Welcome to my little corner of the galaxy! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been trapped in the slo-time envelope for the last ten days or so. Around here, they call it “winter break,” but we all know it for what it is: the seemingly infinite stretch of time when the kids are out of school and near-delirious with cabin fever. For all I know, there are Major Events happening out there in the world. Meanwhile, I’m chasing a half-naked 3-foot-tall Captain America around the halls.
Looking to get moving? Here’s a fast little writing challenge for you. Get yourself in gear and give it a try.
Answer the ultimate question in exactly 42 words: what time is it?
This week’s question is pretty straightforward. You can answer it directly (“It’s dinnertime.” “It’s time for Jeopardy.” “It’s 5:00 somewhere.”) or more abstractly (“It’s time to go.” “It’s time for a change.”) — just make sure you answer it. As usual, note the tense of the question. We want to know what time it is right now. A few other reminders:
PROOFREAD. Nothing is easier, and nothing will get you bumped from the voting grid faster than typos, spelling or punctuation mistakes, or grammatical errors. You’ve only got 42 words; mistakes stick out.
Keep in mind that your post has to make sense if your reader doesn’t know the question. Don’t use the question as your title or anywhere else in your piece. And remember, any words surrounding your gargleblaster — explanations, references, footnotes, shout-outs, etc. — will be counted against your 42-word limit.
The top 42 entries will be open for voting on Thursday
You may enter only one gargleblaster microstory. This week, submissions are unmoderated, which means the first 42 entries will show up on the voting grid. Voting opens Wednesday at 10:00 PM EST. Everybody: read, comment, vote!
Winners will be announced on Friday
Look for Friday’s combined winners’ post to see the crowd favorites and editors’ picks from across all of our challenge grids.
What else is happening around here?
We’ve got the nonfiction grid opening on Mondays, the speakeasy for fiction and poetry on Tuesdays, the gargleblaster micro challenge on Wednesdays, and the come-one, come-all moonshine grid for the weekends. We’ve also got a great hangout space over at the coffeehouse. Make sure you subscribe to our weekly e-mail blast so you don’t miss out.