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Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #3

Septolet in Motion

By JulesPaige

Words are cast like magic spells. Some may debate the text in which such lessons exist. Religious works could be a type of Grimoire since often as children we are taught rote prayers that will lead us away from temptation. Other schools of thought may define Grimoire as a book devoted to just the teaching and instruction of magic and those amulets and talisman that would be endowed with gifting the owners with better fortunes. I quote this next line from the Wikipedia entry on the subject, “In many cases, the books themselves are believed to be imbued with magical powers, though in many cultures, other sacred texts that are not Grimoires (such as the Bible) have been believed to have supernatural properties intrinsically.

I would beg to argue that any book that transfers us to another world or jolts our imagination could be a Grimoire (even a dictionary)! We often become spellbound telling ourselves — just one more chapter of this escape from the day’s realities will set me free from the bonds of worry. Though some books might bring us nightmares!

I’ve been asked to step out of my comfort zone of participant to that, by leading a Rodeo Event. My first thought was “Me, what can I do?” But encouraged by tapping into my love of words and poetry I thought I could combine the two for this post. I have recently been reintroduced to a short form of poetry called a Septolet. A fourteen word poem that is contained in seven lines that has a break between the two sections which you can divide anyway you like. But are connected by the same thought to create a whole picture. And while seeking the online Thesaurus I once again found the word Grimoire.

I had just last week finished a book where the detective was being trained to tackle the supernatural occurrences that the regular department wasn’t capable of dealing with.

In truth all of our writings are magical when we entertain and learn from each other. Good Luck and have fun!

Here are a few of my own Septolets; as you can see the split can occur wherever you what it:

(a part of) Irons and Woods

More to

Just swinging

A club

at a

Small ball


Posture, poise

Core control


(a part of) Antinomic

Grey Heron

And a

White Egret



At the

Library pond

While I Sidled


(a part of) Dressed and Ready?


Make the man

But distress


When plans fail


Crossed wires

Coax worry


These Septolets are parts included in my Mixed forms verses at my daily short verse site: julesgemstonepages.

*Indicates the paragraph break in a septolet.

Submission Information

The Rodeo Event challenge is thus; create a piece of flash fiction (200 -300 words) including a Septolet or two as the spell or charm that helps your character out of a bind (or go where the prompt leads you). The Septolet(s) are included in the total word count. Septolet(s) do not have to have a title within your piece, but if you do have a title for your ‘spell’ in the body of the piece it will be included in the word count. Please use English, for your the Septolets. Latin may be tempting – however we are all more familiar with English! Only the Title for the complete piece will be excluded from the word count.

I’m your host and Rough Writer, JulesPaige (or just Jules), and helping to judge are Susan Zutautas, a fellow Rough Writer, author and poet. And Susan Budig, a mindful poet, and journalist friend of the Lead Buckaroo Charli Mills.

Judging for Septolet in Motion

  1. Enter contest for Septolet in Motion by October 19 (11:59 pm EST)
  2. Enter using the form below in this post.
  3. Must include name (or pen name) and email to be eligible to win.
  4. Entry must include at least one Septolet as a ‘spell’ (hyphenated words count as one word) Reminder: The Septolet is a poem consisting of seven lines containing fourteen words with a break in between the two parts. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture. 
  5. Entries will be judged on creative use of the magic theme.
  6. Use of the Septolet(s) within the piece.
  7. Originality and cohesiveness.

Contest #3 Leader: JulesPaige. For a full line-up of contests, see Events. Next up: Scars by Irene Waters on Tuesday, October 17.


CHALLENGE OPTION: If you don’t feel up to entering a contest, please feel free to respond to this in the comments as a prompt challenge. Weekly Flash Fiction Challenges resume November 2.

About JulesPaige

Jules started her writing by the encouragement of her English teachers as a young Middle School student and never stopped. She continues to learn new forms to add to her over forty-five years of writing poetically. Carrot Ranch is one community that  introduced Flash Fiction – and has wrangled a permanent place in her heart.


About Carrot Ranch

Carrot Ranch is a literary community committed to providing all writers access to literary art regardless of backgrounds, genres, goals and locations. Common ground is found through the writing, reading and discussion of flash fiction. The weekly online flash fiction challenges promote community through process, craft and exploration, and regular participants form a literary group called The Congress of Rough Writers. Their first anthology, Vol. 1 publishes in 2017. Carrot Ranch offers an adult-learning program called Wrangling Words, available to all communities where Rough Writers reside.









  1. Charli Mills says:

    Jules, I always learn new forms and vocabulary from you! Thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone to lead this contest! I’m stepping out of mine to write a challenge response. Let’s all cast spells for Jules and her judges!

  2. Beat ya Mills!

    “Hey Pal, listen ta this, it’s about all the activity and challenge of the rodeo:

    hard riding
    flying spurs
    fast furious

    pitching bucking
    breathless whirlwind
    scrambling buckaroos
    riding hard

    It’s a septolet.”

    “Ain’t that for bull fights, ya know, the guy with the cape? Septolet!”

    “Hey, Pal yer ignorance is showin’. Try’n show some class, there’s visitors aroun’ these days.”

    “Jeez Kid. You cain’t be funny an’ ya cain’t take a joke. I hope this poetry thing don’t make everone all serious and cantankerous like you.

    Serious Kid
    Boo hoo
    Who you
    Busy busy
    Another day
    A septolet

    Lighten up

    There’s my septolet, Kid.”

    “That’s not funny, Pal. Yer s’posed to play nice here. That’s the charm of Carrot Ranch.”

    “Jest tryin’ to prompt you out of bind, Kid. Yer all bound up, I know yer still thinkin’ about makin’ Pardner laugh.”

    “Pardner? Yer my pardner.”

    “No, Le Pard. And his pardners.”

    “No, I ain’t thinkin’ ‘bout that. I don’t want to be funny, so Ha!”

    “Bull. Kid
    cain’t write
    no more
    needs grimoire
    break spell

    oh hell
    another septolet.”

    “Pal, you are an insult to a beautiful poetic form. This is a serious challenge and a dang cool prompt.”

    “I know Kid, I was jest funnin’ with ya. Jules done herself proud with this one. Hope she don’t mind our messin’.”

    • Charli Mills says:

      A much finer wrangler of poetry! Quicker out the gate, too! What clever septolets exchanged, and this ought to satisfy both Jules and Geoff. I was thinking it’s a dang cool prompt, too.

    • julespaige says:

      As you’ll can see this is a supposed to be fun and D did me proud!
      And even remembered there’s supposed to be a space. Oh yeah you can center ’em up, but that don’t matter none. There’s gotta be two parts to the Septolet.

      Done did a fine ‘spell’ of a charm here and I’m just glad someone is playing. I’m as nervous as a new foal trying to stand up for the first time.

      I think humor and conversation is a fine tool.

      Thank you kindly for riding in my event! ~Jules

  3. Ritu says:

    Oooh! A new form to learn!

  4. Charli Mills says:


    Missing Bird Dog by Charli Mills

    Danni scaled the granite of Beehive, leaning into the slope. One slip of her boot and it would be a long tumble. In her mind she could hear Ike teasing. “It’s not the fall that’ll kill you, Babe, it’s the snap-crackle at the end.”

    She knew if she made it to the top she could see the full canyon. Bubbie had been missing for five days now. Campers, hikers, berry pickers and even apocalyptic preppers had seen her dog. They all spoke of his long tail tipped with a funny tuft of fur.

    “He wagged his sweet tail like a child waving a dandelion for wishes.”

    “Never quite seen a tail like that on a German Short-hair. But by God, I told Mildred, just look at that fine hunting dog on the other side of the Pack.”

    “Saw the dog. If he’s got a sparkler for a tail.”

    Michael had patrol and told Danni he’d meet her at the base of Beehive, a bare mountain of granite sloped enough climb without ropes. Danni couldn’t take waiting at the base. She had to do something. Try to get a better view.

    Another voice intruded her mind, slow dialectal clicking of an elder. She knew this mountain was sacred to the Kootenai, still she was startled to clearly hear a chant inside her head.

    Bird dog
    takes flight
    a soul
    to guard
    his own

    Fly, fly, fly

    Danni repeated the final words until she reached the top. Fly, fly fly. And of all things, a duck flew over the peak, its wings beating with a crystalline sound. Fly, fly fly. She followed its flight toward the Pack River far below where she swore it hit the water and became a dog. Bubbie!

    • Edit, please. You beat me. This is dang good. Ike’s voice, the different voices describing the dog, then the elder voice, all very effective. That last paragraph, last line- believable magic.
      And this is still done in a remarkably short time. I concede, Ms. Mills.
      (Oops, challenge, not contest)

      • julespaige says:

        It doesn’t matter who’s first. All that matters is that I have players to keep me and my co-Judges spell bound.

        Dang I don’t know if I’ll be able to judge if the pieces are as creative and the ones y’all are posting! 🙂

      • Charli Mills says:

        You two make a buckaroo feel good about septoletting tales! Lots of character chatter and spells a flyin’ at the Ranch. You’ve got a good thing cast, Jules!

    • julespaige says:

      Oh… that is a perfect way to add a Septolet a prayer chant!
      See it isn’t hard at all!

      I recall some of the books I’ve read where Native Poeples and their animal guides change form. I really like this.

      Thank you for the opportunity to be a host/judge and for playing in my rodeo!

      • Charli Mills says:

        Somewhere in my earlier research, Jules, I met an elder of the Mdweakanton Sioux who told me that when his tribe was rounded up after the Dakota Uprising in 1861, the Fort Snelling guards told stories of birds flying in and out of cells where prisoners would disappear and reappear.

        That was actually fun, and I liked how it gave me a prayer chant to use to carry the story. Happy to play in your rodeo! Thanks!

    • julespaige says:


      Just to let you know I posted an invitation to this rodeo on all my sites.
      It’s the same ‘piece’. Sort of another guide or example if anyone needs something else to look at.

      It is neither a contest piece (since I can’t enter anyway) nor is it a complete Challenge…just calling a Duck a Duck…
      It’s an invitation. Which will hopefully also lead others to join the other contests too. 🙂

      Thanks again, Jules

    • Norah says:

      Fabulous story, Charli, with a clever way of including a septolet. I can understand Michael’s reluctance for Danni to scale the sacred mountain. The ending of your story is fantastic – that final image is perfect. 🙂

  5. Intrigued – will have a go at this. Eric.

  6. […] Source: Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #3 […]

  7. […] I’m posting this on my three main blogs…Please come and join the fun here: Septolet in Motion Rodeo event […]

  8. […] I’m posting this on my three main blogs…Please come and join the fun here: Septolet in Motion Rodeo event […]

  9. […] I’m posting this on my three main blogs…Please come and join the fun here: Septolet in Motion Rodeo event […]

  10. Annecdotist says:

    Hurrah, two new words! Good luck everyone.

  11. floridaborne says:

    I entered using the form, but my first line is on the same line as the one that tells me to enter the words here.

  12. This is very interesting!

  13. Etol Bagam says:

    Entered! When I saw the announcement last week I thought it would be just the septolet, and created one in advance. Today I had to write a story around it, after reading the rules, which was an interesting exercise. It was fun.

  14. Whew! This was tough. I waited to read the comments and wow! My septolet wasn’t as creative as these! You guys are awesome and it was fun to learn something new. Thanks, Jules! <3

    • Charli Mills says:

      It was tough for me, too and yet it gave me an expanded idea for my characters. We learn much from each other, and that’s a process I enjoy greatly. So glad you could join Jules in her rodeo event! <3

  15. Norah says:

    This sounds like a fun challenge, Jules, with some new things to try! I’m looking forward to having a go.

  16. […] Source: Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #3 […]

  17. Norah says:

    Reblogged this on Norah Colvin and commented:
    And the third of the contests has begun!
    How’s your poetry? Ever written a septolet? I haven’t. Know what one is? I didn’t.
    But I’m about to change both those answers. Are you?
    Contests are free to enter and the winner receives a $25 prize!

  18. This looks like so much fun! A spell… I’ve always loved the idea of Grimoires.

  19. Yikes…I’m still trying to come up with something to make Geoff laugh, never mind write a septolet! What a great challenge Jules. Will be back to comment property (when I’ve had a chance to read properly) and hopefully send something over 🙂

  20. Reblogged this on A View From My Summerhouse and commented:
    Flash Fiction Contest #3 from Jules Paige live at Carrot Ranch! This is flash fiction with a difference: Jules asks us to use a form of poetry called a ‘Septolet’. Never heard of it? Me neither, but it looks to be a fun challenge. Read on for all the details and good luck one and all!

  21. This Rodeo is sure firing open mmmultiple gates ! ! One contest coming right after another got me racing to wrangle them equivocal inspirations into some magic. Go. Go. Go. [We should do this every week.] Lovin THIS

    • julespaige says:

      Are you kidding me? Not every week. I’ve got other prompt sites I visit.
      Plus a daily blog that I put poems in.

      I’m only a couple a days in and I’m delirious. 😉

      • Haha. Oh Cmon Jules. i know you can handle it! =] Its a good delirious tho right? Is there anything better than being Drunk on writing.?? But more seriously, i think this is a wonderful prompt and have always been eager to get a poem in the middle of some piece of writing… I like it! And i, too, was unfamiliar with a septolet until now. Always learning here at the ranch. Thanks Jules! And now, time to make a tiny masterpiece

      • julespaige says:

        Just wait until you are in the Hot Seat as a Judge! 🙂

        Looking forward to your entry 😉

      • I feel ya.. im just excited with all this rodeo going on.. good luck judging =]

    • Charli Mills says:

      Aha! Now you know why we called it a rodeo! 🤠

  22. This was a fun one! Thanks for the great prompt. I love the addition of the septolet. 🙂

  23. Reblogged this on judyedwinamartin and commented:
    I have just got my entry in, why not give yourself a challenge and join in!

  24. I have had a go at this, but it was terribly tricky writing a septolet for the first time! 🙂

    • julespaige says:

      Always is, trying something new… check your email please.
      No big worries – though.

      You get on a bike or a horse and learn… then no matter how long you haven’t ridden – you remember. 🙂

      Thanks ~ Jules

      • Thank Jules, you are right, and I always enjoy learning something new.

        I cannot find anything at all in my e-mail from you. I also checked my Spam folder and nothing in there either.

      • julespaige says:

        I used the email on your entry. I’ll try again….

      • julespaige says:

        Judy… does your email end in a .com?
        Name@samenameanothernamelastnamedot… I copy and pasted it.

        Get the ‘code’. That’s where I sent it because that’s what was on the form. If that isn’t correct. Let me know. Please, go to one of my blogs and leave a small comment or even just a 🙂 So I can get your email.

      • Charli Mills says:

        The form is a brand new process to us, too! Thanks for the perseverance!

  25. Chris Mills says:

    Jules, Thank you for this challenging prompt for the competition. I just submitted what may be the strangest story I’ve ever written. Writing the septolets was challenging and enjoyable. Mine rhyme, if that gets me any extra points. 😛 I am looking forward to reading what others did with this. Great Rodeo, Charli.

  26. Reblogged this on Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist) and commented:
    The third in the Carrot Ranch competitions. What a diverse set of subjects we are being tempted with. Mine is next on Tuesday. Competition 2 is open until Sunday. Competition 1 has closed to entries. Get your pen to the ready. This one is going to be a wonderful challenge.

  27. julespaige says:

    Just a friendly update. We have over one dozen successful entries!
    Woop, Woop! High fives all around.

    Just some friendly reminders:

    1) use a current email address
    2) check your Septolet word and line counts and make sure your Septolet has a break…. please. Look at the examples in the post. 🙂
    3) Check your total word count MAXIMUM is 300 words but you can do less.
    4) If you have a problem with the entry form… ask for help or a Plan B.
    We are a friendly bunch here and really want every one who wants to… to play.
    5) Remember that if you are a Winner Charli is going to need to contact you so if you are using a pen-name she is going to need a real one to send your winnings to.
    6) You are all winners for entering the contest, challenge or stopping by to visit in any way shape or form – Thank YOU!!!
    7) Go where the prompt leads and have fun!

    Thanks and enjoy the ride! ~Jules

    • Charli Mills says:

      Thank you for these clarifications, Jules. I read this and I felt war an fuzzy inside, knowing what a wonderful and friendly community we have. You rode hard around the arena today and did the Ranch proud! <3

      • julespaige says:

        A ‘war and fuzzy’? Yep I was at war!
        Awe I know you meat ‘warm and fuzzy’

        And here I thought I was being a pest… at the very least a spur in the side of a gremlin! *giggle*

      • julespaige says:

        ummm…. meant for meat…
        Yeah some days you get to eat the beef, other days you get grilled.
        (gee…that should go in Geoff’s post… )

      • Charli Mills says:

        Ha, ha! Sleepy fingers! Your fought well, and I felt warm and fuzzy seeing you come out on top of the battle! <3

  28. julespaige says:

    Contestant: annynyms1
    Please resubmit your entry.

    Thank you –
    I apologize for ‘Pilot Error’…


    • julespaige says:

      Thanks – received.

    • Charli Mills says:

      All is flying well, thanks, Jules!

      • julespaige says:

        Just a note: it seems that an * counts as a word. If the count is over by one or two words because you added one of those puppies… at least to my contest – don’t worry. I’ll deduct it, since I asked you to put it in. Especially if you really need that one or three extra words.

        I am now aware of the situation and I will not let the Gremlins win!

        So just as a general reminder to anyone for any contest it seems that certain symbols count as words. You have been forewarned. 🙂

      • Charli Mills says:

        Oh, good discovery and solution, Jules!

  29. Submitted but had a problem with submission for Geoff’s so please check that it turned up this time.
    Great challenge Jules and a lot of fun.

    • julespaige says:

      We got it – it appears the Gremlin has transferred a few entries into Charli’s Spam folder!

      This has been a learning experience. I am always checking my spam at my email and at WP. If an entry goes to Charli’s spam… that’s gonna be hard for anyone but Charli to check. As a host of a contest we’ll just have to remind Charli to check her spam a every couple of days. Since she gets everything as the default setting.

      And that default setting is ‘priceless!’ 🙂

      Thanks for your entry ~Jules
      I’m looking forward to getting out of the hot seat and participating in your contest.

      • This has given me a few tips to be aware of. I rarely look at my spam folder but will try to do so during the comp. Hope you got lots of entries and will look forward to yours in mine if you have time with all the reading I know you’ll be doing over the next few weeks.

      • julespaige says:

        I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do two. But I might.

        I’ve been entering one as a Challenge and one for the contest. I have many different ‘voices’ …Bwahahhhaahha. 🙂

    • Charli Mills says:

      We do have a few gremlins but found their lair and are monitoring their activities.

  30. Jules, you are simply amazing. 🙂

  31. julespaige says:

    We’re running out of time…
    If you’ve got something in the works… “Work it, Baby!”
    Since Irene’s contest is up and running there will be no extensions.

    If your word count was over… edit. Or submit a new piece.

    Gimme some love. Enter the Challenge or the Contest.
    Septolets really aren’t that hard. Here’s another example of mine that I did not post in the comments before, but it’s on all of my blogs:

    Carrot Ranch Invitation: Spell… Bound?

    There is excitement in the air for me
    I am stretching my wings, embracing something different
    There is a slight tremble, shadow of fear…
    No one will want to come and play
    The enchantment of creating is the rainbow lure
    Who will nibble and possibly take the bait?
    Nerves rattle like the moistureless leaves just waiting…
    To fall …will they be crushed under foot?
    Will I be a successful mage with my
    Willow wand in hand and cast my spell

    Interrupt time
    Interpret space

    There is
    No race
    Just a
    Hope for
    For participants…


  32. Deborah Lee says:

    Some of my favorite books are grimoires! And I had never heard of a septolet before — that was fun!

  33. julespaige says:

    Thank you to those who entered in the Challenge comments and all the Entrants – This contest is now closed.

    And the ‘fun’ part of Judging begins…


  34. julespaige says:

    And now we are closed…
    With a last day entry we’ve 22 good submissions.

    Thank you all. ~Jules

  35. […] Carrot Ranch Rodeo#3(10/19/2017) The Rodeo Event challenge is thus; create a piece of flash fiction (200 -300 words) including a Septolet or two as the spell or charm that helps your character out of a bind (or go where the prompt leads you).  […]

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