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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!

    Liked by 2 people

  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’.”

    Liked by 8 people

  3. Ritu says:

    Oooh! A new form to learn!

    Liked by 3 people

  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!

    Liked by 7 people

    • 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)

      Liked by 4 people

      • 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! 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      • 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!

        Liked by 2 people

    • 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!

      Liked by 3 people

      • 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!

        Liked by 2 people

    • 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

      Liked by 2 people

    • 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.

    Liked by 4 people

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

    Liked by 2 people

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

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Liked by 1 person

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

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Annecdotist says:

    Hurrah, two new words! Good luck everyone.

    Liked by 3 people

  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.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This is very interesting!

    Liked by 3 people

  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.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Colleen Chesebro says:

    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! ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    • 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! ❤

      Liked by 3 people

  15. Norah says:

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

    Liked by 2 people

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

    Liked by 2 people

  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!

    Liked by 3 people

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

    Liked by 5 people

  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 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  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!

    Liked by 3 people

  21. elliotttlyngreen says:

    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

    Liked by 3 people

    • 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. 😉

      Liked by 3 people

      • elliotttlyngreen says:

        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

        Liked by 4 people

      • julespaige says:

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

        Looking forward to your entry 😉

        Liked by 3 people

      • elliotttlyngreen says:

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

        Liked by 3 people

    • Charli Mills says:

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

      Liked by 3 people

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

    Liked by 4 people

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

    Liked by 3 people

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

    Liked by 4 people

  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.

    Liked by 2 people

  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.

    Liked by 2 people

  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

    Liked by 2 people

  28. julespaige says:

    Contestant: annynyms1
    Please resubmit your entry.

    Thank you –
    I apologize for ‘Pilot Error’…


    Liked by 2 people

  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.

    Liked by 3 people

    • 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.

      Liked by 2 people

      • 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.

        Liked by 2 people

      • 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. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Charli Mills says:

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

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Jules, you are simply amazing. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  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…


    Liked by 1 person

  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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