April 2: Story Challenge in 99-words

Written by Charli Mills

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

April 1, 2024

In a flash!

Welcome to the great unknown, where we will explore the possibilities of what happens in a flash. What is happening and who is involved? Let the prompt tickle your synapses.

And, in a flash, she upended her website. It’s downright fugly. It won’t always be this way, but it is for now. Let me give you all an update: I successfully migrated my website, transferred my Domain DNS, and saved all/most/unknown of my content. Sounds so simple! But I assure you, the process is not. Why all the effort? Is it worth it?

I hope so!

One HUGE relief is that I can once again write in a flow that feels familiar. I’m not in Gutenberg, though I can use the block editor. I’m using Divi Builder which is a theme, website builder and plugin. I can do everything visually, more like a designer and less like a coder. The process of divorcing a WordPress website from WordPress hosting was painful, but not as painful as overpaying for features in the Divi Builder at WordPress. By opting for a Divi Builder hosting platform (SiteGround), I can build unlimited websites, landing pages, directories, digital magazines, and even social media platforms for the same price to host a single website through WP.

Yeah, it’ll be worth the move.

I won’t cry on your shoulder about how distressing this process is to me because there are elements of freedom and imagination in the undoing/redoing that opens me up to play. I get to set up visions I’ve held in check. Implement design options and features that will be worth this season of fugliness. The learning curve is manageable, and I do my best as a caregiver. Back in my hay-day (I know it’s “hey” but, this is a ranch) I’d be staying up all hours and living in front of my computer. With my veteran and two dogs, that’s less a reality.

If you know anything about me, you know I bounce back and I promise, this site will be a Cinderella story.

Let’s ignore the rough edges as pages and posts undergo construction. Let’s play! Where were we? Oh, yes, we have a new Collection coming out on Thursday (for those who submitted via email, thank you for your patience). Challenges resume today. For ten years writers have used a 99-word constraint to tell stories, craft verse, share BOTS, shape dialog, and create literary art. Our constraint is considered flash fiction (anything less than a thousand words). So, let’s flash!

April 2, 2024, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that happens in a flash. A flash of inspiration? A flash flood? Who shows up in a flash? Who is impacted for a lifetime from a single flash incident? Go where the prompt leads!

  1. Submit by April 8, 2024. Please use the form below if you want to be published in the weekly collection. The Collection publishes on the Thursday following the next Challenge. Stories must be 99 words. Rules & Guidelines.
  2. Writers retain all copyrights to any stories published at Carrot Ranch.
  3. A website or social media presence is not required to submit. A blog or social media link will be included in the title of any story submitted with one.
  4. Please include your byline with your title on one line. Example: Little Calves by Charli Mills. Your byline can be different from your name.
  5. Please include the hashtag #99WordStories when sharing either the Challenge or Collection posts on social media.

14 + 10 =

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    • Charli Mills

      The back yard’s not so bad.

  1. Anne Goodwin

    10 years, wow! Hopefully the hard graft of the migration is over now.

    • Charli Mills

      The hardest part is over. Now it’s all the troubleshooting, repairs and paint. Yeah, ten years!

  2. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    “Ya sure we’re there, Pal?”
    “This is it, Kid.”
    “How can ya be sure?”
    “Cuz this is Carrot Ranch. Only place I’ve ever known.”
    “Doesn’t look like Carrot Ranch.”
    “Sounds like Carrot Ranch, whut with yer familiar interminable whinin. This is the place, Kid. See, Shorty’s lit a fire fer ever’one. Folks’ll come aroun with their stories. It’s them folks an their stories whut make the ranch The Ranch. But we’ll be campin out till the construction is finished. “Kid, what’re ya doin?”
    “Plantin my cuttin from the Poet Tree. Look! It took root an grew in a flash!”

    “Wouln’ta believed it if’n I hadn’t seen it m’self. Jeez, Kid, it really is like home when we kin put our bedrolls out unner the Poet Tree. An look’t! Yer hoglet an her beaver friens are workin thet stream yonder, settin up a new home fer themselves. Thet pond’ll keep the Ranch safer from flash floodin an from flash fires. Yep, we’re in a good place.”
    “Reckon it ain’t lookin like Shorty aims ta have it yet, but I ‘magine she’ll git it there.”
    “I ‘magine so, Kid. Really, thet’s all it is, is us all imaginin t’gether.”

    • Jules

      Construction is good, new roots an’ ol’ friends.
      I’ve put in two comments… thet ain’t showed up…
      I’m sure it’s jist a construction glitch.
      Good to see yas – Kid n’ Pal!

      • Charli Mills

        There you are, Jules! Welcome!

    • Charli Mills

      Keep imagining! It’ll all grow in a flash, like the Poet Tree.

  3. Jules

    Oh Charli,
    I was getting a bit worried! Under construction is good! Having a space to put a link… better!!
    A three prompt 99 word mash up here (there is also info on Janus…)

    I don’t know if the code will pop up… as it does in ‘block’, but this doesn’t look like a ‘block comment space’ so I’m going to try my ole’ link up system; April Janus

    • Charli Mills

      I’m troubleshooting the rough parts. Let me know if something isn’t going through on your end. Thanks!

  4. Jules

    I put a comment in with a link… but it didn’t so up… maybe you have to approve it?

    Glad the Ranch is back – under construction is good!

    • Charli Mills

      The Spam blocker will be trouble through the weekend. Hopefully I don’t lose comments.

    • Charli Mills

      Jules, after some investigating, your comments were lost during the repointing of the Domain DNS. How is it that with the “ease” and “speed” of technology that it took almost two weeks to “point” to carrotranch.com? I also lost a post during that time and that’s why I didn’t comment. But it’s good in that regard. The new host is great and responsive (real humans, not bots). Next hurdle is that when I redirected my domain to the new location, WP.com created a staging site (like I’m going to return?) and my Jetpack plugin gets confused as to which site it’s supposed to be getting Spam. Hopefully, that goes away when my Creator WP plan ends on Saturday. I’m also waiting for that to happen so I can apply Divi Builder to the blog and build new pages. And…Mercury is in retrograde and I might have to do things twice anyhow!

  5. Sarah Brentyn

    Fancy new digs! ? I think it looks great (rough edges and all) so far. “If you build it, they will write.” Hope things go smoothly from here on out.

    • Charli Mills

      It’s like late winter snow — you know it won’t stick around long yet it seems like forever until spring.

  6. Nicole Horlings

    It’s good to see progress happening, even if the renovations are still ongoing.

    • Charli Mills

      You have a first row seat to renovations! Lots yet to unfold and smooth out!

  7. Sue Spitulnik

    Charli, It looks like you dumped the laundry basket in a bucket of bleech and washed the color out of everything. Ahh, but we don’t need color when we have life! It’s great to be among friends and loved ones at the Ranch. We’ll add colorful stories back into the mix while you continue to build and paint our home. Glad to be here.

    • Charli Mills

      Ha, ha! That’s a great analogy, Sue! Slowly the color will seep back in.

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