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”

Rodeo Event #1: Why I Had to Cancel Our Date

Red rotary phone, ringing hard
Image from Roberts Food Service UK

Countdown from the Carrot Ranch Contest: Modern Tall Tale in 99 words (for more detail, see the link below).

Yes, I’d promised to be there by 7:00, but my shower took longer than anticipated because the hot water heater was on the blink and I had to crawl underneath to light the pilot and then dropped the one match I’d brought and the explosion Continue reading “Rodeo Event #1: Why I Had to Cancel Our Date”

Rodeo Event #2: Who Will Walk the Plank?

Ray Walston my favorite martian
Apologies to Ray Walston!

Countdown from the Carrot Ranch Contest: Pro Bull Mashup in 99 words (for more detail, see the link below).

Captain Hand sneered, boot heels pounding across the bridge of Starship Ridgemont. “You abandoned your post, Ensign Spicoli. My orders will be followed without question!”  Continue reading “Rodeo Event #2: Who Will Walk the Plank?”

Rodeo Event #3: How Rhonda Got Her Wings

Wings around a heart with haloCountdown from the Carrot Ranch Contest: Three Act Story in 99 words (for more, see the link below)

Rhonda made sure to never be first in line, nor last to leave, always included but never singled out. But just between her shoulder blades, an itch whispered, “Step forward…take a risk!”  Continue reading “Rodeo Event #3: How Rhonda Got Her Wings”

Rodeo Event #4: Bucky’s Baked Beans, A Love Story with Two Spoons

fork and spoon crossedCountdown from the Carrot Ranch Contest: Re-visioning your flash in 4 steps (for more, see the link below)

 Step One: 99 word flash, to include “beans”

Bucky’s Beans

It was definitely not what I was expecting. I thought we’d celebrate Bucky’s return from her Antarctic dogsled adventure with a lavish meal, and go shake our butts at a dance club. Maybe not that last one. Bucky’d only been home for two weeks.

What I saw was Bucky on the couch in sweats and wool socks, legs folded underneath her, spoon dipping into a can of baked beans.

I hid my dismay, but not well enough.

“When you’ve been living off a dogsled, a can of beans is a feast.”

I sighed, grabbing a spoon from the kitchen. Continue reading “Rodeo Event #4: Bucky’s Baked Beans, A Love Story with Two Spoons”