I’m having a writer’s week this week, it seems…

I’m back to hosting the challenge grid after Flood handled it with amazing grace and determination last week. I almost left the country, she was doing so well. Until I remembered I didn’t have any money.

I’ve got fancy pants and plans to match

Unsure of how much this has to do with my 3-year-old Ehren being away from me for two weeks, but my head has felt clear enough for two projects I hadn’t tried in more than five years: an exercise program and reviving one of my short stories I’d started in 2003 and hadn’t touched since 2006. Letting my 10-year-old Jon Alex customize a workout for me on the Wii Fit is close enough to letting pre-hajj Malcolm X work on a peace accord for Martin Luther the King—there are some differences in expectation and output—but it’s important I get off the couch and into some aerobic exercise, so I’m going forward with it.

The short story revival I blame squarely on Flood and Internet sensation Eric Sipple. “I miss Stillwater Crowe” is Flood’s subtle way of asking when am I going to start writing something other than weekly blog posts (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and Eric introduced me to Scrivener, a perfectly lovely application that, once I copied over my short story and its protagonist Stillwater, allowed me to pick up exactly where I’d left off six years ago. Much like the Malcolm X mode on the Wii, this story presents its own set of challenges, but writing fiction on my own time and without an audience like the good lord intended will be just as good for my mental health as the aerobics are for the physical.

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler

MannaHatta Mamma employed a technique for dividing her yeah write #61 post that I’d never thought of before: instead of publishing a 2,500 word post and insisting we deal with it among the other 49 entries, our lives, our jobs and UEFA Euro 2012, Deb wrote and wrote and when she got to a good stopping point, inserted a “read the rest here” link, and I nearly flew to the Middle East to kiss her on the forehead in gratitude. How long have Flood, Jen and Kristin and I been asking, begging, you guys to keep your yeah write entries to an audition-length 500 words? We know you can sing. You don’t have to belt out an entire opera to prove that to us.  But some of you Have Stories To Tell and by god, if it can only be told in 3,455 words, you’re gonna make us read it.

Not anymore, thanks to those who actually hear our cries and either keep it around 500 words or, if it’s longer, move on over to the hangout grid where the readers are more leisurely. And, not anymore, thanks to Deb. Tell us your story with a beginning, middle and end. If you’ve got more to say, link to the rest in a second post.

Let us be clear: don’t write your heart out and, when you get to that magical 500 words, slap a “read the rest” link in the middle of the desert. You’ll still need an introduction, central conflict, ebb and flow to the conflict, then a resolution. Doesn’t have to be a neat resolution tied with a bow and a Rumi quote, but the central conflict must be resolved for your readers. Then, if there’s something equally important we need to know after the 500 words, give us a follow link to the next post. When we have time, we promise to read it. It could be right then and there, you never know. But giving us the option is being a good citizen of the grid.

To the virgins, to make most of time

First time here? Welcome! We love our virgins. Have a look around to get a feel for what you’re getting yourself into and, if this seems like a good fit, please join us as a blogger on the grid, reader and voter of the grid or all three.  Follow the hashtags #yeahwrite62, #yeahwrite and #yeahwritevirgin on Twitter to get the most of the experience. 

You’ll need a coded badge before adding your submission to the yeah write challenge or hangout grid. Look in the far right, top corner of this page for a plus symbol in the center of a disc. Click that plus and the hidden widget containing the badges will drop. More detailed instructions are here if you need them. If you’re on a Mac using Safari, you’ll need to switch to Chrome as your browser. If you’re using Safari on a mobile device, get thee to a laptop.

No commercial or self-promotional posts or posts linking to 100 other blog events are allowed on the grid. If I have time to send an email explaining why I deleted your commercial/promotional post, I will, but I usually don’t have time because I’d spent so much of it asking you not to do it in the first place. If your post was on the grid then disappeared, don’t assume it was a weird glitch then add it again. Please choose an alternate entry that falls within the guidelines outlined in the FAQ.

Help, I’m being held prisoner in a complaint box

Don’t forget, if you’re having problems adding your post to the grid and you don’t get a response from me immediately, either to your tweet, comment or email, please please please tweet @inlinkz and Aris will be happy to help you figure it out. Sometimes, I am sleepin’. Usually between the hours of midnight US CDT and 6 a. m. US CDT [-5 GMT]. Aris will help while I’m snoring. 

Helpful links


Yeah write #62 hangout grid hosted by Flood G is open over there.

This week’s News Radio theme inspired by Flood’s Seinfeld theme in yeah write #61 and a fun @yhwriteme @saalon Twitter exchange.

The yeah write #62 challenge grid is open.