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Saddle Up Saloon;

Saddle Up Saloon

“Well ya better not pout, ya better not whine

Tellin’ ya Kid, it’s Rodeo time

Carrot Ranch Rodeo’s comin’ real soon!”

*(tune of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town)

“Pal! Git off the stage. Let other folks try their hand at karaoke. Asides, why’re ya singin’ Christmas songs this time a year?”

“Don’tcha know, Kid? It’s Cowboy Christmas! Thet’s whut real cowboys call rodeo season, an’ all a October’s rodeo season at Carrot Ranch.”

“Is it that time agin? This’ll be the fourth Rodeo, the time when writers have the opportunity ta compete fer a cash prize in addition ta the weekly challenge.”

“Yep, but it’s still all fun an’ friendly.

Ya know thet it’s still frien’ly, even if ya compete

An’ even if ya git thrown, yer sure ta land on yer feet!


Ya might git bucked, ya might git tossed

Ya might not be able ta stay on yer hoss

The rodeo contest’s comin’ real soon!”

 “Now I git yer Santy Clause tune, Pal. I been thinkin’ ‘bout the upcomin’ rodeo too. Been thinkin’ we gotta liven it up. Did ya have a listen ta Shorty’s soundtrack? It’s all Western yippee kiyi music.”

“Thet’s cuz we’re a yippee kiyi kinda ranch Kid. It’s our motif, like.”

“Well I’d like ta put mo’e teeth in that soundtrack. Jazz it up.”

“Ya wanna play jazz, Kid? Country Western is classic.”

“Not Jazz. Not Country Western, an’ not classical either. Disco. 

*(tune of Staying Alive, by the Beegees)

Well, ya kin tell by the way I wear ma hat

I’m an ol’ ranch hand, no doubt ‘bout that

Contests tuff and writing wild

I’m a Kid but I ain’t no child

Them rodeo leaders will have their say

But we’ll survive ta ride anuther day

All the competitors jist do their best

An’ them judges won’t git no rest


Don’t worry ‘bout the hurties, don’t worry ‘bout gittin’ dirty

Yer takin’ yer ride, takin’ yer ride

You’ll know ever’one has seen ya, standin’ tall in the arena

Takin’ yer ride, takin’ yer ride

Aw, ouch, oh, ow, takin’ yer ride, takin’ yer ride

Aw, ouch, oh, ow, takin’ yer riiiiiiiide

We’re all jist writers, here fer each other

Here fer each other, yeah

We’re all jist writers, here fer each other, yeah

We’re takin’ the ride”

 “Jeez, Kid. Disco?”

“With the rodeo, ever day is Saturday night, Pal. Here’s another one from that sound track, though I think it were K.C. and the Sunshine Band that come up with this song.”

*(Tune of Boogie Shoes)

Rodeo’s here, ranchers ride in the ring

Yeah, uh huh, yeah

Hang onta yer hat, hangin’ on is the thing

Yeah, yeah, uh huh, uh huh

I want to put on my my my my my cowboy boots
Jist to spur ya on, yeah
I want to put on my my my my my cowboy boots
Jist to spur ya on, uh huh”

“Thet’s enough, Kid, jeez it’s a disco infernal.”

“Reckon we gotta do the hustle an’ git ready fer this rodeo, huh Pal?”

“Prob’ly, but I ain’t sure jist whut gittin’ ready means fer us this year. Know we’s in fer a TUFF time here at the saloon is all. Reckon it’ll all come t’gether jist fine with some real fine rodeo leaders settin’ out the contest prompts.

*(12 Days of Christmas) 

In the first week a rodeo, the leader’ll give ta me—

I have no idea, will jist have ta wait an’ see

In the secon week a rodeo, the leader’ll give ta us—

I’ve no way a knowin’, will jist have ta wait thus.

In the third week a rodeo, anuther contest present—

But I cain’t see the future, so jist gotta be patient

In the fourth week a rodeo, the final contest event—

A month long Cowboy Christmas, surely heaven sent

An’ if them four contests don’t seem quite enough—

Take the extra challenge, the one Shorty’s callin’ TUFF.”

“That’s enough a that song, Pal! Okay, we git it, Cowboy Christmas is almost here. But this kinda-karaoke stage is open ta anyone an’ ever’one an’ they don’t have ta have a disco song or a Christmas song; ain’t even gotta be ‘bout the rodeo or the ranch. Jist leave yer lyrics an’ the tune in the comment corrals. But if’n folks do wanna git in the spirit a rodeo they should check out the Carrot Ranch youtube channel. There’s a whole new soundtrack been put up.”

“I don’t think I could ever git tired a the first one. Hey, Kid, look who jist come in. Frankie! Frankie, ya gonna sing us a song?”

“I sure am, Pal. If ya know the tune of Chelsea Morning by Joni Mitchell you can sing along:

Woke up, was a Carrot Ranch morning, and first thing that I heard

Stories stampin’ ‘cross the range, hoof beats countin’ 99 words

It hummed like cattle lowing, creaked soft like well worn saddle leather

 Oh, won’t you write

Where the fire burns bright

Where words provide food and shelter


Woke up, was a Carrot Ranch morning, and first thing that I saw

A corral full of unicorns, rainbow carrots served to all

Fantasy and fiction frolicking freely, but it is truth they’re bearing

 Oh, won’t you write

Where the fire burns bright

In a community that’s caring”

“Wow, Frankie!”

“What can I say, Kid? Stick that in yer ipod an’ play it.”

“Okay, folks, we jist got wind thet Pepe LeGume wants ta do his rendition of Love Stinks, so we’re gonna clear outta here. Leave us a song a yer own or jist a comment. We’ll see ya here next week fer a very special guest.”


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 now serve up something more or less fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact them via

Saddle Up Saloon; Recipe Rustlin’ Returns

Saddle Up Saloon

“Here ya are, Kid. Out unner the offshoot Poet Tree back a the saloon.”

“Hey Pal. Yep, jist fixed mysef some breakfast, figgered I’d eat it out here, injoy the beautiful mornin’.”

“Whut is thet yer eatin’?”

“Ya oughtta know, Pal. ‘Member we grilled at the fire last night, had a bunch a extra ears a corn? An’ I roasted them colored sweet peppers while the coals was still hot? That’s all this is, roast corn, shaved off the cob a course, an’ the roast peppers diced an’ stirred t’gether with a bit a green pepper Cholula hot sauce.”

“Ya ain’t much of a cook, are ya Kid?”

“Try it… eh? It’s like eatin’ a late summer evenin’— fer breakfast. Simple fresh ingredients is savory, Pal.”

“It’s simply weird, Kid, but if ya got some more, I’d have some.”

“Nope, sorry, jist put the rest a the roasted corn an’ peppers in the freezer. Puttin’ things by fer winter.”

“Whoa, stop. Back up. We got a freezer? At the saloon or at the ranch?”

“Either, both; why wouldn’t we? Embrace our fictional status, Pal. Jist ‘cause we ride hosses doesn’t mean we cain’t have modern conveniences. Unless ya’d have me cannin’.”

“No, I reckon havin’ a freezer’s a good thing, ‘cause I been puttin’ things by too. Used up all them cucumbers from Shorty’s garden ta make freezer pickles. They’s real easy ta make an’ ya kin keep these pickles a long time in the freezer, lessen ya eat ‘em fresh first.”

“How d’ya make ‘em?”

“Well let’s say ya have

            2 quarts thinly sliced unpeeled cukes

            Mix the cukes with 2 tablespoons non-iodized salt and

            2 thinly sliced medium sized onions

            Let thet mixture stand fer two hours.”

“Stand? Or set? And Pal, have ya ever seen iodized salt? Does non-iodized salt git iodized or does iodized salt git undone ta become non-iodized? D’ya reckon this a kosher question?”

“It’s an annoyin’ question, Kid, shush. ‘Cause while thet cuke an’ salt an’ onion mix is asettin’ ya gotta be makin’ the syrup:

            1.5 cups a sugar

            0.5 cups a white vinegar

 Ya boil the sugar an’ vinegar only jist ‘til the sugar is melted good, then remove it from the heat, when it’s cool git it cold in the refrigerator. While thet’s happenin’, drain the cucumber an’ onion mix, squeeze out all the water. Then ya kin pack it in plastic containers, pour the cold syrup over it, mix it up, an’ it keeps fer a long time in the freezer. But they’s real good fresh thet same day an’ beyond.”

“Sounds easy, Pal. Where’d ya git that recipe?”

“Druther not say, Kid, it’d jist git ya riled up. But this all makes ya think, don’t it?”

“Donuts? Yum. But it has me thinkin’ back almost four months ago when we had folks sharin’ recipes here at the Saloon.”

“Yep, thet was our first Recipe Rustlin’ feature. Folks contributed fav’rite recipes in the comments. Thet certainly weren’t the first time recipes been pervided at Carrot Ranch though. Shorty’s all ‘bout sharin’ her buckaroo cook smarts.”

recipes-from-the-ranch-e1400277678197“Yep, but ain’t it funny how she cain’t seem ta keep her stories outta her cookin’?”

“Reckon stories is whut makes real food real food Kid. Thet corn an’ pepper thing ya jist ate right in front a me without sharin’ was talkin’ ta ya ‘bout summer an’ good times by the fire. A pickle recipe got from somebody’s father gits all kinds a stories goin’. Jist the fact thet we’re puttin’ food by is tellin’ a story a fall an’ comin’ winter.”

“Pal, I wunder if other folks is puttin’ food by fer winter?”

“Kid, some a the ranch hands is jist springin’ inta summer. But I smell whut yer stirrin’. Yer thinkin’ folks kin share recipes agin, mebbe some’s thet’s ‘bout puttin’ food by, or mebbe jist ‘bout usin’ fresh garden ingredients.”

“Yep, but hopin’ mebbe a wee bit a story, least ways mebbe how they come by the recipe they’s sharin’.”

sour and sweet

memories that last

stories brined

“Next week, the 21st, will be anuther Karaoke event, where ya improve on a song ya know by changin’ the lyrics. See the first one ta gain some insight:

If ya have a song in advance a September 19 ya kin send it ahead ta be featured on the Saloon stage. (  

An’ guess whut’s happenin’ on the 28? Well, we don’t know either, so yer guess is as good as ours, but if ya wanna be featured, reach out ta us via .

We do know thet the whole month a October the Saddle Up Saloon’ll be where ta git caught up an’ catch commentary on the 4th Carrot Ranch Rodeo.”

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 now serve up something more or less fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact them via

Saddle Up Saloon; One Shy of a Six Pac at the Mic

Saddle Up Saloon

“ ’Ello, Pal, may I get you a beer?”

“Pepe LeGume! Whut’re you doin’ behind the bar? Thought Kid was workin’ this shift.”

“Keed says, sheeft no, Pal. Wants to seet weeth you at a table down front. Eet’s Five at the Mic, a reelly good show. I weel tend the bar. You two seet.”

“You know whut yer doin’? Cain’t be havin’ ya makin’ a mess a things, LeGume.”

“To air is human, Pal. But eet weel be fine. Go find da Keed. Da show weel begeen soon.”

“Pal, over here! Bill Engleson is comin’ on stage.”


Bill Engleson. Long time ranch hand and columnist for Carrot Ranch? Bill hails from the mild, mild west of Canada. Mebbe ya’ve read his books an’ articles?”

“Oh, yep, the movie guy. Shush then kid, this oughtta be good.”

“You bet. Here’s Bill with Covid 19 Rain Buttons and Bows.”

“Oof, Pal, that’s dark. Good, but dark.”

“Kid, real people are goin’ through a time out there. Thet’s why we fictional characters is keepin’ the saloon runnin’ 24/7, give ‘em a break. Look, here comes thet Paula Moyer, she’ll have somethin’ ta say.”

“Phew, Pal. That Rough Writer is a tough writer. That was heavy too.”

“But Kid, there was hope wove through thet. When, not whether… These folks is resilient, with the hep of each other an’ their writin’. Reckon their strengths is shinin’ through.”

“Yep, but shush now, Pal, Anne Goodwin’s up next, gonna parade one a her characters through fer us.”

“Thet ain’t Anne Goodwin. Anne Goodwin wears her hair short.”

“Thinkin’ the long hair on folks is another sign a their times, mebbe.”

“Oh, yep. Thet is her.”

“Did you see what I saw, Pal?”

“Ya mean was it good ta hear more from Matty Windsor? Sure was. She’s been ta the Saloon before.”

“Yeah, it was, that character is goin’ places. But what’s D. Avery doin’ taggin’ along?”

“Reckon ever’one’s welcome ta join in with Ranch doin’s, Kid. Lighten up. Anyway, Ellen Best is gonna read next.”

“Oh, Ellen Best! I like what she does fer the weekly challenges.”

“Oh, Pal. Is it true there’s truth in fiction?”

“’Fraid so, Kid. Thet was a powerful story an’ it’s true fer too many real women. We kin commend Ellen fer tellin’ it fer ‘em.”

“Very descriptive. Yikes. I could use a lighter story, Pal. Hey, here’s MJ Mallon. Mebbe she’ll bring a laugh.”

“Ha! No half measures. I’ll say.”

“Yep, that was just the tonic I needed. Reckon folks at home kin try some bubble magic fer themselves.”

 “Reminded me a thet song, Tiny Bubbles In the Wine. Oh, shift, speakin’ a tonic an’ wine, I wunner how LeGume is doin’. I’ll go check on ‘im after D. Avery’s story.”

“You don’t need ta worry ‘bout Pepe, Pal, he don’t stink at pourin’ drinks. But go ahead, ‘cause D. Avery ain’t goin’ up on stage t’day.”

“Whut? Why not, Kid?”

“’Cause I’m in charge a the saloon an’ I say so. Done decided Five at the Mic means jist five readers this week. So too bad fer our so called writer.”

“I thought Shorty said five minutes at the mic fer any innerested writers thet wanna read.”

“Shorty ain’t here right now. But if other writers are innerested in takin’ part in reading with a group an’ mebbe bein’ recorded ta Youtube an’ gittin’ played here, they should contact Charli Mills. Next readin’s Tuesday the 15th at 11am Eastern Standard Time. An’ anytime anyone’s got a hankerin’ ta git up on the saloon stage, mebbe git innerviewed or have one or more a their characters git innerviewed, they should leave a message fer us through D. Avery. (”

“Yep, step up an’ step out folks, it’s lots a fun. Next week plan on sharin’ some a yer fav’rite summer recipes, it’ll be anuther round a Wranglin’ Recipes. The 21st’ll be anuther Karaoke event, where ya improve on a song ya know by changin’ the lyrics. An’ the whole month a October the Saddle Up Saloon’ll be where ta git caught up an’ catch commentary on the 4th Carrot Ranch Rodeo.”

“Whooie! What a hap’nin’ place! Oh, shift… Pepe! He’s been behind the bar without hep fer quite a while. He must be fumin’.”

“Yep. Prob’ly is.”

Saddle Up Saloon; Write On, Robbie!

Saddle Up Saloon“Hey, Pal. Yer kinda late. It’s gittin’ dark out, the stars is already showin’.”

“I sure would like ta be out unnerneath ‘em, Kid, but we’re ‘xpectin’ a big star at the saloon this week, ain’t we?”

“Sure are, Pal. Robbie’s comin’ in.”

“Robbie? Robbie who?”

“Robbie Cheadle.

“A writer fella?”

“Nope, a writer gal. Seems her mom was expecting a boy an’ planned to name him Robert, but when she turned out to be a girl, she changed it to Roberta, which gits endlessly mispernounced, either Roberto or Robairta. She didn’t like either so goes by Robbie. Writes books fer children under Robbie Cheadle and books fer young adults and adults under Roberta Eaton Cheadle.”

“Soun’s like could git confusin’, but also soun’s as if this Robbie kin take charge an’ take care a hersef.”

“I’m hopin’ she takes charge a that ghost been bumpin’ ‘roun here. That poor character what ain’t been brought ta life an’ put in a story. Gives me the shivers thinkin’ on that. But I reckon Robbie Cheadle knows a thing or two ‘bout ghosts an’ sech. Her fav’rite genres are supernatural and paranormal, often set historically.”

“Thet so?”

“Yep. She’s writ a number of short stories in them genres. Three paranormal historical stories are included in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories edited by Stephen Bentley. She’s got three paranormal historical short stories in Nightmareland, an anthology of short stories edited by Dan Alatorre and one in the previous anthology in the Box Under the Bed series, called Dark Visions.”

“Jeez, thet’s a lot!”

“Oh there’s more, Pal. She’ll have a second story in Dark Visions called The Willow Tree, which is a horror story and she’s currently working with Dan Alatorre on a new Box Under the Bed horror story anthology called Spellbound. Two a her short stories, one a paranormal historical story and one a horror fantasy story, have been accepted for this new collection. And she’s also currently working with Kaye Lynne Booth on a second WordCrafter Press paranormal anthology. She had two paranormal short stories in last year’s WordCrafter Press anthology called Whispers of the Past and aims to include two in the new anthology. Both of these stories will be based in South Africa during the time of the Great Trek by the Afrikaner people into the interior in 1836.”

“Wow, Kid. An’ did I hear tell there’s a new book comin’ out?”

“Yep, Robbie’s new book, A Ghost and His Gold, is also in the paranormal historical genre. But she’s materialized right behind ya Pal, whyn’t ya ask her yersef.”

“Eeek! I mean, Howdy. Welcome ta the Saddle Up Saloon, Robbie Cheadle.”

“Hello Pal. Sorry to have frightened you. Yes, I really enjoyed doing the research for A Ghost and His Gold and moving between a modern timeline in Pretoria, South Africa, and a historical time line during the Second Anglo Boer war in South Africa. I am currently finalising that supernatural historical novel. It was due out in October 2020 but, sadly, my huge Covid-19 workload caused me some delays and I didn’t get it to my editor in time for an October launch. I am now aiming for late January 2021.”

“Well, Mizz Cheadle, delay ain’t denial. You’ll git it done. Hey, how ‘bout wettin’ the whistle? Kin we git ya a drink?

​“Pal, I’ve never been in a saloon in my whole life before this. I don’t drink much and if I do, it’s usually as part of a meal. I have been in an English pub, if that counts. They are great places to enjoy a meal in the UK, very atmospheric. I have never visited America, East or West, and I don’t know anything about ranching other than what I have read in books. I have read a few Westerns recently and they all include cowboys and ranches to some extent. I do know a lot about the South African Boers (farmers) though. Their story is not that different to that of the frontiersmen in the USA.”

“Well, yer a familiar hand roun’ Carrot Ranch, fer sure. It’s real nice a ya ta come by the saloon an’ tell us ‘bout yer work.”

“It sure is. We was talkin’ on how ya like supernatural and paranormal stories, with a historical settin’. But you ain’t no one-trick pony. Ya’ve co-writ books too, with yer son an’ with yer ma.”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

“Soun’s like it could be tricky territory. Whut’s thet like, writin’ with kinfolk?”

“The Sir Chocolate book series is written with my son, Michael. Michael contributes ideas to our books. He has the cutest ideas that translate into really fun figurines and story lines. He is very creative. Michael isn’t a fan of writing so I always hold the pen on the books, but he does give interesting input. When he was six years old we used to bake a lot together. He had this lovely idea about a man made entirely of chocolate who lived in Chocolate Land where you can eat everything. Sir Chocolate goes around helping the people of Chocolate Land solve problems, which are often created by selfishness, greediness or a natural disaster. Each story has a subtle message with regards to friendship, teamwork and other similar things. My main aim with these books is for children to read a story that stimulates their creativity and imaginations. I want the children to try and make the people and creatures. They don’t have to use fondant and cake, they can use play dough or plasticine. I even had one child from a poor background make figurines out of clay he got from a ditch. I was also aiming for a first cookbook that children could read with mom or dad or another caregiver and then try out the recipes. These books are intended to encourage bonding between children and caregivers and give them some fun activities to do together.”

“Thet soun’s like a real fine experience writin’ with Michael, an’ a real fine active read fer families.”

“It was fun writing that series with my son. While the Bombs Fell is a book I wrote with my mother and is a fictionalised account of my mother’s life as a small child growing up in Suffolk, England during World War II. Writing with my mother was more difficult because she had the knowledge. It is more difficult probing someone else’s brain to get information than it is to do straight research on the internet. I need to capture her emotions and thoughts to make the story live and that wasn’t an easy thing to do. Most people will tell you a story but won’t add much personalised information to it. They give you the facts and you have to probe for the underlying details. She also had strict ideas on the book and storyline so I had to stay within her boundaries. I didn’t mind, after all it’s her story, but it did make the writing a bit more complex. Charli Mills helped me developmentally edit this book and I learned a huge amount from her. I am grateful for her guidance and advice, which I have incorporated into all my books and short stories going forward.”

“Charlie Mulls? Editin’ fella?”

“Shush, Kid! Robbie, ya’ve got another book called Through the Nethergate. I know ya call it supernatchral fantasy, but seems like they’s all kinds a stuff goin’ on in thet book. Them ghosts ain’t the most scary aspect a thet story.”

“Through the Nethergate also includes a lot of paranormal historical aspects and I also enjoyed the research for that one which went as far back as the White Ship disaster when a ship carrying the heir to the English crown sank off the coast of Normandy on 25 November 1120 to Suffolk, England, and other cities in four European countries in 2019. This book also had a strong political message about the rise of nationalism in our modern world.”

“Nationalism? Soun’s as if readers could get quite a spookin’ from thet Nethergate book.”

​“I am a firm believer that people should have a broad knowledge of history to prevent the catastrophes and horrors of the past from repeating themselves. This is the reason I was drawn to writing historical fiction. Through the Nethergate aims to show how easily our current modern circumstances and attitudes could be manipulated and result in a repeat of past fascism and extreme nationalism. A lofty aim.”

“Dang, I’ll say. Soun’s like yer givin’ readers somethin’ ta chew on. Reckon ya might a gotten somethin’ out of writin’ it, too.”

​“Hmm. I certainly enjoyed the historical research and making the history come alive by incorporating it into this story. I also enjoyed having an opportunity to express some of my views in a low-key way in the book. I tried not to be preachy or extreme in the views expressed but rather to draw readers subtly to a reasonable conclusion of their own. I think the history and spiritualism appealed to me the most. I have always loved history and took it to a senior qualification level at school. I was raised a Catholic and I attended a convent for my junior school years. I had lovely nun teachers and one, Sister Agatha, really took time to develop my reading abilities. I didn’t really realise how lucky I was then, but now, as an adult, I realise how good she was to me and how she encouraged my personal growth as a reader and a thinker. I am not a big fan of politics but I do follow international and local politics because it affects us all. What happens in other countries, in this regard, affects developing economies hugely.” 

“Thinkin’ this ain’t yer average supernatchral story!”

“I do have views on how easily technology can be manipulated for negative purposes and how people with a common agenda can use the internet to push their views and gather the interest and devotion of like minded individuals. I also have views on capitalism, socialism and communism as well as nationalism. I melded these together into this unusual story. Most people who have read it have reacted positively which is encouraging. There has been the odd person who has misinterpreted my intentions, but you can’t win them all.”

“Ya most certainly cain’t, Robbie. I hope folks here be sure an’ check out yer books an’ blogs.”

“Yes. I have two blogs now. I love blogging and it is my favourite social media. Robbie’s Inspiration was created in October 2016 after I launched Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream berries into my social media vacuum. I didn’t even have a Facebook account at the time. My brother-in-law recommended a blog and so Robbie’s Inspiration was born. I blog recipes, fondant art, poetry, children’s book reviews and other related posts on this site. My other blog is more recent. I created it in October 2018 when I was writing Through the Nethergate. I had already decided, by that stage, to write my supernatural/paranormal/horror stories under a different version of my name so that there was no confusion with readers. I didn’t want a Sir Chocolate fan to buy Through the Nethergate by mistake and get a horrible shock. I love blogging because of the social interaction with other bloggers. It is a marvelous community and I love my blogging friends. I just have some time constraints especially recently as I need more time to write than before. A Ghost and His Gold is 115 000 words and that is a big undertaking which required a lot of effort. I am still finalising my edits. Writing the short stories also takes time and I now belong to two reading clubs and an on-line writing group. I love these other writing and reading related things too but they do eat into my free time. But writing is something I have always enjoyed and I love receiving developmental edits and growing my stories as a result. The developmental edit advice is becoming much less now so I know I am improving and implementing what I have learned. That is gratifying for me. Of course, I like good reviews and appreciate it when lovely people take the time to write one. It is marvelous when a reader connects with your story and enjoys it.”

“We sure are grateful to ya fer takin’ time outta yer busy life ta chat with us here at the Saddle Up.”

“Yep, thanks, Robbie, an’ good luck with all yer doin’s.”

“Thank you Pal and Kid, and good luck to you as well.”

“Folks, be sure an’ see the blurb fer Robbie’s latest book, A Ghost and His Gold below. We didn’t wanna trouble Robbie further with our own ghost story, but as ya mighta heard, a ghost’s been hauntin’ Carrot Ranch an’ the Saddle Up Saloon. Seems it’s a character whut ain’t been realized, cain’t find a story ta call it’s own so it jist wanders aroun’ the prompts, unseen an’ unwritten. Hep us hep it out by writin’ it inta the Saloon down there in the comment boxes. An’ folks, we got some openin’s if ya wanna git yersef featured at the saloon.”


After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904, is summoned.

 Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background? – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle. 

 Discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lies in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.


a1dkflgqsol._us230_-robbie-cheadle-Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on GoodreadsGoodreads

Connect to Robbie

Website/Blog Roberta WritesRoberta Writes
BlogRobbie’s Inspiration
Website: Robbie Cheadle:
Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books
Twitter: @bakeandwrite



Saddle Up Saloon; Guest Guessed

Saddle Up Saloon“Howdy, Pal. Welcome ta the Saddle Up Saloon!”

Welcome ta the Saddle Up Saloon? Kid, why’re ya talkin’ at me like I’m a guest here? Oh, no. Don’t tell me.”

“Hmm, hmm, hmm.”

“Kid? Ya got somethin’ ta tell me?”

“Jeez, Pal! Ya said not ta tell ya!”

“Not ta tell me whut?”

“Cain’t tell ya. Ya told me not to.”

“Kid! Jeez! Okay, I’ll tell ya whut I think it is ya ain’t feelin’ able ta tell me an’ you jist stamp yer foot if’n I guessed it right. Okay? Jist noddin’ yer head yes… okay, is it thet ya ain’t got a plan, ain’t got nuthin’ lined up fer this week? Okay, stop yer stampin’, yer rattlin’ the mugs off the shelf. An’ I’m guessin’ further thet yer tryin’ ta rope me inta bein’ the guest? Okay, I done guessed it, so ya kin use yer yap agin.”

“Thing is Pal, I did have a plan, an’ I’m stickin’ ta that plan, jist pushin’ it all back a week. Mebbe. So, yeah, this week’s a little on the fly.”

“Jeez Kid, should git you some patches fer the seat a yer pants. They’s gittin’ worn thin.”

“That’s kinda a cheeky remark Pal. We kin do this. Asides, lots a folks go inta a saloon an’ jist have a drink, don’t need no other ennertainments or distractions. Come on, set at the bar, have a glass a story primer.”

“Well, one drink couldn’t hurt.”

“That’s often true, Pal, usually one can’t do no harm. Less it’s the last one that come after a bunch a other ones. But here, jist drink this one.”

“An’ maybe one more.”

“Sure Pal. So. How long ya been workin’ at Carrot Ranch?”


“Jeez, Pal, kin ya say a little more? Like since What’s-Her-Name showed up?”

“Our writer? No, thet’s when you showed up Kid, but I was already here.”

“So ya been at Carrot Ranch since Shorty started Carrot Ranch? Over eight years?”

“Longer’n thet Kid. Fer. Ev. Er. An’ heck, Carrot Ranch’s been aroun’ since even a’fore Shorty’s first post. Lived as a hope an’ a dream she’d been carryin’. Reckon I was tucked in amongst the supplies an’ barn boards she’d loaded onta the buckboard.”

“Ya mean Shorty an’ ya’ve known each other even b’fore the Ranch was built?”

“Not e’zactly, Kid. It’s hard ta explain. Shorty always knew me, but hadn’t never realized me. She knew I was here like she knows ever’thin’ else thet belongs on a ranch; like knowin’ somethin’ so well ya don’t see ‘em, if ya know what I mean. See, a fictional character has ta be realized, an’ thet does mean ya gotta git writ. Ya git writ an’ read— ya materialize.”

“Then, Pal, warn’t I also here ferever, like you?”

“No, Kid. Ya came later.”

“How come?”

“’Cause I say so. Yer the greenhorn thet come later. Yer likely always gonna be learnin’ the ropes. But ya have brought some firsts ta the ranch. Like buckaroo-ku.”

“I mighta called it what it is Pal, but was you come up with the first buckaroo-ku ever, ‘member?

Bunkhouse floor dirt tracked
Every clod has a story
Time swept clean away”

“Oh yeah. Thet was when folks was writin’ ‘bout gittin’ older. Reckon it’s you gits ‘membered fer buckaroo-ku ‘cause you were the first ta fall outta thet poet-tree a yers.”

“Oof. Sure wish the first time was the last time. Yep, I’ve tried my hand at writin’ but yer the one kin tell some doozies, Pal. D’ya ‘member the valentine prompt? Ya told this one:

It was a long cold winter, lotsa snow. Spring arrived in a rush, swellin’ the rivers with melt water, turnin’ the roads inta oozy mire. The roads were impassable, travel impossible.
Was a lady, Val was her name, got caught up in the flood, afloatin’ on a ice floe, steerin’ with a board till it got tore from her grip. She was helpless, ‘bout ta be crushed in a ice jam. She was up the creek without a paddle but her lover went ta her rescue. He got ta Val in time. ”

“True story, Kid. All a my stories is true.”

“Hmmph. Here, Pal, have anuther beer.”

“Well, mebbe one more. Jist hope I don’t turn inta one a them barstool phil-a-so-fers.”

“Ya are a bit of a philosopher, though, ain’tcha Pal? Shorty give ever’one a prompt ‘bout buttons an’ yer off on one a yer deep musin’s:

Buttons ain’t nuthin, without the buttonhole. Even less without needle an’ thread. Without those, buttons are useless discs, mere baubles. Their usefulness and purpose are dependent on the passage and tension provided by the buttonhole. All folks keep their pants up with the yin and yang of button and buttonhole.”

“Huh. Kid, mebbe I shoulda been the one asettin’ in the think tank.”

“I’d ruther not talk ‘bout that tank, Pal. Back ta you. Ya been here at Carrot Ranch ferever, ya say.”


“Ever git off the ranch, go other places?”

“Only thet one time, an’ thet was jist ta keep an’ eye on you. Ya had us gallavantin’ through three other prompts lookin’ fer Frankie’s missin’ glass eye. What a mish mash. I got no desire ta ever step foot off the ranch agin Kid.”

“Now I’m thinkin’, Pal. Thinkin’ on how ya said ya ain’t from anywheres but right here at the Ranch. Thinkin’ I cain’t figger if yer a part a this place, or if this place is a part a you.”

“I reckon places beget the folks thet live in ‘em. Mold ’em. Shape ‘em.”

“Do places tell stories or is it the people?”

“Reckon it’s both, Kid. But folks has ta work at listenin’. Git thet figgered out, places jist sing with stories. Reckon places shape people an’ words shape space inta a place. An’ Kid, don’t fergit, we got ever’thin’ we need here. Good food, good folks.”


“They’s always food fer thought, heapin’ helpin’s. An’ folks from ‘roun the world ta hep serve it and share in it. It’s a good place Kid.”

“But you said food.”

“Sure, they’s carrots a ev’ry color imaginable, always has been, carrots fer the people.”

“But… is there…”

“Shush Kid, ya made this ‘bout me, so we ain’t goin’ there. Carrots has always been enough. Thinkin’ I’m ‘bout ta end this innerview.”

“Weren’t much of a innerview.”

“Uh huh. Ya want them pants seat patches we talked about? Ya git one more question.”

“Okay. Pal, what’s yer biggest responsibility at Carrot Ranch?”

“Really? Ya have ta ask? Use ta jist injoy ridin’ the range doin’ reg’lar ranch chores, but since you come along I have ta ride with you an’ keep ya outta trouble.”

“No! I don’t need ya ta do that, Pal. I kin make my own way.”

“Hmmf. Thinkin’ we should have a feature ‘bout you an’ all the times ya put the ranch as well as yersef in danger. Might take too long though. Might make it harder ta convince folks thet Carrot Ranch is a safe space.”

“Hmmph. Go ahead! Or… ya could feature my buckaroo-ku…”

“Ehh… Tell ya what, Kid, since ya pointed out thet I was actually the first ta write one a them, let’s prompt anyone thet mighta gotten through this ta try their own hand at thet form, leave it in the comments.”

“Yeah! Uh, what exactly is the proper form a buckaroo-ku?”

“It ain’t often proper but it’s haiku like; ya don’t have ta count syllables, lessin’ ya want ta, but it should be short an’ jist three ta five lines. Kin be ‘bout anythin’, but bonus points fer fixin’ it on weddin’s or funerals.”

“We’re givin’ points?”

“No, not really. Jist frien’ly words a thanks an’ incouragemint.”

“Okay, so leave a buckaroo-ku in the comments. An’ folks, prepare yersefs now fer a second karaoke night at the Saddle Up, ta be posted September 21. ‘Member, the way thet works is ya email us yer song an’ the new an’ improved lyrics ya wrote fer it, kinda like Weird Al Yankovic. It could be Western, or any song ya like but mebbe the lyrics reflect the upcomin’ Rodeo. Thet leaves us with jist a couple a openin’s left fer September, folks. So send us yer songs an’ yer ideas fer showcasin’ yersef. An’ don’t fergit ta buckaroo-ku too!


dust settles at last

western hills herd red hued sky

cracked boots by the door


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 now serve up something fresh-ish every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact them via

Saddle Up Saloon; Catchin’ Up With Susan Zutautas

Saddle Up Saloon

“Hey, Kid, look who just wrote in.”

“Wrote in? Or rode in? That always gits confusin’ aroun’ here.”

“Guess either fits. Thet’s Susan Zutautas. She’s a Rough Writer.”

“Writer? Or Rider? Either way, she don’t look too rough ta me.”

“Don’t look rough, but she’s tougher ‘an she looks. An’ she’s been writin’ ‘roun Carrot Ranch from the very first flash fiction challenge.”

“Pheeeeewww. She’s been aroun’ longer’n you then, Pal.”

“Yep, she has. Folks find the Ranch in their time. But I always been here at Carrot Ranch, Kid, jist hadn’t been realized yet. But shush now, here she comes… Hey there Susan Zutautas, welcome ta the Saddle up Saloon. This here’s Kid. I’m Pal.”

“Hello! Thanks for having me here at the Saloon! Oh, a nice cold beer. Thank you, Kid.”

“Hey, yer from Quebec originally… do you know my friend Pepe LeGume?”

“Sorry Kid, I don’t, though I’ve heard of the LeGumes. They’ve left a lasting reputation.”

“We been followin’ yer work fer a mighty long time, Susan. Ya’ve put some fine stock in Shorty’s corral, flash fiction an’ poetry. Seems like you’ve been around since the early days.”

“I met Charli on Facebook through a mutual friend back in 2014. She was talking about getting a 99-word weekly flash fiction challenge going. I’d written flash fiction before but it was 199 words. I love challenges and thought I’d give it a try. I don’t participate as much as I used to but …”

“Well, it seems as if thet 99-word thing is workin’ out. When ya ain’t at the Ranch where’re ya at?”

“If you’re asking about my own blog, I now call Susan’s Place at WordPress, home. My first blog post at Everything Susan and More was back in October of 2010. The blog is still active, but I very rarely post anything there anymore. I love to cook so I started out with food posts. Over the years I started writing at HubPages, started a Recipes by Susan blog, a poetry blog and now Susan’s Place.”

“Sounds as if ya know yer way aroun’ the keyboard. What’s been yer greatest challenge as a writer an’ blogger?”

“Overcoming writer’s block, which I seem to get quite often. But I feel I’ve learned so much about writing from everyone all around the world at Carrot Ranch. I feel my writing has improved in the last six years or so. The Ranch is a great place to challenge yourself, see yourself and others grow, and best of all meet many, many fantastic writers and poets.”

“Ya got thet right. You must’ve seen some real doozies a prompts over the years, ay?”

“I kin tell ya, I don’t like them unicorn prompts.”

“Shush, Kid, I ain’t askin’ you. Susan what’s been a memorable prompt fer you?”

“Oh geez, that’s a tough one. There are a few things that inspire my writing. If I see a picture and imagine myself there I’ll tend to write a poem or a short story about the picture. Many times it’ll inspire me to write something about how my life relates to it. Same as a lot of the prompts at Carrot Ranch. I’ll take the prompt and relate it to something that’s happened in my life or write it in a way that I’d wished I’d have handled it, or have wished the outcome had of been if that makes any sense. When I write articles about health I only write about things that have happened to me or to direct family members. I enjoy writing about health issues because I feel it may be helpful to others. For instance, I have an article on HubPages that relates to my cancer journey. If anyone would like to read it you can find it here. I really feel it could be helpful to anyone that has been diagnosed with cancer with a positive outlook.”

“What’s a piece of writing a yers that deserves a larger audience?”

“I suppose I’d have to say my Novella, New In Town, available at Amazon. I have always wanted to write a sequel to it but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.”

“Well, here’s hopin’ ya do git aroun’ to it. Ya wrote a couple a children’s books too, The Day Mr. Beaver Met Mr. Moose, and Mr. Beaver Plans a Party.”

“Don’t fergit too, Pal, Susan’s a featured writer in The Congress of Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology, Volume 1.”

“Yep. Susan, yer always a friendly face aroun’ the Ranch an’ other places a the blogosphere. We’re real tickled ya come by ta the Saddle Up Saloon. I encourage folks ta swing by Susan’s Place an’ say howdy as well as here in the comments.”

“Thank you Kid and Pal!”

“Folks, what kin ya tell Susan ‘bout writer’s block? What brings it on fer you an’ how d’ya git out of it?”


539d9b227be70e698e9befd129ad44db.jpgSusan, mother of three grown men is a Canadian gal from Montreal, Quebec and now resides in Orillia, Ontario with her husband and Newfoundland dog, Dawson. Most days you can find her in the kitchen cooking up something new or writing and reading online at Susan’s Place. Susan has published two children’s books as well as a novella, all of which are available at Amazon. If you like to cook Susan has many of her recipes published at HubPages


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 now serve up something fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact them via

Saddle Up Saloon; the brave of Buckaroo Nation

Saddle Up Saloon

“Hey Kid. What d’ya have goin’ fer ennertainmint this week?”

“Oh, it’s groovy, Pal, groovy.”

“Good gravy, Kid, jist answer the question.”

“Be cool, Cat, I’ll hip ya ta the happenin’s. It’s Five at the Mic.”

“Whut? Mike who? Thet fella with the band was in here a few weeks ago?”

“No, Pal, live readin’s. Shorty rounded up some folks, give ‘em each five minutes at the microphone ta read their work.”

“Oh. Thet’ll be good ta hear.”

“An’ see. Ya kin click on the link an’ put a face ta a familiar name as these brave writers read ta ya.”

“Reckon readin’ fer an audience is an act a bravery. But I kin see it as a natural part a this here ranch a Shorty’s. The Carrot Ranch Literary Community’s always been ‘bout a safe space ta write. Makes sense ta offer a brave space like Five at the Mic too.”

“That’s right Pal. Fer folks thet wanna push inta a new challenge. The other brave space fer folks at the Ranch is the annual rodeo. Ev’ry October folks kin throw it down an’ compete fer a cash purse an’ braggin’ rights. Somethin’ a bit beyond the usual weekly challenge.”

“Yep, but the rodeo’s still a safe brave space. Like Five at the Mic. Quit yer yappin’ an let folks ta the link already.”

“Okay, okay, Pal, but jist be warned, this is still all new ta ever one involved so’s it’s a might long. Next time we’ll do it diff’rent.”

“Shush, Kid, I wanna be read to.”



“Kid, I really enjoyed thet. How do folks sign on ta take part in this brave space?”

“Well, there’s Charli Mill’s private Carrot Ranch Facebook group for signin’ up: or innerested folks kin contact her direct at . There’s still spots available fer the next one which will be recorded via Zoom on Tuesday, August 18 at 11 am (U.S. Eastern Standard time).”

“Kid, I’ve sometimes heard it said thet they ain’t much dif’rence ‘tween brave an’ stupid.”

“I think there’s a big dif’rence Pal. Jist ‘cause ya can muster up the courage ta dive off the high board, don’t mean it ain’t a stupid move if the water’s shallow. Some thing’s is jist foolhardy, no matter how ya look at it. But if ya kin muster up the courage ta try somethin’ new an’ ya learn an’ grow from it, or it benefits someone, well, that’s all good. Think a acts a bravery as a movin’ forward a some kind, an’ practice fer the next time.”

“Soun’s like Carrot Ranch is a place a safe brave spaces!”


“Thanks fer checkin’ out the brave folks that took part in the trial run of Five at the Mic, Charli Mills, Paula Moyer, Anne Goodwin, Bill Engleson, Laura Smyth, Sean Prentiss, Sherri Matthews, and Geoff Le Pard. As mentioned there’s spots available fer the next one. In the mean time, what has been an act of bravery for you? Share yer right stuff moment in the comments. An’ folks, Kid an’ me, we sure injoy runnin’ the Saloon, an’ we’re open ta any many suggestions fer future episodes or ideas ya’d wanna see repeated. If yer not brave enough ta be innerviewed, jist send yer characters along, we give equal access ta fictional folk. We’ll keep ‘em safe.”


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 now serve up something fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact them via

Saddle Up Saloon; Interviewin’ the Interviewer

Saddle Up Saloon

“Howdy. Welcome ta the Saddle Up Saloon. I’m Pal, this here’s Kid.”

“Howdy yourselves. I’m Marsha Ingrao.”

“Thet name soun’s familiar. Ya from aroun’ here?”

“If by ‘around here’ you mean the Blogosphere, yes, I’ve been blogging and writing since 2012 on my personal blog, Marsha’s Streaming Thoughts. I renamed it several times, so now it’s Always Write to keep the brand of my closed self-hosted blog. But right now I’m so excited about the new series of interviews I’m hosting with bloggers who host writing and photo challenges. Charli Mills and I had a super invigorating conversation during her interview. It’s turning my personal blogging life around! I am totally jazzed about the future of collaborative blogging.”

“Soun’s as if ya mighta had a backlog a blogs.”

“Yep, those’ll dog ya. So ya thinned the herd. Now’re ya some sorta pro-fessional?”

“I’ve never been a professional blogger or social media consultant, Pal. Always Write has resources for hobby bloggers. However, in my world of non-bloggers, my non-profit friends turned to me to help them create websites and handle social media. You can check out That’s mine. I maintain Facebook Pages for a number of groups including one for my own brand Always Write – providing resources for hobby bloggers.”

“Ya keep talkin’ brand! Soun’s like Shorty! Yer a rancher, then?”

“You bet! I live near Woodlake, home of the big Woodlake Rodeo, about 40 minutes from the big trees in the Sequoia National Park.

“Well ain’t it a small world, after all? Shorty’s buckaroo roots are in Cali-forni-a.”

“Yep. An’ we run a big rodeo here at Carrot Ranch, too. It’s a world-wide event in fact. Ev’ry October.”

“I heard about that rodeo Kid. Your Shorty sounds an awful lot like Charli Mills, who, as I said, I recently interviewed. But I guess I’m not quite a rancher like either Shorty or Charli.”

“Well, Marsha, as ya know, it’s purty easy ta be a rancher aroun’ here. Ya jist gotta write 99 words to a prompt an’ pesto! Yer a Rancher.”

“Yep. Jist gen’ral precipitation is all, really.”

“Precipitation, Kid? Yer all wet. Think ya meant ta say par-ticipation. But, yep, as ya figgered out, Marsha, it’s a purty frien’ly bunch at the Ranch. So, what’s next fer ya at yer blog? What are ya cultivatin’ over there these days?”

“Like I said, Pal, my main thrust right now is to provide a list and in-depth skinny for my readers about writing and photo prompts. Besides that I’m enjoying “par-ticipatin’,” as you say in these challenges. I’d like to collaborate with Carrot Ranch in some teaching projects in the future. Probably I should publish a few more books, probably non-fiction, where I can use my teaching talents. Why waste a good MA and all those other credentials and certifications I’ve worked hard to earn, right?”

“Well, ya cert’nly seem more ambitious than someone we know, someone who jist retired from teachin’ an’ now kin barely tell time or string three words t’gether!”

“Kid, thet’s enough. Ain’t a bout you or you-know-who. Fact, Marsha jist put me in mind a Perfesser Mills agin. Reckon thet one’s always been a teacher but now’s gittin’ it all solidified an’ certified.”

“Marsha, what’s somethin’ from yer teachin’ days that most impacts or informs ya as a writer?”

“Kid, teaching turns you into a life-long learner. I love the challenge of learning something new and sharing it as I learn. I love kids, even you, Kid, in spite of your smart remarks.”

“Pal, she remarked on my smarts.”

“Shush, or I’ll make ya smart, by gosh!”

“I live to help students to achieve their highest potential. Our Woodlake kids have accomplished so much in spite of having to overcome many obstacles. The most important things in education are love and enthusiasm. Without those your teaching won’t impact your students. The same is true of writing. The mechanics are important, but you have to have passion for your subject so that the information just bubbles out of you. You also have to care about your students in the blogosphere and consider what their needs are, then find ways to help them meet them.”

“I reckon they’s lots a learnin’ an’ teachin’ goin’ on all ‘roun the blogosphere. It was real nice ta have ya drop by the saloon so’s we could learn more ‘bout you an’ yer doin’s Marsha Ingrao.”

“Thank you!”

“Folks, if yer lookin’ fer an’ extra prompt, let’s think on ‘lifelong learnin’. Tell us ‘bout the most important, profound, useful, surprisin’ or unexpected thing ya’ve learned outside a any school settin’. Who’s been yer teacher thet ain’t a teacher? Let’s fill up them comment carrels like they was detention hall at Kid’s school.”


“Yep, go feed the hosses Kid.”





Hi, I’m Marsha Ingrao, author, blogger and retired teacher/consultant – Promoting Hobby Blogging





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 now serve up something fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact them via

Saddle Up Saloon; Fetched in from the Fringe Fest- Live Recording!

Saddle Up Saloon


“Hey Kid. Last week we told folks ta ’spect a recordin’ a readin’s from the folks thet responded to the Buxton Fringe challenge. Ya ready?”

“Yep. Shorty and Doc Ranger recently roped some international talent inta writin’ 99-word stories.”

“Yep. Their challenge was accepted by the UK’s 2020 Buxton Festival Fringe.”

“Really? What was the prompt?”

“Really? It was ta write a 99-word story, no more, no less, ’bout something fringe. A course, like a lotta words, they’s dif’rent meanin’s dependin’ on where yer from.”

“Yep. Tell ya what, let’s have a lissen ta the writers thet wrote an’ read. Some gathered to read, some were read by the ranch hands.

Fringe Around the World is now at the Saddle Up Saloon! Starring Anne Goodwin (UK), Charli Mills (Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan, US), JulesPaige (US), Jenn Linning (Greenock, Scotland), Jeff Gard (Sioux City, Iowa), Beverley Cherry (UK), Eliza Mimski (San Francisco, California – USA), Chris Sewart (Beverly, UK), Stephen Walker (UK), Sam Kirk (USA), Deborah Dansante (Louisiana), Joanne Fisher (Christchurch, New Zealand), and D. Slayton Avery (Vermont, US).”

Stories can also be read at:

Thanks ta all the participants!

Saddle Up Saloon; World Wide Wranglin’

Saddle Up Saloon

“Pal, where’s ever’one at? Kinda quiet ‘roun here.”

“Reckon folks is off visitin’ the Buxton Festival Fringe over there in the U.K. They’s all kindsa events ta check out. An’ guess what?”

“I’m guessin’ Carrot Ranch Literary Community’s represented there.”

“Ya done guessed correct, Kid!”

“Heehee. I knew it. Saw Shorty an’ Aussie an’ Doc Ranger talkin’ it up right here at the Ranch.”

“Kid, this is fer real. Thet was Charli Mills, Norah Colvin and Anne Goodwin ya seen. Let’s jist open up the stage ta them this week, let folks see ‘em and reflect with ‘em on writin’ 99-word flash fiction.”

“Okay, Pal. An’ next week we’ll show the recordin’ of the live readin’ a the folks that responded to the Buxton Fringe challenge.”



“They are real!”

“Yep, Kid, an’ real enthused ’bout this 99-word writin’ they do. Reckon thet Anthology is good readin’ an’ a bit of a teachin’ tool too.”


“Folks, some of ya are reg’lar readers an’ writers a flash fiction. Use the comments ta reflect on 99-words. How do ya use the process? How has it hepped ya as a writer? Or mebbe ya jist wanna tell us ’bout a favorite or mem’rable prompt, or one that nearly whupped ya.”


“Kid, ‘member when Shorty stepped in it usin’ slag as a prompt word?”

“Ha! Yep, the prompt can lead in many directions. There’s a number a diff’rent inflections an’ interpretations when yer as diverse a community as Buckaroo Nation!”

“Well long may they reign an’ may they never be reined in.”