The Romance of the Rails

Old railroad train, steaming
(Photo by Otto C. Perry, courtesy of Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Dept.)

In TUFF Love, Carrot Ranch’s Charli Mills asked participants to revise an original western romance through a 99-59-9-99 word process with each step requiring a different craft twist. This event is an exercise of inspiration through to editing. I didn’t enter this one because it turned out to be more about discovering heart’s desire of Self, then traditional Romance. But I still like it, so I share with you all.

Original 99-word Draft: Molly Rides the Rails

Molly rode the rails these days. Cities had sprung up, like oozing boils, over the open prairie she loved. With the spread of progress came the spread of stifling rules.

Forced by her father to shed her buckskin, don heavy skirts with tight collars, binding her hair from the wind’s caressing fingers, she appeared the perfect little miss. Continue reading “The Romance of the Rails”

The Wild, Wild West

First Place TUFF Romance

In TUFF Love, Carrot Ranch’s Charli Mills asked participants to revise an original western romance through a 99-59-9-99 word process with each step requiring a different craft twist. This event is an exercise of inspiration through to editing.

Original 99-word Draft: The Wild, Wild West

Anton shrugged out of his jacket, kicking off his boots, and with them, the urban muck of cow shit and cheap whiskey. Padding into the foothills in bare feet, he wrinkled his nose, drawing his lips back from canines that glinted moonlight. Continue reading “The Wild, Wild West”

Honoring My Gothic Present

Norwegian Forest Cat
Norwegian Forest Cat

As part of my studies of Gothic fairy tales I offer up this quick write from our Carterhaugh class today today, all in the service of learning and expressing and using NaNoWriMo to focus in on what needs to be. As it is written, so mote it be…

Honoring My Gothic Present

I am the old woman you meet in the woods, dressed in shapeless, comfortable black, salt and pepper hair tucked under the hood of my green, woolen shawl as I follow the deer paths through the darker parts of the Wood. My boots are sturdy, laced over the ankle and meant for hiking, but if you look closely at my chicken legs, you’ll see that my boots are a deep burgundy color.  Continue reading “Honoring My Gothic Present”

Face at the Window (FlashNano Day 12)

rainy window, da
Image: Chippewa Valley news in WI

It was strange, that face, so familiar, yet not quite what he’d grown accustomed to seeing night after night. The nose was long, almost touching the sharp chin. The mouth was a straight slash, except where it turned down at its edges. And lately, it had been turning down at its edges more often than not.  Continue reading “Face at the Window (FlashNano Day 12)”

Waiting for Spring (6-Sentence Story)

The task is to write a story in 6 sentences, no more no less, and if you’d like, share your creation or just visit and comment, with GirlieOnTheEdge, Diana. The prompt is ‘Clip”, and here’s where you join the party: Six Sentence Story on “CLIP”

Glacier

She’d hoped to make the rounds before the storm blew in and kept her indoors and isolated for the next week and a half. She started out with the usual chores–library, groceries, pet supplies for the cat, liquor store, quick visit with her mom—but wanted one final hike at the State Park, taken at a fast clip, with its rolling hills, pine forests, and sparkling creek. Continue reading “Waiting for Spring (6-Sentence Story)”

First Love (FlashNano day 7)

King Kong & Faye WraySo here’s a light-hearted short, for a change of pace.  For the 2020 FlashNano challenge (https://nancystohlman.com/flashnano/ )

I don’t know that he was my first love, but I’m pretty sure I was his. Tall, dark-eyed, dark-haired, with a rambling, knuckle-dragging masculinity, he did capture my attention when he swung by the theater. He grunted a greeting, gazing at me from under his heavy unibrow.  He wasn’t much of a one for words, but I could tell his intentions by a certain animal shyness in his demeanor. Maybe I shouldn’t have encouraged him. The fact that he was chained up and behind bars should have given me caution, but sometimes you just have to flaunt respectability and go with your heart. Continue reading “First Love (FlashNano day 7)”

When the River Rises and the Wind Blows High

Endless pale beach, pale river twisting through, tiny human figures in two scant groups When the Wind Blows High

Cora stretched her long neck, beak pecking the fast moving clouds in the pale sky. Twisting, she at last freed herself from her heavy, confining carapace.  It’d been necessary protection against wicked solar radiation, brought on by the forebears of those singing blessings to the thin creek twisting through desert, below. Continue reading “When the River Rises and the Wind Blows High”