Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge, 8th October, 2014




October 8, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) include a yellow boat on a river. Be creative with the phrase. It can be about a yellow boat or it could be the name of a band or brand of toothpaste. It can be included in the setting or be the adventure.

After another busy week of trying to put the mistakes of the last week right again, I didn’t think I was going to be able to rise to this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge at all. I read the challenge prompt in those hazy minutes before sleep that are either singularly unproductive or so inspirational that I can’t sleep a wink all night for the wildly mutating thought patterns that are the result. Nothing. The next day I’d forgotten all about it. I sat down at my desk to do the routine email, facebook, and twitter checks, then the bank account to see if anyone else had gone in and taken money out of it without my authority – long story, not for now, only mentioning it because it still rancours – and there was Sherri Matthews’ blog post for her flash fiction entry. I’m not sure what it was about it that sparked this present offering to ignition, but suddenly there it was in my head, complete and exactly 99 words long. I stand by my writing method yet again: when it’s ready it’ll let me know and I won’t have to alter a thing; if I have to wrestle with it, let it go until it is ready. Of course there are certain things that have to have been put in place for this method to work, like years and years of research, thought and subconscious mulling!


Merlin in the Holyland


Another night under the stars. This time I’m in hot and very dusty Roman Judaea. Realising no limits to my magic as yet, I find myself enjoying its fruits some five centuries before my own time, having flipped myself there without any serious effort on my part beyond thought. I congratulate myself under a lazy crescent moon lounging on its back in a map of the heavens so altered by time and distance as to be strangely intriguing in its difference. It puts me in mind of a yellow boat chasing slippery fish in a river sparkling with spume.

Thank you for reading this far. If you’d like to read the first six scenes of Book One of the Merlin’s Gambit trilogy, Earth Magic, you can find them here on my website as separate blog posts, they’re listed either in the sidebar on the right or in the dropdown menu when you click on the “Blog” tab of the menu at the top of the page.

Brightest Blessings, as always,

Tally :-)

PS: If you’ve enjoyed reading this snippet of time-travelling Merlin and his protracted moonlight adventures, perhaps you’d like to receive Automatic Reminders of further posts (once I figure out how to make it work, that is!), you can Subscribe using the box underneath, and there may well be another one in the sidebar on the right.

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  • Charli Mills says:

    Wonderful writing method, but I also understand the years of research and process that goes into it. There’s so much happening in the mind of a writer, so much that we process over the years and it’s a beautiful moment when the words float to the surface. I’ve tried to explain to family and friends that I’ve “come into” my writing season, but I just get odd looks and occasional emails for “real jobs.” 🙂 Love your flash fiction and Merlineasque feel of it!

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