Blog : lovelinks

yeah write celebrates the best of the grids from lovelinks #1 to yeah write #100

yeah write celebrates the best of the grids from lovelinks #1 to yeah write #100

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.

Cindy
on Jessie

cindy

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

[hr]

 

Courtenay
on Christie

courtenayChristie 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

[hr]

 

Erica
on Kim

erica

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

[hr]

 

Flood
on Joe

floodCrimson 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

[hr]

 

Kristin
on Stacey

kristinCircles 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

[hr]

 

Louise
on Bill

louiseBill 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

[hr]

 

Stacie
on Ashley

stacieAshley 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

[hr]

 

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!


yeah write weekly writing challenge #104: thanking a few of our original subscribers and this month’s supporting subscribers

yeah write weekly writing challenge #104: thanking a few of our original subscribers and this month’s supporting subscribers

Yeah write weekly writing challenge turns two years old!

This is the perfect time to say thank you, both to those bloggers who helped get us started and to those who have kept us going. I’m glad there is no orchestra music around here to play me off the stage because it’s a long list. Not so long you’ll need to start skimming, mind you. Just too long for me to stand in your living room wearing a loaner designer gown and WonderBra while reading it from a teleprompter, which I completely considered doing.

Lovelinks era

[unordered_list style=”star”]

  • Jacqui from the now-defunct blog ChickTuition first encouraged me to go for it when I told her I wanted to create a space for writers who blog and bloggers who write, and one that properly teaches the art of writing for an online audience. She did her best to keep me in line when I would go off the rails with crazy ideas from week-to-week.
  • Alison Lee at Writing, Wishing was lovelinks’ biggest cheerleader. She is a mom blogger with a professional PR background. If you’ve been around more than a year and you can’t remember how you first stumbled upon yeah write, it was probably through Alison.
  • Julie from Bitches in the ‘Burbs coined the phrase “lovelinks virgin”. To this day, we are still welcoming yeah write virgins to the grid.
  • Deb at MannaHatta Mamma was the first to make the process of submitting to the grid a verb. She called it lovelinking. Then we called ourselves lovelinkers. The name changed, and we haven’t recovered that ease of language since.
  • Even when not on the grid, Stasha at Northwest Mommy and Julie at Mamamash faithfully read and voted every single week. Stasha also told me what the hell people were asking for when they were asking for lovelinks sidebar badges. I knew nothing, it was Stasha to the rescue, and the weekly post badge and winners’ badges were born.
  • Ado at The Momalog made people bring their A-game every week by crushing the competition in writing and votes. Her daughter Fiona asked her to bow out of the voting one week, and Ado still came in seventh place out of 50.
  • My friend Flood stepped in during lovelinks #31 and started the lurker’s fave writing award given to her favorite blog on the grid. Seventy-three weeks later, she’s still here whipping us all into shape.
  • My husband Q began notoriously plucking the food bloggers from grid obscurity and awarding them with his lurker’s favorite until his job took over any extra lovelinking time. Trivia: He has now sacrificed 104 Thursday nights with his wife to the lovelinks/yeah write voting process.

[/unordered_list]

[hr]

Yeah write era

[unordered_list style=”star”]

  • Jett Superior from Alphabet Junkie gifted me with a consulting session when I needed advice of how to reach a broader audience. Her main suggestion: lose the “lovelinks” name, lose the personal blog look and tone. We went from 100 subscribers to 300 in two months, and the grid is filled with many more genres of blogging and writing than it was before the changes.
  • Alexis from Troublesome Tots encouraged me to keep the natural, slightly crusty “inconvenient truth” aspect to my personality when handling the politics inherent in managing a community of beginning, emerging and experienced blogging writers. Alexis says you are welcome.
  • Jen Weinberg who delights us on Twitter as runaway cupcake, then one of our strongest writers on the grid, ushered in the new editor’s picks in yeah write #52. Jen faithfully read each post and submitted her picks each week until life took her back to school. Ugly cry her final week as an editor.
  • Kristin Wald from That Unique Weblog, another one of our strongest writers on the grid, stepped in and took Jen’s place. Kristin now manages our social media presence and writes the Sunday kickoff post each week.
  • Cindy Reed from The Reedster Speaks, oh my God, arguably the most popular writer on the grid, became an editor. Cindy jumped in with both feet and introduced our objective measuring system of what had become a very subjective process of choosing the best on the grid.
  • Deb from MannaHatta Mamma helped us distill the nebulous concept of central conflict to its “so what” essence and we will always be grateful for her summer series lesson.
  • Melisa Lunt from Just Begin from Here designed the avatars and header for the yeah write layout right before this one. Her work is still on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We only changed layouts because the old one was no longer supported by its developer, wouldn’t update when WordPress patched security holes, and I was not going down to hackers ever again. Melisa understands.
  • Shannon Fisher at Truthfully tried to slap some sense into me about that old layout even before the developer stopped supporting it. It was purty, but dysfunctional. Hard to navigate, made no sense. I kept it around because it reminded me of me until I had a technical reason for getting rid of it. And you know it’s hopeless when @saalon throws up his hands.
  • Louise Ducote, Courtenay Baker and Stacie D becoming editors put a stop to the practice of “no yeah write editors on the grid”. The grid needed their strong narratives and their constant willingness to top their previous best, and I thank them and all the editors for strengthening the competition every week.

[/unordered_list]

[hr]

We haven’t forgotten about you. Yes, you.

It’s always been our way of saying thanks for writing, for reading, for hanging out with us by sharing your challenge grid, speakeasy, and, now, the new weekend moonshine posts through other social media outlets.

[unordered_list style=”tick”]

  • If you’re on Twitter, we personally share your grid post at least twice: once to get it read, then again to get it some votes.
  • Many of our people love Facebook, and the most compelling narratives are shared by our readers in their timelines, broadening the reach of yeah write.
  • If you’re on the grid, we share your post on Google Plus whether you use G+ or not.
  • The weekly yeah write reach is nothing to sneeze at. Bring the best on the grid, and somebody is gonna visit your space and chat with you for a while. The crowd favorite over a three-day period could receive about 800 unique visitors.

[/unordered_list]

If you have a smaller blog looking for an audience, and you are willing to follow a few submission guidelines specifically designed to make yeah write a better place for everyone involved, this is the spot for you. Thanks for subscribing and growing our community.

What? Even more thanks? Thanks!

If you’re not already a supporting subscriber or your subscription has expired, please visit our supporting subscriber page to review all the subscription plans and their various perks. Since we’ve started offering the goodies to those helping us keep the lights on, the editors have:

[unordered_list style=”arrow”]

  • previewed challenge grid entries, providing suggestions for strengthening the subscribers’ narratives and making their entries more competitive
  • lined up comprehensive blog evaluations for design and content 
  • arranged for a complete blog redesign and migration from Blogger to WordPress
  • given out countless wet and sloppy kisses or at least paid for lunch

[/unordered_list]

Please visit and follow our current supporting subscribers

Currently a supporting subscriber as of April 2013? Here you are on your very own grid with your thumbnail linking to the home page of your blog. Thank you for ushering in Year Three of the yeah write weekly writing challenge.

If you’re hanging out with us on the yeah write #104 grid, please start the celebration by reading Sunday’s kickoff post. Thanks again for everything. Yeah write #104 opens Tuesday…


lovelinks #40 winners

lovelinks #40 winners

For anyone else who may be a more meticulous housekeeper, lovelinks #40 might have been a bit of an overwhelm. I am happy to report that although my kitchen appears to be in the middle of a remodel (it’s not) and I haven’t spoken to my children since Monday, I managed to stay on top of this week’s big 50 lovelinks without burning down my house. I’ll pick up a bit and start a load of laundry after a nap.

Virgins!

We wouldn’t have made it to 50 without you guys and the bloggers who sent you here. Thank you for your enthusiasm and for jumping right in with tweets, comments and Facebook GOTV posts. Did you have a good time? There were four lovelinks virgins who finished in the top five, and that is unheard of around here. I’d love for you to come back next week.

Editor’s choice

Trish at Contemplating Happiness has been linking up with lovelinks since it started and has never placed in the competition. She’s a good writer and a good person who’s missing only a social networking presence. Her basic Blogger design has also probably worked against her when voting time comes around. This week is finally her week even with twice the normal competition. I loved her post on evolving language and how families adopt their own intimate vocabularies. I’m officially beginning a local campaign to bring back “makin’ it in the bathtub” to mean discussing illicit activity. Congrats, Trish, on the win. Please add photos to your posts; that will help those of us who are visual learners process your posts a little easier. Thanks for being so faithful.

Lurker’s favorite by Flood G

Lovelinks virgin John Pseudonymous from Twinfamy got Flood’s vote with his funny story of walking through his suburban nabe juggling two babies, a dog and a perfectly good stroller that went unused. I like how John P linked up without knowing exactly what was going on (as did the other virgins—sorry about that) then figured most of it out while having fun with it all. Congrats, John!

Lurker’s favorite by my husband Q

Hey, look! We have a surprise guest writer who’s gone all judgey this week. Man, 50 blogs is a lot, and there were so many good ones. I asked my man to stop what he was doing in his office at work and choose his favorite. We had a giddy lovers’ moment right there in chat when he was more than happy to help. He reads most of the entries each week anyway and loves him some Ado at The Momalog. It was a natural fit for him to be there for us in the 11th hour.

Q chose the glazed doughnut muffins over at Sugar-n-Spice. He liked how Megan made the glazed muffins look so good in photos and how she answered every single one of her comments. I can’t be sure, but I think he propositioned me while printing out the recipe. Congrats, Megan, on your first time win.

Popular vote winner

JJ at Dude of the House has a very large group of supporters who voted him to the top of the top of lovelinks, if there is such a place. The lovely and touching post about the first anniversary of losing his mom to breast cancer spoke to many readers, and the votes just did not stop coming in for him until the competition was over. His mother had encouraged him to start writing before she died, and the post was a wonderful tribute to her believing in her son’s dreams. Congrats, JJ. Thanks for joining us this week.

Comment karma

Usually, comment karma goes to a commenter who left a comment or a series of comments (or tweets) on someone else’s entry. This week, though, I had to give it to Alyssa at Near Normalcy for calmly and delicately correcting her own mother in her own comment stream. With my mom, I would have yelled at her in my brain then picked up the phone in confusion over a very minor issue. I loved Alyssa’s response. Side note: Alyssa’s mom happens to be lovelinks #38 editor’s choice Cynthia from Commonplace Crazy. What a good relationship.

Random prize winners

Blogging Bash: Deborah Quinn of MannaHatta Mamma

Turntable Kitchen pairings box: Lindsay at You Are Here

Deborah and Lindsay, yay and congrats! Please contact me for details and further arrangements.

Win-Win

The thumbnails are sorted in the grid from most yellow star votes to the least. In the case of a tie, like if four blogs all got seven votes each, the thumbnails are sorted by page views. Do not be discouraged if your blog has landed near the bottom of the grid; it is always a tight race. The fun lies in getting better exposure for your blog and in the spirit of competition as incentive to improve your writing and blogging skills. It’s a win-win for everybody involved.

Thanks again, everybody, for linking up, for reading, for voting. And for making lovelinks the most welcoming spot on the Interwebs.

Lovelinks #41 opens Tuesday.



lovelinks #40 is open for voting

lovelinks #40 is open for voting

We made it to 50!!

Thanks, everybody, for linking up and for spreading the word about linking up. I completely misinterpreted the closing out at 50 blogs as also opening up the voting, and I was wrong, so wrong. Voting still opened at 9 p.m. US eastern standard time [-5 GMT]. I should really stay as far away from math as possible.

Read More

lovelinks #40 is open: double prize week!

lovelinks #40 is open: double prize week!

Two random drawings for you and you and you and you and you…

It’s lovelinks #40 and I wasn’t gonna make a big deal out of it until I remembered that round numbers should be celebrated with random drawings. Random drawings for a comprehensive blog review and a Turntable Kitchen pairings box filled with original recipes and digital music. Just for you or you or you…

Read More

lovelinks #39 winners

lovelinks #39 winners

[dropcap1]R[/dropcap1]emind me not to enter my own contest again. Heh. It was a rough day in my humble little household, so I wasn’t watching the vote as diligently as usual. If it weren’t for a late-night Facebook push by the eventual popular vote winner, I would have come in first.

Read More