The Rodeo Has Begun!

It’s time to saddle up and get in line, because the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic is happening NOW at the Carrot Ranch! Writers will have the opportunity to support Sue Vincent, a stalwart center of our blogging community, as well as compete for a $100 prize!

That’s right – we’re trying to make this the biggest writers’ Rodeo yet and celebrate Sue Vincent’s work and writing in the process. On the Rodeo Classic page, you can find a beautiful photo (from none other than Sue herself) to serve as a prompt. Write a story of 99 words or a poem of 99 syllables – no more, no less – based on the prompt photo on the Rodeo page. Also on the Rodeo page is an entry form where you can put up to two entries for the contest. And don’t worry, entries will be anonymized – everyone’s on an equal playing field at the Carrot Ranch, even if you get some TUFF bulls to ride or horses to break! But don’t lollygag – you only have until February 19th to get on your bull and ride out the chute.

There are many ways to participate in the rodeo. Every Rodeo has multiple events, and the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic is no different. In addition to participating in the contest and donating to the cause, we have multiple events you can participate in!

  • The Sue Vincent Reblog Barrel Race – Check out Sue’s website or the website she shares with Stuart France. Find a poem, essay, or photo that speaks to you, and re-blog it. Feel free to include links to the contest and make sure to include a comment on the re-blog!
  • The Great Book Parade – Buy and read one of Sue’s books. If you’re feeling adventurous, leave a review or publish it on your blog!
  • The Comment Riding Contest – The prize for this one is a fuzzy good feeling and the sharing of community. Like and/or comment on Sue’s posts, whether new or old.
  • Snack Stands – Share the contest on other social media such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or others! You can definitely follow Sue Vincent on Twitter.
  • The Prize Ceremony – Winners will be announced on March 21st, 2021. It could be you, but even if not, come see what Sue’s prompt invoked.

See you on the Carrot Ranch circuit, cowfolk!

Come Ride in the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic at the Carrot Ranch!

Sue Vincent is one of those special bloggers that inspires people all over the world. Personally, I have been touched by several of her #midnighthaiku posts. Not only does she write beautiful haiku, she includes her own fabulous photos to match. The haiku “Weep” is one of my favorites. Imbibe that and try not to be moved after the words.

Readers have long been galvanized by her posts about mythology, about ancient ruins and medieval churches, and her daily #midnighthaiku. Even more have participated in and grown as a result of her #writephoto prompts. In addition to posting her prompts, Sue has tirelessly supported other bloggers by sharing others’ responses to her 19,000 and counting followers.

Recently, Sue has been faced with a new and difficult challenge: lung cancer. You can follow her blog to find out more directly from her. The Covid pandemic has served not only to pose a specific threat to a person with a severe respiratory illness, but it has caused loss of human connection through self-imposed quarantine.

Now it’s time for Sue to receive something back from the community she’s been a cornerstone of for a decade. Let’s bring the Rodeo into Sue’s house through her computer, and let’s come together with hearts full of joy. Join us for the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic at the Carrot Ranch – a contest, parade, and celebration all in one!
There are many ways to participate. One is to visit the prompt image, “Hidden”, at the Carrot Ranch. The prompt image and entry form will go live on Monday, February 1st, 2021. Enter a flash or a poem by Friday, February 19th, 2021, and you could win either $100 or a copy of one of Sue’s books. The form will allow you to give a small donation for Sue and her family, and a link can be found on the contest page. The winning entries will be announced at the Carrot Ranch on March 22nd, 2021.

If you’re not ready to rodeo, there’s always the “Parade”. Reblog one of Sue’s posts from any of her sites (Daily Echo or France and Vincent) with a comment about why you found it special. Follow her blogs. Read one of her books, then leave reviews where you can. Several people are already gearing up for the parade – so feel free to check out other people’s blogs for suggestions.

Also, go ahead and reblog, tweet, Facebook, or somehow otherwise share the contest! 99 word literary art is a fantastic way to celebrate a blogging hero and very deserving person.

Saddle up, everyone! It’s time for a Carrot Ranch Rodeo like none ever held before. The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic begins on Monday, February 1st, and it’ll be a TUFF prompt to fit within 99 words. 
See you at the Ranch, buckaroos!

The Devil You Know

A mouse snuffles through
A bag of bread crumbs.
It seeks grain to chew
And sate its hunger.
What does my stomach
Crave to digest and
Break down? I covet
Some form of rapture,
Like dogs with a bone
Or birds with a worm.
With this ache grown
To its final form,
I turn deep inside.
Will I starve before
I forsake my pride?
Of course not.
I cling, tenacious,
To my misery.

What goes better with poetry than a touch of depression and faking it ’til you make it?

Maybe some cake. Or things that will happen in about 4.5 hours following this post.

Either way, this was written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #192, Tenacious. You should all just be thankful I resisted the urge to write about Tenacious D. Also I didn’t know what picture to choose, so I just slapped some nonsense I liked on there.

Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

Pool of Transformation

Unsought reflection –
Can the magic pool free her
From unwanted husk?

“Hush your mouth,” her parents say. “Hush your mouth, and let us cut your hair. It’s not good for a boy to have hair like that.” She runs out the door and runs through the woods to where the water glows and the trees grow too straight, where the wind doesn’t blow and the birds sing while they wait for him to arrive. She takes off his clothes, laments, and asks the pool to change the reflection. A crow caws in the distance: “No.”

See reality
Nature gave her the wrong skin,
But not the wrong heart.

This was written for Collen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #203, an ekphrastic challenge based on the picture at the top. I saw the naked person, and there’s always something about naked children that bothers me, so I decided this was a slender young woman with long hair. However, there are no hips or breasts, so I went with the interpretation you see above.

North Carolina has a history of anti-trans legislation that I have written glancingly about before and which also was part of the influence for this haibun. Parental support of a transgender child is very important, and I hope this haibun accurately recognizes the pain of having parents who refuse to listen and force conformity.

Leaf litter – #TankaTuesday

Photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com

Scent of falling leaves
Not quite floral, not quite musk,
Signals change to come

Ah, fall – I dread it because it means winter, my least favorite season, is coming. There’s a reason I live below the Mason Dixon line, and part of it is that I don’t like cold.

This was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #198, poet’s choice.

An Anniversary Message

They say marriage is about sparks,
About that someone who in the dark
Sets your mind and loins aflame.
But isn’t that meager? Lame?

I’ve learned in this blissful year
That’s it’s more like cracking a beer
Open and accepting farts
Are made by those with good hearts.

So while I take a hot shower,
You grunt on the throne with power.
It’s the sign of your loving care
That you keep pooping and don’t stare.

Happy Anniversary!*

This was written for Chel Owens’s A Mused Poetry Contest for 2 October 2020. I got my idea from these stupid things online about how “I wish everyone would realize love is about little things like snuggling or getting to the point where you don’t care about each others’ farts!”

Yeah, maybe you’re right, but it’s also just not terribly fun to think about in terms of romance. So here I go, making fun of those things.

*It’s not my actual anniversary.

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

The Standing Stones

 

He chased her through
the standing stones,
to catch, seize her
smile and laughter.
He crashed into
megalith‘s bones
to a place of
grass and heather.
Now he’s lost to
a world unknown
unable to tear
at the aether.
She laughs anew,
his pitied groan
feeding banshee’s
lustful anger.

This poem was written for Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt, Megalith. Because I didn’t know the word before looking it up, I thought I’d clarify that a megalith is a stone structure like stonehenge. Pretty neat!

Photo by Stephen + Alicia on Pexels.com

The Forbidden Fruit

Note: This is for the A Mused Poetry Contest, so don’t read it, Chel.

At night you’ll see me gently creeping
With mom and dad hard a sleeping
In through laundry room door.
I open the bag of forbidden snacks –
Attractive gummies, laundry packs.

Then you’ll hear my lips a smacking,
My YouTube channel gaining backing
While I eat Tide Pods galore.
My mouth – it foams with Clean Breeze
And a few civilian casualties.

The tags may say “Danger!” “Warning!”
But industry tools are boring.
As a big attention whore
I munch and crunch on banned fare,
On poison beautiful, I’m well aware.

The Chel Owens A Mused Poetry contest (get it? A Mused, amused? Lol) has just now started up – and you can bet your bottom dollar I’m in it to win it! 😉 This week the theme was warning labels, and I went with the most necessary warning label of all: that added to Tide Pods after the Tide Pod Challenge.

Into the Redding Clouds – #Gogyohka #TankaTuesday

Sunset

Shimmer of sunlight
O’er twilight clouds.
Darkness in the east,
Hope in the west
Where lies the frontier.

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This gogyohka was written for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday #189, poet’s choice! I decided to participate this week because, as I was driving home yesterday, the sky was very brilliant. I wanted to contrast sunset, frontier, and the idea that west is “death”, the last adventure.

This picture was taken last year just before Hurricane Dorian came by. It’s not the same as what I saw last night, but a hurricane sky isn’t like anything else and I thought I’d share.

Adoption – #TankaTuesday #Haibun

getrudes-nose

The medicine man draws the marks of the chosen one on her forehead, her cheeks, with a muddle of red clay and pure springwater. The gourd bowl he draws from is stained red by years, decades, and generations of uses before. It is a holy day, and a gift must be flown to the gods. He places a bearskin cape on the chosen one’s back, the horns of a deer on her head, and precious shells in her hands. He commands her,

Stretch your holy wings –
the gods’ gift on sacred days.
Brave the daunting jump!

And so she leaps, the cape flapping in the wind, feathered wings of the gods sprouting from her back. She becomes the bird, the bear, the deer, and radiance as the child soars to her new, adopted parents.

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This was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #184, a picture and form prompt! We were to write a haibun inspired by Frank J. Tassone’s picture of a New York natural area. I went a fantasy route.