March 23: Flash Fiction Challenge

This is for those who like to do a little reading and a lot of writing who’d like a place for others to read it. I will be hard pressed to do this challenge, but I know this definitely isn’t her last.

I am up to my eyeballs – let me rephrase that – up to my eyebrows in rewriting the first draft of Jamie’s book, “Inside The Forbidden Outside”. I’ve learned a lot about writing ( with much to go) since I started, and reading it makes me cringe in places. But that’s a good thing. No one is ever good at something until they pay their dues. If I can recognize sentences written wrong then I’ve made progress. This coming week I’m taking an online class and submitting the first five pages for critique. So this must be done first. I’m excited.

The great thing about writing is you can be a beginner at age 100. (no I’m not THAT old yet) Nothing matters but the ideas that come out your fingers through your wonderful mind.

Start writing and make sure to let me know if you enter something to read!

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Ahead, partial sunlight illuminates sand that has seeped from a massive geological structure aptly named, Sand Mountain. From the north, it rises like a slope out of the shores of a deep blue body of water, Sand Hollow. On its south-side the underpinnings of metamorphic rock expose ridges of red cliff. Those curious blotches of sand seeps are orange and remind me of powdered koolaid. In fact, the scene on the backside of Sand Mountain translates easily to a candy shop given the unnaturally sweet colors. Grape gumdrops push up against the strawberry taffy base not far from the powdered orange koolaid.

Among the sweet treats of this lower staircase of land, beneath the Navajo Sandstones of Zion white as cookie dough and the gnarly basalt of the Virgin Plain black as licorice, is a level that holds something more of child-like interest: Jurassic dinosaurs.

All of Zion, its surrounding…

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  1. I’m a big believer in the empowerment of voice. Literary writing can be healing, too and an expression without reporting. I’ll certainly check out Stone City Blog. Thank you for what you are doing to give voice to a voiceless man in a voiceless system.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are wise to recognize the work of writing a good book! Some of us spend years. 😀

    I’d love to reach out through your newsletters. The flash fiction challenge is weekly and open to all writers. The library program I developed was an in person writing workshop I taught at libraries to teach writers how to use flash fiction as a tool. It’s a great idea to mention in your newsletter of inmates have online access. And something for me to consider as a future program for prisons.

    Another idea, you mentioned contests. Carrot Ranch is growing as a literary community and one of my plans is to host contests. We’re not quite there yet, but maybe we can discuss that opportunity in the future.

    Beta readers are those who help an author by reading earlier drafts for feedback. We can put out a call at Carrot Ranch if you’d like.

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    1. That would be great. I know having others read it is a great benefit. I’ll talk to you when it gets to that point it has an ending – again. I did get useful feedback because I posted what is now the prologue on Jamie’s blog, instead of Chapter one – because it sets the stage for chapter one. There aren’t inmates who read the newsletter, but there is family of inmates and those who have a vested interest that could give the information to people they know. I do know that people often have to see information like that more than once before they follow through with it. I will be putting another issue together very soon.Do you have anything that could be used as a heading – a picture or logo or even something from you blog?


  3. Thanks for sharing! I’ve always thought that the library program I created from this flash fiction challenge would also make a great prison outreach program, too. Literature has the power to set minds free.

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    1. Do you mean sending books to inmates? Or perhaps having inmates who write send their writings to you? An idea flashed in my brain. I put out a newsletter monthly and I’m always looking for things to put in it or write about. It’s called ITFO. Didn’t you just subscribe? If you did was it before or after I put out issue 9? If you don’t have i can send it to you. You can take a look through the other issues and see the different topics. There are quite a few bloggers here in prison or out who write. Some are very good. Maybe they could be gotten to submit a story and it could be put in the newsletter, or the writing contest could be advertised in the NL. On my blog I just posted the prologue of the book I wrote that I am doing rewrites of the first draft. I’m looking for people to honestly tell me what they think. I’ve been working with an editor who is helping me to create a better way to frame the story. Some people say,”I want to write a book”and spend some time trying to do it. But it is like saying “I want to play the piano ” It takes awhile to learn depending on your natural abilities. It’s a process. I honestly thought all you did to write a book was write it, edit it (professionally) and publish it. Yes, I was a fool, because here I am, 2 years, 90,000 words later and I’m starting it over! Anyone can write a crappy book, but it won’t sell.

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      1. I think I’d enjoy finding ways to support prisoners to write literature. As Carrot Ranch grows, we will hold contests and perhaps publish specific anthologies of shit fiction on themes. You should definitely include prison voices in your newsletter. Anyone who has access to blogging, can join the flash fiction challenge each week. Oh, yes, writing a book is a process! I have written three manuscripts but none are ready for prime time publication, yet. I’ll take a read of your into soon!

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        1. I think it is a great idea. Most inmates don’t have access to blogging, but the people who love them do. Last year, because too much info about prisons was getting out, some states, Tx is one, threatened inmates. If they found they had any social media accounts or blogs they would be punished with solitary confinement. I own the accounts where I write about Jamie but to be on the safe side I took his picture off any opening pages and made it clear that all writing was mine. In the past few years where social media news overtook mainstream media, too much reality of what was happening inside was getting out and many prison reform groups were formed. the prisons are fighting back. It will soon be mandatory that all cops everywhere will have to wear cameras that also trigger when they try to turn them off. Prison guards also need to wear them so they can’t find blind hallways and beat and gas people. These are stories people have the right to write. There are quite a few blogs written by people and felons, now out. Writers, artists that need a place to have a voice. There is a blog – Stone City Blog by Steven Jennings, whose wife Susie helps him post. He has a section devoted to the writings of inmates. You might want to check him out. He would be a great place to start to put the word out about this flash fiction. He also has a book out.

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