Saddle Up Saloon; Linin’ Up At the Mic

Written by D. Avery @shiftnshake

       Read my writing and see my books at

November 8, 2020

“Hey Kid. Wow, what time is it?”

“Dunno, been losin’ track a time, Pal, though I think there’s a couple more days ta respond ta that particular prompt.”

“Like, I hardly know what day it is, but reckon it’s time fer another show here at the Saddle Up Saloon. Sean Prentiss’ll be a tough act ta follow though.”

“There was some good craft talk here last week, fer sure. Oh, yeah, this week folks show their craft by reading fer us. It’s Five At the Mic time, the Monday afore the third Tuesday when Charli Mills hosts another one.”

“Don’t know where she finds the time. Though she sometimes loses track a time too. October was a TUFF month.”

“Yep, so we got a double feature today, with Ranchers that read in September an’ four that read in October.”

“Let’s git started then. Here’s five folks thet stepped up to the mic in September. First up is Susan Budig. Speakin’ a craft! Susan uses this opportunity ta share two points a view on the same scene. Have a listen.”

“What a great exercise, gits ya ta thinkin’ twice on yer story.”

“Yep, TUFF-like thet was. Let’s stay in the same neighborhood an’ hear now from Paula Moyer. Paula’s a memoirist but dang not all mem’ries is easy ones.”

“Pal, I’m feelin’ like folks is usin’ writin’ in powerful ways here.”

“Yep, Kid, an’ next up Ellen Best presents us with two pieces a fiction filled with realistic tension an’ emotion.

“Whoa, Pal. I was a might skeered through the first story. What a hard workin’ kid in the second story. Makes ya think.”

 “Sure does, Kid. An’ now Susan Spitulnik is gonna read us some memoir ‘bout disappearances, a rabbit, an’ a woman with tricks up her sleeves.”


“Magical writin’ ‘bout real life, Kid.”

“Oh, Pal. Reckon some things jist cain’t be disappeared. But September is long gone. Our last reader from that 5 at the Mic event is MJ Mallon. She’s usually writes YA fiction but seems ta been inspired by things that annoy her ta write poetry.”

“Thet’s the reason fer her rhyme, gittin’ disgruntled with folks?”

“Jist listen Pal.”

“Oh my, don’t cross thet one! She’ll put ya in a poem. Seriously, Kid, ever’one a these writers did some brave work with their writin’ an’ braver still ta share it live with us. I’m proud ta have ‘em all up on the Saloon stage.”

“Well we got four more readin’s Pal, these next ones was read in October in amongst all the other goin’s ons. Let’s have MJ  go first fer this group. You’ll see she’s agin influenced by current events but presents a serious piece a short fiction this time.”

“Mebbe fittin’ ta follow thet up with a readin’ by Anne Goodwin . Tell ya, she ain’t got no shortage a short stories.”

“Yep, but here we git an excerpt from a WIP, an’ git ta meet anuther character.”

“A whip?”

“A work in progress. Jeez, Pal. Anne Goodwin’s got plenny a them goin’ on too, lotsa novel ideas. Shush, here she goes.”

“There’s more ta thet story, guaranteed.”

“Yep. Okay, this next reader is gonna share nine 99-word scenes featurin’ some recurrin’ characters a hers, an’ I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout the two a us.”

“Yep, folks, that was our so-called writer. Thinkin’ she should git subtitles next time.”

“Shush Kid, leave it be. Who’s battin’ cleanup?”

Bill Engleson is gonna hit a homerun with his word play in this last piece, Pal. Listen carefully.”

“That was quite a blast from the past. Clever fellow that Bill.”


“Ain’t we got anuther Canadian ta feature?”



“Oh! Pal, Ann Edall Robson has got so much goin’ on I’m hopin’ ta git her back here special, give ‘er the entire stage.”

“Well thet’d be a hoot an’ a half! But let’s be sure an’ thank all the folks thet read their work here at the Saloon this round. Be sure an’ visit them an’ say howdy. An’ see Charli Mills ‘bout steppin’ up ta the mic yersef.”

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 more or less 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. Chel Owens

    Great! I love seeing and hearing from all these writers! …that D. Avery might want to smile a bit more… 😉

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Aw, shift, Chel, thinkin’ if she did it’d break that mug a hers. That woman’s got ’bout as many funny bones as a jellyfish. Wouldn’t know funny if it slapsticked her upside the head. But Pal an me are gonna chip in, mebbe git her a sense a humor fer Christmas. Tell ya, it’s sure bin good havin’ the saloon ta hang out in ‘stead a her dark an’ dusty head. An’ we always injoy havin’ other ranch hands come aroun’ ta read their stuff.

  2. ellenbest24

    I am honoured to share a spot at the mic, but I do wish that old woman that was on the film would stop impersonating me. ???? it is easy to duck under a mirror at home … when you are four foot eleven. Being in lockdown or shielding since March means no walking past your reflection in shop windows or fitting rooms. I swear I have aged a decade since covid 19. I just had to watch them all again. Well done everyone who was brave enough to step up and talented. X Thank you Charli Mills and D Avery.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I was so focused on yer words , didn’t notice no old woman ‘personater. I will take this time ta remind ya thet it’s me an’ Pal what keeps this saloon goin’. Charli Mills is too busy writin’ a novel an’ runnin’ a ranch an’ writin’ wrongs ta run a saloon an’ D. Avery’s… well we ain’t sure what she does, but we kin tell ya she ain’t in charge.
      Thank you Ellen, fer steppin’ up ta the mic an’ takin’ the stage. Beautifully done.

      • ellenbest24

        I am honoured x see you n3xt time

    • Charli Mills

      Oh, Ellen, I busted up laughing! I love seeing you and all the writers who read!

      • ellenbest24

        Maybe I will do the next one in disguise ????????

  3. Norah

    I’ve listened to the first two – tough subjects, well handled. Congratulations Susan and Paula.
    I’ll be back over successive nights to listen to the others.
    What a great opportunity for writers to have their stories heard.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thankee Ms. Colvin. Thet’s good strategy, ta spread out yer time fer listenin’. We’ll save yer stool. Oh… we’ll keep a seat open fer ya!

      • Norah

        Thank you. That’s very kind. 🙂

  4. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Well done team putting these together. Will have to come back to listen to the richness of these readings.

  5. Liz H

    So much fun to be able to knit face and voice and words together!

  6. denmaniacs4

    Happy to have been along for the ride…

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Ya cut a fine trail, set tall in the saddle, etc.

  7. Charli Mills

    What a hoot to have a show created around our readings. Hats off to Kid and Pal. Except, quit picking on your Writer. She does just fine!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Glad ta give the night owl a hoot. Workin’ on thet other matter.

  8. Marje @ Kyrosmagica

    Thanks for including me in the wonderful readings and like Ellen I wish the camera wasn’t so wicked to us ladies of a certain age! Lol.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Ellen looked fine, you looked fine, ever’one looked fine. It was wicked good, thet readin’.

  9. Darlene

    These are all great. I enjoyed listening to my writer friends read their work. You all looked great too!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thankee, Darlene. Me an’ Kid’s real proud a these folks fer sharin’ their writin’ in a dif’rent way like this.

  10. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Saddle Up Saloon Schedule
    We’ve got some answers ta them question marks; we’ve got child whisperer Jennie Fitzkee comin’ soon an’ a special musical artist too, dates ta be determined. If you wanna take the stage, jist contact us, Kid an’ Pal, at

    November 2: Sean Prentiss
    November 9: 5 At the Mic
    November 16: T. Marie Bertineau, Keweenaw author of The Mason House.
    November 23: Recipe Rustlin’; fall favorites of yer family. Be prepared ta share a seasonal recipe an’ a little story ‘bout it. (59 words)
    November 30: ?
    December 7: 5 At the Mic
    December 14: ?
    December 21: Karaoke Krissmas Share a parody or improvement on any holiday song. You don’t have to sing, just send your revised lyrics to a familiar or linked tune.
    December 28: ?
    January 4: 5 At the Mic

  11. robbiesinspiration

    It really is lovely to see everyone and here them read their stories. Ellen is so theatrical and all the stories are wonderful. A great idea Charli and team.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thanks Robbie! Mebbe we’ll see ya up there one day.

  12. H.R.R. Gorman

    Very cool! Thanks, all you brave people who stepped up to the mic!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thank you fer comin’ by fer a lissen. Much ‘preciated.


  1. Saddle Up Saloon; Recipe Rustlin’ Character Klatsch « Carrot Ranch Literary Community - […] vacation. We’ve had author Sean Prentiss here at the Saddle Up, then a bunch a fine readings fer 5…

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