Just-Jot-It-January (Jan 9-Unicorn)

 

 

Just Jot It January

So, this month I’m doing a challenge to write a micro a day, for Just-Jot-It-January. Thanks to Linda G. Hill, bloggers in the “Play Group” have proposed a one-word prompt for each day. We share our responses back to Linda’s page, and are able to read what others come up with. Most days, I post my responses every few days in bundles, but today’s single prompt – UNICORN —  reminded me of a fun piece I wrote in late 2020, in the Before Times. And if this prompt tickles your imagination, please click the connecting link on the bottom of the post to read others’ responses!

During late 2020, the Rough Writers of Carrot Ranch were challenged to write a 99-word flash that combined Romance and Western; I guess in that sense, the task might classify as Speculative Fiction, with my addition of a magical unicorn. In order to get to the final flash, we all had to cycle through a series of steps/products that varied in number of words, point of view, tagline, and weird trope prop. That’s the technical, but read on for what turned out to be a revelation for me, and hopefully, entertaining for you: Romance of the Rails.

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2022)

To see others’ Jan 9 responses click the following:

(https://lindaghill.com/2022/01/09/daily-prompt-jusjojan-the-9th-2022/)

So, this is happening…

Kittelson troll boy with a cauldron

Hugo, in the early days, as seen by Kittelson

I have the great pleasure of being allowed to sit in the Author’s Chair in the Saddle Up Saloon over at the Carrot Ranch. It’s headquartered somewhere in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and around the world, where Rough Writers play with weekly prompts, poetry challenges, and the occasional Online Karaoke. Cowpoke or not, all are welcome to play and/or read.

My time in this week’s Author’s Chair is a bit of dark humor about a hungry giant, some carelessly spunky spelunkers, and the townsfolk nestled in the valley below (based on a Six Sentence Story that like Hugo, got a bit larger). Here’s an excerpt to start, or go on ahead and belly right up to the bar at the Saloon for the full text, and an audio of me reading the tale. Once upon a time:

Giant Problem Solved by Liz Husebye Hartmann

(Trigger alert: Not a tale for the wee ones)

Hugo’s belly pangs rumbled down the darkening mountainside above Heffinger Hollow. He was sorely tempted to nibble on a half-cooked morsel or two of the spunky spelunkers that frequented Carbuncle Caverns. This particular group of spelunkers had surprised the village by sneaking in to the Carbuncle and setting out to explore without a guide. They’d zigged when they should have zagged on that seventh leg of the descent, and had fallen deep into the bowels of the lowest cavern of Carbuncle.

This had proved deadly for them, but put their corpses within easy reach of Hugo…

But a bit of history, first…”

[Please click here to continue]

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2021)

Who Wrote the Book of Love, Again?

The book lay before him, splayed open and heavy, the archaic lettering spidery and so faded in places, the necessary ingredients for the desperately desired results were difficult to read and translate in the tallow candle’s light. Up above him the shadowed shelf contained what he hoped was the correct final ingredient; if he’d read the spell book correctly, the results would be abiding love, but if he had not, the potion would deliver never-ending death. Continue reading

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

Six Months Ago…

snow-covered trees and shrub around a flowing streamIt’s been hot here in the Twin Cities.

Hot and humid.

Hot and humid and COVID.

So much so, that folks are divided on whether to wear masks or not, and what the actual distance of six feet looks like: whether distance is different in an enclosed space versus an open space, whether the current air filtration system is adequate to dispel the exhalations (the coronavirus soup), whether six feet is buffer enough when one is active, whether adding a drink or two to the mix makes for exponential risk… Continue reading