Greetings, Earthlings!

More than just a collection of fancy words, gargleblasters (and microfiction/microblogs in general) ought to tell a story. Even if what you’re showing us is a snapshot of a larger scene, it should be more than just a description. We want to see action, dialogue, character development. Sound tricky? It is. You might not be able to fit all of these elements into 42 words, but you should be able to structure your piece to tell us a whole story with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

We thought we’d dive a little deeper this week and give you a prompt that you’ll really have to think about. And so, the ultimate question is brought to you by our very own Erica M, who may have partaken of a few too many gargleblasters herself:

Are you on your way to steal my mermaid?

Have fun with this one! Remember that you don’t need to include the question in your response. Give us your answer in exactly 42 words, and please — let’s avoid alluding to that Disney film, okay? You guys are way too creative to resort to cliches and tropes. Come up with your own story. Here are a couple of guidelines:

  • Do not mention anywhere in your post, either as intro or footnote, that you are writing to a prompt.
  • We want the story the furthest away in your imagination from the original prompt. Let your imagination loose.
  • Keep your writing style! Do you tell stories with humor? Prose? Verse? Photos? Illustrations? Keep doing that.
  • Proofread. Just because it’s short doesn’t mean you can cut corners.

The grid is now open, and will close at midnight on Tuesday (one minute after 11:59 PM on Monday).Yes, that’s only 24 hours to post, so you’d better get writing now! We’ll announce winners on Wednesday. Don’t forget to badge your post – the current gargleblaster badge is below.

Recipe for a proper gargleblaster

  • Entries must be 42 words exactly. We count. (Tip: don’t trust your word processor – use your eyes!) Also: hyphenated words count as one (willy-nilly, self-centered, etc.).
  • Non-fiction, fiction, and poetry are all welcome.
  • Let your post speak for itself. If it needs an explanation, it’s not really 42 words, now is it?
  • Link to the individual blog post, not your main blog page.
  • Include the gargleblaster badge and accompanying backlink. Scroll down to get this week’s badge.
  • One post per person, please, and no cross-posting to other link-ups. We want you all to ourselves!

Any submission deemed not to meet the guidelines will be removed from the grid and the author will be notified. Read the gargleblaster FAQ for more information.

Remember: the grid is limited to 42 (of course!) submissions. If you miss the grid, don’t panic! Leave your link in the comments of the voting post and you may be eligible for the hitchhiker prize, which may be awarded at the editors’ discretion to someone who missed the grid, but wrote up a particularly excellent response to the prompt. However, to be eligible for the hitchhiker’s prize, you’ve got to stick around for the whole ride, not just hop on, drop your link, and hop back off. After leaving your link, go forth and read, comment and vote on the grid as usual.

Mix it up

Is the 42-word thing still a struggle for you? Is the word limit cramping your style? Maybe you just want to branch out and try something longer, but you’re not sure where to start. Why don’t you consider registering for the 2014 yeah write summer series? A week-long small group workshop in our silver lounge costs less than a couple of movie tickets and a large popcorn, and we guarantee it’ll be more useful to get those creative juices flowing. Check out all the details. We hope to see you there!

Badge up!

Please be sure to include the proper gargleblaster badge in your post. Not sure how to add the badge? It’s simple. Copy the code under the badge below and paste it into the html or text view of your blog editor. Having trouble? Contact for tech support.


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