Greetings, Earthlings!

It was a crazy couple of days over at the gargleblaster! We closed the grid in record time – 10 hours – and a few people were taken by surprise, myself included. Those of you who were more on the ball than I was managed to hitchhike, which is fantastic – we love having you along!

A couple of notes. This week, we noticed a lot of grammar and punctuation errors in some of your posts. The gargleblaster grid is unmoderated but please, folks, remember to bring your very best work. At the very least, this means proofread. Check your commas and apostrophes. Make sure you don’t switch tenses in the middle of a piece. Check your vocabulary: does that word really mean what you think it means? Don’t let the frenetic pace of the gargleblaster challenge get in the way of writing a really spot-on, perfect post. We’d rather have you hitchhike with a great entry than throw up something half-finished because you’re anxious about making the grid.

This week we were joined by seven gargleblaster virgins and seven hitchhikers. Welcome, everyone! We hope you find something to love here in our little community.

Crowd favorite

This week, you picked an unexpectedly chilling answer to the ultimate question, “Why does the caged bird sing?” There were a number of stories that spoke about actual prisons and cages, and the various ways in which people handle being physically locked away. In her story Confession, TMW Hickman takes us there, reminding us that there’s more than one kind of song, and that not all songs are beautiful or inspired by joy. Some are inspired by fear.

The sunlight reflected off the cold metal bars, illuminating the sleazy smile of his cellmate. The guy was just waiting, planning invasive entertainments once the lights went out.  

Matthew’s loyalty to his boss melted away. Now he was willing to make a deal.

I admit, it’s not at all where I expected you to go with this prompt, but that’s why the gargleblaster is so much fun! TMW, go on and snag a badge from the sidebar there on the left.

Editor’s pick

This week the editors conferred, and we agreed that Thom deserves a special mention for his sparse, compact story Henry Perkins.

Henry Perkins closed his laptop; squared his notepad to his desk, setting his pencils on top.

Doused the lights, locked the door, walked down the block to the stop.

Number 32 goes near his home.

Home, where he can dream.  ‘Bout things.

Thom does a great job of sketching out a whole story here: beginning, middle and end. Aside from the great writing, though, here’s something else I loved.  Thom noted in his comments that “I worked on this one for a while. I drafted Henry’s story, discarded it, drafted a couple other takes, discarded them and came back to Mr. Perkins. After a few rewrites and a lot of slashing this emerged. I love the process!” This is the sort of focus and attention that it takes to write a great microfiction piece, or really, any piece at all. In Thom’s case, his hard work paid off. Congrats, Thom! Go grab your badge!

Top row seven*

In addition to TMW Hickman, these folks walk away with a top row seven badge: Susan from The Wizard’s Word for Uncaged Melody; Thom (again!); Kymm at Better Lies for Egress; Nate at The Relative Cartographer for Mr. Lewis’s Love Affair; Rowan G at textwall for Attica; and Michelle L for Brain Cage.Grab your badge, and be proud of your work!

The gargleblaster grid is now sorted in order of votes from most to fewest. It’s always a tight race and a wonderful opportunity to learn from your fellow grid-mates. In the case of a tie, InLinkz gives precedence to the post with the highest number of clicks.

* I realize that your browser may not display the grid in neat rows of seven, but mine does. Therefore, the Top Row 7.

Looking for something longer?

Hard as it is to believe, there are other challenges out there at yeah write! Go ahead — take a few minutes to check out this week’s challenge grid (for personal essays and traditional blog anecdotes) and the speakeasy (for fiction). Read, comment, get to know the community. And if the mood strikes you, submit your own post: the challenge grid and speakeasy are open until 10:00 PM Eastern on Wednesday. We know you won’t all make the grid every week, but don’t panic! The moonshine grid opens on Friday and we’d love to see you there.

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