blogging challenge

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Looking (far) ahead to April

Published February 9, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Random, I know, but for some reason I’ve started thinking about whether or not I’m going to do April A-to-Z again this year.  (Probably because a week ago or so one of the blogs I follow mentioned having already signed up for it.)  I’ve especially been thinking about it today, ’cause my paper for tomorrow flowed out of my fingertips like butter, despite the late start, so I was able to spend pretty much all day doing nothing, especially because the snow on the driveway melted in the brief window of sunlight before I went out to clean it up.  (Admittedly, I spent most of the day gaming, but…I tend to think about other stuff while I’m gaming.)

On the one hand, it was a lot of fun, and I felt like people enjoyed what I was writing.  (Some of the time, anyway.)

On the other hand, my class work last April was a lot less draining on my time than this semester’s will be, and by April I will hopefully be gainfully employed.  (Hopefully.  I’m not sure of the time table involved.)  So I’ll have a lot less time to devote to it, meaning that massive walls of text on a daily basis aren’t likely to happen.

Also, I feel like I’m going to run out of stuff to say if I stick to the Greek myths for the whole A-to-Z encounter.  (Especially what with several letters in the English alphabet not being in the Greek one.)

So I was thinking that I’d widen my focus this April, and do world mythology, instead of just Greek mythology.  (Though I’ll probably still throw in one or two Greco-Roman ones where appropriate…or possibly where inappropriate…I wonder if it’s okay to post NSFW pictures on WordPress if they’re also photos of ancient art?)

I was also thinking that it’d be faster if, instead of just a wall of text every day, I posted a pertinent photo of art of the myth/mythical figure in question, always art from the society in question, naturally.  (Not that I have all that many photos of my own to use; I’ll have to get the rest from Wikimedia Commons or someplace.  I have an idea for a post using one or more of my pictures from Peru, and I know I could get a number of posts from the photos I took on my trip to England — I’m pretty sure I did scan all of those in — but beyond that, I don’t have many of my own photos to use.)  My thinking, of course, being that if I post a picture, then maybe I won’t write quite as much.

So, you may be wondering why I’m telling you this, right?  Well, because I thought it’d be a good idea to make sure no one violently objected before I committed to doing something like this.  I don’t want to be spamming anyone’s reader with posts they’ll hate, right?  (Okay, yeah, I realize that’s not likely to be an issue, but…I dunno.  I just felt like I should post this.  Because I’m me.)

Of course, where it’ll really be challenging will be on Mondays.  Because I won’t put Missing Letter Mondays on hold, so I’ll have to come up with a subject that fits the world mythology theme and the day’s April letter, without using the week’s forbidden letter.  Now that will be a challenge!  (I did check already, though, and in no cases will the two letters be the same.  If they were…I think I’d have to do two posts in the same day, one for Missing Letter Mondays and the other for April A-to-Z.  Technically, I suppose I could still do that if I found myself struggling.)

Obviously, if I end up doing it, I’m going to have to start working on it now, and have all — or almost all — of the posts written long before April gets here.  Which might defeat the purpose?  Hmm…I should go to the site and check out the rules before I commit…

Missing Letter Mondays

Published May 25, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

Sure, you can write a whole post without the letter “Z”.  But what about the letter “I”?  Or the letter “T”?  Or–dare I even say it?–the letter “E”?

How about every single letter of the alphabet, in turn?

That’s the idea behind “Missing Letter Mondays,” a blogging challenge to write a post–whether in prose or in poetry–without using the letter of the week.  (Inspired by this poem I found in a very old magazine.)

If you’d like to participate–and I hope you will!–then there are some simple rules.  (Or I hope they’re simple…)

  1. It has to make some form of sense–no random gibberish–but it doesn’t have to be 100% logical and cohesive.  (Consider the amount of sense, or lack thereof, in the average pop song’s lyrics as a good yardstick.  If it makes less sense than the average pop song, you’re not making enough sense.)
  2. Made up words are okay in moderation, but don’t go to “Jabberwocky” levels with it.  (Don’t get me wrong; I love “Jabberwocky.”  It’s just that making up your own words takes out all the challenge.)
  3. Words in other languages are hunky-dory…as is archaic slang like hunky-dory…
  4. Don’t exclude a letter by misspelling the word in question.  Run a spell-checker if you’re not sure of a spelling.  (However, you can leave off the “g” at the end of a verb or participle as long as you use the appropriate apostrophe, but try not to do that too much during the “G” post.)
  5. Try to use correct grammar as much as possible.  (Though sentence fragments are acceptable.  Within reason.)
  6. Link back to this post and display one of the “Missing Letter Mondays” banners.  (The banner can be the link, of course.)
  7. You can post additional text that doesn’t follow the rule, but only a brief explanatory phrase, and you must separate it from the main portion of the post with a horizontal line.  If the words in your explanatory text outnumber the ones in your main post, then you’ve written too much explanation.
  8. In addition to the main banner, it would also be nice if you would post the icon for the forbidden letter of the week.
  9. Please give your post the tag Missing-Letter-Monday.
  10. Additionally, you get bonus points if you pick a topic that would normally require that letter to discuss.  (For example, you get bonus points for talking about Loki when you can’t use the letter “O”, or talking about Freddie Mercury when you can’t use the letter “Q”, or Hatsune Miku when you can’t use the letter “V”.)  If you feel you’ve earned bonus points, there’s a badge for that!
  11. Can you do this challenge without consulting a thesaurus?  Then you get cookies!  (Chocolate chip.  Very tasty.)
  12. Most importantly, have fun with it!

If your blog isn’t on WordPress, then please post the link either here or on the current week’s MLM post on my blog. (The link to your MLM post, not to your blog’s main page.)

The challenge will begin next week, Monday, June 1st, 2015, with the letter “A” being forbidden.  The following week will be “B” and so on.  (And after “Z” it will loop back around to “A”…)

There are official graphics, of course!  (But please think of them as temporary.  I have no artistic skill.  So if any kind soul wants to make new ones that look less awful…)

MLM banner init     MLM icon init

bonus points      cookies banner init

MLM A  MLM B  MLM C  MLM D  MLM E  MLM F  MLM G  MLM H  MLM I MLM J MLM K MLM L MLM M MLM N MLM O MLM P MLM Q MLM R MLM S MLM T MLM U MLM V MLM W MLM X MLM Y MLM Z

 

[Edit:  It turns out there’s also a blogging challenge just to post a paragraph without the letter “E,” so if you think it can’t be done, there’s proof that it can here, for example.  But that’s more of a chain-letter kind of one-time challenge, whereas this is an on-going, weekly, only-if-you-feel-like-it type of challenge, so it’s not like it’s “competition.”]

A possible new blogging event/challenge

Published May 24, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

So, today one of the items I was accessioning at the museum (before I had to leave early because my arm was freaking out on me worse than usual) was a photocopy of an entire magazine from 1898.  (There was an article about the poet the museum is dedicated to, ya see…)

Given that the magazine was from 1898, I’m sure there was a lot of interesting (and terrifying) material in the various articles, but I mostly just looked at titles to see how much of it was related to the museum’s central purpose, so I could enter the data into the computer correctly.  But one thing caught my eye near the end:

An entire poem composed without using the letter E.

I passed quickly from being impressed to thinking “wow, I wanna try that!”

And from there I thought how cool it would be to make it a recurring feature on the blog.  Not that it would necessarily need to be poetry, of course, but when you’re doing something that awkward, poetry helps bridge the gaps of sentence structure and sense.

So I’m thinking of doing a feature called “Missing Letter Mondays” which would be at least 26 weeks long–or maybe looping forever–going through each letter of the alphabet and having a post not consisting of that letter.  With bonus points for writing about something that would usually require that letter (like not using the letter Q when talking about Elizabeth I or Freddie Mercury) and cookies for not using a thesaurus.

The question is, should I just do this by myself, or make it an “everybody do it, too” type of event?  Any thoughts?  If I try to make it a WordPress event–or a blog-hop like April A-to-Z–would anyone else do it?

Let me know if you’re interested one way or the other, okay?  ‘Cause I’m thinking of doing an announcement/introduction/challenge-home-page thing tomorrow, and then starting the following Monday.  Because that will help fill the void of “what do I post about during the emptiness of summer?”

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