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Saddle Up Saloon; Blog Blusterin’

Saddle Up Saloon

“Kid, yer all het up ‘bout somethin’. What’s all the commotion?”

“Pro-motion, Pal. Thinkin’ we gotta work harder at promotin’ this here saloon. Git ourselves out there, like.”

“Hmmf. We’re doin’ jist fine, Kid. I ain’t never cottoned ta talkin’ m’sef up; it’s too much like braggin’ an’ blusterin’.”

“Naw, Pal, it’s jist gittin’ the word out. Lettin’ folks know who we are an’ what we’re about. Try it fer yersef, Pal.”

Pal; ridin’ fer Carrot Ranch an’ backin’ up Shorty.”

“Jeez, Pal, that’s only nine words.”

“Thet’s right Kid, jist nine words thet tell who I am an’ what I do.”

“But shouldn’tcha a used 99 words?”

“TUFF call, Kid. Mebbe I already did. Yep, I started with 99 words, then 59, an’ finally pared ‘em down ta jist 9 words. Them 9’s kinda like my tagline. ‘Member, Shorty goes on ‘bout thet exercise fer story writin’, fer visionin’, fer business statements an’ sech. So go ahead, Kid, promote the Saddle Up Saloon, but do it like it were The Ultimate Flash Fiction challenge an’ tell ‘bout the place in 99, 59, an’ 9 words… whut’sa matter, Kid, yer lookin’ flustered.”

“Pal! Yer jist bustin’ my chops. That sounds hard!”

“It’s a tool, Kid, an it’ll git ya more focused on the saloon, hep ya figger out yer mission. An’ even you unnerstan’ thet whut might seem like a chore  at  first is usually a bit a fun learnin’ in the end. Think you’ll find it ta be satisfying.”

“I’ll give it a try Pal, but…”

“Tell ya whut, Kid—”

“You’ll do it with me?”

“Heck no, yer on yer own, but let’s invite anyone thet has a place a their own, a blog, ta promote their blog too. Let’s encourage folks ta think ‘bout their blogs an’ mebbe try this TUFF challenge then leave their 9 word tagline in the comments. Kin even link it, git folks ta visitin’ all aroun’.”

“Yeah, Pal! Like a block party!”

“A block party? Don’t fergit yer setting, Kid. But yeah, a big ol’ blog party with folks promotin’ their sites right here. In 9 words ‘zactly.”

“But wait a minute, Pal. Ain’t that getting’ away from promotin’ the saloon?”

“No. Folks kin still gather here at the saloon anytime ta catch up with one anuther. I ‘spect they’d mebbe comment on the other 9 word taglines an’ report on their visitin’ too.”

“Sounds like we’re offerin’ folks an opportunity to cast their lines, tell ever’one ‘bout themselves.”


“Yep. Folks, try defining yer blog’s purpose in 99 words; focus that statement even more in 59 words; then hook us with 9 words. Ya might even post these versions at yer own site. Tell us who ya are or what yer about here in the comments, 9 words, no more no less.”



The Saddle Up Saloon, a virtual watering hole run by fictional characters, has been distracting folks from the real world since March 23. Located just over the line from Carrot Ranch, renowned ranch hands Kid and Pal opened the establishment to provide an entertaining respite for the world-weary. Except when goat roping went bad… and the proprietors almost losing their heads to a group of guillotine wielding revolutionists… and disgruntled characters turning on their writers… the Saloon is a safe space for folks to relax, unwind, and interact. At the Saddle Up Saloon, good fun is served fresh 24/7.  



The Saddle Up Saloon, located just over the line from Carrot Ranch, is a virtual watering hole run by fictional characters, renowned ranch hands Kid and Pal. Fun is served fresh 24/7, with guests both real and imagined entertaining saloon patrons from the stage and at the bar. Come by the Saddle Up for a refreshing virtual good time.



The Saddle Up Saloon– interactive fun with fictional characters.


“Yeah, Kid, something’ like thet.”


If asked, Pal & Kid will deny that they spill from the pen of D. Avery. They claim to be free ranging characters who live and work at Carrot Ranch and now serve up something fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact D. Avery at .


  1. […] post is in response to an invitation by Kid and Pal over at the Saddle Up Saloon. This week they are trying to define what they are all about over there. They have invited other […]

  2. ShiftnShake— my display shelf and workbench for literary art. (9)

  3. Charli Mills says:

    Well, Shorty’s falling down on the job. Didn’t get promotions out on Monday. Might be the Ranch needs to put up some signs to the watering hole. Good idea to get bloggers to TUFF their blogs!

    Here’s mine:

    A Vision of Success at Carrot Ranch (99)
    Writers connect at Carrot Ranch, discovering creative courage and playing with literary art 99 words at a time. Carrot Ranch thrives — an imaginary place where real people from around the globe connect. A collective writes collaboratively and individually. Carrot Ranch leads storytelling education and helps serious writers to cultivate careers. Loyal readers return for compelling stories and buy books from the writing community. Each year, ranchers meet in person on retreats or through residencies. The newly established World Headquarters in Hancock offers workshops and literary events as the Roberts Street Writery where writers read, write, discuss, and play.

    Lead Buckaroo (59)
    Carrot Ranch exists as safe space for writers to courageously create, grow and achieve through literary art. Lead buckaroo, Charli Mills, uses storytelling to build a dynamic community. She writes about veterans, history, earth science and women’s western and frontier experiences in 99-word stories. She’s an MFA candidate working on her first novel and leads writing workshops and retreats.

    Carrot Ranch Mission (9)
    Making literary art accessible 99 words at a time.

  4. I think this is a great idea and Kid and Pal have beautifully summarised the service they provide. (Now it makes sense!) I did TUFF my back to front starting with 9 and building up to 99!

    A pantser to the core, she was clueless when she began Annecdotal; looking back with six years’ hindsight, the only thing she got right was the name. After random posts about reading and writing, she discovered she could get novels before they were published in exchange for honest reviews. Thus she morphed into a book blogger, but her personal posts were always more popular as she crept from under her shell. Peppered with psychology, and dystopian politics, she’s on a hero’s journey to find truth in fiction but still ambivalent about this blogging lark. As about most things, really. (99 words)

    Stuff I’m reading, stuff I’m writing, and how that relates to our inner and outer worlds. That means thoughtful stuff about psychology and increasingly raging rants about shit-storm politics in the UK. If there’s a common thread, it’s confronting truths, even those we’d rather push to the shadows. Don’t know why, but Google insists I’ve misspelled my blog’s name. (59 words)

    Fiction matters, but sometimes psychology and politics matter more. (9 words)

    Annecdotal –

    • my TUFF not TUFF my

      • Tuff yours. Sorry, Your Tuff. Your TUFF turned out just fine. I have used ideas of TUFF before but rarely exactly as outlined. I think the real point is to play with different word count constraints on one idea and feel the different results, and what remains constant throughout. I am glad if you liked Kid’s attempt and wonder if you benefited or enjoyed the exercise for yourself.

      • Yeah pondering this salvaged my thoughts on my early-morning walk when there’s a dangerous risk of escalating rage!

    • Thank you for participating. I enjoyed the background on your Blog. I have found it to be a very thought provoking place with excellent book reviews. Those reviews, your essays, and your flash fiction all demonstrate your journey to find truth in fiction. Your blog has been part of my blogging education.

    • Charli Mills says:

      Be still my beating heart — did Anne Goodwin just say she’s on a hero’s journey? Yes! I love how you worked backward from 9 to 59 to 99 to explore your writer’s journey. We might not always know what we are doing with our blogs but if we are authentic, it is a good platform for our writing.

      Psychology and politics have taken on a deeper meaning this year, and you are positioned to discuss both intelligently.

      • Yep. She is.

      • That was my gift to you, Charli! In fact, some time back when we were still batting those ideas around I drafted a post about therapy as a hero’s journey – the only part of my life I think it fits! But other things took over – maybe it was politics, they’ve been pretty dire for some time – so maybe it’s time to revisit it.

      • Charli Mills says:

        Ah, and that is where a literary hero imitates life (or finds its truth) — somewhere, somehow, a call is answered and the journey sees it through. Perhaps our lives as a whole is not such a journey, but we have moments when we answer the call we’d rather deny. Politics, patriarchy, injustice — those are the big themes, but one day we decide we can’t continue as is.

        And thank you for your gift!

    • Norah says:

      Great TUFF, Anne. Yes, I think I’m one of those who prefer your personal posts. You delve so deeply into the human psyche and understand so well the tortured and dysfunctional. I always appreciate your abiltity to tell the hurt and its origins clearly. That comes through in your in-depth book reviews too and my reading has benefited both by what I have read and what I have known is available.

    • I love your honesty, Anne <3

  5. […] Saddle Up Saloon; Blog Blusterin’ […]

  6. I thought this was worthy! Thanks for the exercise. Nine words just didn’t give me what I wanted. LOL!

    99 words:

    Word Craft – Prose & Poetry is an uplifting community where poets can learn the basics of writing Japanese and American syllabic poetry by sharing their own poetic inspiration within a weekly poetry challenge called Tanka Tuesday. Participants submit their poetry written in one of the eleven forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, and/or Shadorma. Poets receive positive feedback from peers who inspire each other to stretch their creativity. Participants and readers return each week to celebrate the weekly poetry stars and to buy books from the Tanka Tuesday Book Store.

    59 words:

    Word Craft – Prose & Poetry is a poetic community encouraged by Colleen Chesebro where poets learn the basics of writing Japanese and American syllabic poetry through a weekly challenge called Tanka Tuesday. Participants submit their poetry written in one of the eleven forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, and/or Shadorma.

    9 words:

    A weekly challenge featuring American and Japanese syllabic poetry.

    • Thank you Colleen. These are really well done and I think you’ll find them helpful to have done as you grow your blog and your vision for your blog. Best of luck to you in all your endeavors.

      • Thanks, D. I’ll get back to you on the saloon. You’re brilliant! 😍

      • D. The Saloon is awesome. You know, years ago I worked for a 48,000-acre ranch in Montana. I was the bookkeeper. The owner raised black Angus cows. It was a totally unique experience for a city girl from Wisconsin. What do you do for the Saloon? I wasn’t sure.

      • It’s a tricky question, what do I do for the saloon. Usually just sweep the floors, wipe down the bar, do dishes. I sometimes help Kid and Pal wrangle guests and keep up with comments. (I realized, reading your question, that I forgot to put the little blurb in at the end of the piece, and have since tucked it in.) Mostly I let those two characters who are running the saloon out of my head and then ride herd on them.

    • Jules says:

      Colleen – I stuck your prompt in my reply to this one 😉

      Cheers, Jules

    • Norah says:

      This is great, Colleen. I read some of the poetic responses to your prompts on other blogs and always think I’d love to join in too. Time doesn’t allow it at the moment. Maybe one day …

  7. Quilling- paper art- crescents, scrolls, loops, teardrops; creative abstractions.

  8. […] Carrot Ranch Saddle Up Saloon Blog Blusterin in the TUFF model: 99 words, reduced to 59 words reduced to 9 words & “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” ― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (with thanks to Merril D. Smith for selecting the theme at Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Challenge & Twiglet 178 ”smokey haze” […]

  9. Jules says:

    As the Poet Lariat in these here parts… I had to toss in some poetic nonsense.
    I did that with this here haibun – it’s got a solo tanka in it. Enjoy –
    (oh… I’m sorta on vacation so I’m going to be a tad slow with visiting…I hope to catch up when I git back on home…)

    A Joyful Vault? (A TUFF Challenge)

    (99 word haibun with solo tanka)

    Wrangling words so they make more sense than just a smokey haze can be hard work. Flash fiction writers and poets don’t always get their points across. But that’s OK. If I can, may my words be like jewels on a page. Little nuggets of wisdom or fantasy play.
    I’m good with free interpretation too.

    sometimes I pull stuff
    out of thin air, though perhaps
    there’s some seed of truth

    like the opal gem I’ve flaws
    but I enjoy creating

    59 word haibun with solo tanka

    If I can illuminate, then all celebrate. Especially when sharing prompts that speak to our adventurous hearts, filling pages.

    If I can, may my words be like jewels on a page. Little nuggets of wisdom or fantasy play. I’m good with free interpretation too.

    sometimes I pull stuff
    out of thin air, though perhaps
    there’s some seed of truth

    like the opal gem I’ve flaws
    but I enjoy creating

    If I can illuminate; let’s celebrate! Share life’s light!

    9 words

    May my words be like Jewels on a page

    (I tried to put a link in the 9 word line iffin it didn’t work the last 9 words are:

    May my words be like Jewels on a page

    ©JP/dh ~ Jules

  10. […] Prompted from Carrot Ranch’s Saddle Up Saloon at: […]

  11. […] Saddle Up Saloon; Blog Blusterin’ […]

  12. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    Ranch hands Kid and Pal have opened up their saloon at Carrot Ranch to any blogger who wants to come by and leave their linked 9-word tag line to their own site. Those who took the challenge to describe or define their blog in 99, 59 then 9 words have found the exercise to be productive, helping them to reflect and to clarify for themselves and their followers what they are all about. Come by the Saddle Up Saloon where it’s all about you!

  13. A bit late to the party. Here’s mine:


    Six years ago my life changed. I became a blogger – a strange creature, even if I say so myself! Initially, I named my blog home: Kyrosmagica – a magical shore of books, writing, photography and inspiration. Kyros after the Greek word crystal and magica to represent magic.

    When interviewing authors I sometimes adopt a new persona, calling myself MJ.

    I feature authors, review books, take part in poetry, flash fiction and photography challenges, nothing is off-limits. Sometimes I become sensible Marje when necessity calls.

    Kyrosmagica has evolved; It is now my author website with lashes of crystal magic!


    Six years ago I became a blogger. My blog home Kyrosmagica – a magical shore of books, writing, photography and inspiration. Sometimes I am known as MJ, sometimes as the author Marje, or even M J Mallon. I write reviews, interview folk, take part in poetry, flash fiction and photography challenges. Nothing is off limits, blogging is such fun.


    Kyrosmagica blog is me! Books, writing, photography and magic.

  14. […] Source: Saddle Up Saloon; Blog Blusterin’ « Carrot Ranch Literary Community […]

  15. dgkaye says:

    Well, I thought I’d give this a whirl, looked like so much fun. 🙂

    99 words

    Empathetic fashionista and shopper extraordinaire who loves to laugh. My passions are: obsessed with shoes, colorful sunsets, sandy beaches and margaritas on the rocks (in no particular order). My blog, is an eclectic mix of randomness, where you’ll find anything from writing tips to tales from the past, an occasional rant about injustice, relationship talk, travel tips, book reviews, author interviews, and sometimes dabbles in political poetry. It’s almost impossible for me to dwindle it down to just one niche, because it never is. I’m an eclectic memoirist and conversationalist who writes to empower by sharing slices of life.

    59 Words

    An empathetic fashionista obsessed with shopping, shoes, sandy beaches, margaritas and always ready for a new travel adventure. My blog is an eclectic mix of randomness where you’ll find anything from writing and blogging tips, memoirs slices of life, injustice rants, book reviews, interviews, travel tips, relationship talk and occasional poetry. Impossible to drill it down to one niche.

    9 Words

    Eclectic memoirist who loves shopping, the beach and books.

  16. Norah says:

    I didn’t think I’d get to do it this time. And I didn’t really. I’m cheating a bit. I did this about my website readilearn in response to nudging from you-know-who a couple of years ago. I came across it during the week when I was deleting some old files. I think it still works.
    Vision (99 words)
    Early Childhood teachers all over the world sign in daily to use readilearn lessons and activities, grateful for the time-saving resources. No longer must they trawl the internet looking for something suitable or spend oodles of time making something of their own. readilearn has become their first stop for quality teaching resources that help them teach what the children need to learn. No more busy work and colouring-in sheets, readilearn ensures that the children’s learning is constantly progressing. Teachers get to the heart of teaching with readilearn’s quality and affordable teaching resources for the first three years of school.
    Mission statement (59 words)
    readilearn supports early childhood teachers by providing resources that help them focus on their role as guides of children’s learning. Founder Norah Colvin understands that teachers spend a lot of their own time and money on resources. Through readilearn she hopes to reduce that cost by sharing the wealth of her experience in quality resources at an affordable price.
    Tagline (9 words)
    Quality early childhood teaching resources at an affordable price.

  17. Hi Dee, great post, though I am late for the party as per… but I would love to take you up on your challenge. I shall return!

    • Never late here, Sherri. We’re open 24/7. I think you would find this challenge of benefit, a good stretch. Thank you for coming by the saloon and visiting with the others. I look forward to your return!

      • Thanks, D, I was hoping to be back by today, but will return on Monday. Always good to know we’re never late at the Ranch! I agree, it’s an excellent exercise. Great to join in at the saloon, I shall return!

  18. Hi again Dee. As promised, here is my blog’s vision, sort of, in 99, 59 and 9. It’s a great exercise taking restock of our blogging mission! Thanks again!

    A View From My Summerhouse

    99 Words

    A View From My Summerhouse began in January, 2013. I had no idea what to blog about, nor how my writing would go down, so I wrote about my garden robin in my first post. I used my own photos because I didn’t want to risk copyright issues. I blogged about my cats, garden, travels and family life. I hoped to connect with anyone who read anything I might write by inviting them to share the view with me, rain or shine. I did not expect to gain such a wonderful online community, still going strong seven years later.

    59 Words

    I began A View From My Summerhouse in 2013. I used my own photos from the start because I was worried about copyright, but discovered that people liked them. I invited anyone kind enough to stop by and read anything I had written to share the view with me, rain or shine. Today, I have a thriving online community.

    9 Words

    Sharing the view in words, photos, rain or shine.

  19. […] Saddle Up Saloon; Blog Blusterin’ […]

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