Rodeo #3: Travel with a Twist

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 17, 2018

By Sherri Matthews

In July, I had the good fortune to spend a week’s holiday with my husband on the Italian Amalfi Coast. I say good fortune, because hubby won it, thanks to a random prize draw. We couldn’t believe it. Who wins those things anyway? Surely it’s a scam? But I can report back that it’s no scam because I’ve got the pics to prove it. [READ MORE…]

Welcome to Travel With A Twist, the third contest at Rodeo 2018.  Packed and ready for the off? Then let’s ride. But first, just like any essential safety demonstrations, a few simple rules before take-off:

  1. Entry must be 99 words, no more, no less (not including the title).
  2. Use the form below to enter, including your name (judging is blind).  All entries will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive an acknowledgment by email, contact us at wordsforpeople@gmail.com.
  3. You may enter as many times as you wish, but all entries must be received no later than 11:59 pm (EST) October 24, 2018.
  4. You may post a “challenge” in the comments 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.
  5. Contest winner, second and third place entries are announced here and at my blog, A View From My Summerhouse, on November 30.

JUDGES (read full bios at SPONSORS)

Waiting by the palm tree/bus-stop/tent to read your entries are the judges:

Sherri Matthews

Mike Matthews: An avid reader, Mike is a keen observer of life and writings, my fellow traveller, sound-boarder and proof-reader. Mike has also demonstrated insightful and patient editing skills since his wife (me) embarked upon the writing of her memoir, most aptly deployed when she’s threatened to shred the entire thing.

Hugh Roberts:  Author, blogger and friend, I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting Hugh in person several times at the Annual Blogger’s Bash in London. Hugh writes sizzling short stories with deliciously devious flair, many of which are published in his debut collection, ‘Glimpses’. His second volume follows in the New Year.   Hugh also won first place in Norah Colvin’s, ‘When I Grow Up’ competition in last year’s Rodeo.  You can catch up with Hugh at his blog, ‘Hugh’s Views & News.

And here’s our criteria for the winning entries:

    1. Any genre accepted, but the story must clearly be travel related.
    2. Journey anywhere you like near or far, on any mode of transport (or not), but make us emotional. We might cheer, wince; laugh or cry. Doesn’t matter, we can take it (we’ve got travel insurance).
    3. Wherever you go, there must be a twist in the tale, something we never saw coming. Don’t know about you, but I usually end up taking all the wrong things when I pack for a holiday. Layers are the key, I’ve learned. Just like the layers in your flash, that perfect item you almost didn’t pack, but decided to at the last minute… that’s what we’re looking for when we rummage through your bags.

Thank you for entering! The contest is now closed. Winners announced November 30, 2018, at Carrot Ranch and at Sherri’s blog, A View From My Summerhouse.

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150 Comments

  1. robbiesinspiration

    A great idea, Sherri. I am looking forward to this one.

    • Sherri Matthews

      Thanks, Robbi…can’t wait to read your entry! 🙂

  2. Charli Mills

    Another terrific rodeo contest! Thank you, Sherri!

    Just to let contestants know, I’ll be off-grid at a lightkeeper’s cottage along the wild shores of Lake Superior until Saturday afternoon. I’ll check in Wednesday afternoon before I head out. It’s a shared gift from one of my Veteran Spouses friends and I’m joining her to take time to work on my manuscripts.

    If you email wordsforpeople@gmail.com in regards to the Rodeo, I’ll reply Saturday (Oct. 20) evening. Sherri will be holding down the Ranch fort here!

    Have a great contest!

    • Annecdotist

      Wow, Charli, a lightkeeper’s cottage. Have a fabulous time.

      • Charli Mills

        Thanks, Anne. The cottage was lovely, the surf was furious.

    • Sherri Matthews

      Ditto Anne, Charli…have a fantastic time and don’t worry about the Ranch…at least for a few days 🙂 Keep that light shining and write like the wind…but a good wind, no gales or hurricanes or the like… see you soon! 🙂 <3

      • Charli Mills

        It was a steady wind and then a huge surge the day we left. Thanks for holding down the fort at the Ranch, Sherri!

      • Sherri Matthews

        Just so long as you kept dry…and warm…and safe… 🙂 My pleasure, Charli. Thank you for entrusting me with it…I’m so thankful for the wonderful participation and the great stories rolling in (but not read until after it closes!). Honoured for the wonderful opportunity to lead a contest again alongside such great company, and for the fantastic support from readers/writers near and far…thank you! 🙂 <3

    • dgkaye

      Charli. I submitted for Irene’s challenge yesterday through the submission form here. I never received confirmation. Can you please check it’s received? Thanks. 🙂 x

      • dgkaye

        Scrap this message Charli. I just received your email reply that my entry went through. <3

      • Norah

        I hope you’re going to respond to this travel one also, Debby. Another made for you! 🙂

      • dgkaye

        I’m working on it Norah. I’m waiting for a brilliant idea to smack me in the head LOL 🙂

      • Norah

        I’m sure you won’t have to wait too long, Debby. I think it will be in choosing where you’ll have the problem. You have so many wonderful travel tales. I have just entered mine. 🙂

      • dgkaye

        Oh good for you Norah. I’m still outlining my ideas. 🙂

      • Norah

        It’s time to let them fly, Debby. (Or cruise, or ski, or however you decide to travel. :))

      • dgkaye

        Well I’ve done it. I chose to use a return flight home. <3

      • Norah

        Yay! I look forward to reading it. 🙂

      • dgkaye

        I hope so! Lol 🙂

      • Sherri Matthews

        Not too hard a smack I hope, Deb! But I’ve got good travel insurance just in case LOL 😀 <3

      • dgkaye

        Lollllllllllllllllllllllllll 🙂 <3

      • Charli Mills

        Like the airport, entries eventually land! Thanks for writing, Debby!

      • dgkaye

        Lollllll 😉

    • Liz H

      What a terrific writer’s retreat!

      • Charli Mills

        It was good space, complete with kitchen, bed, desk and resident wolf spider who tried to shower with me! 😀

      • Liz H

        Saucy spider!

      • Charli Mills

        ?????

  3. floridaborne

    I wrote about one of the best, and almost-worst, “vacations” of my life.

    • Sherri Matthews

      Funny how that happens sometimes. Can’t wait to read it, thanks Joelle! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Sounds like, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” 😀

    • Sherri Matthews

      Thanks, Anne! Looking forward to your entry and I’ll head over to your post asap… 🙂

    • Norah

      Interesting post, Anne. I didn’t know that about literary prizes.

    • Charli Mills

      Such costs to “win” prestige. Thanks for the mention, Anne, and for noting our free entries at the Ranch.

    • Annecdotist

      I have now submitted, but found it harder than I expected.

  4. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    “It’s dang quiet aroun’ here.”
    “Ever’one’s off travelin’. Even Shorty.”
    “I thought Shorty was jist doin’ some light house keepin’. You know, corralin’ dust.”
    “No, Kid, she’s at a lighthouse keeper’s cottage.”
    “Oh. Is a light house like one of those tiny homes?”
    “A lighthouse. You know, with a beacon.”
    “Bacon?! Shorty’s off cookin’ up bacon in a small dirty house?”
    “No Kid! A lighthouse with a beacon up in the tower ta warn ships off the rocks.”
    “That so Shorty kin have the rocks ta hersef? Hey, Pal there’s not a lot of ships out here.”
    “‘Cept bullship.”

    • Sherri Matthews

      Haha…I hope Shorty doesn’t have any bullship. You’re great at these flashes, D… 🙂

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        You have a great contest. I hope to come up with something just for fun.

      • Sherri Matthews

        Thanks, D! Looking forward to reading it 😀

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Ugh. Well… dry… Monday morning, still got nothing… gotta travel to work…
        Hmm…

      • Sherri Matthews

        Still got a few days left D… inspiration might strike on your commute 🙂

    • Norah

      Glad these two decided to interrupt the silence. 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Ha, ha! The Lake was the one greedily hoarding all the rocks. Alas, no bacon but the beacon did work.

  5. Jules

    Sherri, here’s my ad for your Rodeo:

    An Envisioned Excursion CR Rodeo ad

    You don’t have to buy a chocolate bar to get a ticket to
    travel to the next Carrot Ranch Rodeo contest…
    You don’t even have to dress to the nines, you can
    stay in your jammies.

    Remember to take a few things in your Grandmother’s
    Suitcase – remember that game? You’ll need your Ether
    Passport, maybe some humor, or even a grimace of a
    memory of when you ended up somewhere you never
    intended.

    Buckle up for safety if you join Mrs. Kramden when
    Ralph suggests; “To the moon, Alice!” Or engage
    the Force in the Millennium Falcon. Ride on!

    ©JP/dh

    • Sherri Matthews

      I should hire you as my PR, Jules…what a wonderful ad. I hope you enter the contest! 🙂

      • Jules

        I’ll try at least one 😉

      • Sherri Matthews

        Great…look forward to reading it 🙂

      • Jules

        OKay…Just hit the submit button.

      • Sherri Matthews

        Got it, have emailed…thanks, Jules! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Great ad, Jules! Thanks!

  6. Sherri Matthews

    Reblogged this on A View From My Summerhouse and commented:
    Hello again, dear friends! We’ve reached the midway point at the Rodeo which means it’s time to pack your bags and flash a holiday tale with a twist. My contest, Rodeo #3: Travel With A Twist, is up and running at the Rodeo until 11:59 EST October 24. As before, all details below and the winner, second and third places will be announced at Carrot Ranch and the Summerhouse on 30 November. Bon Voyage!

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for a great contest World Traveler!

      • Sherri Matthews

        Thanks for travelling with me, Charli! 🙂 <3

  7. dgkaye

    Sounds like fun. I’m on it!. <3 xx

    • Sherri Matthews

      Woo hoo! Can’t wait to read your entry, Deb. This one’s tailor made for you! 🙂 <3 🙂

      • dgkaye

        LOl I hope you’re right! Presently, I’m stumped! LOL 🙂 <3 xxx

      • Sherri Matthews

        I know the feeling, Deb! But I know you’ll find something out there by the pool…a nice, long cocktail makes a nice start, lol 😀 <3

      • dgkaye

        By the pool? It’s winter coat season here, lol. 10 More weeks til I see ‘the pool’ my friend. And counting!!! 🙂 <3

      • Sherri Matthews

        Haha…well, it’s good to dream for the next 10 weeks…! Happy writing, my friend, with our without your coat, yikes!! 😀 <3

      • dgkaye

        🙂 😉 <3 xx

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Debby!

  8. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Reblogged this on ShiftnShake and commented:
    Hit the road, take to the trail- travel along with the third Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest, Travel with a Twist.

    • Sherri Matthews

      Thanks for the reblog, D!

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, D.!

    • Sherri Matthews

      Thank you for the reblog! 🙂

      • tracikenworth

        You’re welcome, Sherri!

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for sharing!

      • tracikenworth

        You’re welcome, Charli!

  9. calmkate

    ah definitely a favourite topic of mine … can’t wait to pack my rucksack 🙂

    • Sherri Matthews

      I’ll be waiting by the trail, Kate! 🙂

      • calmkate

        lol thanks Sherri 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Kate!

  10. Norah

    Great contest, Sherri. I think we’ll all be jumping on board. 🙂

    • Sherri Matthews

      Thank you, Norah, and I hope so! I’m ready for the journey, wherever it might take us…and can’t wait to read yours! 🙂

      • Norah

        Hehehe. I’m sure you’ll have many wonderful stories. Thanks for your encouragement.

      • Sherri Matthews

        Sure I will too, Norah. And thank you for your unwavering support! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂 <3

      • Norah

        Thanks, Sherri. My weekend is done now. I hope you are enjoying yours.

      • Sherri Matthews

        Same here…into the week and here’s to a good one ahead, Norah! 🙂

      • Norah

        Thanks, Sherri. It’s been good. Nearly over now. Boy, they fly by!

      • Sherri Matthews

        I know, they really do…speaking of which, I’m heading over to the Ranch now, Norah for your prompt! 🙂

      • Norah

        Thanks, Sherri. Enjoy!

    • Charli Mills

      All aboard, Norah! 🙂

  11. Norah

    Reblogged this on Norah Colvin and commented:
    Saddle up and get ready to ride with Sherri Matthews for Contest #3 at the Carrot Ranch. Sherri’s looking for some twisty travel tales. Don’t tie yourself in a knot over this one. Just write. It’ll work itself out in the end.

    • Sherri Matthews

      Thanks so much for the reblog, Norah! <3

      • Norah

        My pleasure, Sherri.

  12. Ritu

    Wonderful Sherri!
    Entered!!

    • Sherri Matthews

      Thanks, Ritu! Got it, and emailed! 🙂

      • Ritu

        Received your confirmation 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Ritu!

  13. reading journeys

    Hi Sherri,
    And my entry is in.
    It is fiction and it was a challenge for me :
    I was stumped by the twists and turns until I thought of turning the “What Ifs” into “What if NOT” .
    I also changed the POV — a subliminal thought from reading the TUFF Rodeo blogs!
    That opened up more ideas.

    The Rodeo is turning into a great experience for me to write fiction!
    Thanks!
    Saifun

    • Sherri Matthews

      Hi Saifun! Got your entry, thank you, and have emailed! I love how these contests – and Charli’s weekly flash fiction prompts – challenge us. Writing FF has been a revelation for me too, a memoir writer. I’ve shared here a few times that it’s only because I started writing FF here that I dared to enter the world of fiction. I don’t do fiction!!!!! So I applaud you for taking up the challenge. How wonderful that reading the Rodeo TUFF entries has inspired you to push into your creativity…I know Charli will be thrilled to know that 🙂 I’m chomping at the bit to read your entry and your ‘what if not’ twist and change of POV 🙂

      • reading journeys

        Thank you for sharing your journey as a writer. I’m not sure I’ll ever write a novel or long fiction — I love to read more than to write! But the FF has made me a more mindful reader,
        looking forward to more FF!

      • Sherri Matthews

        Thank you , Saifun. I wish you the very best in your reading and flash fiction…and who knows what possible future endeavours await you 😉

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Saifun, I enjoyed reading your insights here on FF. It has helped you as a writer but also interesting that it has made you a more mindful reader. Hmm.

    • Charli Mills

      Saifun, your explorations into fiction bring me much happiness! I’m s delighted to see that you have picked up tools with which to craft fiction.

  14. susansleggs

    Hope I get a confirmation on my travel submission….haven’t on the previous two weeks. I can’t imagine all the work going on in the background.

    • Sherri Matthews

      Hi Susan, thank you for entering! I emailed you yesterday not long after I received it, but if, for some strange reason you didn’t get it, be assured your entry is safely in the hands of the judges 🙂

      • susansleggs

        Thank you. I did get your e-mail.

    • Charli Mills

      Hi Susan, I’m verifying both your entries (and the correct version is there for Rodeo #1). They did arrive, and apologies for missed confirmations!

      • susansleggs

        Thank you Charli. I hope you had a wonderful few days away from the hectic pace of the rodeo.

  15. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Long Strange Trip Upriver

    “Hey Kid. Heard D. Avery’s river trip’s finally over.”
    “Yep, ‘cept it took way longer ‘an she planned.”
    “Heck, she didn’t know what she was gittin’ into. Never listens no how.”
    “True enough Pal. Weren’t prepared but says she learned a lot and would do it agin.”
    “Wunner if she saw any piranhas or snakes. They say that river is full of ‘em.”
    “Way she tells it seems like she was her own worst enemy; greatest challenge was navigatin’.”
    “Ya mean she didn’t know what she was doin’.”
    “Yep. But she made it, got her book on ta Amazon.”

    Shame on these two! I’ll try to rein them in.
    I am coming up blank on a twisted travel tale. So far.

    • Charli Mills

      Shameless characters — the best kind! Glad ta hear ya survived the Amazon!

  16. Marje @ Kyrosmagica

    I’ve entered. Taken a funny travel route…

    • Sherri Matthews

      Wonderful…so glad you entered, Marje, can’t wait to read it! 🙂

      • Marje @ Kyrosmagica

        Thank you Sherri. I really struggled with this one!

      • Sherri Matthews

        But you did it…yay! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Marje!

  17. Debbie Harris

    Great idea! I’ve just submitted my first story 🙂 Thanks very much for the opportunity.

    • Sherri Matthews

      Thank you, Debbie for entering, that’s wonderful! 🙂

      • Debbie Harris

        Thanks!!

      • Sherri Matthews

        Welcome, Debbie! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for entering, Debby!

      • Debbie Harris

        My pleasure ????

  18. Liz H

    Just dropped mine into the form. Quite a challenging journey, but feel well-stretched and ready to sleep tonight!

    • Sherri Matthews

      Nothing like a good sleep after a difficult journey…thanks for entering, Liz! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Sleep well, Liz!

      • Liz H

        Zzzzzzzzzzz…snort…brft….zzzzzzz….

      • Charli Mills

        Sounds familiar!

  19. Jules

    Just because Sherri asked… I’ve submitted another entry 🙂

    • Sherri Matthews

      Haha…got it, thanks Jules! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Prolific Rodeo Rider! 😀

  20. dgkaye

    Just submitted by form! Woohoo! 🙂

    • Sherri Matthews

      Fantastic, Deb, you did it as I knew you would! Will email to confirm 🙂

      • dgkaye

        Thanks Sher! <3

      • Sherri Matthews

        Welcome, Deb! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for entering, Debby!

  21. floatinggold

    I just can’t wait to read all the entries for each contest.
    Somehow, I found it really difficult to fit my travel into 99 words.
    These challenges are phenomenal, though.
    Practice makes perfect, no?

    • Sherri Matthews

      Me too! It’s a challenge, that’s for sure and one that hones and perfects as we write on…thank you! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Practice feeds the art and opens the possibilities! 😉

  22. Molly Stevens - Shallow Reflections

    Oops! I planned to enter but thought I had until 11:59 tonight (10/24). Maybe it was meant to close at 11:59 on 10/23?

    • Sherri Matthews

      You’re right, Molly, you had until 11:59 EST 24 October…

    • Charli Mills

      Molly, I glitched on the setting up the time to remove the form. Please email me your entry and accept my very humble apology.

      • Charli Mills

        Thank you (mostly for your forgiveness!).

      • Sherri Matthews

        Safely received and entered! 🙂

  23. faithanncolburn

    I also planned to enter and thought I had until 11:59 tonight.

    • Sherri Matthews

      Correct, Faith, as with Molly, it closed at 11:59 EST 24 October…

    • Charli Mills

      Faith, the mistake is mine! Please email me your entry and accept my very humble apology.

      • Sherri Matthews

        Safely received and entered! 🙂

  24. Charli Mills

    Thanks for sharing, Hugh! And for judging!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Rodeo #3: Travel with a Twist – Hugh's Views & News - […] via Rodeo #3: Travel with a Twist […]
  2. f 10.17 An Envisioned Excursion / CR Rodeo #3 Travel with a Twist ad | Jules in Flashy Fiction - […] Carrot Ranch Rodeo #3 Travel with a Twist By Sherri Matthews […]
  3. Tenderloin – Let Me Tell You the Story of… - […] was written for the Carrot Ranch Rodeo 2018!  Thanks to Liz who pointed out that these contests are available…
  4. The long way home – One day at a time… - […] “In exactly 99 words, write about “Travel with a Twist”” – a prompt for this week’s CW piece. [Source:…
  5. Flash Fiction 99 Word Rodeo Contest Challenge - Travel with a Twist - […] Source: Rodeo #3: Travel with a Twist « Carrot Ranch Literary Community […]

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