Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest at Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch – My Entry

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Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest



Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch ran the first Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest in October. There were 8 challenges to enter throughout the month and the first of the contest winners were just announced. 


The rules for this first challenge in the series:


When I grow up. Cast yourself back to six years of age, knowing what you do of life in the present; what would you want to be when you grow up and how would you go about achieving that goal? Tell us in 100 words, no more no less. It can be real or imaginary, serious or light-hearted. Extra points for comparing it to your childhood choice, if you remember it.


I thought I’d try my hand at this challenge because it’s not really in my wheelhouse, but because of the subject matter of the contest, I thought I’d give it a whirl. You can read my entry below.


Congratulations to Hugh Roberts who took the first award in this 8 part contest.


I Am Six Years Old


Who is this woman I call mother? Who are these men she’s referring to? Where is New York? Where is Las Vegas? Stories about gallivanting with men, men who weren’t my father?

My knees ached, tired from squatting at the foot of the steps, listening to Mother sharing her secrets with her best friend. It’s way beyond my bedtime.

Nobody ever knew about my secret eavesdropping on Mother’s tales. I kept it that way. I never asked but took notes, mental notes, until I’d learn to write later in life – later when I could better understand who she really was.




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  1. I’m so glad you shared this! I can just picture the scene, Debby… and thus the writer is born. 🙂 Those judges must have been pulling their hair out making a decision.

    1. Lol Diana, exactly what I said to you when I read yours. So many genres and styles to choose from. I’ve never tried these flash challenges before entering. I managed to hop into #3 also, but had zero time for anymore. But they are fun to read. 🙂 xx

  2. What an awakening that would be, putting context to those stolen conversations!

    1. I was investigative from a young age. 🙂

  3. It was great eavesdropping on adults’ conversations as a kid, wasn’t it? If you pretended to read, they always thought you were occupied and didn’t hold back…

    1. I know right? Almost sounds like we used similar tactics. 🙂 x

      1. We’re so similar it’s uncanny!

        1. LOL, no wonder we became friends? 🙂

  4. Eavesdropping, a fundamental tool of writers–and a practice that can lead to much distress and confusion among children hearing conversations not meant for their ears! Harkens back to your books.

    1. It sure does, on all counts! I spent most of my childhood eavesdropping to stay in the loop. Things changed on a daily basis – kind of like your current government, LOL. 🙂

  5. Ah, eavesdropping on conversations. I never did that as a child. *tsk*

    This must have been a difficult decision with all the great entries I’m seeing. Thanks for sharing this. I’m so glad you stepped out of your comfort zone and entered some of these contests. 🙂

    1. Thanks Sarah. It was actually fun too. 🙂 xx

  6. You were in FBI training, Deb; a born sleuth 🙂 I think fiction writing is now in your wheelhouse. Great job! 🙂 ♥

    1. Thanks so much T. Yes, I certainly began my sleuthing at a very young age. But fiction, hmmm, still not sure I can get away from the truth. 🙂 <3

      1. I have no doubt you could write a True Fiction novel, Deb ❤️

        1. But of course it would be nonfiction in disguise 🙂 xxx

          1. And what a coup it would be! 🙂 ❤

          2. Hee hee heee 🙂 xxx

  7. Oh wow, Debby, this is so powerful and poignant. I work with children and realize fully the impact that parents’ conversations can have on them. This was a great piece. I went over and read some of them including Diana’s. You girls rock! xo

    1. Thanks so much Lana. I jumped in because it was open to any genre. Write what you know. 🙂 And yes, there were some terrific entries. I entered one more that will be revealed next week. 🙂 xx

  8. Oh Deb…real stories are more powerful than fiction! There is so much agony hidden in those lines. A child couldn’t understand but it must have marked the psyche permanently. Even eavesdropping could have positive implications! 🙂

    1. I was aware from a very young age B. It was curiosity at first, but plenty of agony my friend. I had sharp detective skills. 🙂 xx

      1. Sure, they reflect in your writing! 🙂

        1. Thanks B. 😉 x

  9. A lovely entry, Debby. I am so sorry your childhood was so difficult.

    1. Thanks Robbie. On the bright side, it’s given me much to write about, lol. 😉 x

  10. How clever to go back to the eavesdropping child and connect it to the grown woman using those snippets to understand. Great entry, Debby! We had such fine contestant. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Charli. I had fun entering. Yes, so many great stories, I’ve read a few already. Anxiously awaiting results of #3 🙂

  11. This reminded me so much of eavesdropping on my parents, Debby. Oh, the extra chocolate bars I got out of my father. Eavesdropping is an important part of a writer’s profile. Just make sure you don’t fall off your chair when trying to tune in, though. It happened to me once. I said I’d seen a mouse, and that, in turn, caused panic throughout the cafe.

    Thanks for sharing your story and for mentioning me. ?

    Hugs to you.

    1. LOL Hugh, you crack me up with your stories! I’m thrilled you won. Your stories captivate every time! And thank you for the kudos my friend. 🙂 <3

  12. I often think the real magic often lies within the real stories of this world.. And a wonderful share Debby,,As I think back to my own 6 yr old self.. 😀

    1. We are two peas in a cozy pod Sue. <3 xoxo

      1. yes in many ways dear Debby 🙂

  13. Great entry, Debby, and very personal. Oh, listening skills make a good writer (OK, and therapist too). 😉

    1. Thanks Olga. Yes, I know, I would graduate with honors for my listening skills. And really, in daily life I’ve always felt like a therapist. Go figure! Lol 🙂 xx

  14. It’s amazing the tidbits we carry into adulthood, and good that you have been able to take that information, process it and use it for good. As a fan of short form writing, I encourage you to write more of these shorts.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Ann. I found it an interesting write. In fact, I entered another one of these little flash contests again. I enjoyed the challenge of writing free then whittling down to minimal words without losing the plot. 🙂

  15. Sounds like a fun and creative challenge and writing prompt. I’d love to go back to my six-year-old mind one day. Having this experience in 100 words is tough!!! Nice one, Debby.

    1. Thanks so much Liesbet. Quite a trip! 🙂

  16. As kids we sometimes listen in and want to know what the grownups are saying.. but it’s not always good stuff we hear! That’s what came to my mind as I read your flash fiction entry 😉

    1. Exactly Christy! But sometimes when kids grow up in a turbulent household and have keen perception, knowing there are problems, curiosity abounds. 🙂 <3

      1. I understand and thanks for adding that important point, Debby! Your writing is so astute in your flash fiction entry ♥

        1. Thanks sweet friend. <3

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