Git Along an’ Start Writin’

Carrot Ranch Rodeo Contest 2020

Rodeo #3: Three-Act Story

We live for stories, and as writers, we craft them in the written word. A story is about Something (plot) that happens to Someone (characters), Somewhere (setting). Even if it is only 99 words long.

Crafting the Story

Act I, the beginning, the story rises. If a story is about someone, we have to feel something for that character. When we care what happens next for or to this Someone, we come to the middle.

Act II shifts to fear, according to the Greeks. We can interpret this as the emotion that drives the writer and reader to worry about what happens next. Or be curious about what comes next. The driving emotion doesn’t have to be fear, but the middle holds an important shift or build-up of tension or expectation. The story is in motion.

Act III is when that motion comes to an end. The action falls; the story has arrived at an exit. A good ending is not canned, but one that lets the reader think about the story and the Someone long after the conclusion. A twist is when a writer ends with the unexpected, and it can be humorous or dramatic.

Theme Western Music “Git Along Little Doggies”

This week’s contest is based on Western Music, in particular this popular song, “Git Along Little Dogies,” first published in 1910, but mentioned as early as 1893. 

General Contest Criteria

Much like with Colleen’s Found Poem Rodeo Contest last week, you are going to use the song, “Git Along Little Dogies” to inspire your writing.

  1. Include a line of consecutive words or at least six pivotal words from throughout the lyrics in your entry. Use bold font or highlight the words to make it easier for the judges to see. 
  2. Feel free to include pictures from your research of the song that inspired you. 
  3. Write a story that has Three Acts (they do not need to be labeled).
  4. The story must have a discernible beginning, middle, and end.
  5. The story must be about someone, set somewhere, and something happens.
  6. The story can be fiction or BOTS (based on a true story).
  7. It can include any tone or mood, and be in any genre, and there is NO PROMPT.
  8. Make the judges remember your story long after reading it.

Contest Rules

Every entry must be 99 words, no more, no less. You can have a title outside that limit. Check your word count using the wordcounter.net. Entries that aren’t 99 words will be disqualified.

  1. Enter this contest only once. If you enter more than once, only your first entry will count.
  2. Do your best to submit an error-free entry. Apply English grammar and spelling according to your country of origin style. As long as the judges can understand the language, it is the originality of the story that matters most.
  3. If you do not receive an acknowledgment by email WITHIN 3 DAYS, contact Charli at wordsforpeople@gmail.com.
  4. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on October 26, 2020.
  5. Refrain from posting your contest entry until after November 24, 2020
  6. Entries must use at least six words from the Theme Song to qualify.
  7. Entries will be judged and a winner will be announced on November 17. The winning entries will be posted on a page at Carrot Ranch. There is a cash prize for the winning entry..
  8. Use the form below the rules to enter.

A Little History About Git Along Little Dogies

Do you love history like I do? Many recording artists have recorded the iconic cowboy tune since 1910, “Git Along Little Dogies.” Maybe you remember Roy Rogers’ 1940 version. A link to his video at the end of the lyrics may inspire your writing.

Center – Harry McClintock

You might want to listen to the first commercial version of the song recorded in 1928 by Harry McClintock on a Victor V – 40016 B. In fact, each of the recordings come from different eras and different voices. 

Sample story
Lonnie, Jack and Joe Hannah of the Sons of the San Joaquin

The Birth of the Sons of the San Joaquin

by Marsha Ingrao

Lon Hannah loved the Lord, baseball, singing, and people. Sunday evenings after church, a group of us went to Hannah’s Triangle in Ivanhoe, CA to listen to Lon sing. 

At his 80th birthday party, partygoers relaxed under the shade trees and sang cowboy songs. At about four, Lon’s sons Jack and Joe and grandson Lonnie mused, “What can we cowpunchers do to continue Gramp’s Legacy? Let’s become real cowboy singers like the Sons of the Pioneers.”

From then on, the Sons of the San Joaquin “git along” the trail performing and recording cowboy songs like Git Along Little Dogies.”

Git Along Little Dogies


Traditional Song Lyrics 

As I was a-walking one morning for pleasure
I spied a cowpuncher all riding along
His hat was throwed back and his spurs was a-jinglin’
As he approached me, he was singin’ this song:

(Chorus:)
Whoopee ti yi yo, git along little dogies
It’s your misfortune and none of my own
Whoopee ti yi yo, git along little dogies
You know that Wyoming will be your new home

Early in the spring, we round up the dogies
Mark ’em and brand ’em and bob off their tails
Drive up our horses, load up the chuck-wagon
Then throw the dogies out on the trail

(Chorus)

It’s a-whoopin’ and yellin’ and a-drivin’ them dogies
Oh, how I wish that you would go on
It’s a-whoopin’ and punchin’ and go on little dogies
You know that Wyoming will be your new home

(Chorus)

Some boys goes up on the trail just for pleasure
But that’s where they get it most awfully wrong
For you haven’t an idea the trouble they give us
While we go driving them all along

(Chorus)

When the night comes, and we hold them on the bed-ground
These little dogies that roll on so slow
Round up the herd and cut out the strays
And roll the little dogies that never rolled before

“Git Along Little Dogies, I’m watchin’ all y’all. Throw back yer hats and start a-writin.”

Contest Resources

The list of YouTube recordings at the end of the lyrics is not exhaustive. Listen to all of the different artists, or find additional recordings that inspire you as you write. 

Meet Your Judges

Norah Colvin


Norah Colvin is a lifelong learner and passionate educator. She believes in the power of education to change lives and is committed to raising awareness of ways to support and enhance learning.

Norah has spent her life learning and thinking about how children learn and how best to support their learning. Her own observations as learner, parent and teacher have enhanced understandings developed in both formal and informal study situations. 

She believes strongly in the need for learning to be self-initiated, directed and motivated, and the importance of timely and appropriate support for learners on their individual journeys.

While no longer working with children in a school setting, Norah continues to share her passion for education and love of children’s literature through writing.

Connect with Norah on her blogs NorahColvin.com and readilearn.com.au. She can also be found (occasionally) on Facebook and Twitter.

Irene Waters

Irene began her working career as a reluctant potato peeler while waiting to train as a student nurse. On completion she worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing her hospital career as a clinical nurse educator in intensive care.

A life-changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered she was no farmer she took on the Barrington General Store and running a five-star restaurant.

After retiring and renovating their house, she and her husband moved to Queensland where she completed a post-grad certificate in Creative Industries in 2013. She followed this with a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now she lives to write and writes to live.

Connect with Irene on her blogs IreneWaters19.com and Irene Waters Writer on Facebook and Irene Waters Photography on Facebook

Happy writin’. Questions? If contact form does not work, email me at marshaalwayswrite@tchistorygal.net or tchistorygal@gmail.com. You can not format the Contact Entry Form so if you list the words you use that will work.

Contest Entry Form

Author: Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, author, blogger and retired teacher/consultant - Promoting Hobby Blogging

80 thoughts on “Git Along an’ Start Writin’”

  1. Just letting you know that Carrot Ranch hasn’t posted / linked to this yet. Maybe Charli’s been lassoed by her course work?

    I came looking on your blog for it. Not exactly sure how I found it, but I did. And now I’ll look at the rules and start a thinkin’ ~Jules

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds fine, Bill. Thanks so much for your submission. I haven’t checked it yet. If it doesn’t come through, you can email me. I’ll check it. 🙂

      Like

  2. What a great contest, Marsha. I am honoured to be one of your judges. I really enjoyed that Kurt Vonnegut video. If that doesn’t explain a story in three acts, nothing will. 🙂 The song is a great choice too. There should be many wonderful entries in this contest. Good luck, everyone. I look forward to reading your stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Norah Colvin and commented:
    This is the third of the Carrot Ranch 2020 rodeo weekly contest, and what a wonderful contest it is, designed by the lovely Marsha Ingrao. I am honoured to be one of her judges and look forward to reading your stories.
    If you’re not sure about how to write a three act story, the video by Kurt Vonnegut that Marsha has included in her post could not make it any more clear.
    Good luck, writers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Norah. I am the one honored to have you as one of my valued judges! Isn’t that a great video? A former contest host posted it with her contest post, and I loved it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Marsha
    Terrific Rodeo! Enjoyed exploring cowboy history, song & poetry, pictures & artwork!
    ** Could not bold or hilite in the form; I’ve written the words I chose into the form.
    Also could not paste pictures.
    My website does not have @ -filled in my email address again.
    My website – where I post summaries of novels I read – mostly sci-fi & fantasy & historical fiction!
    https://2reflectupon.wordpress.com

    Saifun

    Like

  5. Sorry if you got my entry twice. The entry form took my email twice, but would not take highlighting, bold, or underlining when copy and pasting. Please let me know if I was successful.

    Like

      1. I had a tough go with the entry since the lines asking for info didn’t want to co-operated. Nor did the form want to take a cut and paste with bold, highlight, or underlining. And your .net addy didn’t want to work either.

        At least you got it. I left the info in both the entry and email about what lines and words were used. I hope you can fix that for your judges. Thanks. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I got it all safe and sound. Thanks again for your persistence. I don’t know why my email did not work. I copied it directly from my email and replaced what was there, but they were exactly the same. So that is a great mystery. 🙂 I added my other email address, though just in case other participants have your same issue. Thanks for letting me know.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I was thinking about what to write… and then saw the deadline looming and figured I’d better git my giddy up a gettin’ 😉

            Thanks for a fun prompt! 😀

            Liked by 1 person

        1. Yay! That’s what’s supposed to happen! Would you like to do a guest post for me about the experience of participating? (Or anything else – Halloween story, whatever you like… ):)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That would be way cool. For Halloween. If it’s 99 words, you should submit it to Carrot Ranch, though. Or rewrite it for hers and publish the longer version on Always Write. Either way, I’m thrilled! Can’t wait to read it! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

      1. I went ahead and sent another copy to your tchistorygal. net address. Perhaps I mistyped my email on the form. In any case, all should be put to rights on my recent email (fingers fervently crossed).
        🙂 ❤

        Like

  6. OK JohnRH, but you now you have to submit a 99 word flash fiction. Should be easy for you!!! BTW, I think Tina’s leopard or lion, whichever is growling. His nose is way too wrinkled to be a yawn! LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

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