Today is Family Day here in Alberta, Canada. A day designated to spend with our loved ones doing some kind of activity or simply enjoying the company of each other.
Along with my immediate family, I am happy to be spending some time with my extended family at the Carrot Ranch. I am the third of fourteen international bloggers participating in the Rough Writer Tour Around the World, as we introduce ourselves and The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol 1.
I couldn’t wait to read the prompt for the next week and I soon learned, after a few weeks of participating, that the prompt would also take my mind to the thousands of pictures I have taken. Pairing my writing with my other love, photography became part of the weekly challenge for me.
The weeks turned into years, and I am still at it, although sometimes I have weeks when the brain and time do not meld. Thus, the 99-word prompt sits staring at me as the deadline rears its ugly head and gallops on without me. What I do love is the moments when the words just flow; and, how over the years it has become easy to often write my story with 99-word accuracy in the first draft.
Not knowing what I was getting into when I submitted my first piece to the Carrot Ranch, I have discovered over the years it continues to open my eyes to the wordsmith world, giving me further license to tighten my stories, remove unneeded words, and more importantly expand those 99-words into something more as is seen in the five stories found in the Anthology's Part 3: Expanded Flash. It is the section of the Anthology where 99-words became the fuel for my story, Crimson Sunset.
The Carrot Ranch has also given me the opportunity to experience the diversity of all of the other writers, from all over the world, who wander in through the gate to leave their thoughts, encouragement and of course, their stories.
Life is grand!
I found it interesting how my first post at the Ranch has so much more meaning with the completion of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1. The words I wrote, titled Ivor Oaks, fits the concept of the Carrot Ranch and Charli Mills’ vision to a tee. The prompt on that day in April 2015 - write a story about nurturing a neighbourly relationship.
Not once, did I imagine my early days of writing 99-words would eventually resonate with life at the Ranch, but they have. They are the epitome of what has happened over the years, driven by Charli’s dream for the Carrot Ranch to “provides words for people: stories to read, encouragement to practice craft and a commitment to creating community through literary art.”
I leave you with Ivor Oaks . . .
The old schoolhouse located at the edge of the hamlet of Ivor Oaks was surrounded by oak trees and grain fields.
The windows in the building had been boarded up to protect the flawless six-square glass frames. The walls were solid and the roof had the look of a well loved patchwork quilt. The light from the open door revealed the smooth, well worn, original wooden floor.
Restoration funds had been procured. At the project’s completion, the Ivor Oaks Art and Cultural Retreat would be nurtured into a sanctuary for artisans to gather together to create and inspire.
Author, Photographer, Lover of Life
"Capturing moments others may never get to experience."