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Saddle Up Saloon: Cowsino September 2022

Welcome to the Saddle Up Saloon where we feature interactive characters, real-life authors & poets, the occasional Carrot Ranch announcement, and a Cowsino story game every first Friday of the month. You can learn about the craft of creative writing, introduce your own characters to the Kid & Pal crew, discuss the writer’s journey, and be part of making literary art accessible to anyone.

“Well, yer a week late Kid. Jist hope ya ain’t a dollar short.”

“Don’t need a dollar. The Cowsino’s part a the Saddle Up Saloon, an the Saddle Up Saloon’s a part a Carrot Ranch. No need ta pay, Pal.”

“Thet’s right Kid. Folks kin play thet slot machine fer free an as many times as they like.”

“It’s a guaranteed winner!”

“Still, ya must a lost track a time or somethin Kid. Why’d ya miss pullin the arm a thet slot machine last Friday?”

“Jist did, is all.”

“Did ya go somewhere’s?”

“I dunno, it’s hard sayin.”

“Try.”

“Okay…

Once upon a time…

“Last week?”

“Yeah, last week. Every day led ta anuther. Until our writer ended up stayin over ta housesit an take care a the puppies an chickens. Because a that she was all discombobulated, knew it was the weekend an all but missed that it were a new month. Because a bein outta place an outta sorts, she ended up readin a fair amount, got lost in books. Because of that, she weren’t jist outta place, she was outta time an that long weekend went by quickly.

“Then what happened?”

Finally ever’one ended up in their own homes an that’s when our writer finally recollected that we don’t exactly write ourselves. She needs ta least push the buttons.”

“Sometimes you push my buttons Kid, but I reckon it’s okay. Better late then never.

“Alright folks, have a look at what’s rolled aroun fer this month’s Cowsino story spine prompt. Share yer stories in the comments below an be sure ta read an comment on others’ stories.”

“Have fun!”

Rules of Play

  1. Use the three pictures that spin to a stop as inspiration or subjects (use in any order).
  2. Write seven sentences following the Story Spine (you don’t have to use the phrases of each step):
    • Once upon a time…
    • Every day…
    • Until…
    • Because of that…
    • Because of that…
    • Because of that…
    • Finally…
  3. Share your story here at the Saloon (post on the story/comment board below).
  4. No links to other places. Play the slots as much as you like (you can write more then one story).
  5. Say howdy to those playing with you! Be friendly and have fun!

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 built the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up to take the stage as a saloon guest, contact them via shiftnshake@dslayton.com.

Saddle Up Saloon: Cowsino June 2022

Welcome to the Saddle Up Saloon where we feature interactive characters, real-life authors & poets, the occasional Carrot Ranch announcement, and a Cowsino story game every first Friday of the month. You can learn about the craft of creative writing, introduce your own characters to the Kid & Pal crew, discuss the writer’s journey, and be part of making literary art accessible to anyone.

“Holy cow, Kid! Look’t the saloon! Shorty’s got it fixed up real nice. I
like how the stage is center stage.”

“How now, Pal? What’s that cow doin in here?”

“Really? The Saddle Up Saloon’s a part a Carrot Ranch. Ranches have cows.
Asides, what’s yer beef? Yer kid goats has been through here, not ta mention Frankie’s horse
Burt, an thet hoglet a yers.”

“This is udderly dif’rent.”

“Well, here’s Shorty. Take it up with her.”

“Hey Kid. Hey Pal. I see you’ve met Tildie. This cow is trained to pull the
handle on the slot machine.”

“Slot machine? Never woulda bet there’d be gamblin in the saloon.”

“Not gambling, Kid, just takin a chance that folks will want to play with a
different kind of story prompt. See, everyone wins with this slot machine. But I need you two ta run Cowsino Night here at the Saddle Up Saloon.”

“Run Cowsino Night? You betcha! Um, what zactly is Cowsino Night?”

“That’s right, you two had already disappeared when I pulled the lever for
the first one. Just make sure Tildie pulls the handle. Then encourage folks to use all three images to write a story.”

“99 words?”

“More or less, Pal. On Cowsino Night the challenge is to use the story spine
to structure a story. Words count, but we’re not counting words. Responses go
in the comments.”

“Souns like a good time, Shorty. We’ll be happy ta hep out.”

“Every first Friday of the month.” 

“Yeehaw! Let’s git writin ever’one!”

“Yep. Be sure an read an comment on one ‘nuther’s story spines in the comments below.”

Rules of Play

  1. Use the three pictures that spin to a stop as inspiration or subjects (use in any order).
  2. Write seven sentences following the Story Spine (you don’t have to use the phrases of each step):
    • Once upon a time…
    • Every day…
    • Until…
    • Because of that…
    • Because of that…
    • Because of that…
    • Finally…
  3. Share your story here at the Saloon (post on the story/comment board below).
  4. No links to other places. Play the slots as much as you like (you can write more then one story).
  5. Say howdy to those playing with you! Be friendly and have fun!

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 built the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up to take the stage as a saloon guest, contact them via shiftnshake@dslayton.com.

Welcome to the Cowsino!

(Shorty carries a California apricot crate to the stage at the Saddle Up Saloon, places it in front of the mic to reach, steps up.)

(Mic check…testing…testing.)

SQUEEEAL (sorry folks that was Curly, not the mic).

(Clears throat…)

“Howdy Ranchers!

“Shorty here to tell ya’ll how much fun it is to play with word wranglers. When some of you first ambled ‘cross the plains to find this here Carrot Ranch, why it weren’t more than a dream in a sandbox. We’ve wrangled 99ers together ever since. Kid and Pal came along and them hands been real steady. What a couple a characters, them two!

“Over winter, staring into the fire to keep warm and hopeful, I thought, why not add another game? One just for fun. No collectin’, no promotin’ just old-fashioned story-tellin’ off the cuff. Course, I responded to my own way of thinkin’ with another thought — how ta make it edumacational?

“Then, the muse smiled when I heard from an associate out on the Nevada range that an old-timey slot machine was up for grabs! I had them cowpokes haul it over. We replaced the reels inside with pictures. Ya know, story pictures. Now when you place a penny and grab the one-armed bandit, it lines up three nice pictures to tell a story by, kinda like mini north stars alignin’ into a tale.

“For edumacation, I’m gonna ask ya’ll to learn and practice the Story Spine them Pixar folks dreamed up as a way ta explain the bones of a story.”

(Curly pulls a saddle blanket off a Crayola-crayoned artboard.)

“You see, a cow’s gotta head and a tail, and every tale’s gotta beginin’ and endin’. But there’s beefy stuff in the middle. If you practice this here Story Spine, you catch the song in the bones of a story. It’s got rhythm. It’s got a direction. It’s gonna add to yer 99er practice, even help you out the gate and back. I gotta list here to ‘splain the rules.”

  1. Use the three pictures that spin to a stop as inspiration or subjects (use in any order).
  2. Write seven sentences following the Story Spine (you don’t have to use the phrases of each step):
    • Once upon a time…
    • Every day…
    • Until…
    • Because of that…
    • Because of that…
    • Because of that…
    • Finally…
  3. Share your story here at the Saloon (post on the story/comment board below).
  4. No links to other places. Play the slots as much as you like (you can write more then one story).
  5. Say howdy to those playing with you! Be friendly and have fun!

“Cowsino Night happens every first Friday of the month, following the last show of Chel’s poemin’ act. We’ve enjoyed her immensely and hope to see her take her act to Nashville or her place out West at ChelOwens.com.

“Ready ta play? Just leave your story on the comment board inside the Saloon. Have a dipper o’ fresh water, a cuppa cowboy jo, a cider, or a pull o’ La Frog and chat with the friendly ranch folks.

“See ya’ll again May 13th when Kid and Pal take over the story slots for the next Cowsino Night!”

(Puts mic down.)

(Writes note to remember to tell Kid & Pal why there’s a slot machine in their Saloon.)

(Steps off apricot crate.)

(Pulls the slot handle before swinging a leg over the saddle and rides off on Bee Bonnet to check on writers and stories living on the range at Carrot Ranch.)