Like a lot of people in my blogging sphere I had the most extraordinarily enjoyable day on Saturday at the Second Bloggers Bash. I’ve a few thoughts to pass on, on that event in a later post.

One part was a talk from Luca Sartoni of WordPress. Amongst his bon mots and sage advice he suggested we remember why and how we got into blogging, if we become obsessed with statistics or jealous of other bloggers. Don’t forget where you’ve come from.

I began blogging in April 2014. My first post was on the Cornish language (yeah, I know, whatever). I was clueless. I knew one blogger, Anne Goodwin at Annethology and of some others through those who commented on her posts. I began blogging as a step towards taking my novel to publication. I wanted/needed to connect to other writers but how?

The second blog I followed was The Carrot Ranch, run by the delightful Charli Mills. She runs a weekly flash fiction prompt. I’d never thought about flash, never heard about it in truth, still less tried it. But her posts and her comments were so kind, empathetic to the keen and nervous writer that I left a tentative comment. I was instantly enveloped in an electronic hug.

I gave it a try. I was crap. She was both generous and helpful. Helpful, not as a critic, far from it. Rather she stimulated others to write, in 99 words, extraordinary stories. She prompted them to excel and I tried emulation, comparison, a smidgen of plagiarism and oodles of practice.  I improved, she dragged better work from me. She kept me wanting to try and please her.

Through her fan base I met all sorts of delightful writers, who helped me in many different ways. It was Charli who held open the door, took my hand and led me into the light. Without that encouragement I wouldn’t have tried short story writing. I wouldn’t have put them here. I wouldn’t have entered competitions and even won one. I certainly wouldn’t have developed the confidence to create and publish an anthology of short stories alongside the Bash this Saturday.

Today Charli is on the cusp of homelessness. She and her husband Todd have been kicked from pillar to post, all the while maintaining a quiet dignity. I don’t find this easy to write. They are an honorable and proud couple, but they are in need. I attach here a link to her blog post and ask you consider visiting to donate to help the Ranch continue.

She says this about her work, and here you might be able to help too if you have something:

If you are interested in hiring me for an editing or marketing project, email me at My fees are $50 an hour. I’ve had some people in the past buy hours and gift them to someone else. I can provide a gift certificate.

We all have calls on our time and money, causes big and small, great and personal. This is one where I know I’m asking for a favour, a thought please. Believe me, right now every small piece helps. If you cannot help with a donation, which of course if completely understood, please consider sending her your best wishes. It is amazing what the sense of community does in those deep dark hours.

Thank you,


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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22 Responses to Please

  1. jan says:

    Truly heartbreaking. We’re in the middle of a sewer repair project but if we come out of with our shirts on, I’ll see what we can do to help.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I had no idea Carrot Ranch was the second blog you followed. How did we all wind up there around the same time? All strangers? The magic of the Ranch and its wrangler of words? Thanks for posting this. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ritu says:

    This is so sad….. I’ll see what I can do…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Norah says:

    What a lovely tribute to Charli, and such a deep-felt personal response to her plight. The Carrot Ranch is such a wonderful meeting place due to Charli’s warm heart. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Erika Kind says:

    This is the amazing net of bloggers here and you are the proof that it is not virtual but that we all are here with a real heart!


  6. Annecdotist says:

    I agree, a lovely tribute to Charli, but there’s one sentence of this post I can’t let go – your first flash was far from crap, and it’s still one of my favourites.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. mistybooks says:

    Hi Geoff – very moving. On the basis that I’m still not sure whether I actually paid for my Bloggers Bash tee shirt or not (MEL, ME1 or whatever it was!) I just donated the money for that plus a bit to Carrot Ranch – hope that’s o.k.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. noelleg44 says:

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Geoffle. You are indeed a caring friend and a true gentleman.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Charli Mills says:

    Geoff, I had no idea Carrot Ranch led you the light of short stories because you are a natural! I’ve loved your writing and stand in awe of how you write a serial each prompt. You have a kind and generous heart, as big as your talent! Thank you. It’s going to be okay. I’m going to make something positive out of our circumstances, and Carrot Ranch will continue to support writers and encourage flash fiction as both a form and a tool.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Ali Isaac says:

    You are a lovely man and a good friend. Hope things settle soon for Charli. I know how it feels to have your life turn upside down and not know where to turn. There are times I could not have coped without good friends to lean on. We are all stronger than we know.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Helen Jones says:

    A lovely, heartfelt post, Geoff. I’m new to the Carrot ranch, and have just discovered the dire straits Charli is in – I can’t imagine how awful that would be, and it sounds as though they have had such terrible bad luck. Your post is a great example of how wonderful it is to be part of a blogging community, and I hope that they get the help they need – I’ll certainly see what I can do.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: My weekend in London #BloggersBash – Urszula Humienik

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