Welcome to Carrot Ranch Literary Community where creative writers from around the world and across genres gather to write 99-word stories. A collection of prompted 99-word stories reads like literary anthropology. Diverse perspectives become part of a collaboration.
We welcome encouraging comments. You can follow writers who link their blogs or social media.
Those published at Carrot Ranch are The Congress of Rough Writers.
The Creation of Literary Art by sweeterthannothing
The battleground- an expanse of white, pure as undriven snow.
An army of writers, poets, novelists, and literary artists warming up on the sidelines, glasses poised just so, fingers nimble and ready.
Words and worlds, life and death, the mundane and the beautiful will come to life and die today on this page, as we charge ever-hopeful into the vast emptiness of our ever more analytical planet wielding weapons of mass creation.
Ink-black blood from words crushed and deleted, smears of worlds erased a new life gets to its knees, words finally falling into place;
Once upon a time….
Literary Creation – I by Duane L Herrmann
The page is blank, the world is blank. What to do? Where to begin? How?
Pick up the tool to activate.
What is your first thought? How to express it? Pick one word. Then, a second word. The third word is easier. Then the fourth and fifth.
By now there is a trickle, they will become a stream, then a river and, before you know it: a torrent, then a flood. Problem solved. No blank space and, a new, unknown creation is before you.
This is success. It only took one word, then two, then more. Write! Create! Live!
Literary Artistry by Kerry E. B. Black
Falling through stardust, we grasp at ideas streaked with golden trails. Adrift at sea, our words mark our passage like bioluminescent plankton, a glow of wonder. We shed reservations and inhibitions, embrace and share our most intimate experiences, our deepest traumas, using metaphor and hyperbole when the tale takes on too much heart. We invigorate ink with our tears, stain pages with our lifeblood. We sing worlds into life, birth children beloved and reviled. Screaming into a vacuum, we seek like-minded souls, kindred spirits, those who embrace the meat of the matters that matter to us. Hear our truth.
From the Heart by Colleen M. Chesebro
I strive to become
a literary artist…
exposing my soul
I examine the beauty
found in the silent moments
Some days, the words flow from my heart, as if a river of creative energy has let loose to flood the page with words. Other days, the words can’t find an outlet. My thoughts are thick like mud.
Literary art is more than crafting words on a page. It’s also the spoken word, which often finds me with my heart stuck in my throat.
Listen to me…
Finding the courage to embrace and share out loud—therein lies the magic.
Literary (he)art by Hanna Streng
How does it feel
to be a heart
tucked away in a tight-knit chest?
Are you content
living life behind bars
or do you wish you could break a rib
and climb out
– make a home for yourself
the sound of your pounding
echoes against the walls.
Haven’t I kept you safe,
all this time?
sharp words flying
and as they hit their mark
3rd rib, from the top down
blood flows freely
and it suddenly makes sense.
You don’t hate it
you’ve simply outgrown your cage.
A Poet by Bill Engleson
“It would be so simple.”
“For you, perhaps.”
“Are you so different from me, poet? Your flesh? Torn. Your blood? Spilled. That is the only difference between us, my friend. My flesh is untorn. I am not bleeding. Beyond that, we…”
“Liar. You are bleeding. Not blood. Your blood is water. Fouled by the fear that gushes out of you.”
“You stupid poet. My blood is mine. My life is mine. My skin glows with the glory of the state. Your skin is gashed and pale. But you could be free.”
“I could never pay the price of silence.”
The Creator Within by Christy
Some say writing is difficult, tedious, and tiresome. Writing is so much more when the creative let go of the constraints of academia and let the words drip from the end of the quill. I’m not a writer. I will never be a writer. I am a creator. Even before splashing words on a screen, I was an artist. I can make acrylics swirl on canvas like I can make plots swirl in my head. I’m a builder. I can build worlds from nothing by closing my eyes and believing. I’m beauty unleashed when I let my artistry shine.
Literary Artist by Reena Saxena
Irrestibubble is an aerated chocolate, and cream cakes are naughty but nice. Prospective buyers see innocent faces of kids in these words.
The copywriter who coined these terms is proclaimed guilty of sacrilege, and fatwas are issued against him.
He survives an assassination attempt but is stabbed again just before a scheduled lecture at Chautauqua, New York. He has lost an eye and functionality of one hand this time.
I remember Salman Rushdie as the literary artist who introduced me to complex fiction during my school days, as I struggled to understand the symbolism and imagery in the novel.
Dedicated Literary Artist by JulesPaige
Mack wanted his stories to burn his ideas and ideals into others’ hearts. He stood with his back leaning against the concrete wall of the city park. He read the newspaper – the stories always seemed the same. So much tragedy, hot tears left his eyes. He wanted his stories to burn like a phoenix rising from the ashes. He would write passionately, with a trick of love light. That light his mother always shared with him when they cooked Sunday afternoon dinners together. Meals where simple foods became elegant enough for royalty.
up in smoke; reborn
Literary Conduit by Gypsie-Ami Offenbacher-Ferris
To turn emotion into a word, an experience into a sentence and a life into a story; that is a literary artist. Peering into the unseeable, deciphering hidden messages, unraveling puzzles into a stream of aesthetic words, pleasing to both reader and writer.
To be a conduit, a messenger, to bring reverence to the wonders of the Earth. To stir fascination, acceptance and protection about the myriad cultures this world has emanated.
To exalt over our majestic animal species and keep their plight alive within the human conscience.
To continue to be my best. A writer. A literary artist.
If Only… by Norah Colvin
In her mind she was a literary artist, painting exquisite word pictures and enthralling plots, her titles on everyone’s lips. When it didn’t eventuate, she blamed busyness and writer’s block. She could have, if only.
He dreamed of being a musical artist, composing melodies to make hearts sing, first choice of orchestras everywhere. When it didn’t emerge, he cited family responsibilities. He could have, if only.
They pictured themself as a visual artist, creating magnificent sculptures commissioned by international celebrities. When it didn’t evolve, they howled discrimination and poor upbringing. They could have, if only.
Might have, if only.
Did You Pack Your Bag Yourself? by Anne Goodwin
We all bring baggage on our journeys. Let’s examine yours.
Choose that channel and they’ll repack your things in neat compartments and throw away whatever they cannot name. If you’re hurting, they’ll prescribe a sedative. If you’re angry, they’ll offer you cake.
Choose this and we’ll treasure your soiled underwear, admire the garments life has pulled out of shape. We’ll make a mosaic from your broken bits, macramé from your tangled threads. We’ll wash the shame from your buried secrets, build fairy-tale castles from the dirt. You’ll leave with a suitcase of stories: to amuse; to surprise; to console.
Untitled by D. Avery
What’s a literary artist? Don’t ask me. I just play with words, sometimes puzzling something together for a challenge, sometimes puzzling something out for myself, piecing thoughts and impressions together.
If I were a musician, I might talk about beats, of finding a rhythm that leaves space for silence between the notes. If I were a painter, I might talk of perspective; of trying to capture a certain light; of presenting an image.
But I have no instrument, no brush, no paint. Words are the tools I wield to explore and expand my world, clumsily yet carefully. Just words.
Create With Words by Sue Spitulnik
The town fair invitation said all artists welcome. Come for the day with your wares, show off what you can do, teach by example, and leave others remembering your creativity.
The potter came with her wheel and clay. A carver came with a piece of wood. A painter arrived. A jewelry maker and leather tooler set up. They all had the specialty tools only they needed. There were others.
The literary artist brought a pen and notebook. She took notes while talking to each person as they worked. Later, with words, she described everything that had aroused her senses.
Stories From A Man Heart by HeyAisyah
“Congratulation, you won The Best Literary Artist Award again. What’s your secret in writing?”
“You just write it all from your heart. You know, all my life I’m known as a great writer who writes all these great war novels with amazing characters and stories, but the truth is I’m not a great writer. I’m just a man who survives the war but lost the battle. A man who’s missing his friends, family, and his lover that is already long gone from the war, and all these novels are written from my heart, of how much I miss them.”
Art For Art’s Sake by Geoff Le Pard
Little Tittweaking was considered to be cultured. Rene Sance created infeasible clouds and fat babies from recycled party balloons and out of date puff pastry; Pru Rafael-Light woke up regularly to smell the coffee only to be disappointed; Art Deco took peeks into the future; and the recently ennobled Sir Realism studied the ineffable infinity of melted camemberts and the impact of salivating cheese on the fecundity of granite. The most famous thought was Libby Rarian, the self proclaimed bookmeister who, after too much Jane Austen’s Old Peculiar took umbrage and painted the town read. Umbrage sued and won.
Literary Artist by Ann Edall-Robson
Literary, as in written words, and artist, as in expressing one’s self, might not be the Funk and Wagnalls version of a literary artist, but it’s my version. It describes who I am. A person who utilizes the imaginative brain cell department to the fullest in order to express in words some morsel of something, anything, I choose to write about.
It’s the ‘what if’ factor taking me down not one, but several roads as I explore what the possible conclusion of a story could be. It tells me I don’t have to have one ending, I have choices.
I Am a Literary Artist by Sadje
Being given the distinction of a literary artist is indeed an honor for me. Writing is something that came naturally to me and it’s a relatively new experience for me.
I’m a blogger, a writer, and a narrator of whatever is going through my mind, but I’m no artist. That term implies that a lot of creative effort is involved in my writing.
I cannot write tales after laying down a plot line, and neither can I create fiction that encompasses a book-length story.
But to be counted among these exalted wordsmiths, it would be a great honor indeed!
A Dream-Forged Artist by Nicole Horlings
The dream tender watches over the flock of ideas, guiding them from the field that they’ve just grazed in to the next lush pasture of inspiration, while making sure that the prowling predators of doubt see no opportunity to attack.
The wordsmith examines the sentence for imperfections, pushes it into the coals, then pulls it back out, red hot, and hammers in a simile that provides a smoother, sharper edge.
The literary artist steps back from the easel, contemplating the full composition, before darkening the shadow on the villain’s persona to contrast with the highlighting strokes describing the hero.
Literary Artist by Kriti
Have you ever thought
how powerful are words?
They can inspire
They can destroy
They can even make one happy and sad at the same time
These powerful words are the strength of this person
Whom we interestingly know as a literary artist
Art, literature, poetry
A literary artist is full of creativity
Being one does not need any degree
But a love towards literature
And not only those popular people
Like shakespeare or William Blake
But all those who love to craft with words are Literary artists
Even I am a literary artist
And proud to be one!
Dangerous Who? by Simon
The pen creates words.
It brings life to characters we create, like the charming one playing with kids.
It also creates characters you hate, while you enjoy the charming character, a group of characters cross by and slit his throat for no reason, just to create Chaos!
A childhood trauma to the kids witnessing the killing, creates characters of kids, a killer, a hero, a comedian, a depressed kid, a selfish, an anxious.
An empire to rise and fall with Philosophises to life.
Aren’t we powerful? The pen? The ink? The brain? And all of the above is dangerous!
Literary Artist by Jenny Logan
The fiction I write falls into two categories—inner dialogue and conversation between strangers in public. My preoccupation is relationships—information exchanged revealing something of the characters, often in the form of unsolicited advice.
In the last months, I have received unasked for advice such as, “Eat more liver,” “Don’t go to that Church,” “Support the bin strike,” all from men I have never spoken to before.
The world is apparently full of people queuing up to tell me what to do. I don’t disregard what they say offhand. I think about it first and then generally disregard it.
The Writer by C. E. Ayr
Three years ago I did a deal with the devil.
I got the darkness, insight and talent; he got my soul.
My first book, a gangland thriller, is a world-wide best-seller.
Translated into twenty-odd languages.
Mega-money movie offers.
Enormous advances on my next three books, already drafted.
So what has it cost me?
Well, my wife, who left me.
My kids, who hate me.
And, after the visit from those very nasty guys recently, the use of my legs.
They said I ‘grassed up’ their brother.
They excised my hands, and my tongue.
But I’m still a renowned writer.
Future Words by Hugh W. Roberts
By the time 2042 arrived, literary artists were rare.
They were the only ones with the power to write compelling stories that could alter reality.
The government had strict regulations on using this power, but there were always those who sought to abuse it.
I was one such person who discovered a way to use obsolete blogging skills to control the minds of others.
A team of elite agents was dispatched to stop me.
It was a battle of words and wills, but the power of creativity prevailed. I was captured and sentenced, and the world was safe again.
No Ezee Way Out (Part I) by D. Avery
“There ya are, Kid, up in the Poet Tree. Well, how ya doin with this week’s prompt?”
“Doin jist fine, Pal. Cuz I ain’t doin it. Writin, literary artin, whatever ya wanna call it, it’s too dang hard.”
“Then whut’re ya doin up in the Poet Tree? An in yer long-johns, no less?”
“Figger these long-johns is like them leotards circus folk wear when they perform acrobatics an other amazin stunts.”
“Uh-oh. Thet a swing?”
“Shorty’s called fer literary artists Kid, not trapeze artists. Stop monkeyin aroun and git ta writin.”
“No, Pal. I’m choosin a easier path.
No Ezee Way Out (Part II) by D. Avery
“Writers’ lives are hardest
I ain’t no literary artist
I want a life a ease
so I’ll leap onta the flyin trapeze
Some a ya might ‘member
a circus I started last December
got cancelled cuz a snow
now it’s time, another go
I’ll switch places with that stranger
who figgers circusin’s less danger
that stranger kin take my place, take a chance
an write with ya’ll here at Carrot Ranch”
“Ha! That’s the oddest tree, influencin yer artistry. Mebbe ya didn’t take the leap in time. Thet Poet Tree’s got ya stuck with rhyme.”
“But is it art?”
Wow! What a celebration of what we do! Well done everyone!
Charli, thank you for hanging this art in your gallery, it sure looks good here. This prompt reminded me of one of the first ones I was a part of, when we were considering a world without art. It’s good to see literary art thriving among this group.
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What an inspiring bunch we are! I really enjoyed this week 😀
“The world needs literary artists.” And here they are, Charli!
You challenged us to write 99 words about what it means to be a literary artist. The responses indicate, some quite eloquently, that working with words as a literary artist is an act of bravery and courage; it can be dangerous. It also can be liberating and transformative; it can be a means of sharing reverence and wonder.
“We tell stories to understand our world and we let the world understand us.”
The world does need literary artists for individual and communal learning and teaching. And your thoughts on stories, Charli, remind me of play, that children’s play is for interpreting and interacting with the world; that children and creative people need to play with materials and ideas. Need to. I believe that both children and creative people— literary artists— do go to the imaginal realm to play and interact; to spin magic and weave stories from the threads of observation and empathy and imagination.
This playground is thrumming with creativity!
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Reblogged this on ShiftnShake and commented:
Charli Mills, of Carrot Ranch, stated in her February 20th story challenge that, “The world needs literary artists.”
“Yet, how do we define ourselves?” she asks. She challenged us to write 99 words about what it means to be a literary artist. The responses indicate, some quite eloquently, that working with words as a literary artist is an act of bravery and courage; it can be dangerous; it can be liberating and transformative; it can be a means of sharing reverence and wonder.
Read and comment on the collected responses at Carrot Ranch.
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Another grand collection. I see many new names in the mix and many of the loyal regulars. Thank you all for sharing your definitions, descriptions and explanations of the literary artist. Well done.