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, than 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

Shoulda Checked the Online Customer Reviews

Sheralynn stared out the train window at open prairie rolling by. The XYY Ranch was nestled in the shelter of the New Carpathian Mountains…or so the online website said. She snapped her laptop shut; her battery was low and the circle of dark mountains would gobble up her wifi bars. She leaned against a stack of carry-on luggage not hers (her kit bag was stuffed under her seat), and closed her eyes.

Continue reading