Writing it 0ut

Ever read a short story called Twenty Minutes? Written by James Salter, it’s from the excellent collection Dusk and Other Stories. The story moves swiftly through twenty minutes of a woman’s life while sketching all the years that came before and is full of stark, magnificent sentences. I took a class from Mr. Salter and I’m sure I learned something. But twenty years later, this is what I remember: he liked his martinis with pearl onions in the bottom of the glass. He kept a jar of them in his car, in case he found himself stranded with an inadequate martini.

Salter wrote by moving a pen across a piece of paper, then typing and retyping. He once told the Paris Review that many of his peers had suggested he try writing on a computer. He said, “I find that the ease of moving a paragraph is not really what I need. I need the opportunity to write this sentence again, to say it to myself again, to look at the paragraph once more, and actually to go through the whole text, line by line, very carefully, writing it out.”

“Writing it out” can mean reading it aloud to your cat. Or asking yourself and your cat, “What exactly is the ‘so what’ here?” It may mean emailing a draft to one of your yeah write pals and asking for some feedback before you hit the “publish” button. Or reading something like “Twenty Minutes” as a star to steer by. Before you link up this week, go over your post one more time; we’ll wait right here with our excellent bathtub-gin martinis.

The speakeasy is for poetry and fiction submissions

The speakeasy works off an opening sentence prompt and an influencing photograph. If fiction or poetry is your thing, you should check it out. If fiction or poetry is not your thing, try writing a paragraph off the opening prompt as a warm-up before your next nonfiction post; you may fall in love. This week, there’s a chance to earn a $25 Amazon gift card. And, if you bring someone new to the speakeasy, Flood will create a custom photo for your blog. For a past contest, she created photos for the header at Chicken Noodle Gravy. Her images are also at work  in the headers at Ice Scream Mama and free fringes.

Challenge grid

What you need for the challenge grid: a classic yeah write post and the willingness to read about forty other classic yeah write posts.  Some time logged reading our submission guidelines and FAQ. And some more time to come back and vote fairly for a crowd favorite on Thursday.  Yeah write virgins: welcome!  We hope you’ll find it’s time well spent.

Invitational grid

The best posts with the most compelling so whats will be moved by the yeah write editors onto the invitational grid, from which a jury prize will be selected.  Invitational grid posts also remain on the challenge grid.  While you’re reading aloud to your cat and retyping drafts, please consult this checklist.  The invitational grid won’t be made public until popular voting opens on Thursday.

Yeah write #93 weekly writing challenge is open. Bring us your best stuff if you know it’s gonna be the best on the grid.