When the Rodeo came to town, Rough Writers from around the world answered the call. You came, you sat in the saddle, you rode the bull, and you joined the parade.
Most important, you were inspired by our wonderful friend, Sue Vincent. Sue has been battling terminal cancer, and we’re thrilled that she is around to see the winners (though I admit I cheated and let her know the top winner a little early). Participants were allowed and encouraged to donate to help Sue and her family, but we believe the photo she provided as the prompt was worthy of any prize.
Her photo prompted 63 wonderful 99 word stories and 99 syllable poems; if the average picture is worth 1,000 words, then we can be certain her prompt is way above average!
For this year’s rodeo, I created a special poetry form called the Double Ennead. The word Ennead means nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Finally, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!
The Double Ennead comprised five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS!
The twist in crafting the Double Ennead was that poets had to choose five consecutive words from the poem, “The Springtime Plains,” from Cowboy Poet, Charles Badger Clark, found at the link below:
The five words had to be reworked into one stanza following this word placement:
Line 1 starts with word 1
Line 2 ends with word 2
Line 3 starts with word 3
Line 4 ends with word 4
Line 5 starts with word 5
Today, I can finally announce the winner of the Carrot Ranch’s 2020 Writing Rodeo Event #2, which I had the honor of managing.
There were twenty-four poems submitted from all genres including comedy, western, romantic, and even a fantasy poem. Our two judges studied the poems for several days before selecting a winner. It was a tough choice.
The Double Ennead was not an easy poem to craft, and each of you who took part stepped up to meet the challenge. You are all stars!
Please proudly display this badge on your website. You earned it, and I’m proud of all of you!
Here is our winner:
“Some Places Have No Names,”
by Kerfe Roig
Her five words from the poem, “The Springtime Plains,” were: “…summering sun that comes galloping…” found in the first stanza of her poem.
We live for stories, and as writers, we craft them in the written word. A story is about Something (plot) that happens to Someone (characters), Somewhere (setting). Even if it is only 99 words long.
Crafting the Story
Act I, the beginning, the story rises. If a story is about someone, we have to feel something for that character. When we care what happens next for or to this Someone, we come to the middle.
Act II shifts to fear, according to the Greeks. We can interpret this as the emotion that drives the writer and reader to worry about what happens next. Or be curious about what comes next. The driving emotion doesn’t have to be fear, but the middle holds an important shift or build-up of tension or expectation. The story is in motion.
Welcome to the Carrot Ranch Rodeo! This challenge is sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community at carrotranch.com and run by lead Buckaroo, Charli Mills.
Almost everyone knows my love for syllabic poetry; especially haiku, tanka, cinquain, and more. Woo HOO! I’ve got something special wrangled up for this challenge!
For this year’s rodeo, I’ve created a special form called the Double Ennead. The word Ennead means nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Now, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!
The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS!
Years ago, when I lived in Montana, I worked for a Black Angus cattle rancher and an oilman. He owed a magnificent sprawling ranch near Helena, Montana. His land totaled around 86,000 acres, including the state-leased lands. He ran about 20,000 head of Black Angus cattle in those days.
Sounds romantic, huh? No such luck. I was an administrative cowboy. I worked in the office in Great Falls. I paid the ranch and oil company’s bills, did payroll, kept the accounting books, and learned a bunch about farming and ranching! A few times a year, I visited the ranch and mingled with my fellow employees for a branding, or some other special event. I was “the city-girl,” you know.
One year, the cattle boss got married. They held the wedding at a local small town hotel. The cowboys all turned up decked out with polished boots, sparkly spurs, and clean silky scarves tied around their necks. Even their hats were brushed and clean!
After the ceremony, they held a small reception. Music played in the background, while they served various foods and drinks, including Rocky Mountain Oysters! Of course, the city-girl had to try them!
It was a typical wedding, except for the older gentleman who sat in the corner reciting cowboy poetry. He was a local ranch hand that everybody knew—except for me and my husband. We didn’t have a clue, but we were about to find out! The man’s words held us spellbound, and we lingered, waiting for more of those smooth words to flow. Everything you look for in a poem, rhythm, pacing, and meaning were all present in the delivery. It was an amazing experience.
Cowboy poetry is all American, both culturally and in its use of rhyme and meter. Cowboy poetry is often contemporary, focusing on the lifestyle, historical events, and the work that cowboys perform on a ranch. Using this spoken poetry form, cowboy poets appear at cowboy poetry gatherings and competitions to share their verses. Subjects range from happiness to grief, including humor, and even a taste of cowboy spirituality. Central to the core of cowboy poetry is the culture of the American West featuring horses, cattle, weather phenomena, and the legendary cowboys who settled the west.
Now it’s time to craft our poetry!
* The Double Ennead features three stanzas of five lines, each with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, totaling 99 syllables, no more—no less. Count your syllables. Read the instructions carefully.
* For syllable and line count use: writerlywords.com. Your poem does not have to have a western theme. It can be in any genre, and can include any tone or mood. However, it must have a title. Punctuation and rhyming are optional and up to the poet.
* For this challenge, your poem must include five words taken from the found-poem by Cowboy Poet, Charles Badger Clark, called “The Springtime Plains.” You must use the fives words you choose in the order you found them in one of the three stanzas.
The word placement also depends on the line. Pay attention to the placement of these words in your poem.
Line 1 starts with word 1
Line 2 ends with word 2
Line 3 starts with word 3
Line 4 ends with word 4
Line 5 starts with word 5
* Submit your five consecutive words from the poem “The Springtime Plains” so the judges can determine the placement of your words. Specify which stanza contains the five words.
* Make the judges remember your syllabic poem long after reading it.
Here’s How the syllable counter counts your syllables:
* Every entry in the Double Ennead poetry challenge must be 99 syllables, no more, no less. You can have a title outside that limit. Check your syllable count using the writerlywords.com site. Entries that aren’t 99 syllables will be disqualified.
* Enter this contest only once. If you enter more than once, only your first entry will count.
* Do your best to submit an error-free entry. Punctuation and rhyming are optional and up to the poet. It is the originality of the poem that matters most.
* If you do not receive an acknowledgment by email WITHIN 3 DAYS, contact ColleenChesebro at email@example.com.
* Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. MST-Phoenix (it’s like I’m on Pacific Standard Time) on October 19, 2020.
* You may submit a “challenge” if you don’t want to enter the contest or if you wrote more than one entry. Do a link-back to this post by copying this URL into your own post.
* Refrain from posting your contest entry on your blog until after November 24.DO Not post your entry on your blog.
* Use the form below the rules to enter.
*If the WordPress form below won’t let you submit, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colleen Chesebro, Manager of the Carrot Ranch Double Ennead Poetry Contest for the Carrot Ranch Rodeo, will collect poetry, omitting names to select the top ten blind entries. Please refrain from posting your contest entry on your blog. A panel of two judges from the WordPress poetry community will select one winner, and however many honorable mentions they determine from the top ten syllabic poems.
We will conduct the blind judging by email between myself and the two judges: Jane Dougherty and Merril D. Smith.
Meet the Judges:
Jane Dougherty is a writer. She lives in the middle of a meadow where, not having the digestive capacities of a grazing animal, there’s not much for her to do but write. So, she writes, lots, all the time, short stories for hors d’oeuvres, novels for main course and poetry for dessert and snacking when she should be doing something else. The proof: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/ for more details. Follow her on Twitter @MJDougherty33.
Merril D. Smith is a historian and poet. She’s written and edited several books on history, sexuality, and gender. She’s one of the hosts of the dVerse Poets Pub. She lives in southern New Jersey, and her poetry often reflects the beauty of the natural world around her. Her work has been published recently in Black Bough Poetry, Nightingale and Sparrow, Twist in Time, Wellington Street Review, Ekphrastic Review, and Anti-Heroin Chic. Visit Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings for more details. Follow her on Twitter @merril_mds.
A winner for this event will be announced on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, along with any honorable mentions.
GIDDY UP! WHO’S READY TO WRITE SOME SYLLABIC POETRY?
Who’s ready to join the rodeo? All you have to do is to Write ONE original folk tale or fable in 99 words. Exactly 99 words (not including title and byline). Read the rest of Kerry Black’s post! It’s time to get your rodeo on!
This year, spin a yarn as long as the Rio Grande (in 99 words, that is) to be a contender in a Western-themed Folk Tale or Fable event of the Carrot Ranch Writing Rodeo!
Yours truly is the leader for this event, so saddle up, round ‘em up, and write those words for a shot at winning a $25 Amazon Gift Card and your work immortalized at https://CarrotRanch.com/
How do you participate?
SIMPLE! Write ONE original folk tale or fable in 99 words. Exactly 99 words (not including title and byline) *Don’t publish the piece anywhere until after the contest is completed (The end of November, 2020) because we want the blind judging to be fair and uninfluenced.
Is there an entry fee? NO, Cowfolk! No Entry Fee!
Can I enter more than one story? No, one only. Sorry.
Yep. You’ve landed in the right spot if you are looking for the 2020 Flash Fiction Rodeo. Kid and Pal hit the trail, taking some well-deserved time off from running the Saloon. They hope to return next month, every Monday, with fun literary events and character interviews. If you have the daring to let your characters be interviewed by characters that refuse to believe they fall from the ink in D. Avery’s pen, then this month is a good time to get into the line-up. Contact Kid and Pal at D. Avery’s address email@example.com.
Let’s get down to the tuffest contest in the Rodeo. If you are not familiar with TUFF (The Ultimate Flash Fiction), let me take a sip of this good hard cider Pal left for us and explain. TUFF is a progressive formula that requires a writer to draft…
Charli Mills from Carrot Ranch supplies this week’s flash fiction challenge, along with the low-down on the rodeo and what you can expect from the contests! NO FEES and $25 prizes for the winner! Have a read! Giddy UP!
The first full moon of the month rises — the Harvest Moon. Yet my garden joyfully continues to bloom with French marigolds, zinnias, snapdragons, and a fall profusion of nasturtium. My tea rose put out one more scarlet red bloom, and my delphinium surprised me with a third unfolding of purple flowers! My sweet william gave a half-hearted go at it, too, and my peony bushes turned russet like the maple trees. Two lemon queens out of nine yet stand, dropping their heads downward. I can’t seem to eat enough rosemary, picking its freshness in the crisp air daily.
If this is the Harvest Moon, then time to dig the last of the carrots, potatoes and claim my squash.
Further up Quincy Hill from Roberts Street, the copper-bearing ridge that forms the spine of the Keweenaw Peninsula has experienced harder frosts. At the kids’ homestead, they harvested 250 pounds or…