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A Wishing Star

A Wishing Star by the Rough Writers & Friends @Charli_Mills

No matter where we are in the world, we can look up at our night sky and wish upon a star. A wish might require action to come true, but without the wishing process, we might not know what action to take.

This week, writers turned to wishes, crafting stories destined for the stars.

The following is based on the December 28, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a wishing star.

“Star light, star bright,
The first star I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.”

***

Flash Fiction by Pensitivity

The meteor shower hit the East coast just before midnight.
Many witnessed thousands of ‘shooting stars’, and as such thousands of wishes were made.
The nursery rhyme is based on the first star seen, shooting or not.
Against the darkest velvet of night, a child’s wish reaches out to the stars.
By the time it reached its destination, it was no more than a whisper, but it was heard.
The following night, the star shone more brightly than ever, a sign that the wish would be granted.
But as with all wishes, if you tell, they won’t come true.

###

Wishing, Wondering and Wandering: Morgan and Logan Debate the Imponderables by Geoff Le Pard

‘What you looking at, Morgan?’

‘The stars, Logan.’

‘Wishing stars?’

‘Nah. More wondering.’

‘Wandering?’

‘That too, but mostly wondering.’

‘What about?’

‘The human condition. My feet. Scallops.’

‘All together or separate?’

‘See, the human condition is a mystery, right? I know a lot about it and lots I don’t know. While I know all there is to know about my feet, unlike the scallops who’re unlikely to know my feet at all.’

‘True. And the stars made you think this?’

‘Not really, they just popped into my head.’

‘I’ve made a wish, Morgan.?’

‘Yes?’

‘I wish you’d talk sense.’

###

My Wishing Star by Kerry E.B. Black

Storms crowd the night sky, eager to take in the splendor of my wishing star. I imagine them with outstretched Sirius arms clutching pens and pads to collect her autograph, and she’d smile a cool and radiant dismissal. She has work this evening, as always. No time to cavort. She shines in the work, glorious minion of the heavens. She waves them away to peek upon her awaiting penitents. I stand among them, whispering my wishes as fervently as prayers. She collects them in shimmers and sigh and keeps them with ancestral wisdom until they are every one fulfilled.

###

Ephemeral by Jan Malique

She looked at the shooting star speed across the Milky Way. What a pretty, pretty thing! Clad in shimmering star-dust, with limbs of opalescent light and eyes of velvet darkness, a beauty fit to wear the crown. Ah, what ambition nestled within her proud starry heart.

Time to fall my pretty, pretty thing. The Faerie Queen decreed and the starry assembly obeyed. She fell burning from the heavens, bringing hope to many. The Earth waited for this gift, a wish made manifest. How dark the journey looked for this starry exile. Pretty, pretty thing! Hush, dry your tears.

###

When You Wish by Michael Fishman

“Whoa! You see that?”

“I did!”

Evan and Carol were laying side by side on the blanket. The dark sky above them flickered with lambent stars.

“Did you make a wish?” Evan asked.

“I did.”

“What was it?”

Carol huffed, “I’m not gonna tell you.”

“You don’t believe that, do you?”

“I believe it as much as I believe making wishes in the first place”

“Wanna know my wish?”

“You wanna risk it not coming true?”

Holding Carol’s hand, Evan rolled onto his side, leaned over and kissed her.

“That was my wish.”

She kissed him back.

“Mine, too.”

###

Wishing for Warmth by Heather Gonzolas

The fire had begun to die. The young newlyweds had not expected to be trapped. With no signal or electricity, that fire was the only thing keeping them alive. They had wished to be alone on their honeymoon, but they should have been careful what they wished for.

He went in search of wood as the snow began to fall again. When there was no wood to be found, he looked to the sky and could make out a single star. Like a child, he made a wish for warmth. That is when he saw the pile of wood.

###

Wishing Star by Michael

The old couple sat at their back fence looking out over the farm watching the last of the year’s sunset. It was a typical muggy New Year’s Eve, and they wanted to see in the new year watching the fireworks from across the town in the distance. Just then a star shot across the heavens.

“Gosh,” they gasped.

“Make a wish,” said the woman staring up at the stars.

“You think all this will last,” asked the man wistfully.

“No, but we have now, and that’s what I live for.”

“Good thinking,” he replied as their hands gripped tightly.

###

Shoveling Midnight Snow (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills

Wolves padded across the snowy field, mere shadows dappled by moonlight. Danni gripped the shovel and paused. As loudly as her own boots crunched the tight snow, the wolves passed in silence. Had she not turned to shovel the path to the barn she would have missed the pack. Before the last one merged with the cover of night, he stopped and cocked his head. A shooting star rolled across the sky like a snowball down a hill. Before Danni could make a wish both star and wolf vanished. Would her wish still count? Come home to me, Ike.

###

Wishing Star by Pete Fanning

Jimmy sat in his usual seat, working the trivia machine, trying to wrap his bourbon-soaked mind around the lifespans of supergiant stars–how they took a billion years to see.

Shooting stars. Dead beauty.

Between drinks, Jimmy felt a fleeting ache under his shirt pocket. A clink of ice in his glass, the stutter of his daughter’s giggle. The splash of Beam, quick blast of Ginger Ale. He wished again to see his wife’s sleepy eyes shining as she nursed the baby. A billion years ago…

The new drink arrived. The ache had passed.

Jimmy worked the trivia machine.

###

The Haunting by Colleen Chesebro

Althea had made a noble sacrifice, and now, as a ghost, she resented her decision. That night when she wished upon a star, she took her own life to save their business. Mike had inherited her retirement account and had paid off all their debts. There was money left over; now he had taken a lover.

Althea gazed at the writhing forms on what had once been her bed. Mike always did enjoy a bit of fun. What the heck? Althea slid her cold, lifeless hands over their naked bodies as she crawled between them. The haunting had begun!

###

Bringing Mum Home by Lisa Rey

Every night Susan would look up at a star in the sky, wish upon it that her mother would return from the dead. Her father had told her she was gone away forever. Susan heard a kid at school say her mother was gone away ‘forever’ meaning dead.

Her father Mark sat in the kitchen not known his nine-year-old daughter’s pain. One day, he’d have to tell her how her mother walked out of their home to go far away because she was in love with his best friend Mike. Now, he thought she was too young to know.

###

Innocence of Youth by Susan Sleggs

“Mama, I’ve been reading some of your flash fiction. Why are they all such downers?”

“Well, flash fiction by definition is a short story and it requires an arc with a problem and a resolution; something with an adrenalin rush to keep the reader’s interest.”

“But I want to read short happy stories; maybe about puppies. I’m going to wish for that on the next falling star I see.”

“That would be an admirable wish honey.” I turned away from my ten year old with tears forming, wishing she could stay that innocent for the rest of her life.

###

The Wish by Denise Aileen DeVries

When Mattie Brown’s mother said “if wishes were horses…,” Mattie started wishing on more than stars. Today she was in a field of dandelions when Jeb’s voice startled her. “Whatcha’ wishin’ for?”

“A dime to see Shirley Temple,” she mumbled. She hoped nobody would notice her in conversation with “one of those Thompsons.”

“I’ll have more than a dime after I sell these at the steamboat dock,” he said, indicating a burlap bag with his walnut-stained fingers. “I can give you one.”

Mattie jumped up, scattering dandelions. “I can earn it! I’ll help you sell them. Let’s go!”

###

Winter Realities by JulesPaige

Gina was small then, holding some grownups hand while
they stopped briefly to talk. Maybe they all had been saying
good-bye after some holiday visit. It was cold. While no one
else was looking – there it was – a flying wishing star. Later
Gina found out it was a meteor. And wishing on it hadn’t
really changed anything, at least not then.

Present time, years end; A clear night – a huge halo around
an almost full winter moon. Who could tell what the first
wishing star had been? It really didn’t matter – wishes only
come true if ‘you’ follow through.

###

Conversation on the Midnight Ferry-August 1965 by Bill Engleson

“It’s a wonder, eh!”

“What is?”

“Looking up to a glittering sky, a clear night, that one cloud there…see?”
“I do…”

“And how it’s shading the moon, and that star…do you know your stars?”

“Once…a few years back, I knew them pretty well. Our Cubmaster…drilled them into us.”

“You were lucky.”

“I suppose. He was a cookie salesman too…stars and cookies. Great times.”

“Now that’s real luck. Look, there it is again…a shooting star…is that what they call it?”

“Yeah…a beauty, that’s for sure…I wish…”

“What for?”

“Ah, man, I’ll be livin’ in the city. University. No stars, probably.”

###

Wishing Star by PipeTobacco

I am sitting outside in the backyard, smoking my pipe when I look into the night sky and see a “falling star.”

“A wishing star.” I mutter to myself quietly.

I take the pipe out of my mouth, and with my palm of my other hand, I rub across my face and smooth out the edges of my beard and mustache. A tear forms and brims out of my eye.

“Life did not used to be so complex.” I think to myself. “How have things gotten so stressful and anxiety filled?”

I knock out the ashes and go inside.

###

The Wish by Norah Colvin

The words replayed continuously as he sat on the step searching the sky for a wishing star: “When you wish upon a star …”

Inside, the adults’ voices grew louder and harsher. He covered his ears and sang through his tears.

A crash followed a thump, then all went quiet. He held his breath.

He crept to the door and peeked in. Mum, slumped on the floor, cradled Dad’s head in her lap. Blood was everywhere.

“Call triple zero.”

Huddled together they watched paramedics try to revive him.

“I didn’t mean …” each whispered to themselves, but weren’t convinced.

###

A Lonely Wish by Amber Prince

The darkness suffocated me; even the moon had abandoned me tonight. My eyes never adjusting, my nerves never settling, but I continued on. There was nothing to turn back to, but if I was to be honest, there was nothing to go forward to either. My body begged for rest, but I was afraid to listen. Stopping wasn’t an option, quitting meant giving up, giving up meant…

I watched the black sky, hoping for a sign, but not a single star granted me its presence tonight. It was as if they had all died as well. I wished anyway.

###

Wishes by Ritu Bhathal

We’ve all got our jobs, our charges to look out for.
I have 403 at the moment.
And for the most part, they aren’t really that demanding.
Wishing to win the lottery, to get that fast car, or a new house.
Wishes that are empty really. No one expects them to come true.
But those wishes, heartfelt pleas, they are the ones I know I have to get right.
The wishes that Daddy comes home for Christmas.
That Granny will pull through tonight, at least.
That the bully won’t get her today.
Being a Wishing Star is not easy…

###

Heavens Above by Juliet Nubel

“Let them stay healthy, happy and safe.”

She repeats this twice more then starts reciting the list of names.

It used to be a short list – ‘Mummy, Daddy and my sister.’

With the years it has stretched, gathering in a fiancé turned spouse, then children, then their children and their loves.

Her hands are clasped tightly as she looks at the lone star.

If you saw her you might think she were praying. But her god has no name, no face, no man-made place of worship.

She is speaking to the sky, her blue-edged blanket of the universe.

###

Hunters and Other Heroes by Alexander De

I don’t remember much of it, only
the nurse, he was a god with great big arms,
when they sucked the middle from my bones he
told me stories about Orion’s charms

saved gobs of my hair for my mom to keep
said I would grow up to be strong like him
left presents for me while I was asleep
sang funny songs when my heart beat grew dim

gave me a star for my fourth Christmas tree
did not know how much wishing there’d be
‘til it got broke when I turned twenty-three

still tryin’
to reach Orion

###

Nashville Dreams by D. Avery

People come here to where the stars burned bright.

Stirring embers of memories, sifting through the ash
They’re looking for Patsy, looking for Johnny Cash

Tourists ignore my singing, walk by my coin sprinkled case, go inside where it’s warm, go inside for ten-dollar drinks, where they’ll tip the band for playing lousy covers, tell them they sound real deal. Like they’d know.

They walk by they look right through me,
unseen space between the stars
Just another street bum, all I have is my guitar

Cold. It’ll be another sleepless night of shivering, of wishing underneath the stars.

###

It’s Too Fekkin’ Cold! by Liz Husebye Hartmann

The granite was rough and hot under her bare feet. She squatted by the tidal pool, peering at the life teeming beneath her.

Kelp crowded in the center, tiny multicolored crabs parting its fronds with their dominant claw, blowing bubbles in irritation at being observed. Near the edge, barnacles glinted under the same sun that sizzled her shoulders and tightened her skin.

Soon they’d board the plane, back to Winter-socked home.

There! Behind that collection of miniature mussels! She gently grabbed a perfect star, stood and flipped him seawards, an exchange—a wish.

She smiled, knowing she’d be back.

###

Limits by MRMacum

“Wish I were, Wish I might……… Ah, screw it. This doesn’t work anymore.”

Crestfallen, Jesus stood on the Mount and stared up at the night sky. Moments passed as he wallowed in self pity. Off to his left, a brighter star than the rest seemed to come closer.

“Boy, I told you there were limits. “

“But Dad, how can I turn this planet around if you won’t cooperate?”

“Well son, I’ll tell ya. No water walking, leper healing parlor trick is going to upstage that damn Free Will clause I enacted ………… Time to pull the plug.”

###

Sequestered by FloridaBorne

“We have a proverb,” The farmer said. “A child looks to the starry skies and sees hope…”

“Whatever does that mean?” A man in strange green uniform asked.

“Allow me to finish,” The farmer scoffed. “…but the wise woman sees drought.”

“Where are your men?”

“We have one per 100 women, and those are sequestered away,” she said. “When men rule, destruction reigns.”

He spoke into a box on his shoulder and said. “Kill them all!”

“We don’t wish upon stars, we develop our minds” she chuckled. A starship and their crew turned to dust. “Prepare to be sequestered.”

###

Star-fall by Chelsea Owens

Someday, soonday my detachment from familiarity will send me soaring, burning, melting
Painting lightscape brushstrokes on empty air-void blackness:
A fantastic farewell sky-faint; a final, fiery death-stunt
For unknown, sight-blessed audience.

Up, from sparkling sprinkle-glittered hills,
Glowing backlit forms will gasp in distant, wondered silence –
My dying skydance, reflecting glints of living fellows;
Laughing, pointing limbs following my curtain-call bow.

Frosted pine-pinnacles will point, in vain,
Where once I sat, aglow, forever and a million years
Before the laughing, lasting exhalations mouth their frozen, “Wow;”
Their million dream-thoughts floating sky-high, tailing me forever.

###

Falling Up by D. Avery

Outside the window snow fell, snow flew, snow blew in all directions, silently, and it felt like in this room they were figures in a snow-globe. Her bedroom now her hospice room, the ventilator pulsed time towards the inevitable yet still uncertain end; none of them had been here before.

Finally the snow stopped, the clear and cold night sky sparkling, so many stars that to stare up at them was like being in a snow-globe, mesmerizing and oddly comforting. Through a lens of tears one figure thought she saw a falling star, falling up, so bright, so distant.

###

Flash Fiction by Rugby843

She gazed at the star every night, wishing, but this evening was different. She was desperate, all pleas for help were exhausted, this being her last hope.

Mary’s mother was dying. Mary had prayed but it seemed whatever she did would not help her mother.

The doctor visited every day, but there was no cure to save her. This night Mary was on her knees by the window, praying to the star. Suddenly it started sparkling much brighter than before. Mary rushed to her mother, finding she passed away a moment before.

Now “Mary’s mother’s star” never stops glowing.

###

Wishing Star by Irene Waters

Crushing, celebrating crowds filled the foreshore. Multicoloured glo-sticks made it seem as though finally, I’d found the end of the rainbow. I was sitting in it. Laughter rang out amidst the hum of chatter. It was awhile before countdown to New Year would begin and the fireworks would explode in the night sky.

“What’s up with you Gemma?”

“Nothing. Why?”

“You’re the only glum face here that’s why.” Peter stared at me but I turned my eyes heavenward searching the storm clouds that obliterated the stars.

“I want to make a New Years wish but my star isn’t there.”

###

Be Careful What You Wish For by Anurag Bakhshi

For 30 years, Donald prayed day and night, standing on one leg, not eating or drinking anything.

God finally relented and appeared in front of him. “What do you want?” HE asked Donald. “I want my very own wishing star,” Donald replied, dreaming of the thousands of wishes that the star would help fulfill.

“As you wish,” said God.

The next morning, Donald got up excitedly, and told the star, “Take me to Paris for breakfast.”

The star replied, “Wish you a very good morning Sir. Wish you a Merry Christmas. Wish you a very Happy New Year! Wish you…”

###

The Meteor Shower by Urszula Humienik

“Let’s go outside, I heard there’s supposed to be a meteor shower tonight. We can make some wishes.”

“Isn’t it wishing on falling stars?”

“Oh I don’t know. Meteor shower, falling stars, it’s all the same to me.”

“Look at that moon! Isn’t it huge?”

“I didn’t realize it was a full moon tonight. It’s beautiful.”

“Have you ever howled at the moon?”

“No. You?”

“No.”

“I dare you.”

“Me? Here? Now?”

“Yes.”

Anne faced the silver sphere hanging low over the property and let out a deep belly howl.

Something howled back.

The girls broke out in laughter.

###

Borrowed Light by Reena Saxena

George quit a high-paying sales job to become a writer. His friends and family were perplexed.

“What made you do that?”

“It is easy to set writing goals for the year. Vision boards are complex when achievement of goals is subject to the ecosystem ….”

“Everything depends on the ecosystem.”

“Sure, but markets are uncertain and sales targets infinitely complex.”

“What triggered that move?”

“I felt like a wishing star living on borrowed light, and dispensing it to fulfill others’ wishes. What if the source dries off? I will cease being a star.”

“What if your books don’t sell?”

###

Wishing Star by Charley

Two hours down Bonita Klondyke Road in Arizona summer heat, sun cooking through the ragtop of his classic Chrysler. Air conditioning long dead. The sign read, “Wishing Star Saloon, turn right.” He cranked the wheel. It was right there in sight.

* * *

“Dang!” said the woman behind the bar, “Windows down in this heat?”

“AC’s broke. Heinie.”

“Tuff.” She slid the bottle over.

“‘Wishing Star?’”

She motioned with her head. “Every wish granted.”

“Right.”

She shrugged.

He stepped over to the painting. “Wish I was someplace cooler.”

* * *

Colder than hell, snow blowing. Teeth chattering. A sign. “Klondyke River, Yukon Territory.”

###

A Wishing Star by Bobby Fairfield

She stepped out of the long white limousine onto the spotless red carpet. wearing her famous smile but little else she elegantly turned and striking a pose, first to the left and then to the right allowing her long elegant legs to peep out from the thigh-slit silk dress. Flashbulbs popped as they clamoured to take her photo, to be the first to get a risque shot of a slight wardrobe malfunction. Taking the arm of her tuxedo-clad companion the young star of many films entered the hall wishing for the ultimate accolade. To be given her first Oscar.

###

Broken Dreams by D. Avery

“Kid! Found ya. Ya weren’t in the bunkhouse.”

“Cain’tcha see I’m lyin’ out here in my sleepin’ bag enjoyin’ the stars? Jeez, Pal.”

“Really?”

“Really. An’ mebbe I’m even wishin’ on a star.”

“Kid, ya cain’t jest be wishin’ an’ dreamin’. Ya gotta git up an’do! I swear ya ain’t never gonna amount ta nuthin’, jest layin’ aroun’ wishin’ at stars. Git up Kid. Make yer dream happen!”

“I had done achieved it, Pal, till jest now.”

“What?”

“Yep. I had wished ta lay out here enjoyin’ the stars in peace an’ quiet. Now I’m wishin’ ya’d go away.”

###

December 28: Flash Fiction Challenge

Ice crystals lace silver threads of intricate patterns across glass so thin I feel surrounded by frozen cellophane. Any minute I expect ice-spiders to skitter across the glass, adding more crystalline webbing. All I hear is the distant hum of a neighbor’s snowblower, chewing mounds of white drifts, recreating front lawns into winter parking lots.

Then snow crunches and squeaks, alerting me to the return of the Huskies to the top of the deck. The door handle is so cold I fumble several attempts to open it. Two dogs with enviable fur puff through the door, their breath froze in the moment, driftless and white. Everything is white, and this porch is officially below zero (Fahrenheit).

We all rush into the welcoming warmth of the kitchen, quickly closing the seeping snow and leaving the unseen ice-spiders to spin their webs until it warms or the earth shatters.

Lady Lake Superior holds us captive like a Winter Queen in a Fairy Tale. On her blustery days, she forces the lake upon us and I imagine drowning in snow. On Christmas Eve we drove out to a friends and family party, a local Finnish family’s tradition for so long that it’s become generational. Our gracious hostess, an artist of local renown, served us food as if she had painted a canvas or raku-fired pottery.

Many people came and went that night as we lingered close to the table with magic abilities to refill platters of meatballs, spinach puff pastries and bowls of salmon spread. My own offering of smoky twice-baked potatoes dwindled and our hostess proclaimed them delicious. It boosted my spirits to receive a nod from one artist to another.

My art, words upon a page, lately feel frozen, ink stuck in the nib. Tis only a season and this too shall pass. Yet like the hunter, I can’t stop. Maybe the rabbit hunt results in a small mouse, but that sustains me until I snag the rabbit. It’s possible I might cross paths with an elk, and as a hunter, I know that will only happen if I go out on the trail frozen and snow-blown as it is.

That evening I met a delightful artist in her 80s. She lives at the end of the Keweenaw at Copper Harbor. We spoke about mentors and how every artist needs one. She told me about her aunt who was trained back east and highly regarded. She was plucky. At age 15 she rode a bus to apply for a copy-writer job in downtown Chicago, lying about her age. She told me many stories that night, still feeling the tug of writing after decades of painting, and concluded, “Artists are weird.”

I laughed. I think the drive to create also drives us to take risks and experiment. Recently the New York Times published an article, “Why Trying New Things  is So Hard to Do.” If artists are weird, then it’s because we go against the genetic code and try new things. As you can see, week after week, literary artists at Carrot Ranch can try to write one thing in a new way.

Flash fiction is an exploratory tool. Maybe it makes us weird, but it’s a response to the passion to create and tell stories.

After a jolly Christmas Eve, we left while Lady Lake Superior thrust her might upon the land. Have you ever been in a torrential downpour? Snowflakes pummeled existing drifts like pouring rain. To stand in pouring snow was awe-inspiring; to drive in it was terrifying. It fell so fast it covered all hints of the road and made looking out the windshield like staring into strobe lights. All I could see out of the corner of the windshield was the faintest hint of deeper piles to indicate the edge of the road.

Once back at the house in Hancock, I asked my kids how they navigate in such conditions. They both responded that you learn not to look forward but to the side to find the road’s edge. I had it right but found it frightening to drive snow-blind. Perhaps that is what it’s like to write — we navigate the page blind to all but one edge we follow.

If the stars ever return to the sky, when Lady Lake decides to pull back from dominating the terrain, I know I have one up there — my wishing star. Even covered, I know it guides me. And I think of this star on the cusp of one year to the next because I believe in activating my wish. You might call it a dream, but it’s not a goal — goals are what you set to attain your dream.

Pretend ice-spiders exist for a moment. Pretend Lady Lake is real and in a giving mood. She parts the veil of gray clouds to let the electric particles dance in sheets of apple-green and orchid-purple. The sky displays a light show and stars burn like diamonds on black velvet. She momentarily resets the night sky until one star, your star, shines brightest. She grants you a wish:

“Star light, star bright,
The first star I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.”

Don’t think, don’t blink, write it down now!

This wish holds meaning for you. Perhaps it’s obvious. Maybe you have to ponder its symbology. It’s a wish made when you thought anything possible. Now I want you to think about your calling as a writer, a literary artist, an educator, a philosopher, a traveler, a missionary. Pick or add what resonates with you. If you could call yourself anything, what would that be?

You now hold two hints to your vision.

Did you know that visioning is a process? It’s a business process and entails more than wishing upon stars. It sets a northern star in the sky over an organization to lead the way. Goals are like arrows aimed at this star. At times when you are not sure what is next for you, realign to your star, your vision. Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, I trained with Ari Weinzweig and his team from Zing Train. From him, I learned how to train trainers, give great service and include visioning as part of planning.

“Begin with the end in mind,” Ari advises (you can read more in his book, A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building Great Business).

If you set goals, to what end? How will you know what success looks like? You probably already do this, but like your wish, it feels private and fanciful. But Ari calls visioning “positive futuring.” It’s a way to innovate and inspire the action you take. Zing Train is a division of Zingerman’s Deli (yes, a small college town deli cultivates business leaders). In 2007, NYT called them “The corner deli that dared to break out of the neighborhood.” And I’ve reworked the training I received and used in my own workplace to encourage writers to do something with that wish: vision.

Three years ago in the December 24, 2014 prompt I shared the following peek at my own vision:

Recalculations help redefine goals. Why set goals? Because if you have dreams, goals become a way to navigate to them. Your vision is like the north star, guiding you along the way. My vision is big and includes much more than successfully publishing novels. It includes creating literary spaces both physically and digitally–places to learn grow, create and recalculate. Collaboration is part of the vision.

Carrot Ranch fosters a literary space to practice craft, communicate ideas and read stimulating writing. Rough Writers are regulars or founding contributors, and Friends are our readers and commenters. We have many friends who pop in once in a while when inspired and others who faithfully read. Together we create a community that honors what literature is about–progressing the imagination to describe, define or experience life. Literature thrives in an open environment.

Join the dream. An open invitation to the Congress of Rough Writers & Friends:

  • Help develop a Carrot Ranch Anthology (expanded shorts based on flash fiction, for example). It can be a fun way to explore collaboration and indie avenues from crowd-sourcing to publishing.
  • Help develop a Christmas project for next year (what trouble can we write Rudolph into with his visits around the globe).
  • Research a possible text or workshop based on how flash fiction can build skills and that college classes or writing groups can use.

Three years ago, I had no idea that my husband’s behavior was sign of cognitive demise, that my best friend had incurable cancer or that we’d ever leave Elmira Pond. I was expressing to the early writers at the Ranch my wish to do more than write my books. I wanted a literary community, writer collaboration, the opportunity to explore independent publishing, a fun event at the Ranch, and a way to teach flash fiction as a skill-building tool.

Here’s where I get goosebumps. Despite unexpected circumstances, my vision stayed constant. Carrot Ranch thrives, my books have progressed, we have our first anthology of flash fiction in Kindle, I know tons more about independent publishing and it’s altered my goals, Rudolph morphed into a Rodeo, and I now teach Wrangling Words as a community outreach course and will debut TUFF workshop in February. Retreats on Elmira Pond took me to bigger waters where I dream of one on Isle Royale and another on a cruise to New Zealand.

I’m dreaming big! Are you? Let it all out — in a journal, in an email to someone or no one, in a story, in a conversation. Dream out loud. Wish. And craft a vision for your northern star.

Like flash fiction, visioning has magical results; but also like flash fiction there’s science behind focusing an intention and writing down goals. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California found that you become 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a regular basis (“The Power of Writing Down Dreams and Goals” by Mary Morrissey).

As the year turns, set your goals pointing to a bright and shiny vision. Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

December 28, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a wishing star. It can be central to the story or used in a different way. You can have a character interact or not. Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by January 2, 2018 to be included in the compilation (published January 3). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

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Shoveling Midnight Snow (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills

Wolves padded across the snowy field, mere shadows dappled by moonlight. Danni gripped the shovel and paused. As loudly as her own boots crunched the tight snow, the wolves passed in silence. Had she not turned to shovel the path to the barn she would have missed the pack. Before the last one merged with the cover of night, he stopped and cocked his head. A shooting star rolled across the sky like a snowball down a hill. Before Danni could make a wish both star and wolf vanished. Would her wish still count? Come home to me, Ike.

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