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Saddle Up Saloon; Catchin’ Up With Susan Zutautas

Saddle Up Saloon

“Hey, Kid, look who just wrote in.”

“Wrote in? Or rode in? That always gits confusin’ aroun’ here.”

“Guess either fits. Thet’s Susan Zutautas. She’s a Rough Writer.”

“Writer? Or Rider? Either way, she don’t look too rough ta me.”

“Don’t look rough, but she’s tougher ‘an she looks. An’ she’s been writin’ ‘roun Carrot Ranch from the very first flash fiction challenge.”

“Pheeeeewww. She’s been aroun’ longer’n you then, Pal.”

“Yep, she has. Folks find the Ranch in their time. But I always been here at Carrot Ranch, Kid, jist hadn’t been realized yet. But shush now, here she comes… Hey there Susan Zutautas, welcome ta the Saddle up Saloon. This here’s Kid. I’m Pal.”

“Hello! Thanks for having me here at the Saloon! Oh, a nice cold beer. Thank you, Kid.”

“Hey, yer from Quebec originally… do you know my friend Pepe LeGume?”

“Sorry Kid, I don’t, though I’ve heard of the LeGumes. They’ve left a lasting reputation.”

“We been followin’ yer work fer a mighty long time, Susan. Ya’ve put some fine stock in Shorty’s corral, flash fiction an’ poetry. Seems like you’ve been around since the early days.”

“I met Charli on Facebook through a mutual friend back in 2014. She was talking about getting a 99-word weekly flash fiction challenge going. I’d written flash fiction before but it was 199 words. I love challenges and thought I’d give it a try. I don’t participate as much as I used to but …”

“Well, it seems as if thet 99-word thing is workin’ out. When ya ain’t at the Ranch where’re ya at?”

“If you’re asking about my own blog, I now call Susan’s Place at WordPress, home. My first blog post at Everything Susan and More was back in October of 2010. The blog is still active, but I very rarely post anything there anymore. I love to cook so I started out with food posts. Over the years I started writing at HubPages, started a Recipes by Susan blog, a poetry blog and now Susan’s Place.”

“Sounds as if ya know yer way aroun’ the keyboard. What’s been yer greatest challenge as a writer an’ blogger?”

“Overcoming writer’s block, which I seem to get quite often. But I feel I’ve learned so much about writing from everyone all around the world at Carrot Ranch. I feel my writing has improved in the last six years or so. The Ranch is a great place to challenge yourself, see yourself and others grow, and best of all meet many, many fantastic writers and poets.”

“Ya got thet right. You must’ve seen some real doozies a prompts over the years, ay?”

“I kin tell ya, I don’t like them unicorn prompts.”

“Shush, Kid, I ain’t askin’ you. Susan what’s been a memorable prompt fer you?”

“Oh geez, that’s a tough one. There are a few things that inspire my writing. If I see a picture and imagine myself there I’ll tend to write a poem or a short story about the picture. Many times it’ll inspire me to write something about how my life relates to it. Same as a lot of the prompts at Carrot Ranch. I’ll take the prompt and relate it to something that’s happened in my life or write it in a way that I’d wished I’d have handled it, or have wished the outcome had of been if that makes any sense. When I write articles about health I only write about things that have happened to me or to direct family members. I enjoy writing about health issues because I feel it may be helpful to others. For instance, I have an article on HubPages that relates to my cancer journey. If anyone would like to read it you can find it here. I really feel it could be helpful to anyone that has been diagnosed with cancer with a positive outlook.”

“What’s a piece of writing a yers that deserves a larger audience?”

“I suppose I’d have to say my Novella, New In Town, available at Amazon. I have always wanted to write a sequel to it but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.”

“Well, here’s hopin’ ya do git aroun’ to it. Ya wrote a couple a children’s books too, The Day Mr. Beaver Met Mr. Moose, and Mr. Beaver Plans a Party.”

“Don’t fergit too, Pal, Susan’s a featured writer in The Congress of Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology, Volume 1.”

“Yep. Susan, yer always a friendly face aroun’ the Ranch an’ other places a the blogosphere. We’re real tickled ya come by ta the Saddle Up Saloon. I encourage folks ta swing by Susan’s Place an’ say howdy as well as here in the comments.”

“Thank you Kid and Pal!”

“Folks, what kin ya tell Susan ‘bout writer’s block? What brings it on fer you an’ how d’ya git out of it?”


539d9b227be70e698e9befd129ad44db.jpgSusan, mother of three grown men is a Canadian gal from Montreal, Quebec and now resides in Orillia, Ontario with her husband and Newfoundland dog, Dawson. Most days you can find her in the kitchen cooking up something new or writing and reading online at Susan’s Place. Susan has published two children’s books as well as a novella, all of which are available at Amazon. If you like to cook Susan has many of her recipes published at HubPages


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


  1. Great to learn so much more about, Susan. She has a wonderful history with the ranch.

  2. Lovely to learn more about Susan. Thanks both.

  3. Norah says:

    It’s great to hear more about Susan. We met up right back when the flash fiction prompts began. Susan, I wish you success with all your publications. That’s quite a variety of genres you write in.

  4. Lisa L. says:

    Nice to learn more about you, Susan! Yee haw! Thanks to Pal and Kid for the interview! 😉

  5. eLPy says:

    Hey Susan! Thanks for sharing with all of us. Sounds like you’ve got quite a bit of experience when it comes to blogging and writing among other things. I admire that!

    When I’m struggling to write (like I am these days) I try multiple things. My biggest struggle is getting my butt in the chair to work on my novel. From there if you can’t start where you left off don’t stop. Go back and read and edit. Write a new story. Or something I think is really helpful, write some back story, namely family history. It might not go into your current work but the information you glean from the exercise is bound to inspire something.

    Best of luck to you! Will be sure to visit your blog.

  6. A Quebec “writin” cowgirl. I love it 🙂 Nice play on words

  7. Ann Edall Robson says:

    Susan, I don’t think of it as writer’s block. I think of it as an opportunity to go do other things I enjoy, which usually, but not always, sends my mind spinning into writing mode. I always carry a small journal for those bolts of inspiration.

    Pal and Kid, as always, you have done a wonderful job introducing us to another Ranch Rough Writer here at the saloon.

  8. Charli Mills says:

    So happy to see Susan Zutautas featured here! I read New in Town years ago and her characters have stayed with me. As for writer’s block, sometimes we have bad days and I let go and try again the next. Sometimes we have bad seasons, and we have to push through with care and kindness. When it flows, go with it!

  9. […] Voices, as she profiles veteran identities. Also, catch up with Susan Zutautas at D. Avery’s Saddle Up Saloon and join the discussion about writer’s block. Friday, Carrot Ranch will host frequent flash […]

  10. Lady P says:

    Thanks for sharing this post. Good to hear about Susan

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