan) to join in one of these weeks! This isn’t the one, though – full plate! 😀

    • Charli Mills

      Happy to hear that, Lisa! Join in when you have the chance and the prompt moves your fingers on the keyboard. Wishing you the best with your full plate.

  14. Annecdotist

    Charli Mills, what are you doing to my nerves! If you’re not scrambling down cliffs on your hands and knees you’re skidding close to the edge in your truck. And now, the gargantuan vehicle having to travel through the dark without lights! Well, I’m hoping things are going to go more smoothly from here on in.
    So impressed you managed to put together a post, a prompt and your own flash. I think you’re enjoying exploring the relationship between Danni and Michael – you really bring out those contrasting worldviews.
    As for my own flash, I seem to have gone with creation myths a couple of times before in response to other prompts, so it must be one of my themes:
    But I wouldn’t let that stop me having another stab at it. However, the latest version isn’t going to arrive on my blog until Thursday (probably your Wednesday) as I had already scheduled another post to which this is the perfect accompaniment – a review of a book about Handel’s Messiah which I wanted to post on the anniversary of the first performance. So here’s an advance preview, but it would be great if you could link to Thursday’s post when you come to do the compilation.
    The creation of secular music
    God could understand why Adam envied the birds. Their vantage point above the earth, the way they’d glide from tree to tree.
    “It’s not that,” said Adam. “It’s how they sing your praise.”
    So when God created Adam’s wife he gifted her with melody. And all was harmony until she met the Serpent. “Not all music belongs to God,” he hissed. “There are other words. Other tunes.”
    Eve shrugged. “God’s music is the best.”
    “You cannot know, until you’ve tried some other.”
    So Eve sang of birds and bees and apple trees, and God banished her from his garden.

    • Norah

      Ah! The creation of music. Nice. Thanks for linking back to your other creation stories. I had missed the Creation comedy with Trump, Gates and Freud. It was worth the visit!

    • Charli Mills

      The period of rest is over, hold on because now we ride! I suppose I have too much of Mother Eve in my blood to lead a well-behaved and quiet life. Although at times, I wish I weren’t chasing after dark vehicles or getting to know reservation towns through break downs. In fact, I think it’s akin to your story. The way our capitalistic society is structured we are obedient to God or his banking agents and get the good life on credit. But here in the dirt, on the road, stuck with certainty, we get to test our gifts. And we aren’t always reward; sometimes kicked out. But the songs continue. Thank you for indulging my one of my themes, too as it it keeps popping up. I loved your earlier origin story with the trinity of Trump, Gates and Freud. And I will connect the link to your full post when it’s out.

  15. Pete


    Zach stared at the sky. Mr. Meyers said they saw stars how they were not how they are. Light years. It hurt his head just thinking about it.

    Next door came a big bang. The neighbors fighting again. Zach stared in awe at the clusters. The Milky Way was 100,000 light years across. To be this tiny! With such monumental problems. Could Mr. Meyers be right? That there may be more…another Earth.

    There wasn’t another Nana. She didn’t tolerate such thoughts. He’d asked her about it and she’d thunked him good.

    It hurt his head just thinking about it.

    • Deborah Lee

      Those kind of musings always made me want to hide under the bed.

    • Charli Mills

      Dwarfed by opposing forces. Great integration of how both makes the boy’s head hurt.

  16. Kate

    Charli, your adventurous spirit has your readers sitting on edge, waiting for the next installment. Your resourcefulness for resolving situations and moving on is amazing! It may not have been the journey you chose for yourself, but the way you remain positive is exemplary. Life has kept me busy and away from the keyboard this past month, but I’m back with my post and thoughts on myths, fables and fairy tales.

    • Charli Mills

      There’s plenty of adventures and resources in our pockets. This isn’t going to be a smooth journey, so I’m settling in to reckoning with that and taking a look at what’s around. I’m glad to have so many along for the ride. The Hub is the one doing the big work, and all I wanted was a bed, toilet and place to write so my job is keeping that going. 🙂 Glad to see you back with myths, fables and fairy tales.

  17. Liz Husebye Hartmann

    Writing on a memory from years past. I questioned the directive to make sure the kids had a product to show parents what they did at school. Busy parents, upwardly mobile…I understand, but wished we all had the time to watch the kids in process…

    The Mandala

    Nora reached two fingers towards the mound of shaving cream on the tiny table. Sliding her fingers across and down, she palmed the foam, squishing it flat and rotating her hand slowly.

    Her other hand peeked over the table’s edge and joined in. Before long, her eyes shifted dreamily to a shaft of sunlight on the opposite wall of the noisy preschool, her body rocking with her hand’s movements.

    “Shall I make a print for her parents?” Her teacher detected faint, happy humming from the child, and shook her head. “Why interrupt her creative process? It’s her dream time.”


    • Norah

      Ah, yes. The process or the product? So much better to let the child enjoy the process without having to feel that everything must be a product for others to enjoy. I’m pleased Nora was allowed the freedom of her dream time.

      • Liz Husebye Hartmann

        I’m with you! Not everything is–nor should it be–a “reportable”.

    • Charli Mills

      This reminds me of how much I enjoy watching writers write without the pressure to refine, revise, produce and publish. A little bit of origin play like this child and her mandala.

  18. Norah

    Hi Charli, My reading writing schedule has broken down this week, but it in no way compares to your break down issues. I hope you have got the truck and RV issues sorted and are back on your way by now. It doesn’t sound like easy driving, and with you both driving different vehicles, there is no respite. And then no respite at night in a desolate area in cramped quarters. Here’s to better times ahead. I struggled with a creation story and ended up a bit off the beaten track. Hopefully I’ll find my way back next week. Here is a link to my contribution: Unanswered questions http://wp.me/p3O5Jj-Tj
    I wish you happy travels and an uneventful week, or at least with only desirable and desired events. Happy Easter. Best wishes. N xo

    • Charli Mills

      I’ve also found my way off the beaten track. Perhaps on opposite sides of the globe we are following a similar adventure. The trailer is fully expanded, the truck completely stalled. At least we made it further. Not far but further is good enough for now. Safe travels on your own roads of wonder! Happy Easter to you, too!

    • Liz Husebye Hartmann

      Uffda! Silas never had a chance, did he? :-O

      • Norah

        Poor thing! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Enkin. And I enjoyed your take on the stars!

    • Charli Mills

      It’s a beginning… 😉

      • Jane Dougherty

        🙂 WP just trashed your comment on the story! It does that often lately. While I’m typing a reply the whole thing disappears. Anyhow, just wanted to say thank you, and it isn’t that I’m never tempted to write a piece, I just don’t get the notification and need to have my memory jogged by reading an entry on another blog.

      • Charli Mills

        Argh… Word Press gremlins!

    • Charli Mills

      Safe travels, Lucy! And thanks for including the ranch in your A-Z!

  19. Deborah Lee

    I love your adventures. I know you know this, but what is stressful and aggravating now will be fun stories and enraptured grandchildren years from now. Keep living for now, as you do, fully immersed.

    I love the different creation stories from different paths around the globe. Some ring startlingly similar to one another, others are strikingly different. They are all beautiful, all reverent of the Creator we call by different names.

    I didn’t go there, though. Jane is so introverted! 😉


    • Charli Mills

      In some ways, I think being rootless offers a different pace of sorts, like living in a time warp. Maybe all writers live behind glass, the observers, the recorders, the story-catchers. Maybe modern life and its constraints are what get us out of sync with our own creation. And reverence for the Creator, no matter the form may be why we feel drawn to create.

  20. julespaige

    Charli….I thought I put this in yesterday or the day before, I must have forgotten to hit post comment… ooops.

    I hope I’m still on time.

    There are links in my post; the title should be the link. I also said a few other things but I can’t remember what – Safe travels too.

    Ranae Immane Mittam

    Ranae Immane Mittam

    Ranae Immane Mittam

    Kaeru swam in the velvet darkness. Then she leapfrogged
    across the sky. Leaving small illuminated globes to hatch.
    The eggs bore different reflections, attitudes, altitudes and
    aspects of their mother. Some within the various universes
    became quasars. Within these systems further divisions
    created some spheres that bore other living things.

    Kaeru was happy. The velvet darkness brightened. Her
    children became too numerous to count. Her work was
    compete, now she could return to the beginning and wait.
    Watch flora and fauna in vast variety.

    To be worshiped was never Kaeru’s goal. Only the creation
    of something from her power.


    • Charli Mills

      You are in perfect timing! Actually, Word Press held this. I’m not sure why but I hit “approve.” I always approve of what you write. 😀

      • julespaige

        There’s been some issues with other ‘friends’ and their sites too. One person is so frustrated at one location that they basically are shutting that particular site down.
        Hopefully you didn’t get my entry twice then? I do generally see my posts when I put them in your comments section. I may have had too many files/windows open at once. Who knows.

      • Charli Mills

        It’s hard to tell why the glitches occur. I try to check daily.

  21. rogershipp

    Egg-actly: The Beginning

    “540 billion years ago.”

    “You’re quite sure?”

    “Of course I’m sure. The computers confirm it.”

    “But wasn’t The Big Bang 14 billion years ago?”

    “Yes! Isn’t this exciting?”

    “But how are you going to explain it?”

    “Scientifically, of course. Everyone knows- even in the beginning- you can’t make something out of nothing. The Law of Conservation. We just never knew what was here pre-Big Bang.”

    “And now you know?”

    “Indubitably. For a bang like that, there had to be a massive built-up of pressure. Probably gases. And then something causes an igniting.”

    ‘So you’ve found it?”

    “The primordial eggshell.”


    • Charli Mills

      Love it! “The primordial eggshell.” Even science has its mysteries and tantalizing clues.

      • rogershipp


    • Liz Husebye Hartmann

      In every creation story I’ve ever read, there’s always some entity that starts the beginning. So the question remains: the beginning of what?

      • rogershipp

        My point egg-actly?

      • Charli Mills

        I like that observation!

    • julespaige

      Back to the egg and the chicken…

  22. Charli Mills

    Thanks, Geoff!


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