Some of you will know Sue Vincent already. I met Sue for the first time about five years ago, at the first ever Bloggers Bash.

She and I had ‘met’ online through our blogs, but meeting in the flesh is, inevitably, a different experience. As I recall it, Sue was among the last to arrive and, being engaged in conversation with others at the time, I didn’t immediately speak to her. However, as the group made its way to Pizza Express (yes, we know how to live!), it happened that we found ourselves walking alongside each other.

A first encounter like this can feel awkward, especially when the contact to date has been so remote. You kind of feel like you know the other person, and yet you also recognise that what you really know is the persona they choose to put out to the world.  It’s worth adding here that I can be quite reserved when I meet people for the first time. So, like I said, it could have been awkward. And yet it felt like the most natural thing in the world to reach over and hug her. If anything was said first, it was only a word or two. I do hug people. I like hugging people. But I don’t generally hug them before I’ve got to know them well.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that there is something very special about Sue. She gives off an aura that draws you in, makes you feel comfortable, like family. It’s a rare gift, and one I’m privileged to have experienced with her on several occasions since then. I know a lot of people, but very few of them are what I would consider to be real friends. Sue is one of those few. And if any of you have had that same privilege, I suspect you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The Covid-19 situation has made it impractical, if not impossible, to see Sue in recent times. My sincere hope is that the impossible will fade away very soon and I’ll get to see her before it’s too late. (Rather selfishly, I urge you to follow the rules under lockdown. I need to see my friend!)

Why am I telling you all this? Well, along with many others, I’ve been asked to share a message, and you can read it in a moment. But I want you to know that this isn’t just a case of sharing for the sake of it. Sue is a very special person, and I’m grateful that I had the chance to be part of her life, even if only briefly. If she’s touched your life, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. And if she hasn’t, go and take a look at her blogs. There really is magic in there.

 

Sue Vincent is one of those special bloggers that inspires people all over the world. Readers have long been galvanized by her posts about mythology, about ancient ruins and medieval churches, and her daily #midnighthaiku. Even more have participated in and grown as a result of her #writephoto prompts. In addition to posting her prompts, Sue has tirelessly supported other bloggers by sharing others’ responses to her 19,000 and counting followers.

Recently, Sue has been faced with a new and difficult challenge: lung cancer. You can follow her blog to find out more directly from her. The Covid pandemic has served not only to pose a specific threat to a person with a severe respiratory illness, but it has caused loss of human connection through self-imposed quarantine.

Now it’s time for Sue to receive something back from the community she’s been a cornerstone of for a decade. Let’s bring the Rodeo into Sue’s house through her computer, and let’s come together with hearts full of joy. Join us for the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic at the Carrot Ranch – a contest, parade, and celebration all in one!

There are many ways to participate. One is to visit the prompt image, “Hidden”, at the Carrot Ranch. The prompt image and entry form will go live on Monday, February 1st, 2021. Enter a flash or a poem by Friday, February 19th, 2021, and you could win either $100 or a copy of one of Sue’s books. The form will allow you to give a small donation for Sue and her family, and a link can be found on the contest page. The winning entries will be announced at the Carrot Ranch on March 22nd, 2021.

If you’re not ready to rodeo, there’s always the “Parade”. Reblog one of Sue’s posts from any of her sites (Daily Echo or France and Vincent) with a comment about why you found it special. Follow her blogs. Read one of her books, then leave reviews where you can. Several people are already gearing up for the parade – so feel free to check out other people’s blogs for suggestions.

Also, go ahead and reblog, tweet, Facebook, or somehow otherwise share the contest! 99 word literary art is a fantastic way to celebrate a blogging hero and very deserving person.

Saddle up, everyone! It’s time for a Carrot Ranch Rodeo like none ever held before. The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic begins on Monday, February 1st, and it’ll be a TUFF prompt to fit within 99 words.

See you at the Ranch, buckaroos!

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