Monday, April 2, 2018

Rough Writer Tour Around the World

Hi, and welcome to my little corner of the world; Orillia, Ontario, Canada, home of Gordon Lightfoot.  I’ve lived here for the past 28 years after moving from a large city called Mississauga. It was a big change, but an easy one for us as Mississauga has a population of 752,000, and Orillia has 30,550.

The summers here are beautiful as we have two large lakes; Lake Couchiching, and Lake Simcoe. Both have gorgeous parks and are easily accessed by walking trails, boat, or car. If you’re ever here in July, the Mariposa Folk Festival (a three-day event) is a must. Orillia has been hosting this festival since 1961 and has had headliners which include Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter Paul and Mary, Leonard Cohen, Jackson Brown, Tracy Chapman, Donovan, Bare Naked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, and of course Gordon Lightfoot.

Located in the snow belt makes winters quite cold and a little less appealing to some. For many Orillia is a winter wonderland, playground.

I remember when we first moved here I’d throw put my two-year-old twin boys in their car seats and off we’d go for an afternoon adventure. Most days we’d end up at the park down at the lake where I met some lovely women, whom I’m still friends with to this day.

I’m proud and ecstatic to be included the Carrot Ranch Tour Around the World. 

It was March 5th, 2014 (4 years ago) when Charli challenged us to write our first flash fiction over at Carrot Ranch. I’d only ever written one flash fiction before, and if I recall correctly, it was 199 words. My first thought was, how the heck am I going to tell a story in 99 words?

I love a challenge and set out to write my story about an avalanche.

As we were racing down the hill I felt a strange and eerie rumbling going on as the earth shook beneath my skis. I looked over at my son who most likely did not hear or feel anything as his music was probably cranked.

Scared to turn my head but feeling I had to; I saw the white cloud approaching behind us.  Quickly I motioned to Allan that we were in big trouble.  Seeing the look of terror on his face we both knew deep within our souls that this might indeed be the end for both of us. 

That first week we had six writers respond to the challenge; Norah Colvin, Ruchira Khanna, Jason Kennedy, Paula Moyer, myself, and of course Charli Mills. Since then the ranch has grown immensely.

What can I say, I was hooked and couldn’t wait until the following week to see what the prompt for the next flash fiction would be.

Four years later and a book is born; The Congress of Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1.  I’m so fortunate to be a part of a very talented writing community that spans all over the world. 

Contributors to volume I are as follows: Anthony Amore from Rhode Island USA, Georgia Bell, from Toronto Ontario, Canada, Sacha Black from England, Sarah Brentyn USA, Norah Colin, Brisbane, Qld, AU, Pete Fanning Virginia, USA, C. Jai Ferry, Midwest USA, Rebecca Glaessner, Melbourne, Vic AU, Anne Goodwin, England, Luccia Gray, Spain, Urzula Humienik, Poland, Ruchira Khanna, California USA, Larry LaForge, Clemson, South Carolina, USA, Geoff LePard, Dulwich South London, Jeanne Belisle Lombardo, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, Sherri Matthews, Somerset UK, Allison Mills, Houghton Michigan, USA, Charli Mills, Hancock, Michigan, USA, Paula Moyer, Lauderdale, Minnesota, USA, Jules Paige, Pennsylvania, USA, Amber Prince, North Texas, USA, Lisa Reiter, UK, AnneEdall-Robson, Airdrie Alberta, Canada, Christine Rose, Oregon, USA, Roger Shipp, Virginia USA, Kate Spencer, British Columbia, Canada, Sarah Unsicker, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Irene Waters, Noosaville, QLD, AU, Sarrah J Woods, Charleston, West Virginia, USA, and myself. 

Over the past four years, I’ve had my ups and downs when it’s come to writing. I go months without a creative bone in my body finding myself unable to write a word. Many writers go through this and it is truly heart-breaking and frustrating. Flash fiction can help a writer. Just one word or one picture can make a light go off and the writer is inspired.

If you enjoy writing or reading flash fiction Carrot Ranch is the place to be. Once a week, our head buckaroo Charli, inspires us with a new word or topic to write about. Please feel free to join us for an adventurous journey. Hope to see you over at the ranch. 

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Please feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have. Thank you so much. Susan

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