This is my 200th post on this blog!
What better way to commemorate the event than to share the love? March 23rd, which still has a few more hours of life in some parts of the world, was a massive reveal day for hundreds of bloggers that are participating in the Blogging A-Z in April Challenge. The challenge is a great way to gain exposure by talking about stuff that really moves you all through April, and the 23rd is designated as the challenge’s Great and Powerful Theme Reveal Day.
I posted yesterday about my theme, a photographic essay on leaving Japan, but I found a bunch of other themes that I think are going to knock it out of the park. I’ve decided to share them here (exactly 26, if one’s counting… a very small sampling considering over 1,100 people are participating!) Make sure to show these people some love, because they’ve got nothing but great stuff to show you in April, and many of them have awesome blogs besides!
I am a contributor on this blog, but really love the theme N J Magas chose for us. In her own words:
“This April, join us as we examine selected short stories from twenty-six masters of words. We’ll cover works by D. H. Lawrence, O. Henry, Mark Twain and more in summaries and short author bios. If you have a love of literature and history, we’d love to see you in the comments.”
Multiple contributors take part in this medley of fun, geeky things heavy on comics, TV, and books. All of the contributors are very strong writers, so it’s sure to be an excellent read all through April.
Hannah Givens has written some really fabulous posts on comics and feminism, and her theme plays to those strengths, talking about something I’m really eager to learn from:
“Y’all know me — I’m all about the comics and I’m all about the LGBT+ representation. For my very first A to Z blogging challenge, I’m combining the two. This month will be constructed of an alphabetical list of some of the most awesomely amazing LGBT+ characters in comics!
I know a lot of readers are interested in diversifying their media, and I also know comics can be majorly daunting for new people and it’s hard to track down the stories you want. So, I’m doing the work for you. Each post will be a short run-down of the character in question, followed by a reading recommendation.”
N J, who is also doing all of the posts for Out of Print, is talking about the non-fiction books on our shelf this year. I may be biased (girlfriend and all), but I think a lot of people will appreciate her intelligence and wit:
“Last year my theme was all the wonderful fiction on my shelves. As I was writing those posts, I kept glancing over at my non-fiction bookcase, and how lonely and forlorn it must feel to not have even a little bit of spotlight in the blog hop. Well dry those tears, non-fiction books, ’cause this year’s all about you!
“I generally read more non-fiction in a year than any other genre. It’s a necessary part of the writer game, as much as reading fiction, or sitting over a computer squinting at a single sentence for hours is. If I’m supposed to write what I know, then I better cram my head so full of knowable stuff that numbers come tumbling out of my ears in an endless Fibonacci sequence.”
Jay Noel tackles one of my favorite topics, in dedication to Tina, memorialized in the badges of this year’s challenge:
“Many of you know how much I love mythology from different cultures and how it’s influenced my writing. I grew up reading lots of Greek, Arthurian, Roman, Japanese, Chinese, and some African mythology, and I hope to share my love with all of you. Expect many favorites mixed in with the obscure. I’m going to include Norse, Aztec, Arabian, Hebrew, Hindu, and even Native American myths.”
I love words. Especially tricky, sticky, or rare ones. You can probably guess as much from my Dictionary of Purple Prose. Sue Archer, an editor by trade and wonderful blogger, is talking all about words for her challenge:
“For the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I decided to write about rogue words — those treacherous words that hold your writing captive.
“Is there a word that you always have to check to make sure you’re using it properly? Do you freeze in terror as you glimpse it in your mind’s eye? Does it laugh at you while stealing away your confidence as a writer?
“These are the types of words I will be writing about, with creative tips on how to master them.”
Happiness and Food:
Being a Woman in India
Parul, a very sweet person and all around ball of sunshine, is talking about life in India for women for her theme. I’m excited by the prospect of learning about a perspective I’m not familiar with:
“I am a woman. I will talk about women in India for the sole reason that I am exposed to the women in this country but as I will get to share over the 26 days, you will see that in many ways women across countries will be able to relate to what I write. We will have a mixed bag – some posts will make you smile and feel good while others will leave you thinking and reflecting. Through my posts, I am hoping to bring about a little awareness and a some positive change.”
Jemima Pett is talking about naturally occurring mysteries of our world and worlds of science fiction for her theme, and I think there’s no one cooler to tackle the topic:
“So, what on earth does Natural Phenomena mean? Being a bit of an earth sciences geek (and that includes space science) I’ve decided to pick something that is just an amazing (to me) bit of nature. And I’ll try to fit in my Flash Fiction Friday with the appropriate words, and maybe a bit of book reviewing on Saturdays too. There’ll be things to look at in the skies, on your next walk, to do on the internet or just spot when you next see a nature programme on tv.”
Again, no secret why I’m highlighting this one!
“For my second attempt at completing a month of alphabetical blogging, I thought I would take my inspiration from the alphabet itself.
“As a lover of words, both written and spoken, I have decided to share some of my favourites with you. It constantly amazes me that from just the 26 letters in the English language, we can create so many wonderful, beautiful, phenomenal words, that, when put together, can weave magical tales or convey precise information.”
As someone who is shamefully ignorant of music, this theme looks absolutely awesome to me:
“This year I’ve titled my theme Listen Up! If you know me, you know I love travel, food, music, and literature. In 2012, I blogged about writers, essayists, lyricists, and poets. In 2013, it was Oh! The Places I’ve Been! And last year’s theme was Smile and Say…. (an alphabetical blog about cheese). This year we’ll visit musical instruments from A to Z, with a post each day except Sundays in April.”
Sheena has an awesome sense of humor and great energy on her blog, so it’ll be fun to see where she goes with her theme, chosen by her readers!
“Y’all sent me ideas…now I am planning to try to deliver on some of them.
“Some of you got very, very specific with what you want me to write about. Might have something to do with the way I interpreted some prompts last year. It’s almost like you don’t trust me to understand what you meant with your ideas!”
Another theme I am really excited about:
“I will write about a new aspect, or term, or concept of Astronomy everyday and feature a beautiful “Astronomy Photo of the Day” from NASA complete with an explanation. I may even write about more than one thing a day simply because I cannot settle on one thing for each letter. There is so much to cover guys!”
Shawn will be writing about elders’ wisdom, and being someone who never had grandparents to be close to, this sounds like a wonderful read:
“This will be a collection of Down Home Thoughts. Things that my grandmother said or ideas that she passed along to me that significantly shaped who I am and what I believe. Why this as a topic you ask? Well, if you have read some of my other blogs, I feel very strongly that we (society) can do a better job of promoting, teaching, improving and expecting good character in everyone around us. Much of that was shaped by what I learned from my grandmother. This is what prompted me to start the #GotCharacter campaign to recognize good character in public.”
I think this theme is great because it tackles a topic near and dear to many of our hearts, and with all of the scandals and calls for diversity in fiction over the last two years, it couldn’t be more timely. Be sure to check it out!
Sarah Zama has been researching the Roaring Twenties for four years and is ready to share all of her knowledge at her blog this year during A-Z. Can I say “Yes, please!”?!
“Although originally I had planned to set my story in Depression Era America, I’ve never regretted moving it back one decade. The Roaring Twenties is a fascinating time where so many things we now take for granted first came into existence. It was a time of change for so many people (women, but also minorities, especially African Americans) but also a time where ideas still stubbornly clinging to the past (the Scope Trial, for example, and to some extent, Prohibition itself). These contradictions are the heart of this era, in my opinion.”
A great group of writers who share tips and ideas in easy-to-digest language. Can’t help but love the idea of a little bit of these ladies every day in April:
“Get ready for writing tips, rocket ships, and deep space thoughts! Each post will consist of:
• 3 quick tips on one aspect of writing (i.e. conflict, stakes, narrators, etc.)
• 2 examples of good technique
• 1 resource for more in-depth help”
￼This sounds like an amazing theme from a bright woman. I’m eager to dive in.
“I have been scheduling posts since January. I have read all the 26 epics that I will post about, one for each letter (okay, almost all of them. You’ll see). The posts will tell you a little bit about where each epic came from (time, culture, geographical place), introduce you to the hero(es) and heroines, and then provide a witty and whimsical (*cough*) list of highlights to show you how awesome epics can be, and give you an idea of why you should read them.”
Just like Stephanie says on her own blog, the 80s were my decade. I was born in 85, and because my house was always a little slow to accept pop culture, I grew up with 80s standard toys, music, and TV shows. I’m really excited about this theme.
This theme is best described by the author herself:
“There are always those weird words that you can’t quite believe exist. Words with weird definitions, or words that describe odd, highly specific situations. Maybe if we used them everyday, we’d be accustomed to their existence, but for whatever reason, they’ve fallen by the wayside.
“For this year’s challenge, I will choose a word each day that isn’t well known. I will give you a definition for that word, and then I will give you a funny, geeky reason or two as to why it is good to know what that word means. I want to do this because A) being the nerd who likes to know weird vocabulary words is cool (I won’t let anyone tell me differently), and B) this will give me the chance to try to be funny. I don’t know if I’ll pull off the humor portion of things, but I will try. And you can expect my love for science and science fiction to come into play from time to time.”
I LOVE the angle for this theme, looking at problems from a future perspective. I can’t wait to see what problems they’ll cover, and how the people of the future have solved (or not) the issues of today.
“Maybe the number one topic that we have more ideas for than blog posts we have written, our Science Fiction Today posts are our way of talking about politics and current events without talking about them in the normal sort of way.
“First, there is the idea of Wicked Problems. They are large problems where there is not necessarily a “right” answer, or, if there is, we don’t know what that answer is! Most of these problems exist in the political sphere where, because there is no right answer, opinions, beliefs, philosophy, and the other aspects of partisan thought enter into the mix.”
A truly awesome theme from a great blogger. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for all of the letters!
“I love a good hoax. I especially love monsters. I identify with the Sasquatch, with the yeti, with Nessie. Sometimes the monster exists, and sometimes it doesn’t.
“It is no coincidence that the OED lists the etymology of the word “monster” as “monere,” which means “to warn.” Monsters are here to show us things; they are here because we need them, even when we must construct elaborate hoaxes.
“The photograph of Nessie is proven to have been doctored; the yeti footprints are re-identified as bear paw prints; the Sasquatch is a man in costume. That’s because eventually we must normalize, and the story must close so the world makes sense again. But our monsters reflect something: they warn us of our shortcomings and remind us of our fears while allowing us to escape from the confines of what we know.
“There’s something cathartic about a good monster movie or book, about a monster’s story.
“Part of it is that the monster is often human in some ways, and the humans are often monstrous. Often, our monsters are used-to-be humans. Werewolves, vampires, ghosts, Frankenstein’s creature…Some of the most memorable characters in horror, and they’re Us But Not Us.
“And those monsters—sometimes they’re women. Sometimes they’re girls. Lady Monsters tell us many things. Sometimes they whisper, and other times they shout. Sometimes they’re so beautiful that they’re terrible, and sometimes they’re just terrible.”
￼This is an excellent idea that is fitting in nicely to a growing trend I was noticing among the theme reveals.
“Now, before some of you guys do an about face and run (or you non-history buffs 🙂 thinking . . . ~B-O-R-I-N-G~, “I’m out of here,” think again.
“You might be surprised at some of the inventions women made that have had a huge impact on your life, and you couldn’t live without if you tried.
“How about Engine Mufflers and Windshield Wipers? And ladies, how about Barbie Dolls, Rolling Pins and Disposal Diapers? I try to keep it light, short, informative, and fun, and selected only one invention per post for the A-Z. There were many to choose from!”
I am particularly excited about this theme, not only because I am currently working with this author (who is a stunning wordsmith), but also because it is a murder mystery! Follow Atherton and try to guess who killed Lord Cadblister in a fun, daily Who-Dun-It that is sure to be a blast!
Another really fun theme idea that’s going to include a lot of excited swearing. I love it when people are so jazzed about something they can’t sit still, and this theme looks really promising.
“I often talk about how I’m a nerd/geek (and I do use those terms interchangeably, even though they are distinctly different), and I’m using this opportunity to highlight things that get me way (WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY) more excited than they should. And since I registered as an AC (Adult Content) blog for this year’s challenge, may as well make it worthwhile. If you followed me two years ago, there were some issues with some folks getting dinged for using PG-13 language without indicating that they were doing so. Since I do say fuck from time to time, I figured I’d better put the R warning out. So if I’m going blue anyway, may as well have fun with it.”
Another nerdy, geeky joy fest of math, science, and other things that make folks giddy. Can never have enough reasons to be happy in life.
“It’s like a whole month of #ThreeThingsThursday…in alphabetical order. 😀
“But I have good news for those of you who voted for all of the other topics…math and science and music and simplicity happen to be things that put a smile on my face, so, indirectly, you also win! :)”
And for the last theme I’m sharing today, Tasha’s theme looks to be chock full of the stuff fantasty authors crave: sources! I’m hoping there will be lots of deities and demons I never knew about in this one.
“Some of the deities mentioned are from historical pantheons, but I will be talking about their roles in a fictional universe. I think it is fascinating how writers incorporate religion into their work and, in some cases, provide a whole background for religious icons in their stories.
“With some of the supernatural entities I have chosen I picked them because I found them interesting when I read or watched where they came from. Others I have looked up and I just enjoyed what I found.
“Each post will talk about the entity in question and, in some cases, there will be a small flash fiction inspired by that entity. Some days have two entities because I thought both were too interesting to pass up.”
Not enough theme reveals for you? Check out the full list at: