The best 60
Last week we revealed the best of yeah write grid, a collection of sixty exemplary posts chosen from more than 3,500. Yeah writers celebrated, congratulated, and some resolved to write something strong enough to land them on the best-of grid next time around.
Is your writing better this year than it was last spring? Is that because you really wanted to get on the grid/win a crowd favorite/win a jury prize/climb to the top row? Have you made some new friends, the kind who understand that it’s not easy to put together excellent sentences but will cheer you on as you try?
Are your traffic and your sprits both up? Please thank Erica, who built this gorgeous house, and for heaven’s sake become a supporting subscriber if you’re not already. Yeah write is a labor of love that’s often more laborious than lovin’. Erica, thank you for making this amazing space for us. I have a great time here.
Congratulations to the seven bloggers highlighted below and to everyone else on the awesome grid of sixty. Let’s have another great year.
In Some Heroes Don’t Like to Talk About It from Ruminations on Love & Lunchmeat, it’s the words that elevate this affecting story about her grandfather, a complex character who hides his past heroism behind silly stories of flying unicorns and jumping out windows on his wedding night. It’s stunning writing that never manipulates us with emotion; writing that, by its authenticity, evokes a world of feelings that the narrator trusts us to work through on our own. It’s a story that still gnaws at me a bit, months later. —Cindy Reed
With The Grief Grenade, Jamie from South Main Muse tucks us inter her purse on a visit to The Happiest Place on Earth. Our traveling companion in her purse? A grief bomb which ticks away the moments threatening to go off. She illustrates the way new grief bubbles to the surface as a refrain at the most unpredictable times. Every interaction she describes is touched by the unvoiced mantra that her father had died just that morning, something which profoundly changed the inside of her, but which is invisible to the people she encounters. —Courtenay Baker
Stashing Ashes, Gina’s story of her mother-in-law Nan still affects me emotionally, five months after it won my editor’s pick in yeah write #83. In this story of a daughter-in-law who’d never been accepted by her husband’s mother who made sure she never let her own daughter-in-law feel left out, Nan represented to me the person who turns being unloved into love for another person. That is never easy to do, but it’s always the right thing. And Gina—the beneficiary of that love—told Nan’s story with grace and humor. Both she and Nan seem like wonderful people in this wonderful and simple narrative. —Erica Mullenix
As soon as I heard we were doing a best-of yeah write grid, I knew the first post I would choose. Harpoon has a comedic, and dangerous, scene in which Michelle slams her body into a recently stopped vehicle, in an effort to avoid being shot by her brother with a harpoon. Think about that. It’s just so ridiculous. When I re-read the post for grid celebrations, the shenanigans held up to my memory. Michelle often brings thoughtful posts about growing up to the grid, but this one will probably be my favourite forever, just for the pure joy it brings me and the occasional chuckles I get when I think about that scene just before I fall asleep. —Flood G
Beginning with a stifling image of too much “stuff,” Jennifer from Treading Water in the Kiddie Pool leads us to believe His Shoes will be a post about the cleansing joys of purging old, unneeded junk. Yes, we plead. Yes! Toss it all! She starts with the superhero pajamas – easy! On to the footie pajamas – oh dear. Memories of babyhood. But she pushes on. Then the shoes. Full stop. Welcoming the reader into vulnerability and her interrupted purge allows us to commiserate and agree that maybe, just maybe, cleaning out doesn’t have to happen all at once. The voice in this post begs us to agree. —Kristin Wald
A Latte of Embarrassment from Amanda at Werdyab is one of the funniest posts I’ve ever read. The plot is simple: mom needs coffee, toddler is screaming for brownies, they end up in line at Starbucks and the kiddo amuses himself by rubbing mama’s butt: “Then I felt Drew’s little hand on my badonkadonk again. But this time, he was rubbing it in a circular motion like he expected a genie to pop out. It was a “wax-on-wax-off” that would make Mr. Miyagi cry.” I won’t spoil this great story by telling you what happens next, because you are going to read it. Succinct, candid and expertly-told, Amanda shows mommy bloggers how it’s done. —Louise Ducote
Azara brings a hard-earned wisdom and some of her best writing to The Wind in the Trees, a post about searching for the heartbeat of a friend’s fetus. From the foreshadowing of turning on the transducer machine to silence (no batteries) to sentences I remember months after reading (“. . .she watched me slowly cover every inch of her torso, erasing hope as I went”), the piece is raw with emotion and refined in its beautiful, crafted storytelling. While our hearts break for the author’s lost baby and her friend’s impending loss, we celebrate a skillfully told story and that won’t soon be forgotten. —Stacie D
We’ve made all 60 of you your very own badge
It’s over in the right sidebar waiting for you, and we’d be honored if you’d display it in the sidebar of your own 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.
Congrats! If you’re not already on this week’s grid, yeah write #105 should still be open, and you’re welcome to join us. On to year three, everybody!