Saddle Up Saloon; Steppin’ Lively!

Written by D. Avery @shiftnshake

       Read my writing and see my books at

August 10, 2020

Saddle Up Saloon

“Hey Kid. What d’ya have goin’ fer ennertainmint this week?”

“Oh, it’s groovy, Pal, groovy.”

“Good gravy, Kid, jist answer the question.”

“Be cool, Cat, I’ll hip ya ta the happenin’s. It’s Five at the Mic.”

“Whut? Mike who? Thet fella with the band was in here a few weeks ago?”

“No, Pal, live readin’s. Shorty rounded up some folks, give ‘em each five minutes at the microphone ta read their work.”

“Oh. Thet’ll be good ta hear.”

“An’ see. Ya kin click on the link an’ put a face ta a familiar name as these brave writers read ta ya.”

“Reckon readin’ fer an audience is an act a bravery. But I kin see it as a natural part a this here ranch a Shorty’s. The Carrot Ranch Literary Community’s always been ‘bout a safe space ta write. Makes sense ta offer a brave space like Five at the Mic too.”

“That’s right Pal. Fer folks thet wanna push inta a new challenge. The other brave space fer folks at the Ranch is the annual rodeo. Ev’ry October folks kin throw it down an’ compete fer a cash purse an’ braggin’ rights. Somethin’ a bit beyond the usual weekly challenge.”

“Yep, but the rodeo’s still a safe brave space. Like Five at the Mic. Quit yer yappin’ an let folks ta the link already.”

“Okay, okay, Pal, but jist be warned, this is still all new ta ever one involved so’s it’s a might long. Next time we’ll do it diff’rent.”

“Shush, Kid, I wanna be read to.”



“Kid, I really enjoyed thet. How do folks sign on ta take part in this brave space?”

“Well, there’s Charli Mill’s private Carrot Ranch Facebook group for signin’ up: or innerested folks kin contact her direct at . There’s still spots available fer the next one which will be recorded via Zoom on Tuesday, August 18 at 11 am (U.S. Eastern Standard time).”

“Kid, I’ve sometimes heard it said thet they ain’t much dif’rence ‘tween brave an’ stupid.”

“I think there’s a big dif’rence Pal. Jist ‘cause ya can muster up the courage ta dive off the high board, don’t mean it ain’t a stupid move if the water’s shallow. Some thing’s is jist foolhardy, no matter how ya look at it. But if ya kin muster up the courage ta try somethin’ new an’ ya learn an’ grow from it, or it benefits someone, well, that’s all good. Think a acts a bravery as a movin’ forward a some kind, an’ practice fer the next time.”

“Soun’s like Carrot Ranch is a place a safe brave spaces!”


“Thanks fer checkin’ out the brave folks that took part in the trial run of Five at the Mic, Charli Mills, Paula Moyer, Anne Goodwin, Bill Engleson, Laura Smyth, Sean Prentiss, Sherri Matthews, and Geoff Le Pard. As mentioned there’s spots available fer the next one. In the mean time, what has been an act of bravery for you? Share yer right stuff moment in the comments. An’ folks, Kid an’ me, we sure injoy runnin’ the Saloon, an’ we’re open ta any many suggestions fer future episodes or ideas ya’d wanna see repeated. If yer not brave enough ta be innerviewed, jist send yer characters along, we give equal access ta fictional folk. We’ll keep ‘em safe.”


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 them via

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  1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Thank you Kid and Pal, for another fine feature. It was good to see and hear writers stepping into the brave space of reading their work. I imagine doing so empowered them. I look forward to the next Five at the Mic.
    As far as your prompt, well, I’m not brave; I’d rather not face fear or danger, though I have. One scary thing I’ve undertaken was being the president of my local union; scary for the responsibility of leadership but also the public speaking required of the role. I don’t know how you two do it every week! (99)

  2. Charli Mills

    Kid, Pal — Shorty was short on gettin’ outthe promo. Folks’ll be along with picnic baskets soon! Keep the writers a’readin’! Thanks!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      No worries, Shorty. Reckon yer mighty busy, what with MFAin’ an’ weddin’s an’ whatever all else ya got goin’ on.

  3. Norah

    Scary things, now that’s a tricky one. I reckon sharing personal stories with readers, known and unknown, is fairly scary. But we can learn to be brave.
    Thanks to all these great storyreaders. I haven’t listened to all yet but will at some time.

    • Norah

      Charli, I love the story of your well-earned jacket. You a doing a great job with your writing with veterans.
      Paula, your story brought those rocks to my belly too. I need to know what happens next.
      Anne – you’ll be up in my next session. 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        Thanks for listening, Norah!

      • Norah

        My pleasure, Charli.

  4. H.R.R. Gorman

    Sounds very cool! Makes me wish I weren’t at work then. 😉

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Pull the shades around your cubicle. It’s just an hour of their time.

      • H.R.R. Gorman

        Lol – I work in a lab

    • Charli Mills

      That would be interesting, H.! We’d all be zoom-gawking at tyour lab space!

      • H.R.R. Gorman

        Lol. We’ll see, but I’m going to say it’s unlikely.

  5. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Well done putting in this together, it was fun to take part (despite getting the timings muddled). Is one reading missing or was that a teaser for the next instalment at the end?

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      If you pay attention to the very end there seems to be someone who thought she was on the list, and yet didn’t step up or speak out when the calls went out. We are not to worry Ms. Mills over the matter, as it doesn’t matter. Anyway that story can be read here:
      The next Saloon airing of the readings will be in an improved and easier to digest form.

      • Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

        Yes, I’ve read it been fortunate enough to hear that person read it too.

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