Rodeo #2: Memoir

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 10, 2018

By Irene Waters, Rodeo Leader

Memoir is a passion, so I’m thrilled to once again host the memoir section of the Carrot Ranch Rodeo Contest. Hoping you’ll tighten your saddles and put on your spurs and join in. [READ MORE…]

Last year we had Scars – this year?

“She Did It.”

Three little words can hold so much meaning and have so many stories that come to mind. For the memoir prompt “She Did It” write a true story or a BOTS (based on a true story) keeping in mind the tips on writing memoir.

THE RULES:

  1. Every entry must be 99 words, no more, no less. You can have a title outside that limit. Check your word count using the net as this will be the one I use to check the entries. Entries that aren’t 99 words will be disqualified.
  2. The genre is memoir although BOTS (based on a true story) will be accepted.
  3. English grammar and spelling (American, English or Australian) are expected, but as long as the judges can understand the language, it is the story that matters most.
  4. And it must be a story — that is it must be complete by itself not a part of a larger narrative. Give it a beginning, a middle, and an end.
  5. The prompt is a prompt, and the three words don’t have to be used in your 99 words unless you want to.
  6. You must enter your name and email with your entry using the provided form below. If you do not receive an acknowledgment by email, contact us at wordsforpeople@gmail.com.
  7. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on October 17, 2018. Entries are judged blind, and winners announced November 16, 2018, at Carrot Ranch. Please do not compromise the blind judging by posting your entry before the winners are announced.
  8. You may post a “challenge” if you don’t want to enter the contest, but don’t use the form to enter the contest. Only contest entries will be published.

Above all have fun.

JUDGES (read full bios at SPONSORS)

Irene Waters

Angie Oakley

Helen Stromqvist

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ENTRIES! CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!

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131 Comments

  1. robbiesinspiration

    She did it – putting my thinking cap on. Nice topic.

    • Charli Mills

      I like the She Did It twist, Robbie! So much pops to mind.

      • robertawrites235681907

        It took me a while but I finally managed to produce an entry I am happy with. Sometimes it is easier than other times.

  2. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Almost

    “Kid, whatcha doin’?”
    “Mind yer- your- dialect. Irene mentioned grammar.”
    “She did? What’s my Gramma got to do with anythin’?”
    “This here’s a rodeo contest… gotta put the polish on fer all the folks. For.”
    “Four what?”
    “For.”
    “Fer gosh sakes, Kid, we ain’t contestin’ an’ I ain’t changin’ no how. I jist come by ta see what you know about you know who.”
    “Who? Yer gramma?”
    “No! D. Avery. Dang she’s ornery. What’d she do that’s got her in sech a mood?”
    “Oh, she’s gone an’ done it, Pal. Put a book out.”
    “She did it!”
    “True story.”

    *Author’s note; these two might be jumping the gun but the print version should be ready to go soon and apparently there is a digital version at the big on line market named for a big South American river.*

    • Annecdotist

      Yay, you did it … almost 🙂

      • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        LOL. You can always send a gramma pie my way – that would make me forget about grammer.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Almost. I’ll never be comfortable with kindling. I might be less ornery when I have a final print copy in my hands.
        Yikes.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        I love it when people misspell grammar.

    • Liz H

      I went and Googled it–Coolio!!

    • Charli Mills

      Cry me a river Kid, but your creator went and put herself out in the wide wonderful world as a … shhh … writer! Not that I’m promotin’ it or anythin’ …
      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HYWZQQY/

      Or saying congratulations!

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Ha! Ain’tcha a funny one, Shorty? How’n heck da ya rope such big books? Print available soon, Kindle as good as its gonna get.
        Thanks Boss. Thanks everyone.

      • Charli Mills

        That’s a mighty fine cover!

    • Norah

      Well, I’m so pleased you two took the lid of D.’s secret. I’ve gone and bought meself a copy. I know it’s just goin’ be a bewdy. She’s a mighty fine writer, and that cover is awesome purdy. I’m happy with a digital copy. Don’ need no paper copy. Have no need of kindling in my neck of the woods.
      Please pass my congratulations onto D. next time you see her. She did it!

      • Charli Mills

        Ha, ha! That is one purdy cover for the mighty fine and shy D. Avery.

      • robertawrites235681907

        I like the cover of this book. Will add it to my overflowing TBR.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        If you laughed then these two are doing their job and earning their keep around this here Ranch. And glad to do it.
        If this book makes your TBR pile- well, thank you very much.
        Some you’ll recognize from postings and prompts; some’s a might regional… and it’s too late, it’s all out there. I hope you like it.
        I have your latest on my TBR pile too; I think that will be a great way to learn more about the second world war. I think I’ll have my mother read it too and compare notes. As an American her experience was certainly different and no bombs falling, but her father served and it was a life changing experience for all.

  3. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Reblogged this on ShiftnShake and commented:
    She did it! Memoirist Irene Waters has posted the second Flash Fiction Rodeo contest event at Carrot Ranch. This one is for those who can handle the truth, or at least a story based in factual events. No entry fees, cash prizes! Try it; all the other kids are doing it.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        This is a great prompt. You are sure to reel in some great tales.
        By the way, good to see you. You’ve been busy. No Sunday coffee in a while.

      • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        I have been busy – this move has knocked me for six and my Mum, being president of TM and the publishing process for my own book is filling every spare second I get. With it all my creativity has dropped to zero (even with photography) but I’m hoping a trip to Egypt will see me back on deck by the end of November.

      • Charli Mills

        I hope Egypt fills your well, Irene!

      • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        It did Charli and no doubt you’ll hear and see a lot of it in the weeks to come.

  4. Annecdotist

    I like that prompt, Irene. She might just do it if she can think through anything she’s done!

      • Annecdotist

        I’d like to, but no ideas as yet.

      • Annecdotist

        Indeed, I found it a lot more difficult than I expected but I’ve submitted now. As an extremely reluctant memoirist, I’m looking forward to seeing what you think.

      • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        As you now know Anne I thought it was great. I’m interested in your new book. I won’t comment greatly on it until I have read it but you know that formation of identity is one of my passions.

    • Charli Mills

      She did it — I know she did. 😉

  5. Liz H

    So many possibilities! This calls for an infusion of bacon, eggs over medium, on top of crispy hashbrowns. And coffee…LOTS of coffee! I’m in.

    • Charli Mills

      Liz, you need to get together with Anne. And invite me over, too because I got a fall-time hankering for crispy hashbrowns and dark coffee.

      • Liz H

        Feeding the Muse…not QUITE the Artist’s Way, but I’ll take it!

      • Charli Mills

        Ha! It’s an acceptable variation!

      • Liz H

        If bacon is like manna from the gods, then…ye Gods! But…ok.

  6. floatinggold

    Definitely a challenging prompt. But what was I expecting?

    • Charli Mills

      Glad you find it challenging! And hopefully fun, too!

    • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

      Looking forward to eventually knowing what you write. We’re judging blind. Enjoy the challenge.

  7. Jules

    Do not adjust your set… this is an ad – it is a challenge piece.
    Title is the link to the post. Yup just for the fun of it:

    All ‘Addressed’ Up Nowhere To Go…

    Wanting a memoir, I hitched up my jodhpurs, put on
    my fringed leather jacket and took a ride… oh no I
    can’t use that I don’t have them fancy pants much
    less a horse of a different color.

    But I gotta write a memoir because that’s what’s up
    at the Carrot Ranch Rodeo this week. Yup, ‘She did
    It’ is the prompt.

    I’m supposed to write a beginning, middle and end.
    I’ll have to think hard on that. And save anything
    resembling that truth for a contest piece. This here
    is just an ad… Irene made me do it!

    ©JP/dh

    Have fun folks ~ Jules

      • Jules

        Sent… ’em.

    • Charli Mills

      She did it — Jules put her fancy-pants on and gussied up an ad for the Rodeo!

  8. reading journeys

    A challenging FF.
    I thought a great deal about what I wanted to write, for someone who gave so much of herself to her children.
    And I wrote it up as a BOTS.

    My entry is in. And no matter how it ends up in terms of the contest, I want to thank you for providing this wonderful space to explore both fiction and real life .

    Saifun

    • Charli Mills

      Saifun, I’m so pleased you can tap into your own exploration through this space. Good job, meeting the challenge!

  9. dgkaye

    This sounds like fun. The possibilities are endless. May I ask, if we enter our name with our entry in the form, how is it ‘blind’? 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Good question, Debby! The form goes into the leader’s email. The form keeps each section separate so leaders don’t have to look at the name section. The leaders copy from the story section and compile the entries that meet the word count and send those out to the judges who don’t see names. The leaders do their best to not peek because it makes it easier to judge blind.

      • Norah

        Thanks for this explanation, Charli. Debby’s is an important question.
        I have a question too. I’m wondering about the word count. I compared the count using both Word and wordcounter.net, as you suggested, and got different totals – one word difference. It’s the punctuation that does it. I think I’ll use both counters in my contest to be fair. I wonder what the other leaders will do.

      • dgkaye

        Thanks for explaining Charli. I was curious how that worked. 🙂 Good plan! <3

      • TanGental

        nor’s point on word count tallies with what I’ve just found using the word number checker and finding a few entries in at 100 or 101. Maybe that is down to a different checker. Back we go….

      • Charli Mills

        Good question, Norah. Yes, there are discrepancies between the two word counters and likely punctuation is the culprit. My preference, for editing, is Microsoft Word. But not everyone has access to it. Therefore, I offered a secondary, universally available word counter online. Writers will use one or the other but not both. I sent a clarification to leaders.

      • reading journeys

        Hi Charli,
        You’re right about the counting of punctuation.
        I use OpenOffice software and compared the word count to the suggested one — there is a difference; OpenOffice counts ellipses as a word. The suggested word counter does not. Openoffice is a free software — a good alternative to
        MS Word.

        Also — when do we receive the email acknowledgement for our entries?

        Enjoying the Rodeo!
        Saifun

      • Charli Mills

        Saifun, I would love to learn more about open source programs, but I’m not keen on learning new software (insert eyeroll for old dogs/new tricks jokes). Microsoft Word is the editor I use, which is why it’s offered as one of the word counters. To be fair to all the other options out there, I found a free universally available word counter (WordCounter.net) as a secondary option. Just be sure you are using one of those because that’s what the judges will use. Maybe one of these days I’ll make the open source leap!

        Good question about the confirmation — I’ve checked in with our leader, to make sure she’s getting the entries. I checked the “backdoor” and see your entry and others are coming in.

        I’m so glad you are enjoying the Rodeo!

  10. Sarah Brentyn

    Irene… Whoa. That is going to turn up a lot of fantastic stories. My mind is spinning. And BOTS is acceptable. I’m in. I have to be. That prompt is way too good.

    • Charli Mills

      It is a great prompt! Chase it down, Sarah!

  11. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Challenge

    Always fearful, she must have been more than mad when she called me in from riding my bike through the rising water that coursed down our street. I knew it was fun and that I was capable. Didn’t she?
    She would have felt my father’s absence more than I. Of course he was gone, he had to fix the power lines, it had been storming. I knew he always came back. Didn’t she?
    She knew we had no power ourselves and the river was rising. Somehow, all by herself, she got three kids and a dog to higher ground.

    • Charli Mills

      Great representation of “She Did It” D. I like the refrain of “Didn’t she?” to each passage followed by what she did.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        This ain’t fiction. But thanks for the 99 word restriction.
        That constraint made me be more sympathetic to the hero of this story.
        Maybe Irene or the other memoirists out there can speak to a phenomena of a changing of … attitude or perspective or sympathies as one writes a memoir.
        Yep, Shorty, I used ‘repetition’ because it’s a poet’s trick and if it ain’t fiction it’s creative non-fiction and yeah, you see what I did there.
        This really is a good prompt. If we all weren’t constrained by the BOTS business…
        which story? whose story? why Story?
        WRITE ON

      • Charli Mills

        That’s an interesting observation, D. I hadn’t thought that perspectives might shift during the process of writing memoir. Then again, I’m always distracted by what if to stick to it enough to find out! But I do know, that after years of managing communications I know all about taking on the perspective of others. Another reason I prefer to write fiction, lol!

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        I think all I meant was that if I’d not paid attention to boiling this down to a 99 word essence I would have had more room to be more dismissive of my mother and her fears; that’s the way it started. Then I had to pare down the words and I realized in paring the story down that she was as brave as she could be and maybe had more common sense than her seven year old daughter. Either way she got the job done, made a reasonable decision to stay at her sister’s on the hill. I started out judgmental and ended up a bit more sympathetic.

      • Charli Mills

        So the paring down allowed you to think through the perspective differently. That’s in line with how I think distillation works, but I hadn’t thought of it specifically with memoir. I’ve seen entrepreneurs have such shifts using TUFF to process their vision. Thanks for clarifying!

  12. Norah

    Reblogged this on Norah Colvin and commented:
    The first contest is done and dusted and the second is out of the chute. This time Irene Waters is the Rodeo Leader and she has challenged writers with a memoir prompt, “She did it”. (I think she’s done it this time. I don’t think I can do it. :)) Pop on over to the Ranch for all the finer details.

  13. Norah

    Great challenge, Irene. I haven’t decided yet how I’ll tackle this one. I have lots of stories in mind, but so far haven’t decided on a ‘real’ event. You’re making me think! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for sharing, Norah!

      • Norah

        My pleasure.

  14. calmkate

    several come to mind immediately so maybe I will have to enter a few 🙂
    YEHA

    • Charli Mills

      It’s a prompt that has many possibilities.

      • calmkate

        eh you have a clever bunch to lasso us in Charli 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        Ha, ha! Teach a writer to lasso other writers and we’ll never write alone!

  15. Jules

    Got at least one entry in.
    It’s tough for a fiction writer to get real.
    But when life gives you lemons… write about it.

    Good luck all. ~Jules

    • floatinggold

      I found myself with the same problem. My mind was racing with all these fictitious, out of this world plots…

      • Jules

        I suppose that when life gives you a bowl of cherries –
        something good, you could write about that too?

        Good luck.

      • floatinggold

        And same to you.

    • Charli Mills

      Ha! Yes, it can be hard to resist the lure of fictitious plots!

      • Norah

        I couldn’t and didn’t.
        She didn’t?
        She didn’t.

  16. TanGental

    goodness that is tricky Irene, but opens up a lot of possibilities… hmmmmm

    • Charli Mills

      Hard to settle on an idea…and then it has to be true or at least based on a true story.

  17. dgkaye

    Will we lose brownie points for not adding dialogue? Just wondering. 🙂

    • Jules

      I personally don’t think dialogue is needed for this prompt.
      I didn’t use it. I just reread the rules and don’t see anything implying that dialogue is required at all.

      • dgkaye

        Thanks Jules 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      No brownie points lost for this contest if you don’t dialog!

      • dgkaye

        🙂 😉

  18. floridaborne

    This was so hard! It’s easy to write a memoir — not so easy to stuff it into 99 words.

    • Charli Mills

      I see it the other way around! 😀 Glad you stuffed it all in there, Joelle.

      • floridaborne

        Thanks. 🙂

  19. Sherri Matthews

    Hi Irene, great to see you back again with your prompt. Look forward to giving this one my best shot…with the best intentions 🙂 Sorry for the late re-blog…’stuff’ pre-empted my attempts to go online with my laptop last week, but hauling myself back into the saddle again now. Thanks for all the great memoir tips, as always 🙂 <3

    • Charli Mills

      This one is in your sweet spot, Sherry! Thanks for re-blogging despite all the hurdles you had to get your horse over. 🙂 <3

      • Sherri Matthews

        Haha…you and me both! Time to take up horse jumping as a profession, I wonder?!! 😀 My pleasure…and thanks, Charli…delighted to be back in the saddle….again… 🙂 <3

      • Charli Mills

        I think you are ready for it, Sherri! <3

  20. Sherri Matthews

    Reblogged this on A View From My Summerhouse and commented:
    ‘She Did It’. That’s the prompt for Irene Waters’ Rodeo #2 Flash Fiction Memoir Contest. Huge apologies for my late re-blog this week – wifi/update issues, say no more – but there’s still plenty of time to enter by 11:59 EST 17 October. As before, all entries are free with a cash prize for the winner. Irene asks for a 99 word memoir or a BOTS (Based on a true story), all rules below. Winners announced 16 November at Carrot Ranch. Speaking of memoir…time to press on and good luck to all!

  21. Jules

    Irene – did you get my entries? I have three emails for you and not sure which one to use. I haven’t gotten any conformation that they were received. As I did with the first rodeo contest.

    If I need to email them to you – please send me an email first so I can just reply with my entries.

    ~Thanks Jules

    • Charli Mills

      Jules, your entries are in the “backdoor.” I’m checking in with Irene to make sure she’s getting the actual emails.

      • Jules

        Thanks.

  22. loristory

    Just entered, and the experience was fulfilling!

    • Charli Mills

      That’s good to hear, Lori! Thanks for entering!

  23. Ritu

    Tried to submit via the form Charli and Irene but it doesn’t seem to be sending, so I have emailed it to you. <3

    • Jules

      I’ve got gmail… they did some updates and messed stuff up.
      Like when WP does updates.
      Mine went through but I didn’t get confirmation yet.

      • Ritu

        I’m on Gmail too Jules. Nothing happened. But I’ve emailed my entry to Charli anyway ????

      • Jules

        If sent queries out to Charli and Irene. If I don’t get a reply soon – I’ll email my entries. Thanks

        The new gmail has the animated envelope… my hubby says he hasn’t noticed a change. I have to log on two or three times. And then there’s some blips. I keep sending gmail feedback. But nothing changes – it is a pain I have no choice but to live with.

      • Ritu

        I’ve had that update for a while…
        It hasn’t posed a problem so far.
        I’d email it anyway, then you can be doubly sure xx

      • Jules

        Thanks.

      • Charli Mills

        Jules, yours came through fine.

    • Charli Mills

      Ritu, yours is the only I didn’t get in the “backdoor” and your feedback helped me troubleshoot. It may a Gmail glitch or a browser issue. I changed the type of field the email was set to and that might adjust. Thanks!

      • Ritu

        Here’s hoping it’s all sorted out then ????????

      • susansleggs

        I didn’t get a confirmation for the first weeks entry or this weeks, nor an answer from Charli’s e-mail. Hope I’m getting through.

  24. Marje @ Kyrosmagica

    Have emailed you the entry Charli as not sure online form worked.

    • Jules

      Marje,

      I sent my entries to Charli’s email. But just to be safe I just sent them through Charli’s ‘contact page’ up on the top of the blog.
      Go to Charli Mills; there is a drop down menu, the last tag is ‘contact’.

      • Charli Mills

        Please email me directly as stated above if you have questions or concerns. We are simply delayed in responding. The entries are going through. If you use the contact page, it clutters the feed for when I have to sort for grabbing stories for the collections and it’s just me — there’s no administrative backup. 🙂

      • Jules

        Charli,

        Your email isn’t on the left side (bar?) anymore. That’s why I sent stuff to the contact page. But as long as your email is still working – I’ll stay out of the ‘contact’ zone.

        Cheers, Jules

      • Charli Mills

        It’s in Rule 6 which is the process to follow. 😉

      • Jules

        I did see that after I went looking. I guess I was used to it being on the side. The address is there

        The Rodeo is making us all dizzy 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Got both, Marje! Thanks!

  25. Colleen Chesebro

    I tried to email using the address provided and my gmail said it wasn’t recognized. ?? Anyway, I entered and didn’t receive a confirmation. 🙁

    • Jules

      Colleen,

      I sent my entries to Charli’s emai. But just to be safe I just sent them through Charli’s ‘contact page’ up on the top of the blog.
      Go to Charli Mills; there is a drop down menu, the last tag is ‘contact’.

    • Charli Mills

      Your entry is there, Colleen! I’ve emailed Irene to make sure they are coming in to her. It can be overwhelming when the floodgates open and I hope she didn’t get washed away! But I can check on the entries and I can see yours there. That’s bonkers about my email! But I’m glad you said something because it made me look at it ten times until I finally went…duh…the period at the end of the sentence was included in the hyperlink. It’s fixed!

      Must be some technology storm this weekend… 🙁

      • Colleen Chesebro

        LOL! It’s the Venus retrograde. No worries. I know you are all inundated. Glad to know it’s all good. Hugs for checking, Charli. <3

      • Charli Mills

        Venus needs to send us some technology love! 😀

  26. dgkaye

    Hi Charli. I just added my entry. Can you please check you can see it through ‘backdoor’ lol, as I read a few here weren’t sure their entry went through. 🙂 Thanks.

    • Charli Mills

      It’s in the backdoor, packed like a suitcase! 😀

      • dgkaye

        Lollllllllllllllllllll 🙂 Thanks!

  27. floatinggold

    Whew, that was close.
    Submitted!

    • Charli Mills

      You made it!

  28. Sherri Matthews

    Entered…phew! 🙂 <3

    • Charli Mills

      And now off to your travels! <3

      • Sherri Matthews

        Packed and ready for the off! <3

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. nf 10.10 /All ‘Addressed’ Up Nowhere To Go… /CR Rodeo #2 Memoir | Jules in Flashy Fiction - […] Carrot Ranch Rodeo #2 Memoir ad […]
  2. Track Memory | Chelsea Ann Owens - […] for Carrot Ranch Literary Society’s #2 Contest: […]
  3. CW: She did it! – One day at a time… - […] “She did it!” – a prompt for this week’s 99-word-CW piece. [Source: CarrotRanch] […]

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