Saddle Up Saloon; One Shy of a Six Pac at the Mic

Written by D. Avery @shiftnshake

       Read my writing and see my books at

September 6, 2020

Saddle Up Saloon

“ ’Ello, Pal, may I get you a beer?”

“Pepe LeGume! Whut’re you doin’ behind the bar? Thought Kid was workin’ this shift.”

“Keed says, sheeft no, Pal. Wants to seet weeth you at a table down front. Eet’s Five at the Mic, a reelly good show. I weel tend the bar. You two seet.”

“You know whut yer doin’? Cain’t be havin’ ya makin’ a mess a things, LeGume.”

“To air is human, Pal. But eet weel be fine. Go find da Keed. Da show weel begeen soon.”

“Pal, over here! Bill Engleson is comin’ on stage.”


Bill Engleson. Long time ranch hand and columnist for Carrot Ranch? Bill hails from the mild, mild west of Canada. Mebbe ya’ve read his books an’ articles?”

“Oh, yep, the movie guy. Shush then kid, this oughtta be good.”

“You bet. Here’s Bill with Covid 19 Rain Buttons and Bows.”

“Oof, Pal, that’s dark. Good, but dark.”

“Kid, real people are goin’ through a time out there. Thet’s why we fictional characters is keepin’ the saloon runnin’ 24/7, give ‘em a break. Look, here comes thet Paula Moyer, she’ll have somethin’ ta say.”

“Phew, Pal. That Rough Writer is a tough writer. That was heavy too.”

“But Kid, there was hope wove through thet. When, not whether… These folks is resilient, with the hep of each other an’ their writin’. Reckon their strengths is shinin’ through.”

“Yep, but shush now, Pal, Anne Goodwin’s up next, gonna parade one a her characters through fer us.”

“Thet ain’t Anne Goodwin. Anne Goodwin wears her hair short.”

“Thinkin’ the long hair on folks is another sign a their times, mebbe.”

“Oh, yep. Thet is her.”

“Did you see what I saw, Pal?”

“Ya mean was it good ta hear more from Matty Windsor? Sure was. She’s been ta the Saloon before.”

“Yeah, it was, that character is goin’ places. But what’s D. Avery doin’ taggin’ along?”

“Reckon ever’one’s welcome ta join in with Ranch doin’s, Kid. Lighten up. Anyway, Ellen Best is gonna read next.”

“Oh, Ellen Best! I like what she does fer the weekly challenges.”

“Oh, Pal. Is it true there’s truth in fiction?”

“’Fraid so, Kid. Thet was a powerful story an’ it’s true fer too many real women. We kin commend Ellen fer tellin’ it fer ‘em.”

“Very descriptive. Yikes. I could use a lighter story, Pal. Hey, here’s MJ Mallon. Mebbe she’ll bring a laugh.”

“Ha! No half measures. I’ll say.”

“Yep, that was just the tonic I needed. Reckon folks at home kin try some bubble magic fer themselves.”

 “Reminded me a thet song, Tiny Bubbles In the Wine. Oh, shift, speakin’ a tonic an’ wine, I wunner how LeGume is doin’. I’ll go check on ‘im after D. Avery’s story.”

“You don’t need ta worry ‘bout Pepe, Pal, he don’t stink at pourin’ drinks. But go ahead, ‘cause D. Avery ain’t goin’ up on stage t’day.”

“Whut? Why not, Kid?”

“’Cause I’m in charge a the saloon an’ I say so. Done decided Five at the Mic means jist five readers this week. So too bad fer our so called writer.”

“I thought Shorty said five minutes at the mic fer any innerested writers thet wanna read.”

“Shorty ain’t here right now. But if other writers are innerested in takin’ part in reading with a group an’ mebbe bein’ recorded ta Youtube an’ gittin’ played here, they should contact Charli Mills. Next readin’s Tuesday the 15th at 11am Eastern Standard Time. An’ anytime anyone’s got a hankerin’ ta git up on the saloon stage, mebbe git innerviewed or have one or more a their characters git innerviewed, they should leave a message fer us through D. Avery. (”

“Yep, step up an’ step out folks, it’s lots a fun. Next week plan on sharin’ some a yer fav’rite summer recipes, it’ll be anuther round a Wranglin’ Recipes. The 21st’ll be anuther Karaoke event, where ya improve on a song ya know by changin’ the lyrics. An’ the whole month a October the Saddle Up Saloon’ll be where ta git caught up an’ catch commentary on the 4th Carrot Ranch Rodeo.”

“Whooie! What a hap’nin’ place! Oh, shift… Pepe! He’s been behind the bar without hep fer quite a while. He must be fumin’.”

“Yep. Prob’ly is.”

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  1. Charli Mills

    Fine show at the Saddle Up Saloon. I got word that Shorty watched and was real impressed with how you segued between acts, Kid and Pal. However, there’s concern D. Avery might be hogtied in a barn stall. If that’s the case, go untie your author.

    Anyone at the Ranch can sign up for 5 at the Mic with five minutes of reading material — anything new or old, any genre from bubblicious to literary realism to memoir to poetry. Indicate your interest in the audience comments. Thanks for letting folks know! September is buzzing by!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I’m alright Boss. Thank you for your concern. Just a little rope burn.
      I am certain that writers will be treated more kindly by Kid than I am, and look forward to seeing more step up to the stage. I like this format better than the first attempt. We’re getting there!

      • Charli Mills

        Good to know you are okay! I like this evolved format better. I’ll get better with my recording finger and introductions, too. The readings are great by each of the authors!

  2. Marje @ Kyrosmagica

    What fun, thanks for the 5 at the Mic idea. Love it and thanks for featuring my bubbles!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      It has been fun taking part in the 5 at the Mic readings and seeing everyone. Your Bubble Monster was a lot of fun, so glad you shared that in the 5/Mic format and at this venue. In writing about her own experience reading her poems, May Sarton said that she loves “to hear the poems ring out and hear them land” with an audience and that for her “a poem is a little like a sheet of music; only when it is ‘played’ can one truly hear it and know what has been set down”. (Recovering: A Journal, by May Sarton, 1980) I believe that may be true for prose as well as poetry and that there is something to be gained by both art and artist in lifting our work off the page with our voices. Either way it was great gathering with you and the other readers. I hope more people take part in the next and future readings.

      • Marje @ Kyrosmagica

        Hi yes I agree. And it is good for the confidence too to speak your words aloud. I passed this to a friend of mine to listen. She enjoyed it too. And I hope it continues to grow as I’m sure it will.

      • Charli Mills

        Bubble Monster is a fun story but I think it really came to life for me, hearing Marje read it. I love May Sarton’s quote. Yes, I believe it is so for prose readers as well except often we forget to read our work out loud, unlike poets. I’m happy we have writers willing to read. I think they will find the benefit over time, too. Thanks for the venue at the Saloon and your patience with me trying to figure out videos!

  3. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Was great fun to be part of this and beautifully put together. Blame the length of the hair that I’m way over the 5 minute mark. Must do better next time.

    • Charli Mills

      Anne, I enjoyed how D. knit these together for the stage, making it fun. I think of five minutes as a target. This is a great way to work on readings for other venues, too or test new writing.

  4. denmaniacs4

    Lots of fun but I think I’ll just mosey back over to the US Open and watch Felix, The Canada Kid, get whupped by that Austrian dude.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Good luck with that and thanks for dropping in. We love your readings!

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for taking a tennis break, Bill and for your reading!

  5. H.R.R. Gorman

    Looking forward to the Rodeo! Thanks for putting on the open mic, too – such a cool idea!

  6. Norah

    I love this new format with the videos uploaded separately. It makes it easier for me to listen as I make time to do so, and it also showcases each writer individually – would make it easier for them to share on their own blogs or YouTube channels if they wished (and the Kid and Pal allowed). I love the banter between each video too. Well done everyone!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Yep, we’re gittin’ there. Here’s hopin’ there’s a bunch a folks readin’ this Tuesday fer the next one.

      • Norah

        It a great opportunity for writers to get more exposure for their stories.

  7. Chel Owens

    How fun! I love hearing everyone!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Perhaps you’ll step right up to the microphone one of these times…

      • Chel Owens

        I’m tempted…

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