May 6: Flash Fiction Challenge @Charli_Mills #Flash #Fiction #Challenge

Feather Groom and Gossip

“Annie, you of heard of Ida?”

“Of course!” replied Annie, clucking. “A hen with attitude! Pecking mischief and mayhem everywhere! Remember her hen party?…”

“It was a bloodbath. Her ex and new beau fought fierce, feathers flying.”

“Ouch!”

“Her disapproving beak pierced the clouds’n’air. She skipped off with the drunken hens for a good ole night of feather groom and gossip. After which she eloped with a former beauty Queen. No more eggs, or demanding Cockerels just lots a gal time now!”

© M J Mallon

On Saturday, May 15, Charli has set up three Zoom Rancher Gatherings to cover a diversity of time zones and availability. Hop on to meet and talk with fellow writers at Carrot Ranch. Maybe meet the chickens of Boston or the wild Mause of the House. Celebrate. Socialize. I’ll read a snippet from my thesis and ask any questions about MFAs or writing. Bring your own bubbly! Times: 9 am/2 pm/7 pm (Eastern Time US).

If you are interested in the sound bath, socializing on Saturday, or setting up a time to chat, shoot Charli an email at wordsforpeople(at)gmail(dot)com for links and instructions. If you want to send graduation cards, you can mail to headquarters at 1112 Roberts Street, Hancock, MI 49930.

It’s Charli’s birthday on May 21. Her son and daughter-in-law are driving up from Wisconsin for the weekend. She will complete her celebrations that weekend and start the new journey in earnest. For now, She’s going to party like hens let loose in the berry patch.

Happy Birthday and Graduation Charli!!! xxx

Note extended deadline on account of Party Business.

May 6, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about party hens. Who are these chickens and why do they party? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by May 18, 2021. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

To join in… https://carrotranch.com/2021/05/06/may-6-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

Hope you enjoyed!

Lol. That was a laugh!

Special Collection Flash Fiction Challenge #carrotranch #literary #community

There is a special schedule at Carrot Ranch to support Sue Vincent who has been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. I’ve written about this in a previous post: https://mjmallon.com/2021/02/01/the-sue-vincent-rodeo-classic-has-begun-carrotranch-literary-community-rodeo-classic/

Here’s a schedule for you so you know what to expect:

  • January 28 Special Collection Challenge to Honor the work of Sue Vincent
  • February 1-19: Sue Vincent Classic Rodeo Contest and Parade of Reblogs (announced Monday, February 1 at CarrotRanch.com/blog)
  • February 3 No Collection
  • February 4 Special Host: D. Avery
  • February 10 Special Host Collection
  • February 11 Sue Vincent Reblog Parade (no challenge)
  • February 17 Special Sue V Collection posted
  • February 18 Regular Flash Fiction Challenges return
  • February 19 Contest ends
  • March 22 Winner and Runners Up Announced

January 28, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about life as a river of consciousness. Think about the possibilities of the prompt. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by February 11, 2021

This is my special flash fiction piece for Sue Vincent.

Life As A River of Consciousness

Do What You Love

What makes us human extends beyond the care we give our young. Perhaps it is our creativity which marks us as distinctive from other species.

Life is akin to a river of consciousness, we may drift along, or choose who we truly desire to be. Whatever we decide, we must live life to the full, expressing ourselves in music, words, performance, or art. Troubling obstacles will come and go, pebbles of uncertainty, meandering moments, thunderstorms and floods of tears, unsure and uncertain times. To accomplish our hearts’ desires we must stay focused, determined and resolute on life’s turbulent river.

To enter the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic competition: https://carrotranch.com/2021/02/01/the-sue-vincent-rodeo-classic/

Link to the : Special Collection Flash Fiction Challenge

The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic has begun!!! #carrotranch #literary #community #rodeo #classic

Sue Vincent is a wonderful blogging community member who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person at the bloggers bash. She is a lady of considerable talents, a founder member of the Silent Eye, (school of consciousness) and her sweet dog Ani has his own cute blog! https://thesmalldogs.blog/

I am pleased to be one of many bloggers sharing The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic to support Sue who has been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer.

It’s time to saddle up and get in line, because the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic is happening NOW at the Carrot Ranch! Writers will have the opportunity to support Sue Vincent, a stalwart center of our blogging community, as well as compete for a $100 prize! That’s right – we’re trying to make this the biggest writers’ Rodeo yet and celebrate Sue Vincent’s work and writing in the process. On the Rodeo Classic page, you can find a beautiful photo (from none other than Sue herself) to serve as a prompt. Write a story of 99 words or a poem of 99 syllables – no more, no less – based on the prompt photo on the Rodeo page. Also on the Rodeo page is an entry form where you can put up to two entries for the contest. And don’t worry, entries will be anonymized – everyone’s on an equal playing field at the Carrot Ranch, even if you get some TUFF bulls to ride or horses to break! But don’t lollygag – you only have until February 19th to get on your bull and ride out the chute.

Get your 99-word-brains going! Y’all, the contest starts TODAY! Unless you’re a judge, you can enter freely! Right now, the judges are: Geoff Le Pard, Anne Goodwin, and Charli Mills. First-Pass readers are: H.R.R. Gorman, Sue Spitulnik, D. Avery, and Sherri Matthews.

There are many ways to participate in the rodeo. Every Rodeo has multiple events, and the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic is no different. In addition to participating in the contest and donating to the cause, we have multiple events you can participate in!

  • The Sue Vincent Reblog Barrel Race – Check out Sue’s website or the website she shares with Stuart France. Find a poem, essay, or photo that speaks to you, and re-blog it. Feel free to include links to the contest and make sure to include a comment on the re-blog!
  • The Great Book Parade – Buy and read one of Sue’s books. If you’re feeling adventurous, leave a review or publish it on your blog!
  • The Comment Riding Contest – The prize for this one is a fuzzy good feeling and the sharing of community. Like and/or comment on Sue’s posts, whether new or old.
  • Snack Stands – Share the conteston other social media such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or others! You can definitely follow Sue Vincent on Twitter.
  • The Prize Ceremony – Winners will be announced on March 21st, 2021. It could be you, but even if not, come see what Sue’s prompt invoked.

See you on the Carrot Ranch circuit, cowfolk!

Sue’s Links:

The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic

THE RODEO HAS NOW BEGUN – https://carrotranch.com/2021/02/01/the-sue-vincent-rodeo-classic/

Sue Vincent is a wonderful blogging community member who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person at the bloggers bash. She is a lady of considerable talents, a founder member of the Silent Eye, (school of consciousness) and her sweet dog Ani has his own cute blog! https://thesmalldogs.blog/

To appreciate just how talented and lovely Sue is do pop over to her blog. I particularly love her poetry. Here is a link to a recent poem – Midas: https://scvincent.com/2021/01/30/midas/

I am pleased to be one of many bloggers sharing The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic.

The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic begins tomorrow on February 1st. There is a request for donations that will go directly to Sue and her family, and Charli Mills has graciously set up a PayPal functionality on the Carrot Ranch post that will give the cash directly to Sue.


For those that do not know, Sue has been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. I’ll let her explain most of it through her blog, but suffice to say it has added a lot of unwanted difficulties and challenges. Those that follow her probably know already that she has been a carer for her son, who gained several disabilities as part of an attack, and the cancer has made it difficult or impossible for her to continue in that role. Covid also hasn’t helped. Because she’s been a carer for so long and not made as much money as she could have otherwise, the core group of the Rodeo Organization Team has decided to hold this fundraiser.

Sue Vincent is one of those special bloggers that inspires people all over the world. Readers have long been galvanized by her posts about mythology, about ancient ruins and medieval churches, and her daily #midnighthaiku. Even more have participated in and grown as a result of her #writephoto prompts. In addition to posting her prompts, Sue has tirelessly supported other bloggers by sharing others’ responses to her 19,000 and counting followers.

Recently, Sue has been faced with a new and difficult challenge: lung cancer. You can follow her blog to find out more directly from her. The Covid pandemic has served not only to pose a specific threat to a person with a severe respiratory illness, but it has caused loss of human connection through self-imposed quarantine.

Now it’s time for Sue to receive something back from the community she’s been a cornerstone of for a decade. Let’s bring the Rodeo into Sue’s house through her computer, and let’s come together with hearts full of joy. Join us for the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic at the Carrot Ranch – a contest, parade, and celebration all in one!
There are many ways to participate. One is to visit the prompt image, “Hidden”, at the Carrot Ranch. The prompt image and entry form will go live on Monday, February 1st, 2021. Enter a flash or a poem by Friday, February 19th, 2021, and you could win either $100 or a copy of one of Sue’s books. The form will allow you to give a small donation for Sue and her family, and a link can be found on the contest page. The winning entries will be announced at the Carrot Ranch on March 22nd, 2021.

If you’re not ready to rodeo, there’s always the “Parade”. Reblog one of Sue’s posts from any of her sites (Daily Echo or France and Vincent) with a comment about why you found it special. Follow her blogs. Read one of her books, then leave reviews where you can. Several people are already gearing up for the parade – so feel free to check out other people’s blogs for suggestions.

Also, go ahead and reblog, tweet, Facebook, or somehow otherwise share the contest! 99 word literary art is a fantastic way to celebrate a blogging hero and very deserving person.

Saddle up, everyone! It’s time for a Carrot Ranch Rodeo like none ever held before. The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic begins on Monday, February 1st, and it’ll be a TUFF prompt to fit within 99 words. 
See you at the Ranch, buckaroos!

Links: 

So, giddy up folks to the rodeo!

Saddle Up Saloon; Linin’ Up At the Mic « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

I enjoy taking part in 5 at the Mic @ Charli Mills Carrot Ranch Literary Community. It’s a great way to gain experience of reading your writing aloud! It’s a bit embarrassing too – you see all your flaws, etc, etc, and weird mannerisms! But, no matter… I can live with that.

The videos feature Ellen Best, D. Avery, Anne Goodwin, Paula Moyer, Susan Spitulnik, Bill Engelson, myself and Susan Budig.

Source: Saddle Up Saloon; Linin’ Up At the Mic « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Carrot Ranch Literary Community #flash #fiction

November 5, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about lost time. You can write a realistic scenario or something speculative. How does lost time impact the character of your story? Bonus points if you include a 1982 brown rubber watch Go where the prompt leads!

Stan picked up an imaginary sand timer, turned it over and watched as the grains of sand ran. He didn’t say a word. His grandchildren were playing on the beach building sandcastles, oblivious to his moment of sadness. On his wrist, he wore a 1982 brown rubber watch. It was now 2020. The watch had long since given up ticking, but he’d never throw it out. It would be terrible to do so. The watch belonged to his beautiful wife and brought back happy memories.

 June died in 1983, was never fancy but always special.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community #flash #fiction #chores

Thank you to the lovely Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch for all she does for the literary community. <3

The flash fiction prompt this week made me think of my mother-in-law Mary who is holding on to being fiercely independent as long as she possibly can. She is now the ripe old age of ninety four! She always tidies everything up before the carer sets foot in the house and her favourite phrase is: That’s that job done!

Tea and Biscuits With The Carer

“That’s the blueberries washed!” she said with a smile.

I couldn’t help but laugh.  

“Put the kettle on,” she said.

“Don’t you want to leave anything for the carer to do?”

She didn’t answer, instead she said, “Get the pavlova and cream. Mini ones in the cupboard over there.”

I opened the tin and arranged them on a large plate.

“What time’s she coming?”

“Now! Better wipe the table,” she said.

The carer bustled in.

Flash Fiction: Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Flash #Fiction #Challenge

Live Author Talk

Those bloody motorbikes can’t they stop! 1 A.M. no chance I’ll get any sleep. Tomorrow’s the live show. Never done this before. What will it be like? I’ll soon know. Introverted writers, tonight at 9 p.m. I’ll talk live. Bound to be a problem with the connection. We’ll get there… I did it! I listen, damn, I can’t see my weird mannerisms, but I can hear them. Perhaps I should have had some water instead of that glass of wine, stupid faux pas, one or two!


On Saturday evening I participated in my first Facebook live interview with horror and fantasy indie author A. F. Stewart’s Between The Pages Book Chat. I’m sharing it here so that others can see that even if you are daunted, (terrified) by the idea of speaking live, you can still give it a go. Looking back at the recording there are things I wish I’d said and some I wish I hadn’t said, or repeated as much! It’s funny how we waffle… or I do anyway. Still, if you don’t try, you don’t learn and improve. It’s not perfect but the main thing is I tried. I’m giving myself brownie points for that!

And wondering if I seriously need a haircut! Looking like a lock down woman…

I’ve also been participating in Carrot Ranch Community 5 at the Mic, which is a grand opportunity to share your writing to an audience, in a safe space. You can start by being an audience and then move on to reading your work.

More about that here:

At the Carrot Ranch blog you can also listen to Ellen Best, Anne Goodwin, Paula Moyer, and Bill Engleson: https://carrotranch.com/2020/09/06/saddle-up-saloon-one-shy-of-a-six-pac-at-the-mic/

So, how you feel about participating in live recordings. Have you tried? Does it make you want to hide?

Saddle Up Saloon; One Shy of a Six Pac at the Mic « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Charli Mills encourages writers to participate as readers or audience in 5 at the Mic, (video recordings of live readings of our creative writings.) I’m there, (with my humorous tale – the bubble monster,) along with Bill Engleson, Paula Moyer, Anne Goodwin and Ellen Best all sharing our writing gems by reading aloud!

Source: Saddle Up Saloon; One Shy of a Six Pac at the Mic « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction #Racism #GeorgeFloyd #Flash #Fiction #Dedication

Photo by Anya Snyder from Pexels

The prompt from Charli Mills – June 4, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about justice for all. It does not have to take place in America. Injustice exists anywhere. What is the story behind justice for all? Go where the prompt leads!

This was probably one of the hardest pieces of flash fiction I’ve ever written. There were many revisions, I hope it does some justice.

This blog does not tolerate racial hatred. This blog does not tolerate sexual discrimination, or religious bigotry.

This blog believes men and women are equal.

This blog is about unity. One world.

Who am I? I’m mixed race, my mother is Asian, my father Scottish. I’m very proud of my cultural heritage. I grew up valuing people of different races. I owe this to my mum and dad, like me they believe that cultural diversity makes the world such an interesting place. Acts of racial violence and hatred stem from ignorance.

My mother worked for a time as a housing officer, in the course of her work she was racially abused. One of the council’s tenants called her a Paki. She put him right! I also had similiar experiences when I was younger, being picked on for being different. I learnt to stand up for myself. Sadly, sometimes racists end up in positions of power, what happened to George Floyd is a tragic example of that.

The following flash fiction piece is dedicated to the memory of George Floyd and all those who have suffered at the hands of racial injustice, or who have lost their lives to cruel, racial hatred.

Jordan vowed to protect his world from deranged, hate-filled people. He vowed to be a braver man, to speak up against injustice, standing unified with his loving wife beside him.

His words: “Racism kills. It divides and discriminates.”

Her words: “We are one, we refuse to let the racists win.”

After the protest, his wife’s creamy fingers cupped his obsidian skin. Her loving eyes filled.

They both wept, remembering George Floyd.

Their thoughts raged no more hatred, ever.

Denounce racism, curtail this relentless boot inflicting suffocating death. Stop it now, end the pain.

This is for Charli Mill’s carrot ranch flash fiction challenge: https://carrotranch.com/2020/06/04/june-4-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

I hope for a better world, one world.