Wednesday, May 6, 2015
WRAPPING IT UP
I'll start by saying that I LOVED doing the Challenge in this, my second year. I sort of stumbled my way to what proved to be the perfect topic for me: 16th-century people who lived exceptional lives in one way or another, but whose names are, for the most part, unfamiliar to people of the 21st century except for historical scholars. Not being a historical scholar myself, I had never heard of almost any of the 26 people I ended up posting about, and trying to round up and organize information about their lives was a constant source of delight for me.
I also discovered a whole bunch of wonderful blogs and bloggers that I would probably never have found otherwise. I can't mention all the names here, but I will list my absolute top three (in no particular order):
Kern Windwraith, The Odd Particle Review. Quirky, hilarious, thought-provoking observations,
deeply generous in spirit.
Nilanjana Bose, Madly-in-Verse. Gorgeous poetry that had me thinking, almost every day: "So why is it exactly that this writer isn't famous yet?"
Zalka Csenge Virag, The Multicolored Diary. Fascinating summaries by a professional storyteller of epic tales from around the world, retold with panache, expertise, and irreverent humor.
I volunteered to be a Minion this year, and then when I found out what that entailed, I thought about backing out. Did I really want to be a Blog Cop, searching out and reporting to my Overlord bloggers who had dropped out along the way or who were still participating but not following the rules? YUCK! It took me a little while, but then I caught on to the purpose behind all this. A lot of Challenge participants diligently hop around the list, visiting ten or twenty or even more new blogs each day, and it can be a real bummer to put in that kind of time and effort, only to find that you keep hitting on blogs that aren't really part of the Challenge after all. So the goal is to eliminate the debris and make blog-hopping a more pleasant experience for the people who actually are participating. Makes sense, right?
I don't have any brilliant suggestions about ways to improve the Challenge for next year. I enjoy the democratic flavor of it all - we're all in it together as long as we're willing to put in the work. Since I'm unlikely to ever run a marathon, this may be the closest I get to that kind of experience! And I don't even have to be seen in public in running shorts! I'd call that a win-win.
Congratulations to all my fellow Challenge survivors! If we didn't meet this year, I hope we will next April.