Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #5

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.

October 19, 2017

9X11 Twitterflash

By C. Jai Ferry

We’ve Passed the Halfway Mark!

We’ve made it to Challenge #5, and we’re still alive and writing, so for this challenge, let’s see how you do with some rather unnatural constraints.

Carrot Ranch writers are used to the challenges inherent in writing a 99-word story. Flash fiction requires a delicate balance between brevity of words and richness of story. Becky Tuch at The Review Review offers the following perspective on flash fiction:

Part poetry, part narrative, flash fiction—also known as sudden fiction, micro fiction, short short stories, and quick fiction—is a genre that is deceptively complex. […] Distilling experience into a few pages or, in some cases a few paragraphs, forces writers to pay close attention to every loaded conversation, every cruel action, every tender gesture, and every last syllable in every single word.

[The link above also offers some great insights from experts in flash fiction on how to write these stories]

The current challenge embraces the idea that every word matters by using a medium where every character matters: Twitter. Twitter gives you just 140 characters to convey your message (unless you’re one of the lucky few to have been granted the new 280-character limit), but of course adding hashtags (e.g., #FFRodeo) to enable people to find your tweets limits the number of characters even further.

The Challenge: #Twitterflash

In this challenge, you are tasked with writing a complete 99-word story using Twitter. The story—real or imagined (or anywhere in between)—can be on any topic and in any genre, as long as it is exactly 99 words (not including a title, if you choose to use one). Easy peasy, right?

Not so fast…

We do have some additional parameters:

  • Every story must be made up of 11 sentences of exactly 9 words each.
  • Each individual sentence should be tweeted, one at a time, for a total of 11 tweets (plus one tweet with the title, if you choose to use one).
  • Just to add some kick to the rodeo, every tweet must include two hashtags: #FFRodeo and #Twitterflash

Social media has become a finicky friend for the modern-day writer, and we hope you use this challenge to generate engagement with and amongst your followers and fellow writers. Although the judging will not consider the number of likes/retweets you generate (#itsnotapopularitycontest), we will be looking at how effectively you combine your wordsmithing skills with the Twitter platform—namely, we want every tweet to be truly tweet-worthy*. #MakeEveryWordCount!

*How the judges define tweet-worthy: Does the tweet make you pause (in a good “hey-this-is-cool” way)? Would you be curious? Would you want to read more? Would you retweet it? Would you follow the author in Twitter based only on this tweet? Would you read other (past) tweets by this author?

You’ve got 10 whole days to work on this challenge, which ends on Sunday, October 29 at 11:59 pm EST. Not a tweeter yet? Now’s your chance to join Twitter and gain some friendly and supportive followers. Not convinced? You can take this as a challenge instead and forgo the Twitter platform.

The Rules (#pleasebearwithus)

  1. To participate, start tweeting your story.
  2. The complete story must be exactly 99 words (not counting the title): 11 sentences with 9 words in each sentence (from first word to concluding punctuation mark, expressed or implied).
  3. Every tweeted sentence of the story must include both #FFRodeo and #Twitterflash in the body of the tweet. Additional hashtags can be included, space permitting.
  4. Sentences cannot be changed or adjusted once tweeted (i.e., no do-overs), but feel free to get feedback on where your story should go next from followers, friends, postal workers, your half-sister’s ex-in-laws’ dog trainer… Twitter is social media, so #besocial and #havefun.
  5. Because the Twitter timestamp only shows hour/minutes, please wait at least two minutes between each tweet (#veryimportantrule) to ensure that the judges read your story in the correct order (note rule 6 for exceptions). Other than the 2-minute rule, sentences can be tweeted in a short time span or spread out however the author prefers within the challenge timeframe.
  6. The numbering of sentences within the tweets is not required, but if you have enough free characters, please number your sentences (#savethejudgessanity). If numbering is included in every one of your tweeted sentences, you can ignore rule 5.
  7. Abbreviated words (e.g., 2 for to, bc for because) can be used as long as the meaning remains clear; these words still count toward the 9-word requirement.
  8. Entrants are encouraged to include any punctuation necessary for clarity; punctuation can be omitted to save Twitter characters if necessary, but the meaning must remain clear to judges/readers.
  9. Sentences must be in the actual tweet, not in a graphic attached to the tweet. Of course, feel free to attach graphics to any of your tweets because we humans like eye candy, but the judges will only consider the text within the actual tweet.
  10. Do not attach any “buy links” (i.e., links to places where people can buy your work) to the 11 sentences tweeted for the story, but feel free to share such links outside the challenge parameters (e.g., sharing buy links as a twelfth tweet for people who have enjoyed your challenge writing). #wesupportwriters
  11. Although there are absolutely no theme or genre restrictions, Twitter is a public forum, so tweet accordingly. Please write responsibly. We don’t want anyone to get banned (or worse) from Twitter. #dontwakethetrolls
  12. Multiple entries are allowed, but the entrant is responsible for ensuring that multiple entries are clearly marked as such.
  13. The nature of this challenge means that judging will not be completely blind. That being said, all entries will be copied in their entirety (as a story) into a master list and stripped of identifying information before being shared among the judges for evaluation purposes.
  14. Judges (and fellow Carrot Ranch writers and wranglers) may like/retweet your sentences and stories. These interactions are purely promotional and social in nature and in no way indicate, suggest, or imply that the judges endorse your story as a winning story. Judging will not begin until after the submission window closes.
  15. All decisions by the judges are final, and neither the judges nor anyone associated with Carrot Ranch are responsible for what happens on Twitter, including but not limited to delays, data errors, missing tweets, and trolls.
  16. Finally, if you’ve been bestowed with the new 280-character limit on Twitter, we kindly ask that you use only 140 characters for this challenge. #pleaseandthankyou

 CHALLENGE OPTION: If you don’t feel up to entering a contest or signing up for Twitter, please feel free to respond to the challenge in the comments section of this post: 11 sentences of 9 words each for a 99-word story. Weekly Flash Fiction Challenges resume November 2.

Judging Criteria

  1. Stories include exactly 11 nine-word sentences. If judges disagree on the number of words included, Microsoft Word will be used as the final word count.
  2. All 11 tweets per story include both hashtags (#FFRodeo #Twitterflash) and are tweeted before the deadline.
  3. Stories include a complete arc (i.e., beginning, middle, and end).
  4. Individual sentences are tweet-worthy and contribute to the story as a whole in a meaningful way.

 About the Judges

  1. C. Jai Ferry has published several collections of short stories. Her narrators are often described as brutally honest and likely needing some form of professional help.
  2. Mardra Sikora (#Twitterguru) is an author, speaker, and advocate who believes in the power of words and uses both fiction and non-fiction to advocate for and with her adult son, Marcus.
  3. Lisa Kovanda writes fiction and non-fiction books, stories, and screenplays in urban fantasy, horror, paranormal, historical, and biographical genres. She is also a paranormal investigator.

Next up: Buckin’ Bull Go-Round by D. Avery on Tuesday, October 24.

Announcement of Winners

Winners will be announced on Twitter and Carrot Ranch on December 5, 2017.

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.




You May Also Like…

TUFF Winner Announced

TUFF Winner Announced

Everything about the TUFF Rodeo contest was difficult. TUFF is an acronym for The Ultimate Flash Fiction. The contest...


  1. Liz H

    Mind = Blown 😮
    But hey, I need that stretch, soooooo… 😉

    • Charli Mills

      I KNOW! Mine, too! We are getting put to the paces now! Time to stretch…

      • Liz H

        (I hear my joints crackling…just sayin’)

      • Charli Mills

        Yep! I just posted my title…back to post my first sentence.

    • Norah

      I agree. I’ve just been blown off my perch and far away. I haven’t even started the last one yet! 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        Now it’s a Rodeo, running between events. 😉

      • Norah

        Ah, so that’s why I’m breathless. It’s not just excitement. 🙂

  2. Sarah Brentyn

    I’m on it… I’ll be back. 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Yay, Sarah! I kept thinking this one was right up the Lemon Shark alley.

    • C. Jai Ferry

      wow — look at you go!!!

      • Charli Mills

        Glad you had fun with it Sarah! Thanks!

      • julespaige


        Fun. Thanks. I can work with this 11 X 9.
        I’ll have some for the challenge portion.

        Thank you, Jules

      • Sarah Brentyn

        Thanks, all. 🙂 It’s an example (recall I didn’t promise a GOOD example, just an example). But it’s a fun challenge.

    • Norah

      Wow! Sarah, what a fantastic story. You are the queen of the mini story, telling a lot in few words.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Norah, I hate to correct you, but I have it on good authority that Sarah is the Empress of Mini-story, not queen.

      • Norah

        Empress? How so?

  3. Charli Mills

    C. Jai Ferry once wrote an entire novella using Twitter! We discussed using a form or other social media platform, but the true essence of this unusual contest is its use of the Twitter platform. You might be surprised to learn that Twitter itself has spawned new micro literary forms because of its brevity.

    I do understand not everyone has a Twitter handle. This would be a time to test out Twitter and discover its uses as a platform for writers, authors and literary artists. If that’s not of interest to you, we invite you to take this as a challenge and submit a 99-word story crafted from 11 sentences of 9 words each. We will be compiling all stories, both challenges and contest entries to share after the contest winners are announced. So give it a go!

    I’m going to write my challenge on Twitter (I’m not eligible for the contests as lead buckaroo of this Rodeo) and I will then post it here in the comments.

    If you want to follow along on Twitter, follow these two hashtags: #FFRODEO #TWITTERFLASH.

    • Norah

      I’m looking forward to reading your story, Charli.
      I can’t even imagine how a novella is written in Twitter. I can’t imagine reading it. Just as well there are people who can. What creativity and innovation. I’m gobsmacked.

      • Charli Mills

        It takes a certain skill and which one it is I’m not yet certain! I’ve completed my story on Twitter and will share it here, too.

      • Norah

        I’ll see if I can find it on Twitter before I read it here. 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        I’ve been posting a flash a day on Twitter and it is not easy!

      • Norah

        I’ve tried to find a few to read. I read one all the way through. I think it might have been C. Jai’s, but I had trouble finding others in sequence. I’ll have to have another look sometime soon to see if it’s any easier. 🙂

  4. C. Jai Ferry

    Just a quick note here to let people know that, for as many constraints/rules this challenge has, it can also be a very freeing challenge because you can play with words and form without worrying about grammar rules (blech) and punctuation (double blech). All of the judges have experience with this kind of writing process, and we’re all super excited to see how many more writers we can entice to the dark side…oops, er… I mean introduce to this unique writing experience. 😉

    • Charli Mills

      Twitter lit sounds freeing…! Are there raccoons over on Twitter?

    • Norah

      It is a super challenge – at first thought, daunting; at second, fun. Thanks for (attempting to) drag me out of my comfort zone. No promises yet! 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        It’s one that will be worth repeating, too!

      • Norah

        Now there’s an idea. 🙂

    • Sherri Matthews

      Wow C Jai…what a great prompt, had no idea such a thing existed on Twitter! But then I am a very bad Twitterer. A bit of a twit, more like. I use it rarely, don’t really get it and had no idea of the literary possibilities it offers. Always up for a challenge – and you don’t have to say ‘dark side’ twice to entice me – I’ll do my best to enter, but if not then as a challenge here in the comments. Up against the clock (house move…) but I really want to try this!

      • Charli Mills

        It’s worth giving it a go because there really is a lot happening on Twitter. I think what I struggle with is figuring out how to be a part of the lit scene, as I seem to stumble upon things after the fact. But this contest is giving me practice!

      • Sherri Matthews

        Arrgh…wish I had been able to, just couldn’t swing it with the move, D’s either. But…as you say, this contest is great practice for future events and ideas. You and I can stumble in after the fact together then…it’s a deal! Thanks again Charli! <3

  5. julesdixonauthor

    Thank you for inspiring me to take risks and find myself in this challenge. Can’t wait to read all the entries, too.

    • Charli Mills

      May your creative risks lead to breakthroughs! If not, there’s always the delete button. 😉 I’m looking forward to reading, too!

  6. Ritu

    Wow!That’s sure outta my usual box! Never fear, I’ll be back, it’s not one to try over a cup of tea first thing in the morning!

    • Charli Mills

      It might be one of those challenges where you forget to sip your tea and by the time you finish it’s cold (not like I’ve experienced that…)! This is an unusual one and I’m ready to try it!

      • Ritu

        Oh it is definitely interesting!!!!

      • julespaige

        After I finished my first one… for the challenge section I thought of more… almost up to three. And maybe more…
        But maybe I’d better stop at 3!

      • Charli Mills

        Jules, I think you might be hooked!

  7. Norah

    Reblogged this on Norah Colvin and commented:
    And now for something completely different!
    Got some time to fritter away? Try Twitter Flash Fiction in the Carrot Ranch #FFRODEO

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Norah!

  8. katimac62yahoo

    While I love participating in #FFRodeo, I dreaded the #Twitterflash competition as I have no Twitter account and am not motivated to join the #Twitterverse. I would like to submit my entry anyway. So, here is my Twitter attempt, entitled, “We Are All Star Stuff”.

    “The world spins so the stars can watch you.”
    Papa held Deanna’s hand as they stood there, grieving.
    “Which star is Mama’s?” she asked, clinging to him.
    “That blue one.” He pointed to the south.
    “The white one is Grandma and Grandpop.” He pointed southeast.
    “Both of them?” she asked. She sucked her thumb.
    Papa moved behind Deanna, nudged her thumb back out.
    “Binary stars are two stars that circle each other.”
    “They are so close they look like one star.”
    “Wow,” Deanna whispered softly, neck craning back and up.
    “We are all star stuff,” Papa said. Deanna sighed.

    Whether my entry is counted or not, it was fun. Looking forward to the Rodeo on Tuesday.

    • julespaige

      Nicely done. Hope you stop by my challenge pieces once I post them.
      (Later today… I’m not getting a twitter account either.)


    • Charli Mills

      That’s beautiful! And I do understand the reluctance to join #Twitterverse. I think what made a huge difference for me was finding #MondayBlogs. It’s managed well so all the hashtag posters are legitimate blogger with good posts to share. Others like #SundayShares, #WWWblogs, #BlogersBash and many more specific hashtag days or events are also socially engaging. One aspect I haven’t done on Twitter is explore the literary art forms. It is intimidating, from a technological standpoint, but it is worth doing. If the judges aren’t accepting any of the non-Twitter entries, I will still publish all the challenges along with the entries. I’m so glad you are riding through all the events! Tuesday is going to be fun — all contestants will get to draw a bull, a real rodeo bull! It won’t be about bulls, but the bull’s name will be the prompt, and there’s some wild names!

  9. julespaige

    I’ll be entering as challenges. I’m having a blast thinking about this. I only hope I’ve got it half write 😉

    (Most of my sentences are under 60 characters.)

    I’ve got two finished and am working on a third.

    But my question is … do these puppies have titles?

    Thanks and good luck to all the Tweeters.


    • Charli Mills

      Yes! The 12th “tweet” or pre-tweet can be a title, but not required and not counted in the words or lines.

      • julespaige

        (I’m having so much fun with these…I might do one for every day…)

  10. julespaige

    Title: “Pip” Squeaked

    Seven come eleven a gambler’s chant; casino cat call?

    The shooter had the point of nine, right in the center.

    The first roll was a railroad nine, a four and five.

    Next roll was an Ozzie and Harriet, a pair of fours.

    Little Phoebe, ‘fiver’ was next, he hadn’t lost yet.

    Slim had insurance hiding in his pocket, a Colt!

    Monty didn’t know that, and rolled a dos equis.

    Chips were piling up, the whip silently called security.

    The eyes in the sky were watching every move.

    Life’s a crapshoot, don’t bet what you can’t lose.

    Slim, whispered in Monty’s ear; “Time to cash out”.

    JP/dh (10/2017)

    2)…Seven Come Eleven, means you that any time after the first roll when a shooter has a point to make You win on natural seven or eleven and lose on craps (two, three or twelve). Any number that comes up is a “come point”, and must be thrown before a seven is thrown.
    3)‘Dos equis’ two fives, or ten the hard way.
    4) ‘the whip’ is the ‘dealer’ who pushes the dice back to the player.
    5)Eye in the Sky in this case refers to the cameras in the ceilings of most modern casinos.
    6) a pip is the dot mark on a die or dice

    • Charli Mills

      Fabulous 9×11 flash, Jules! The lines have a great rhythm and I enjoyed all the gambler’s lingo.

      • julespaige

        Not something I was familiar with either….
        That’s where research comes in 😉

      • Charli Mills

        Oh, yes, research — now there’s some good inspiration!

  11. Don Massenzio

    Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this flash fiction contest from this post on the Carrot Ranch blog

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for sharing, Don!

      • Don Massenzio

        You’re welcome.

  12. elliotttlyngreen

    I don’t know about the rest of ya’ll but my tingles are definitely rejuvenated with this Rodeo. Yes, no, I’m not established in the Twitter realm; as of yet…or my alter ego.. Hmm Debating what we will be doing for thee contest.

    May just go -‘kiss me on the sunshine’- (i think my inspiration’s back! ! )

    btw totally dig the cover of your book C Jai “Skeleton Dance” —-And Excellent idea here. Good luck to everyone.

    • Charli Mills

      Come to the dark side of Twitter! Start out with this contest and meet some of the Twit Lit folks. You’d enjoy this form, I think!

      Isn’t Skeleton Dance a great cover (and book). It’s also a Nebraska film!

      • elliotttlyngreen

        I was close to joining the Empire… i even have the app downloaded. Maybe this will push me into it.

        I do admire the cover and wpuld be curious to pick up skeleton dance. Thats awesome it was made into a film! Have to look into checking it out.

      • Charli Mills

        Come on over to the Twitter Side! Skeleton Dance is a great read. Do you have a kindle or are you interested in a hard copy?

      • elliotttlyngreen

        I would be more interested in a hard copy…Do not have a kindle.

        OK I participated. i have joined. The other side has a new member… in true Elliott Lyngreen style! !

      • Charli Mills

        Welcome to Twitter! 🙂 Okay, Elliot, you’ll need to email me your mailing address.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for sharing, Bobby!

  13. Colleen Chesebro

    Holy buckets! Now that’s a challenge! 😀

    • Charli Mills

      It certainly is, Colleen! 😀

  14. D. Wallace Peach

    What a challenge. Wowza! Another fun one.

    • Charli Mills

      They keep on coming! 😀

      • D. Wallace Peach

        I’m having a lot of fun with these flash challenges and the variety! They jumpstart the old imagination and stretch the skills. What a great idea.

      • Charli Mills

        They sure do! I’m having fun, too!

    • Charli Mills

      That’s awesome Colleen!

      • Colleen Chesebro

        Aww, Charli. You guys are great inspiration. <3

      • Charli Mills

        I like where inspiration takes you, Colleen!

    • Ritu

      Ooer! Not sure how I did that lol!

      • C. Jai Ferry

        I’m not sure either, but that is cool!

      • Ritu

        Lol! So Clueless with tech, but made myself almost look tech savvy!!!

      • Liz H

        :=o Wow!

      • Ritu


    • Charli Mills

      Yay, Ritu! Ha, ha! I’m not sure either but it’s kind of cool. 😀

      • Ritu

        Lol!! Thanks Charli!!! 😀

      • Charli Mills

        Further proving what a mystery Twitter is! 😀

  15. Judy E Martin

    This is going to be a very tricky one for me, but I think I will try and give it a go!

    • Charli Mills

      Go for it, Judy! 🙂

      • Judy E Martin

        Thanks for your encouragement, Charli 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        We all need some some as writers!

  16. floridaborne

    I have to admit — I don’t understand twitter. #1, 3 & 11 showed up, but I did as instructed and waited 2 minutes between tweets.

    • C. Jai Ferry

      All 11 are there (on Twitter).

      • floridaborne

        Thanks. I was beginning to wonder if I’d managed to do something wrong.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for braving the Twittersphere! I’m glad they showed up!

      • floridaborne

        It was certainly a challenge. 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        I tried one “live” and discovered I could “erase” tweet mistakes! 😀

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, D.!

  17. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    I tweeted out eleven lines to see if it could be done. Challenge, not contest.

    On his fourth birthday his dad went to prison.

    Shortly before his eighth birthday his dad was paroled.

    His mom and dad partied together until she od’d.

    The man called dad left her, left him, again.

    He searched the house in vain for hidden presents.

    He found needles, empty bottles and some uneaten oreos.

    He ate in silence, imagining that she only slept.

    Twisting each oreo apart, licking the filling, he knew.

    This wasn’t birthday cake and his mom wasn’t asleep.

    On TV, 911 calls bring action, help, and noise.

    He would call but after the oreos were gone.

    • Charli Mills

      That’s a gut-wrenching Twitterflash, D. Each line reads like a sad snapshot of this child’s life.

    • julespaige

      While I really enjoy my Oreo’s… I’m going to be looking at those cookies a little differently from now on…

      Darn good flash. Which I’d imagine could have more truth than fiction.

  18. robbiesinspiration

    Wow, this is a really awesome idea.

    • Charli Mills

      Have fun with it, Robbie!

  19. julespaige

    Even not being on Twitter this form has tickled my fancy:

    Title: Tackle ‘Boxed’

    The lure was a casting call, so she went.

    Hook, line and sink her was was what he wanted.

    The stage was set with a single red couch.

    The velvet curtains could not hide his intent.

    Going off his script was vital to her escape.

    The pepper spray she always carried came into action.

    Blindsided, the single bright ‘spot’ couldn’t help him focus.

    He could hear her footsteps echo towards the exit.

    A thespian career might be off limits for now.

    Community theater with people she knew, would not flounder.

    Jack Bass bragged about the one that got away.

    JP/dh 10.18/17

    • Charli Mills

      I agree, Jules. It does have an interesting form. I’ve seen writers doing the six sentence challenges, but often each sentence is long. It’s challenging to stick to only nine words. That’s a great (non)twitterflash! I like your play with fishing terms in a thespian setting. It also seems to echo issues we are seeing in the news. Jack Bass — great name!

  20. macjam47

    Reblogged this on BOOK CHAT and commented:
    Are you up to a challenge? Charli Mills over at Carrot Ranch is featuring a twitterflash contest. Join the fun!

    • Charli Mills

      Thank you for sharing on BOOK CHAT!

      • macjam47

        My pleasure. ????

    • Charli Mills

      Fabulous twitterflash entry, Judy!

      • Judy E Martin

        Thanks Charli. I am really pushing myself to go out of my comfort zone! 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        You are doing a splendid job!

  21. julespaige

    I almost have one… of these Twitter Challenges for every day. I have had a blast playing with this form. It’s Saturday and a good day to catch up on chores around my ‘private’ ranch… so here is #3, enjoy:

    Title: People who Knead People…

    Together, in the city they opened “The Baker’s Knead”

    Morris always put thirteen cookies in his baker’s dozen.

    Patty knew funnel cakes were fit to be fried!

    The married couple took measure of their area’s competition.

    Later Patty and Morris created a half baked plan…

    Allspice and arsenic baked in some of their pies.

    One by one, like Agatha’s ‘Ten Little Indians’… Gone.

    Soon Patty and Morris had to hire outside help.

    When the dough started piling in, they thought; retirement.

    The dead mouse behind the wall became their downfall.

    Detective Mascarpone found the couple in Boca Raton, Florida.

    JP/dh ~Jules

    • Charli Mills

      I’m glad you find the form inspirational! I find it challenging which is why I’ve been doing one a day, too! I’m loving your punny sense of humor!

      • julespaige

        Thank you. kindly…

  22. Liz H

    Hey, I kinda wanted to enter the Contest part of this challenge, but without signing up for another 😮 social media account. If I post my response here in the comments, we’ll lose the blind review aspect of the thing.

    Do you have a form, much like the form for the other challenges, that we can use to send in our attempt?


    • julespaige

      As far as I understand it… The posted pieces in the comments are only Challenge pieces and not counted for the contest. I’m still having fun with writing them. And all the Challenge pieces will also be posted with however Charli is going to display and compile all the pieces for the eight separate rodeo events.

      If you aren’t on Twitter… you can’t enter the Contest. And I’m OK with that. I don’t have any social media such as Twitter, FB or snapchat, or even Pinterest.

      • Liz H

        Cool. I loved the challenge of trying to write something coherent in the Twitter format & so learned a lot that way. will post mine in comments as a challenge, then. 😉

      • julespaige

        While not quite the same I created a poetic form that is 8 symbols/letters, syllables or words by 10 lines in honor of October – I call it an OctaTimbre. I’ve been doing them all month on my daily short verse site.

        So creating a story in 9 word by 11 line format wasn’t that much of a stretch. Though I’ve gotten a tad ‘punny’ with Twitter entries. 😉

        As the cartoon character from the Roger Rabbit movie said…”I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way…” or something like that. 🙂

      • Liz H

        You and Jessica Rabbit! 😀

      • julespaige

        Yup! Gotta have humor. 😉
        You did know that P U is two thirds of a PUN. …

      • Liz H

        Aw…that just stinks! 😉

      • julespaige

        My favorite mathematical yoke…

        (‘cas I stinks at maths…)

    • Liz H

      Okay, I think I just tweeted my Twitterflash Contest Entry, with the two needed hashtags, and each line (incl. title) numbered from 0 to 11.

      Or, it could just’ve been that breakfast burrito gone wrong. In which case, I apologize…(blush!).

      Am I now officially IN the 21st century? :=O

      • julespaige

        Awe, good for you! I still have a flip cell phone and haven’t even done a text message yet. 😀

        I don’t think I’ll ever officially be IN.

        I was born a misfit of the 1960’s (well just a few years before then…) and I can live with that. 🙂

        Stay tuned though I have a few more Challenge pieces.
        *I heard that groan!*

      • Liz H


    • Charli Mills

      Yay, Liz! I found you on Twitter! I know what you mean about yet another platfrm but I do find Twitter expedient. I do most of my blog reading and sharing on Mondays under the #MondayBlog event. We tried to develop a form, but part of Twitterflash is the Twitter experience. There really is much going on in the literary scene over there. It’s a solid platform for writers so I’m glad you took the plunge. Great twitterflash!

      • Liz H

        You guys are gonna drag me, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century, aren’t ya? ;-D

      • Charli Mills

        That’s okay! You aren’t alone in the kicking and screaming! 😀

  23. julespaige

    A bit on the dark side here is another Challenge piece.

    4 Title: Undeniably Stiff

    Alfredo liked women; like boxed pasta stiff and unresponsive.

    The mortician never did act on his obscure thoughts.

    The dead spoke to him, through his active imagination.

    Well that was until his young niece was killed.

    The Drummore neighborhood was just shy of hell’s handbasket.

    As a favor to family, Alfredo cared for Alicia.

    Prepped and ready after removing bullets; he needed makeup.

    He blinked his eyes when he heard her voice.

    Alicia’s lips hadn’t moved, but had entered his head.

    In chilling detail described her murderers to zio Alfredo.

    The mortician had to convince the police, or not…


    Note: In Italian zio means uncle.

    • Charli Mills

      Dark, but well done, Jules! Alfredo…you have the best names!

      • julespaige

        Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve.

        I just had to do Alfredo (sauce) with pasta… anyway or unfortunately cream sauces do not agree with me… but the pun was there…

      • Charli Mills

        I’m drooling! I love Alfredo sauce!

  24. Sherri Matthews

    Reblogged this on A View From My Summerhouse and commented:
    Next up at Carrot Ranch: Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #5 is C. Jai Ferry’s 9×11 Twitterflash! Her contest asks us to complete a 99-word story using Twitter on any subject or in any genre as long as it is exactly 99 words and made up of 11 sentences of exactly 9 words each. Each individual sentence should be tweeted, one at a time, for a total of 11 tweets (plus one tweet with the title, if you choose to use one). C. Jai gives us 10 days for this challenge, deadline is Sunday, October 29 at 11:59 pm EST. If Twitter isn’t for you, why not enter your story as a challenge in the post comments at Carrot Ranch? And remember, there’s no entry fee, a cash prize of $25 for the winner who is then entered into the Best of Show with a further $50 prize. Read on for full details…happy Twittering everyone!

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, for the share and plug for the Rodeo, Sherri!

      • Sherri Matthews

        Always Charli! <3

  25. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    “What are you doin’, straddlin’ that roped up barrel?”

    “Ain’t no barrel Pal, it’s a wild buckin’ bull.”

    “Ain’t so sure yer barrel ain’t been tapped, Kid.”

    “Mebbe, an’ why’re we speakin’ in 9 word sentences?”

    “Aw, it’s CJ, she gits tweety ideas about flash.”

    “Been a bit tapped herself since the ‘coon invasions.”

    “Yep. These so-called writers is really jest sleep deprivits.”

    “You jist made up a noun for sleep-deprived people.”

    “Yep, an’ you ain’t said much about that barrel.”

    “Bull ridin’s comin’ soon to a ranch near you.”

    “Fun jest doesn’t slow down with this here rodeo.”

    • julespaige

      Oh, yeah. Not knowing what your prompt is going to be…
      That’s a cool twisty twist. But I’m game!
      Gimme one for the Contest and one for the Challenge 😉

      After all slowin’ down too much brings y’all to a dead stop…

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        OMG, there are no quotation marks! Slap-dash.

      • julespaige

        ??? I’m a tad confused. Was I supposed to use some (quotes)? Any where or where. And that slap-dash, that ain’t the end of a bull whip crack is it?

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        No, someone posted this here yarn without quotes (It was me; I am slapdash)

      • julespaige

        Awe, no worries. It read jist fine. 😉

      • Charli Mills

        The Bestower of Quotation Marks rode through!

    • Charli Mills

      Love the latest yarn D.! Are you a writin’ sleep deprivit? 😉 Your barrel is up and soon to be unleashed!

  26. julespaige

    Extreme measures… can often backfire…
    (I can only hope that Wonderland survived… just saying, s’all…)

    5 Title: Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow

    How could they multiply so fast, those wily wabbits?

    Papa complained that they’d strip the garden bare soon.

    Mama thought the fence would keep the critters out.

    Uncle Ned fell asleep; his rifle at the ready

    Auntie Bertha though rabbit stew would be just fine.

    No one seemed to be able to catch them.

    Cousin Bo tried stuffing mice traps in their warrens.

    The traps didn’t work and only attracted more mice.

    Only the cat seemed to be happy, eating vermin.

    Paulie stuck dynamite down every hole he could find.

    The boom was heard county wide, the farm was destroyed.


    • Charli Mills

      Ha, ha! Your flash has a great build up to the farm’s final destruction!

  27. Chris Mills

    I’m just getting around to this challenge. Seems daunting. Forgive me if this has been asked, but do the two required hashtags count toward the nine words? I realize they must count toward the 140 characters.

    • C. Jai Ferry

      The hashtags are not part of the 9 words (but major props to you if you can actually incorporate them into your story!) 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      When I wrote my first one, I realized there was plenty of room left for the hashtags. It’s challenging and yet fun!

  28. cam8510

    That may be the worst thing I’ve published online. haha, oh well. I’m not an experienced tweeter. Maybe I’ll try again before the deadline. Heads up if you read the story. One segment is out of order and on another, the number is lost between a misplaced hashmark and the first word of the story. *facepalm*

    • Charli Mills

      Welcome to Twitter Lit! 😀 We all feel the palm to the face at one time or another on Twitter.

  29. cam8510

    My first thought when I read this challenge was, Run, Chris, Run……the other way……Instincts are only helpful if you follow them.

    • julespaige

      “Run, Chris, Run……the other way……Instincts are only helpful if you follow them.” ….I’m thinking you might need to hold that thought for the next two challenges. Bull Ridin’ and mysteries. No one ever says 1) I ain’t gonna ride that bull today, or 2) especially when they hear that awful warning music…run from the guy with the knife that is hiding in the shadows…

      Instincts… are they an overrated survival mechanism… ???
      *she says as she tosses her hat in the ring without looking into the depth of the shadows*

    • Charli Mills

      It’s good to do something every day that scares you as a writer!

      • julespaige

        I ain’t afraid of no ghost-writer…
        I do all my own work!
        *grin or grimace*

      • Charli Mills

        GRIN & GRIMACE!

  30. julespaige

    No humor – just a Twitter Tale about an old neighborhood –
    Could it be where you live???

    6 Title: Misfits?

    Some thought that Marjorie Showalter was a wood nymph.

    Belonging to a secret coven wasn’t always very easy.

    The old Victorian backed up on seemingly boundless wood.

    Marjorie wasn’t a nymph she was a High Priestess.

    The coven needed a new High Priest; Stan died.

    Stan passed at the ripe old age of ninety.

    The man did not look a day over sixty.

    The Showalter’s had been very good to Fairmont.

    New blood was exhilarating, but everyone was extremely cautious.

    The Parkers were regarded as strange, keeping to themselves.

    Marjorie discovered they were in witness protection – hopefully transients.


    • Charli Mills

      Each one is different. You have really taken to this form!

      • julespaige

        I got one for everyday… (maybe I’ve got multiple personalities too?)

  31. julespaige

    In a Fairy Tale Mode today, enjoy:
    7 Title: A Frog Tail – Tweeted
    (Tweeter format 11×9)
    Fae hid behind the toadstool watching the Frog Prince.

    Cursed for his vanity was that totally toady personality.

    Tad once Thaddeus was drawn to his own ‘mug’.

    Forgotten as to why a small crown stuck fast.

    Leaning gingerly he could see the sun’s sparkled reflection.

    Fae knew how to break the spell, would she?

    Could Fae attract the doe faced princess close enough?

    Just one kiss would get both humans cast out…

    Then the rest of the fairies could play freely.

    They were tiring of Tad’s croaking full of angst.

    Would a golden ball lure Gwen from the castle?

    • Charli Mills

      Toadly wonderful, Jules!

  32. julespaige

    A tad spaced out… Since they are already written I might as well keep posting them… Enjoy:

    8 title : Relief in Retreat or A ‘Good’ Good Bye

    Orbiting Earth seemed so strange to the lost generation.

    Told by history that they really were human beings

    From light years away, Friday Robinson wanted more proof

    There wasn’t any great need to rush down there.

    Scans showed no resources that the starship absolutely needed.

    Pollution, corruption, devastation, anarchy, collapsed cities, and unfriendly people.

    Their own descendants had managed to escape eons ago.

    A slight miscalculation brought them ever so much closer.

    But did the ship’s occupants want to meet up?

    They knew they could not save the worn planet.

    Captain Robinson packed sentiment aside; ordered her crew: Vanish!

    • Charli Mills

      Wow, I like the perspective on this one.

  33. julespaige

    I’m still roped in by this ‘challenge’… are you?

    9 Title: Who’s Trespassing?

    “Pony up,” said Parker “We need a round up.”

    “A broken fence” and “Something unknown spooked the cattle.”

    Parker had his suspicions about his new city neighbor

    The Tumbleweed Ranch been bought up by a stranger

    Waltzed into town bragging about how rich he’d be.

    Almost daring folks with a proclamation of “Keep Out”.

    All hands saved, corralled and counted every single head.

    Could the Elder Spirits want trouble? Not very likely.

    Though the Ancients probably didn’t want their treasures looted.

    Parker’s crew mended the big gap in his fence.

    The lone wolf kept howling though, that spooked ‘em.


    • Charli Mills

      Yep! I feel the rope burns! Great TwitterWesternMystery!

  34. julespaige

    Nope I ain’t swimmin’ with em… Just luring their names…
    10 Title Foul Pesce

    Birdie found it hard to swallow, after she ducked.

    But she wasn’t gonna let him cook her goose!

    He’d been a total red herring; like an eel

    Turned out to be more like a pigfish barracuda.

    What a skate – he’d been so nice at dinner.

    Birdie wasn’t looking for a Gag Grouper or a Tiger Shark.

    She was hoping for a butterfish or maybe a dolphin.

    But not a stingray, swordfish or an unruly scamp

    Knocked the man clear of his pitard, she did!

    Then Birdie flew free of his fishily crafted plans

    Straight to the local police department of Swan Lake.


    Just some notes:

    Red herring :In novels, usually mystery novels, a “red herring” is an extraneous character meant to divert the reader’s attention from the true killer/robber/etc. It is usually a logical choice for the culprit, but ends up being nothing. (with thanks to the Urban Dictionary)

    Shakespeare’s phrase, “hoist with his own petard,” is an idiom that means “to be harmed by one’s own plan to harm someone else” or “to fall into one’s own trap”, implying that one could be lifted (blown) upward by one’s own bomb, or in other words, be foiled by one’s own plan.

    Latin for fish; pesce

    Fish or sea names: herring, eel, pigfish, barracuda, skate, gag grouper, tiger shark, butterfish, dolphin, stingray, swordfish, scamp all from some list I found on the ‘net’.

  35. julespaige

    OK please don’t toss any rotten eggs… This is fiction after all…
    And you’d be the one to have to clean off your computer screens…

    The last (perhaps not the least in this form) here – Here ya go:

    11 Title: Pecking Order

    Elder Egbert Yolkel was a free range chicken farmer

    No one could hold a candle to his eggs

    Some were brown others bone white, some had spots

    The man did a fine business with two coops

    One for the chickens the other for the chicks

    Two separate entrances to his farm prevented any overlap

    Though he made sure his girls were cared for

    His wife being a former Madame, ran her end

    And together they counted silver coins and some greenbacks

    Long as the ‘Rosters’ minded their manners, played fair

    The law stayed away – seeing no harm, no foul

  36. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me

    So…ugh. Did my Twitterflash, checked it, checked it again, did my thing. And as it turns out I did it wrong! Instead of 11 9-word twits or tweets or whatever, I had 9 11-word tweets. Thanks to D. Avery for helping me with my math homework on that one! LOL. This is why I did not become an accountant for a living!
    So, anyway, I ended up editing it and doing a second entry – with the correct setup this time. But it is true that 9 x 11 = 11 x 9. LOL.

  37. Charli Mills

    Thanks for your post, Madra!


  1. Flash Fiction Contest: TwitterFlash 9×11 | Lemon Shark Reef - […] contest asks writers to pen a flash in 99 words composed in tweets: 11 tweets, 9 words each. Here’s…
  2. Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #5 | But I Smile Anyway... - […] Source: Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #5 […]
  3. #Twitterflash: A burst of 99-word #flashfiction stories celebrating #FFRodeo | C. Jai Ferry - […] #hashtaghappy, but that’s because for the next 10 days I am working as a wrangler over at Carrot Ranch,…
  4. Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #5 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist) - […] Source: Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest #5 […]
  5. Carrot Ranch Flash Fition Rodeo Challenge 5 – To Love and Honour #FFRodeo #Twitterflash | But I Smile Anyway... - […] I am trying my hand at the fifth challenge by the Carrot Ranchers for their Flash Fiction […]
  6. (nf) 2 MLMM haibun/ Natal Days (10.20) | Jules in Flashy Fiction - […] You can see more or become involved with this challenge/contest here: Carrot Ranch Rodeo Twitterflash Contest […]
  7. Licked | ShiftnShake - […] is my response to the Twitterflash challenge laid down by C. Jai Ferry for the Rodeo over at Carrot Ranch.…
  8. My Writing Addiction and Now TwitterFlash - Mardra Sikora - […] Essentially, write a 99 word, flash fiction story, in 11 tweets. There are a few more details, if you…
  9. Watching You #FFRodeo #Twitterflash – Hugh's Views & News - […] ninety-nine-word story using Twitter. You can check out all the details of how to enter by clicking here. Closing…

Discover more from Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading