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August 19: Flash Fiction Challenge

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How does a little dog eat a big lake? One bite at a time.

Lake Superior has locked Mause into an eternal game of chase-my-waves. At nine-months-old, this petite GSP is smart. She calculates the roll and trajectory of beach waves and begins her chase at the crest. The waves slant, hitting one part of the beach first and splashing further down. Mause devours water.

It’s been a hot week full of intense work after two weeks of meetings, training and deadlines. I made a water promise — to be in or on it regularly. I load Mause or the kayak into my car and we head out to escape the unseasonable warmth for a brief break.

Despite the high temperatures (today it was 90 degrees F), chasing waves and biting water chills the pup. When we get back to the car, her towel is warm. Mause shivers until I wrap her up and rub vigorously. She has gained an appreciation for a thorough toweling.

Today Mause learned to appreciate a sandy beach. It was hot enough that I wanted a dip, too.

We drove out past the blueberry farm. I saw the ghost of campfires past and imagined I smelled Dutch oven beans. I laughed, seeing that the campers in #5 set up next to my favorite pine to leave a leak. I let the good memories walk with me on the beach, my bare feet scrubbed by the quartz grains. I told Mause, “There are stars in the sand.” She tried to find them and dug.

The water created a new game — fill-in-the-holes. Waves elongated and smoothed over Mause’s star mines. This only made her dig faster. Rooster tails of golden sand shot backward three feet. Water filled the hole. Mause pawed the momentary sludge, digging water, then sand again. In the end, the beach kept its treasure. Except for the grains that ended up on Mause’s towel.

The trouble with trying to eat a big lake is that it overfills a small puppy bladder. We stopped three times on the way home so she could leave her leak outside the car. She’s so tired she didn’t whine when I watered the potager garden without her. I had herbs to cut, banana peppers to pick, and a bunny to greet. She shelters in my lavender bush. I watered beneath the watchful gaze of the elegant Lemon Queens and thought about next week.

Next week, I’ll be in my office on campus. Next week, I will meet my students and discuss success with them. Next week, I have a coffee date with my office mate, a soprano who teaches music appreciation. Next week, I get to Zoom with Sue Spitulnik’s writing group. Next week, I’m going to my first Rosza concert (outdoors) since the pandemic began — Beethoven and Banjos, a celebration of water through classical, folk and indigenous music and dance.

Next week feels like I found a star upon the beach.

Both my classes will learn about clarity in writing, after all, whether a written piece is informative or artistic, the goal is communication. In English 103, we will focus on clarity in what we read and how we form critical thought. In English 104, we will focus on forming critical thought to write clearly.

As literary artists, clarity might vary in degrees. We are practicing what to include in 99-words, and what to leave out. Did you know that the clearest sentence in the English language is the SVO construction? Subject-verb-object. As literary artists, we can vary our sentence lengths. Long sentences slow down the pace. Short ones speed it up. The SVO sentence can be punchy and well-placed after a long, ambling sentence. Or three in a row can build tension. Syntax is a writing element that impacts both clarity and style.

However, in fiction, syntax must also advance the plot and character arc. Marylee McDonald explains how to observe syntax in fiction and create your own cheat sheet of author’s sentences that you admire. Deconstruct the sentences to see the mechanics underneath. She refers to Hemingway’s SVO sentence structures as SV, but otherwise, its an excellent primer and tool on syntax.

To clarify, since we are talking clarity, syntax is a writing element. It has to do with language construction. Craft elements, on the other hand, are the mechanics of fiction. Dialog and world-building are craft elements. Syntax plays a vital role in clarifying who said what, as well as defining a new world experience. As a writer, it is your word choice and sentence construction. As a fiction writer, both craft and writing elements carry the action and emotion from a starting point to a conclusion.

Never doubt there is always something to learn, practice or master in our craft!

For now, let’s chase stories and stars.

August 19, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “stars in the sand.” Your story can be any genre (or poem) and can use realism or fantasy. It’s a dreamy prompt. Go where the it leads!

Respond by August 24, 2021. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

White City Sand by Charli Mills

Copper miners’ families crowded the double-decker steamer. Wives and children sported tiny brass stars on collars and lapels. Solidarity for fair treatment twinkled across the open decks. An anonymous patron had provided the striking miners with an exclusive excursion to White City. Thirty-minutes east of closed mines, the summer-weary strikers and families anticipated their lucky day. Respite. The promised carousel, dance pavilion, and ham picnic came into view. Mine enforcers emerged. Hundreds. Clubs in fists. The boat docked. They say you can find stars in the sand where the working class were tricked and beaten into submission in 1909.

🥕🥕🥕


103 Comments

  1. So. That’s why you were spending so much time with that Pine!
    This well crafted well written flash is sad. Well…
    Good luck Teach. keep cool.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. denmaniacs4 says:

    The Crooner

    I was on a late-night stroll along the sea wall. The moon was half full, slipping through the shadows of trees along my way.

    I was alone, the last person on earth.

    A comforting imaginative thought.

    As I rounded a corner, I saw him sitting on a bench, singing: “Don’t let the stars get in your eyes, don’t let the moon break your heart…”

    Suddenly I was a child again, mimicking Perry on the Motorola, flubbing the lyrics: “don’t let the stars in the sand get in your eyes…”

    Mother would correct me.

    I’d try again.

    Loved her laugh!

    http://www.engleson.ca

    Liked by 10 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Bill, I enjoyed how the narrator strolling feels comfortable alone and yet is clearly connected to humanity. Great writing with how you set up for mother’s laugh and used a mistaken lyric for the challenge.

      Liked by 3 people

      • denmaniacs4 says:

        Charli, as you can probably tell, my 99-word creation this week was composed rather hurriedly. Not an unexceptional time frame for me. Other flash sites usually require more thought. With Carrot Ranch, it’s more instinct, some sense of music playing in my head, some fraction of memory, some smell or taste, some experience that is real, or more frequently, wished for.
        Today it came like a bullet.
        For me, the very word ‘flash’ is like the 100-yard dash…or the 99-yard dash.
        It usually takes a wee bit longer than 10 seconds.
        As much as I write, the various sites as well as my own other work, Carrot Ranch has been a joyous creative boon. Your brilliant essays set the stage each week for those of us who care to, or need to, to compose our full and complete 99-word narratives.
        Thanks.

        Liked by 7 people

      • Charli Mills says:

        Bill, what you are describing is a writer’s instinct. It’s a good inner listening that writers have and I know what you mean, about the pieces coming together speedily as a bullet. I believe that we learn from getting time to play. Children do, right? Absolutely, this challenge is about going where the prompt takes you, practicing creative courage, and playing with others. I love your analogy — the 99-yard dash! It makes me happy to know the Ranch is a joyous environment for creativity. Your appreciation gives me much gratitude!

        Liked by 2 people

    • Wonderfully evocative, Bill. Am I the only one convinced that Perry was always off-key? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Such a lovely stroll, this flash.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I never learned about grammatical syntax in school. The official terms and definitions hurt my head just a bit to read through now, but I appreciate the resource you shared. Marylee McDonald’s use of scientific/non-fictional passages in comparison to fictional (story) passages, helped to clarify syntax just a little more for me. I know it’ll take time, and constant exposure to these terms, in various forms, to fully absorb them. These first teething pains in the learning process, whatever we are learning, are the hardest to get through, but my partner’s favourite quote “anything worth something, is on the other side of fear” comes to me often, reminding me that growth and learning happens when we are uncomfortable, and it’s up to us to push through that.

    I sense the use of varied sentences and Subject-Verb-Object experimentation in my own writing, without knowing fully what I’m changing and how I’m changing it. It’s all through feel at the moment and I’d love to be able to explain the process (even if I never actually explain to others) and how I craft my sentences, if only to earn a deeper understanding of my own style.

    As for this week’s prompt, I read the prompt first before the article as I wanted to start chewing on it while working around the house with the kids. Because of that, knowing the theme was coming, this line held a potency I didn’t expect:

    I told Mause, “There are Stars in the Sand.” She tried to find them and dug.

    After the exhaustion and energy of the trip at the beach, the story all settled together into those few words to craft a vivid scene of magic and determination. I could see the stars just beneath her paws. It was beautiful to experience.

    I intend to return soon with my own piece. As for now, enjoy your array of stars Charli. Found and earned.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Jules says:

        So much there in space. I watch a talk by a Theoretical Physicist a few nights ago everything, light, planets, life might equal 3% of everything in the multi-verse of universes.

        Liked by 3 people

      • It’s incredible isn’t it? There could be so many more versions of existence out there. Not just alternate realities as we tend to think of them, but whole new forms of physics.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jules says:

        I’m just amazed at how much the Periodic Table of Elements has changed over the years!!
        That song one used to sing to know them all – well it doesn’t fit anymore!

        Plug in ‘old periodic table of elements song’ – there is a youtube piece and also lyrics – too long to place here. 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      • We never actually learned that here in Australian schools! I wouldn’t know either if I heard them. Just asked the other half and it’s the same for him. I’ll have to look it up. I do know there are new elements being discovered every few years or so, which is fantastic. I’m also keen to see developments along the other way, deeper inside atoms to quantum mechanics and string theory. It’s super fascinating and it’s where the multiverse theory originated!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jules says:

        I like watching the shows about the universe by Carl Sagan and now Neil deGrasse Tyson.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Me too. They’re otherworldly and inspiring. I listened to an interview with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and he spoke of curiosity being the most crucial aspect of humanity. It allows us to want to connect and understand, and it’s how we advance our sciences and strength as a whole society. It was fascinating. Michio Kaku is another personable face in the scientific world and he’s just as fantastic to watch and listen to.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jules says:

        Yes, Michio Kaku is the gentleman I listened to. I just didn’t recall his name.

        Liked by 2 people

      • That’s great! I read a couple of his novels recently too and I highly recommend them, even for those with little to no background in science.

        Liked by 2 people

      • If all sci-fi were as literary and expressive I might even become a convert. 🙂 Great piece, Rebecca.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks Doug, I’m thrilled you enjoyed it. Sci-fi and science are my two loves outside of reading and writing so it’s always great to help others see the beauty in it.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Rebecca, I think every writer has a process just as each of us has our own unique voice. We have our bag of struggles, too. As a writer, syntax is the level that trips me up. I understand what you mean about writing from instinct and crafting the big picture. Ultimately, I had to confront syntax to comprehend the revision of various craft elements. But this also was a breakthrough, showing me that if I could catch nominalizations in my sentences, I could deepen my third-person POV. Those are the kinds of breakthroughs you will have with your style. One prof, years ago in my undergrad days, said revision is where a manuscript starts to sing. Believe that and do what it takes to push through. I love the growth mindset your partner shares with you. This is your creative courage.

      And continue to write instinctively! Even in Bill’s response, we can see how powerful instinct is when we let the details fire and we naturally write with variation. It’s when you get to revision that you will want to become aware of how syntax influences your instinct. And here is a perfect example! You caught a phrase that held meaning for you and you let the prompt have time in your personal space to let your instinct play. Funny thing is, that phrase popped out of my own instinct. It felt poignant to me, like we are all searching so don’t question the existence of treasure, just go for it. Dig. I like to think that’s how we inspire one another as artists. We connect. We feel something and follow the trail and find a story. It’s inspiring to me when we can make these connections, writer to writer, artist to artist.

      Magic and determination. Yes. Now it is my turn to enjoy what you created!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for the encouragement Charli, it’s empowering to find others who’ve struggled through the same areas of the craft. I’m working to an outline for the first time this round, and it’s helping to carry so much of the burden of pushing through the first draft. I’m determined to see what magic awaits at the end. Crafting a novel for the first time is a long arduous journey, mostly riddled with hurdles of self discipline, which I’m noticing more and more.

        My response to the prompt was mostly instinct once again, but after reading up on syntax directly prior, I noticed faint hints of an improved ability to recognise the S-V-O relationship and it gives me hope that my skills are growing.

        These weekly flash pieces have been a crucial part of helping me feel connected to the creative community on a deeper level. I love reading through all the unique comments and perspectives, discovering things I otherwise never would have.

        Liked by 3 people

      • I always thought syntax was something to do with duties on alcohol and cigarettes. 😉

        Liked by 3 people

      • Charli Mills says:

        Observing how others respond to a prompt helps stretch our minds to see what is possible. Folllow up with revisiting syntax lessons, and they’ll start to stick. YES! Outline or map your novel. I’m a reformed pantser. I still “pants” when I draft but in scenes. Then I revisit the map and consider where I’m going. Every author learns to novel by writing novels and that’s arduous. It’s good to be in company with other creatives.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Charli Mills says:

        Ha, ha! Doug, I confuse sintax/syntax, too. 😉

        Like

  4. Norah says:

    I can picture Mause trying to eat Lake Superior one mouthful at a time. So cute.
    You have stars in your eyes about what next week brings, and a North Star among them, not just stars in the sand. How exciting. I can’t wait to hear about it.
    I found your flash very sad. I was built up for joy but suddenly brought down. There is definitely much of that, far too much of that, in the world today.
    Bring on next week! Enjoy!

    Liked by 7 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Norah, I wish I could share with you the moment Mause holds her maw wide to a wave. I might try to photograph her, though the action is fast. She is even cuter, asleep on my feet, puppy-tired!

      Thank you for reminding me of my North Star. I do have stars in my eyes. Sometimes, I forget that I had a double major 20 years ago, and taught English as a Second Language for a semester, dreaming of the day when I would teach writing. I never wanted to leave college. Getting my MFA was a dream come true. But I thought I’d be getting a different kind of job. Colleges rarely hire without college experience. The pandemic opened a door. Wait, that was last week’s prompt! I feel clearer on what I will offer to writers as a coach, too. Now to roll up my sleeves.

      The flash was a downer. I’m holding both joy and sorrow in my soul right now. Literary art can be a release valve or a balm.

      Onto next week! Have a good weekend!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Norah says:

        I can imagine Mause trying to eat the waves. You’d have to take a video rather than a photo to capture it, I think. But I think you did well with your words.
        You are a very clever student – not only in college, but in life. You have much to share. I’m pleased the picture of how you will accomplish that is becoming clearer as you draw nearer to your North Star.
        Literary art has many purposes for us at different times. As always, we go where the prompt leads, whether that be inward, outward or upward.
        I hope your week is going well.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Norah says:

      I’m back with my story: https://norahcolvin.com/2021/08/25/stars-in-the-sand-flashfiction/

      Stars in the Sand
      Works of art, created from random pieces of this and that, were incomplete without a generous sprinkling of glitter. When stars were available, the children were in heaven. Though insignificant to others, the works held meaning for the artist, at least for a moment like a particle of glitter passing through a sandglass. Peta watched George painstakingly place his stars. She turned his paper around. “Stars don’t go in the sand, silly. They go in the sky.” George turned it back. “They’re starfish. Starfish go in the sand. Don’t you know anything?” “Oh,” said Peta. “They are beautiful starfish!”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Grandma says there are stars in the sand.
    A lot of people say Grandma is crazy.
    I think it’s crazy that I have to go to school where all I learn is to keep quiet and avoid bullies.
    Come on, Grandma says when I get home, Let’s go star gazing, and heads down to the beach, hours before sunset.
    It’s not the right time, I say.
    We can handle time she says, and we do. Wordless, we marvel at the glittering sand; we smooth it, sift it, inspect it.
    You’re a star she says, and I know it’s true.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. […] August 19: Flash Fiction Challenge « Carrot Ranch Literary Community In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “stars in the sand.” Your story can be any genre (or poem) and can use realism or fantasy. It’s a dreamy prompt. Go where the it leads! […]

    Liked by 2 people

  7. 99 Carrot Stars

    “Kid what’re ya doin’ lettin’ thet dang hog a yers root an’ dig ever’where?”

    “If it’s okay fer Mause, it’s okay fer Curly. We’re lookin’ fer stars in the sand, Pal.”

    “Thet ain’t sand, Kid, thet’s Shorty’s garden.”

    “Close enough. Hey, another one! Good Curly.”

    “Thet ain’t a star, Kid, thet’s jist a carrot.”

    “Jist a carrot?! Carrots fer the people, Pal. Tell ya somethin’ else. The people that show up ta the ranch is all stars. Their stories shine! An’ while we ain’t got beach sand here, there’s plenty a folks with grit.”

    “Reckon so, Kid, reckon so.”

    Liked by 5 people

  8. […] The challenge from Carrot Ranch this week is to write in 99 words (no more, no less), a story using the phrase, “stars in the sand.” Your story can be any genre (or poem) and can use realism or fantasy. It’s a dreamy prompt. Go where the it leads! […]

    Liked by 3 people

  9. […] Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction August 19, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “stars in the sand.” Your story can be any genre (or poem) and can use realism or fantasy. It’s a dreamy prompt. Go where it leads! Respond by August 24, 2021. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Jules says:

    Charli,

    Too often truth is crueler than fiction. I went with a combo of fiction and fact and three prompts for a Kelly Lune haibun hybrid. I’ve got images at my site post:

    Lake Michigan Midnight (Shore Lunes)

    Lake Michigan Midnight (Shore Lunes)
    (Robert Kelly lunes 5,3,5 syllables haibun hybrid)

    too soon, the path will
    allow me
    to arrive coast side

    I, imposter here
    among the
    good trees; hide from day

    seek constellations
    the sky’s book
    notwithstanding dark

    Black light at the ready to harvest rocks with iridescent spots. I will seek the stars in the sand as well as in the sky. Did the stars fall millions of years ago? I will create my own origin stories.

    From this great lake with its north and south beaches… gifting up fossils, glass spears; marbles, lost china from sunken ships. Those can go to the day hunters. I’ll hoard Yooperlites!

    © JP/dh

    The rocks, which he named “Yooperlites” emit an eerie glow, appearing to be partially molten rock. Rintamaki, a gem and mineral dealer, made this discovery after hunting for rocks in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, bringing with him a black light. (I found mine at Lake Michigan that edged Wisconsin.)

    Liked by 6 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      A-ha! At last, Jules, something you shared that I know! Of course, yooperlites (as in yoopers from the UP where I live) and ROCKS which I have on the brain 24/7. They are amazing, aren’t they? Yet, you did surprise me. I hadn’t thought of yooperlites as “stars in the sand.” A lovely image, and well done.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. […] If you want to participate, here’s the link:  CARROT RANCH […]

    Liked by 1 person

  12. floridaborne says:

    Dogs have a way of teaching us to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. They’re the children who will always greet you with a smile and with love.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. […] This was written with the prompt stars in the sand provided by the Carrot Ranch August 19 Flash Fiction Challenge. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  14. […] Carrot Ranch, August 19: Flash Fiction Challenge, and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Take Weaver -19/8 […]

    Liked by 2 people

  15. What lovely pictures you painted in my head this week with your words about Mause, the lake, sand and chasing waves, Charli. But not only that but the watering of your garden, which sounds as if it is in full bloom. I hope you are enjoying every moment? Is the rabbit wild or a pet?

    And you have so much to look forward to next week. That must be a great feeling after the last 18 months of the world being in between phases.

    I love your idea about stars in the sand. I’ve always wondered what those shiny grains that catch my eye were. They’re not always there, but they revealed themselves to us when something nice is about to happen. Well, that’s what seems to happen to me.

    I’ll be back with my story. Have a lovely week.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Hugh, I love the idea of catching sight of lucky stars in the sand! The garden was colorful in spring but so much came at once instead of in succession. Unseasonable weather, like everywhere else. But I grew peppers for the first time! The bunny is wild. She has a lovely den. This week is unfolding like lucky stars flashing.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Stars in the sand

    Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott-Thomas, their characters besotted with each other, gaze at the stars in the desert heavens and glory in both their mass and their individuality. Suddenly the sky is more sand than stars and they realise they are about to be enveloped by a khamsin. They make it to their truck and spend the night pursuing their mutual obsession as the sand buries them. They have no fear or trepidation because the English are very patient. In the morning, they dig themselves out and their journey continues, because the sand cannot bury stars of any kind.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Leanne says:

    Great story on grit, Doug.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Jennie says:

    A wonderful day at the beach for you and your dog, and a fabulously exciting week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Aloysius at the Beach

    Although the family, who believed they owned Aloysius, tried to keep him in their house and yard, he often wandered further afield.

    One day he made his way down to the shore. The sunshine was shining brightly on Aloysius’s fur; the yellow beams created stars on the sand.

    Like any normal feline (and Aloysius was anything but), the white cat reacted as most cats would, he pounced upon each and every star he saw. Aloysius vanquished them all, never looking back. Swishing his tail back and forth triumphantly, he padded back home, each footstep leaving behind another sand dollar.

    ~Nancy Brady, 2021

    Liked by 2 people

  20. […] and emotional 99 word story of her own. I do hope you’ll take the time to read it! https:carrotranch.com My response is below. I hope you’ll like […]

    Liked by 1 person

  21. […] for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. Click here to join […]

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Yay, it’s next week and you’re in your office! I hope it’s going well. I was running a workshop yesterday morning which was fun, but unfortunately couldn’t get them to write this week’s flash for me. So I’ve gone to the gods, sort of:

    Idas and Marpessa

    Evenus insisted the man who married his daughter should first prove his worth. Challenged her suitors to a chariot race; a hundred losers’ heads graced his palace walls …

    https://annegoodwin.weebly.com/annecdotal/fun-and-fabulous-the-gods-of-love-by-nicola-mostyn

    Liked by 2 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      The best thing about my office, Anne is my office mate. She has a doctorate in music theory, sings lyric saprano, and traces the hero’s journey in songs. We could have talked all day. I’d love to hear how your workshop went!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The hero’s journey in song, wow! So good you click with your office mate. My workshop was on fictional therapists, with a small and enthusiastic group and it went well. I’m lucky to have a few gigs with a new creative studio in a nearby town, so I’m hoping the centre takes off.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Charli Mills says:

        I’m sure you will be a part of that creative studio’s growth Anne. That’s a great gig. You are doing a great job of expanding your platform on your psychology experience. And, I can’t wait to find out more about the hero’s mourning in music.

        Like

  23. SueSpitulnik says:

    Charli,

    I love your description of Mause and the water. I can feel her exhilaration and then tiredness. And the towel massage doesn’t sound half bad either.
    I had my flash written, then reread about syntax and threw out the draft. I ended up with short sentences, tension, and a downer.
    I am excited to be able to introduce you to my local group…

    Stars in the Sand

    Sand and rocks, all the same color. Windy. The sand didn’t care whose clothing it sifted into; US troops in full battle gear, residents they were training, or the enemy they had trouble identifying.
    Then came the explosion. Michael’s legs in a million pieces, splattered in every direction. His driver’s body torn apart. The identifiable parts gathered reverently to return home in a flag-covered casket.
    The General visited the compound. His soldiers knew he would come. He had their respect. He cared about their well-being. His stars shone in the sun, the same color as the unforgiving relentless sand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charli Mills says:

      Oh, wow, Sue, I’m caught up in your flash. You might have followed the prompt and syntax to a tragic place, but this is Michael’s inciting incident. This is the moment we knew he had but you took courage to write out the details. Brave. And well done. The General’s stars and unforgiving, relentless sand gave me goosebumps. May the sacrifices have meaning.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. […] Carrot Ranch always has an interesting prompt and I almost missed this one. Details In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “stars in the sand.” Your story can be any genre (or poem) and can use realism or fantasy. It’s a dreamy prompt. Go where the it leads! […]

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Myrna Migala says:

    I almost missed this opportunity but squeezed in my 99 words right here.

    Ode to the Sandman

    Liked by 2 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Happy to have you squeeze in, Myrna! Do you also want your story in the collection? I noticed that you haven’t submitted to the form and I want to make sure you have the chance to be included if you’d like. It’s up to you! Thanks for writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. […] I read Charli’s prompt at the Carrot Ranch this week, to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “stars in the sand.” Your story …, all I could think of was the story about the boy and the starfish. I’m sure you know the one, […]

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Nicely penned
    Stay safe healthy wealthy and happy

    Liked by 1 person

  28. […] August 19: Flash Fiction Challenge […]

    Liked by 1 person

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Healing Touch & Reiki

Kid & Pal Every Monday

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Poet Lariat of the Ranch

H.R.R. Gorman, Columnist

Anne Goodwin, Columnist

Bill Engleson, Columnist

Ann Edall-Robson, Columnist

Susan Sleggs, Columnist

Norah Colvin, Columnist

Sherri Matthews, Columnist

Ruchira Khanna, Columnist

“A delightful story of a conventional Delhi girl who finds herself in the eye of a storm, ‘Bowled but Not Out’ brings out a whirlwind of emotions through its pages.”

Cee’s Listing

Pure Michigan Lit

Charli Mills in the UP Reader

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