November 21: Story Challenge in 99-words

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

November 21, 2022

The petunias and I were not ready for the return of Lake Superior’s great snow machine. The flowers had remained colorful longer than any other autumn I’ve experienced on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Then…suddenly…white stuff. Ah, that’s the way of it. Winter has arrived.

Soon, so does my Svalbard daughter. I’m beside myself with excitement. I cleaned all day, realizing I don’t do much house cleaning. Oh, my. Lots of grit made its way down the drain or out the door. I cleaned the refrigerator, oven, and all my rocks. Well, most of my rocks. I have a lot of rocks.

It’s been five years since all three of my grown kids — all in their thirties — have been home. Home has been a moving target. I decided home is where we gather. Maybe home is truly nothing more than a shared campfire, a gathering of warmth and stories. And turkey.

The turkeys from Minnesota have arrived in Michigan. I know the turkey farmers and their farm used to be a frequent stop back when I wrote about local food, farmers, and artisans. It’s the turkey I always prepared when the kids were teens and young adults and home was defined by house and place. We can still share a beautiful meal. And beautiful it will be.

My eldest is now buried in snow on her farm. She sends us this fun romp with her two farm dogs, Oberon and Uther. You can clearly see we are all adjusting to the snow and the annoying way it clings to furry rumps.

I’ll keep it short and sweet. The midnight flight is nearing and I’m going to go to the farm and wait with Allison. I’m wishing everyone a beautiful week whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not. Know that I’m grateful for each and every one of you at Carrot Ranch. Aanii!

November 21, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “Oh, my.” It can be used in storytelling or dialog. What is the cause for such a response? Have fun with this one! Go where the prompt leads!

  1. Submit by November 26, 2022. Please use the form if you want to be published in the weekly collection. The Collection publishes on the Wednesday following the next Challenge. Rules & Guidelines. Stories must be 99-words.
  2. Carrot Ranch only accepts stories through the form below. Accepted stories will be published in a weekly collection. Writers retain all copyrights.
  3. Your blog or social media link will be included in your title when the Collection publishes.
  4. Please include your byline which is the name or persona you attribute to your writing.
  5. Please include the hashtag #99WordStories when sharing either the Challenge or Collection posts on social media.

Submissions are now closed. Find our latest challenge to enter.

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  1. Anne Goodwin

    Excited for you, Charli. Have a lovely holiday.

  2. Miss Judy

    Oh my, that’s a lot of snow!!Wishing you all a happy holiday.

  3. beth

    have a great holiday

  4. Liz H

    Happy thanksgiving to you & the Keeweenaw!

    • Liz H


      • Liz H

        Purr-happs? Meow.

  5. restlessjo

    Have a fantastic Thanksgiving with your brood, Charli!

  6. denmaniacs4

    Have a fine gathering, Charli…

  7. suespitulnik

    I’m excited along with you, Charli. How wonderful to have all three “kids” together, and not the goatses kind. Happy Thanksgiving!
    I’ve missed a couple of deadlines recently and it’s bothering me. Sometimes I get overwhelmed between writing and quilting. Each is time-consuming. I would love to have been involved in the goat’s birthing time.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Hi Sue. (D here) I noticed your absence here and figured you were just plain busy. Maybe quilting filled your writing well.
      I too am bothered by my misses with prompts, but we gotta shake it off. Oh my, though, I’ve got nothing for this present prompt! Oof. Yet?
      Have a great weekend.

      • suespitulnik

        Hi Dede, Thanks for noticing. I had a couple quilting deadlines and also have a bum writing hand that makes everything harder. I know I missed my friends.
        Happy Thanksgiving . Oh my, it’s almost the end of the year. ????

    • pedometergeek

      Sue, I have missed your stories. I just figured you were busy. We all have that happen from time to time. Quilting is a worthy reason to miss deadlines though. ~nan

      • suespitulnik

        Thanks. I need to rearrange my schedule so I’m not posting at the last minute. I do have time during the week.

      • pedometergeek

        Sue, most of mine are last minute. I have posted a few at 10 minutes to midnight, having only finished it moments before. That reminds me I have a deadline at midnight. Better get moving, and maybe I will even get my Procrastinators Anonymous membership form filled out as well. ;)n

  8. Jules


    Better you than me with all that snow. But we adjust don’t we. Have a wonderful holiday with all your children. We are splitting the tables this year since not every one can fit – inculding the out of town guests.

    Cheers all! Jules

  9. explorereikiworld

    I’m aware of your rock collection, Charli. I have some precious ones too.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Jennie

    Thanksgiving blessings to you and your kids. Five years is a long time to finally be together.

  11. Norah

    Happy Thanksgiving, Charli. Enjoy time with all your three children – home. ????

  12. Liz H

    Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Leftovers to you and yours!
    I went a bit dark ,and bit early, on my offering this week. Think of it as holiday stress relief? 😉

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      That’s a fun one Liz. (But Kid says I weren’t raised right)

  13. floridaborne

    I’m waiting before I publish the post on my blog. A very special lady needs to have surgery and the entire post is about the reason why. Insurance won’t pay for the surgery and she is in pain every day. If you’re not in tears by the time you finish reading it, I’d be surprised.

  14. pedometergeek

    Happy Thanksgiving to all! I’m glad you got to see your kids, Charli.

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