The best 60
Yeah write has been compared to an artisinal cheese shop and, because it’s now two, an adorable toddler. To me, it’s a dark and delicious jazz club that fills with great music every Tuesday when the yeah write week gets interesting. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are exciting as we wait to see who’s going to walk through the door next. On Wednesday night, certain posts surface and sparkle like a soaring horn solo and the voting begins. Did thirty or more writers pack our smoky little club? Then we choose the best of the batch for an invitational grid; it’s the backstage of yeah write. On Friday, we all congratulate the winners and slouch home with our prizes, or with determination to win one next time, and often with a new friendship or two brewing.
This week we’re highlighting seven of our favorite posts from the history of yeah write (and choosing them wasn’t easy, people). Next week you’ll get seven more. We’ve also worked hard to build a larger best-of-yeah-write grid of sixty excellent posts, chosen from more than 3,500. Congratulations to all, and please keep coming back; you make us better editors, you bring life to the party, and the music doesn’t sound nearly as good when you’re not here.
In Teeth, her spot-on description of a visit to the dentist, Jessie at Jester Queen accomplishes what good flash-nonfiction should: Set a detailed scene, create realistic characters (four of them!), and effortlessly toss up memorable dialogue while moving our narrator from Point A to Point B emotionally. To do all that while relating a laugh out loud funny story that is a true slice of life? That merits a best of yeah write slot. —Cindy Reed
Christie from Outlaw Mama often finds herself in our top row or standing upon the winner’s dais, but my absolutely most favorite post of hers is My Internist Said a Four-Letter Word: Lump. I love this post because it is an exemplary illustration of Christie’s ability to weave humanity into words. This post is artfully crafted; it weaves the mundane with the sublime to bring us all into the exam room with her. It is painted with grief, humor, fear, hope and always, always, always, soul. —Courtenay Baker
Unless your mom has ever been featured in a national magazine in a full-page ad for old people sex, I don’t know if you can feel Kim’s pain in Mama Drama, but you can certainly empathize with her. Written from the perspective of a daughter who’s grown up in the shadow of an attention-grabber, we watch Kim’s mom get in a major car accident for attention. Have emergency colon surgery. For attention. Rely on a post-surgery morphine pump. For attention. Does this woman ever stop? We don’t know, and with the fun Kim handles it in her narrative and photos, we kinda don’t want her to. —Erica Mullenix
Crimson Tide’s clean writing made this post zip along pleasantly, so my eyes didn’t even glaze over after reading the words “nuclear powered submarine, armed with 24 intercontinental ballistic missiles.” The ‘so what’ of this anecdote is a nail-biter: Will Joe get his underwear in time? Kellie’s dedication to remedying her husband’s plight is admirable, despite her girly throw. In a kind of kooky rendition of “An Officer and A Gentleman,” Joe gets to carry away his underpants, rather than Debra Winger, to wild cheers and applause. This entry is a great example of yeah write’s reminder to tell your story with a clear beginning, middle and end, and proof it can be done well with just 578 words. —Flood G
Circles by Stacey from Confessions of a Supermommy, connects voice, structure, and plot elegantly — beginning with the title. This story reflects the seemingly easy cycle families often follow — occasionally inserting harsher realities that intersect. The iconic scene of a family “nestled” in the Buick for a Sunday drive is modernized by the longing of a young girl to stay close to her father and grandfather — but not feeling welcome in the “manly world” of cars. The real beauty of the post is how it seamlessly connects Stacey’s girlhood with her son’s boyhood. The image of her husband and son re-creating a past generation’s experience is both poignant and hopeful. —Kristin Wald
Bill Dameron’s The Other Bill tells a story both joyful and heartbreaking. We see an uncertain, newly-out Bill exiting a multi-decade marriage, looking for an apartment and rejecting each on some flimsy pretext (like imagining the landlord was homophobic because he talked about sports). “In the end,” Bill writes, “I was discriminating against myself. If I couldn’t accept me, how could I expect others to?” His story of finding the perfect home, then growing confident enough to leave it, has stayed with me since yeah write #59. Memorable characters (including two dogs), a happy ending and a plot that moves so quickly that even the participants lament its speed all combine to showcase one of my favorite bloggers at his fabulous best. —Louise Ducote
Ashley Austrew’s How Bizarre expertly takes us back to the face-burning humiliation of not being like all the other kids in kindergarten. Given an assignment to paint “any kind of tree,” five-year-old Ashley creates a beautiful multi-colored tree while her classmates each produce “a think brown trunk topped by a cloud of green.” When the teacher holds up the pictures one by one and says, “Students, is this what a tree looks like?” we feel little Ashley’s panic; we silently plead with her, “Please don’t pick mine.” (Ashley, guess what! We picked you!) This memorable glimpse of a young artist tugged at my heartstrings and made me cheer for individuality. —Stacie D
We’ve made all 60 of you your very own badge
We’d be honored if you’d display it in the sidebar of your blog. Only 60 people in the whole world have earned one. That alone should be reason for you to grab the code and show it off.
More editor highlights coming next Wednesday. If you’re not already on this week’s grid, yeah write #104 should still be open, and you’re welcome to join us. Happy yeah write birthday, everybody!