I love reading Charli Mills’ blog posts on Carrot Ranch. She weaves a grand story and pulls you along with her. This week she wrote about how she pulled herself out of the ashes to begin her life on Elmira Pond. She encourages our characters to do the same.

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a renewal story that proclaims, “This isn’t the end; I will go on.” Think of the mythical phoenix that rises up from the ashes; of Cinderella after midnight on the night of the ball; of a hero that faces certain death; of love after tragedy; of renewing life’s lemonade transitions. Go where the prompt leads and own your story; the ones you’ve lived and the ones you imagine for fiction. Stand in solidarity with others to find the semicolons in life that chooses to nurture and not succumb.

I’ve written a lot about Cecilia, but have not written much yet about her sister, Gloria. It has slowly become clear to me that Gloria lives with Cecilia in their childhood home. While Cecilia needs Gloria there, Gloria had her reasons for moving in as well.



The divorce was finalized the day after Elisabeth left, leaving Gloria childless and homeless.

“The house is certainly big enough,” Cecilia had said, “for two old biddies to rattle around.”

That was all it took for Gloria to leave the house where she had raised her children.

Gloria closed the door for the last time, leaving the key on the mat. She squashed unchristian thoughts about her ex as she walked to the yellow Chevy with a chili ristra hanging from the rearview mirror. As she drove off, she deliberated where to put the ristra in her new kitchen.



3 thoughts on “Ristra

  1. Isn’t fun when our characters unfold before us, telling their own stories? It’s good for a writer to listen. The visual of the yellow Chevy and the red ristra contains the entire semi-colon moment in its contrasting colors. That’s good writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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