November 5, 2017 at 2:12 am #78949
So, did that feel right? We started Gauntlet season earlier than usual this time, in part to avoid holiday burnout, but also to capitalize on some energy and enthusiasm we’d had over the summer for this project. We got to know some new writers and reviewers, so hopefully that means it all worked out.
You know what? As I was sitting backstage with my fellow judges, reading the finalists’ stories for critique, I thought of something very sad. It happened over the summer, and at the time, it bothered me and a good friend of mine quite a bit. It was the death of Linkin’ Park vocalist Chester Bennington. I had never been a huge fan of the band, though my friend is the biggest fan, and I eventually grew to appreciate them here and there over the years. Recently, I had a few hours to catch the big tribute show to Chester, a celebration of life, featuring many artists Chester knew, streamed free of charge on YouTube. If you are so inclined, I can highly recommend this concert: Linkin’ Park & Friends Celebrate Life.
One song, in particular, “Battle Symphony” reminded me of the Gauntlet. (The song title might give away the reason why.) To my surprise, the song and its album met with some pretty harsh reviews. Of course, as I mentioned, I was not so used to Linkin’ Park’s original sound in the first place, so maybe I’m missing the reason why One More Light was such a letdown for many. However, for me, not only do the lyrics of “Battle Symphony” conjure the image of a Gauntleteer at work, but learning of the band’s critical ups and downs, then observing how they dealt with Chester’s tragic death, made me appreciate the group I’m a part of that much more.
WYRM, to me, is like one part the Loser’s Club, and one part the crew of Firefly. I think everyone who’s reading this knows what I mean by that. Things would be a lot less colorful, not nearly as meaningful, not nearly the same, without them. And, I would like to take five minutes to appreciate that in this credit reel, for all they have done for the Gauntlet. Because a decade has passed since our first foray into this, it’s easy to forget that in year one Chy encouraged me to follow my ideas, while at the same time giving me her honest feedback, that Khanh spent long hours with me researching the laws that surround publishing and prize money, and that Chelsea realized it would be way better to have three finalists instead of just two.
Help me thank them. Or, just take the time to read this. I would appreciate the hell out of it:
Your Gauntlet judges have been: Chy Burch, Gale Peterson, Beth Sadler, Tobias Backman, and Steven Lugo
Gauntlet challenges were provided by: Chy Burch, Khanh Mai, Beth Sadler, and Steven Lugo
Gauntlet imagery + the Gauntlet website belong to: Khanh Mai
The Gauntlet’s word factory + agent in the field has been: Steven Lugo
Special thanks to: Ken Liu for writing “Paper Menagerie”, to io9 for reprinting it online for free, to Corpse Husband for his scary vid which we made interactive, to Ralan.Com and Every Writer’s Resource for listing our event this year, to every Gauntleteer who returned to the fray, and to Khanh Mai for providing the finest and most prestigious championship pins that any tournament could want.
This Gauntlet is over. But we are still WYRM, you are still you, and we’ll see each other all over again.
I hear my battle symphony
All the world in front of me
If my armor breaks, I’ll fuse it
Please just don’t give up on me
And my eyes are wide awake
All the best,
Steven, WYRMNovember 7, 2017 at 2:22 am #78951
“Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall down, tells you she’s hurting ‘fore she keens.”
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