April 1: Flash Fiction Challenge: Swift Passage.

April 1 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a swift passage. You can take inspiration from any source. Who is going where and why. What makes it swift? Go where the prompt leads!.

I wrote this in honour of Sue Vincent. You can read her beautiful blog here.

The candle flickered her spirit left. Free from earth’s tethers and life’s pain she breathed again. Across the night sky lit by stars she flashed around the planet spreading love as she went. 

Alighting on her Moors, her spirit’s home. The stones welcomed her with love, they knew her worth. Cold winds could not chill her just carry her wisdom. 

Behind she left us grieving, family and friends alike. Her legacy will last forever as will the hole she left in our hearts. My last email to her said “sleep well.” Sue’s passage after death was swift to bliss.

Charli’s Carrot Ranch 

Well Done to Everyone Involved With The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic.

On February 1st, the Carrot Ranch team set a competition and fundraiser for one of our finest, Sue Vincent. Using one of her photos for inspiration. The brief was to write a 99 word piece of Flash Fiction or 99 Syllable Poem and keep it under wraps until the winners were announced.

You can find all the entries, winners and judges picks here
Congratulations and well done everybody.

I did get placed but I was delighted to be Judge, Geoff Lepard’s pick. All entries were judged anonymously. Thank you Geoff and team for the advice.

Here is my Entry.

No place like home.

They had spent the last five years searching for the perfect place to settle. Travelling to several planets and even one other galaxy but nothing suited.

So their hearts lifted at the sight of the valley. The elders raised their hands prononucing "This is the perfect place, protected by mountains with it’s own water supply. Even a few remaining buildings."

A voice from the back chirped up.. "That’s where we started from, I can see my house" There was hush, a sharp intake of breath. "As we have always said" their elders smiled. "There is no place like home"

©Sue Vincent

A new Home for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto. The first Challenge Behind the Door.

KL Caley at Novel Ideas has offered to take on Sue Vincent’s #writephoto as a weekly challenge now it has become too difficult for Sue to continue.

K.L. said : “I am sure so many of you will already know this wonderful story but a little over five years ago, the wonderful Sue Vincent of Daily Echo (and The Silent Eye) posted the most intriguing image:”

Beyond the Door – Image by Sue Vincent

The convent was surrounded by an ancient stone wall. For centuries there was no entrance or exit gate or door. Novices when first admitted had to use an old wooden ladder and take a leap of faith to enter. Food supplies and correspondence was pullyed over the walls by means of bucket and rope.

The nuns lived a complentative life, growing what they could and tending their animals and themselves with the minimum of contact with outside world. The had a well, a library, a hospital and they were self-sufficient. They survived plagues, the Refermation, world wars and up until now any influence from the modern world.

Suddenly one day the sound of stones being chiseled could be heard in the nearby fields. The press and media were alerted and rushed to see and report on what was happening. Over night a beautiful round door appeared in the wall.

The door was opened once, briefly, by a tiny little Nun who looked escance at the gathered media. She shook her head, slammed the door shut and locked it. Things carried on just as before. After a while the media gave up on the story.

Dinner Debate. Carrot Ranch Prompt for 4/3/21

March 4, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes sweet potatoes. It can be part of a recipe, meal, or used as a nickname. Where do sweet potatoes take you? The grocery store? The garden? Mars? Go where the prompt leads!

The Carrot Ranch.

Dinner Debate

Are there sweet potatoes in this stew?

Yes I put two large ones in.

Well where are they?

They must of boiled away to mush, because you can see the colour and feel their texture.

But I like to see them physically cut them and chew them.

Okay I can fix that I can cook a couple more and pop them in before I dish up. Anything else need adding.

No there’s plenty of spuds, parsnips, swede, leeks and carrots.

How was dinner?.

There was a lot of sweet potato in it.

What? really! You’ve got to be joking! 

February 18: Flash Fiction Challenge

February 18, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story where a character is in the right place at the right time. It may be cause for celebration! Go where the prompt leads!

Stargardts

Norma knew her sight was failing ever since she was ten. But what really worried her was, had she passed this fate on to her daughter? 

The day had arrived when they would get the test results. 

They’d been at the hospital two hours waiting. Finally they were called in. The doctor smiled at them both and without any preamble told them the Stargardts had been passed on.

Outside Jenny hugged Nora. “Mum you can help me through this. I have seen you cope, you have taught me so much already.” They basked in the warmth of  the sun.

This is part of the Carrot Ranch Rodeo February.

Carrot Ranch

Thursday photo prompt: Deeper #writephoto

It’s time for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto .

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a sheer drop from old stone… a bridge, perhaps, or the battlements of a castle… there is no way to tell… Below is deep, dark water, swirling, fringed by autumnal trees…

This week’s prompt ~ Deeper

Looking down at the drop and the dark waters below, Ben wondered could he make it. There was no other route out, no escape.
Listening for the sound of his persuers he wished he’d never left home. But he had, and the dye was cast, below him swirled his Rubicon.
He heard the dogs first and then the shouts as the first stone hit him he closed his eyes and jumped.

Take that leap faith
Into the dark blue yonder.
Let your soul take flight.
The waters may be deeper
Let fear not be your keeper.

And then I dreamed… From Sue Vincent.

I spent the night with friends… more socially distanced than any pandemic ruling could possibly require…. and I’m tired. I didn’t sleep as much as I would have liked and spent a lot of the night tossing and turning. That is not as contradictory as it might seem, for it was when I did doze that I spent the time watching those I love wander across the screen of dreams. Though that is not quite a true depiction. I was in there with them.

Continue Reading at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.

And now I make no apologies for repeating myself: Did you know that the Sue Vincent Rodeo is now live.

Here is what Charlie Mills at The Carrot Ranch has to say “On Monday, Carrot Ranch will launch an event to celebrate Sue Vincent and her writing. There will be a “99” writing contest from February 1-19 with a suggested donation that goes directly to Sue. We want to make it a big deal beyond our trees of the writing woods, therefore it carries a $100 grand prize. There will also be a parade of sorts, a chance to gather together with Sue to share and reblog her posts in February. Be sure to tune in Monday for the full announcement. I’m so proud of all who have arranged this event, and volunteered to help. I’m proud of all of you whom I know will push this out far and wide to celebrate one of our own beloved writers.

February is going to be different at Carrot Ranch. Don’t let it throw you. I’ll be cloistered away, working on my thesis submission. I’m grateful to the community for carrying on.

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

As you can see the contest is not the only way you can help, 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.

So 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.

Here are some links you can use if you want to write your own post. Or Reblog any.

© willowdot21 2019

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 (The Ultimate Flash Fiction) prompt to fit within 99 words.

Special Collection Flash Fiction Challenge

Charli Mills has a special Flash Fiction prompt, this week, that introduces a month of differences in February. A flash fiction challenge, honouring our very special blogging friend, Sue Vincent, in advance of a competition, which will be supporting Sue. January 28, 2021, prompt: In 99 words no more no less.

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!

Like a River.

“What are you looking at?” the young man asked the older woman. Smiling she turned to answered him. “I am looking at life.” Perplexed the young man wondered what she meant. “Every ripple, every shimmer of light upon the water is a life, a story. You see we all flow from the source encountering highs and lows as we meander along. Travelling though the seasons we learn. Small streams join as we travel they do not deminnish us but help to us grow as we journey on to reach our sea of enlightenment.The young man saw the truth.

Special Collection Flash Fiction Challenge

#JusJoJan prompt the 18th – “Wish”

My mother always said “be careful what you wish for. You don’t always get what you want.”

But I wish was Starbuck a starship pilot……..

image from here

Beneath this hard exterior there’s no soft marshmallow goo, there beats a heart of stone.

There’s never been any support for me so what I’ve achieved I’ve done on my own.

My parent’s never cared for me much so I never make any deep ties.

The only true love in my life is my star ship and the skies!

There’s only one man who could ever touch my soul but fate always intervenes ,

When I get together with Will Adarma there’s usually ugly drunken scenes.

I think he only sees me as one of the lads, so make out I don’t give a frack.

But I really fancy him, so ladies watch out or you’ll get my weapon in your back.

We have to save the worlds from the evil Cylon attack

We had them beaten once , but they evolved and now they’re coming back.

They have morphed to chrome and blood all covered with skin.

They are clever now, they infiltrated Caprica with spies

They blew up our worlds so we took the fleet and flew into the skies.

In Space we regrouped and planned, and I got to work closely with my man.

I will lead what’s left of our pilots and beloved ships

I am the best star fighter pilot but the fracks won’t give me shoulder pips.

It’s true I like a drink, gambling and a good cigar.

I am damn good in bed I’ll give you a good time what ever rank you are!

I am the best pilot as I have said before

I shall find the Cylon’s mothership and give the frackers what for!

I’ll rip the skin off Number Six and I’ll show her no quarter.

She beat the living crap out of me and then denied me even water.

I’ll lead you all to safety find you all another world

For I am really an angel that keeps her wings tight furled!

I am that star you see at night when it is darkest before the dawn.

I am the one who will shoot straightest so none of you need be forlorn.

I am the mighty Starbuck , Kara Thrace is my real name .

But what ever you call me I shall save you all the fracking same!

Yup that should of been me!

Image from here

I wish I was a heroine who leads her people to a new life. Just to disappear and leave them on a green new planet  to start a new life. For them to discover that to be their guardian angel was the point of my life.

This is part of LindaGHill’s Justjojan

Sue Vincent’s #writephoto. The Crossing.

The Crossing

Every day she waited at the crossing. Hope to catch a glimpse of the opening. That strange trick of the light that she had only seen once before when she was a small child of three.

Every day at dusk she contrived to be there just incase the opening appeared again. She stayed in the village she was born in, enjoying a full life, marriage, children,grand and great grandchildren. Helping others always she was known to be a kind and generous woman.

As the years went by people gave up asking why she went to the bridge at the end of every day. It just became accepted, part of life.

It was on her hundred and third birthday that as she stood by the bridge that the light changed. She rubbed her eyes and sure enough there was the opening. There was the village and to her astonishment the same young man who had waved to her all those years ago was beckoning to her.

As fast as her old bones could carry her she began to cross the bridge. It was a long bridge and at first she thought she’d never make it across. Strangely the nearer she got to the young man the quicker she seemed able to move.

As she reached the young man he took her hand and asked her why she had taken so long, she smiled at him and as she looked into his eyes she saw her reflection….. She was young again.

The opening closed the moment she stepped through it.

Back in the village no knew what had happened to her. They searched for weeks but she was nowhere to be found. They all decided that she had, had a good innings.

All bar one child who had witnessed the whole incident. He he never told anyone what had happened but every evening at dusk he visited the bridge.

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