Surprise! I’ve actually got two posts this week! And since I was nearly as surprised as everyone else, I was really lucky to find this Random Dragon by French deviantartist Laetitia, posting as Nanasschevelu, don’t you think? 😉
Today, Monday, March 19, is the day to reveal our themes for the upcoming daily blogging April AtoZ Challenge 2018!
So I’m happy to announce that my theme this year is:
Odds and Ends Dragons
I’ll be sharing an awesome piece of dragon art each day by an artist I’ve discovered over the years, but never found the right spot for before now.
I’ve kept a running list of art to go back to eventually, and even excluding all of my usual favorites like Sandara, How Many Dragons, Mythka, Alvia Alcedo, Tsaoshin, and all my other go-to artists, it worked out that I nearly filled my alphabet in one fell swoop with these Odds and Ends Dragons!
I hope you’ll come with me on this crazy April ride, I’m really excited for it! The posts will be short and sweet — about 300 words, just one artwork and a bit of chit chat — and I plan to check in and keep up with many of my fellow bloggers this year, those I’ve found in past years and new blogs as well!
Now, read on if you’re interested in my sordid history with the AtoZ Challenge… I never posted an ‘after thoughts’ post last year, so I guess it’s all coming out now.
I first took on this challenge in 2016, the year I started blogging, and the exercise really helped me find my blogging voice and style. My posts were short and random, and I discovered many amazing artists. And I finished the challenge and got my Survivor Badge, which you can see towards the bottom of my sidebar (or under the post if you’re on mobile).
Then last year, I decided to get crazy ambitious. I was a few months back after my short hiatus at the end of 2016, and I wanted to craft a longer essay for each letter in April focused on Dragons in Our Fandoms. I loved my idea, and thought I started early enough with my research and pre-writing… but I ran into a few problems.
It all started to go downhill with my C is for Conan the Barbarian post. I actually hadn’t even known there were dragons in Conan — spoiler alert, there’s really only one, but also a serpent and dinosaurs! (And then people added dragons into the Conan MMO…) All of that research was super interesting to me — but it took me a week to write the post, coming in at almost 1900 words!
So anyway. There’s a ‘guideline’ for AtoZ that says to try to keep your posts short and sweet, since half the fun of AtoZ is jumping around to all the other participants’ blogs, checking them out, leaving a comment, and moving on! But my A for Avatar the Last Airbender post was 790 words, and my B for the Black Cauldron post was 770 words. And then Conan.
But I still felt like I was on a roll, and while I didn’t intend to write another 1900 word post, I was shooting for between 700-1500 words per essay, depending on where the research would take me. And that worked! For awhile, anyway.
I was able to keep on top of the posts until I got to R is for Reign of Fire (850 words). That one posted on time, but then I fell behind, and the next thing I knew, April was over.
I still managed to write S is for A Song of Ice and Fire (1336 words), T is for the Temeraire Saga (1531 words), U is for Ultima (1655 words), V is for the Volsunga Saga (1507 words), and W is for Willow (1477 words), and get them posted every few weeks…
…but while some of the essays I was most looking forward to — Y is for Yu-Gi-Oh, and Z is for Zelda — were still ahead of me, I got hung up on X is for Xiaolin Showdown, and never did finish the series.
So all of that is to explain why I’ve chosen to do the April AtoZ Challenge 2018 the way I have this year.
- I’m excited to showcase all of these artists I’ve never had the space for;
- I feel bad that I didn’t finish last year and I’m determined to ‘survive’ the challenge and earn my survivor badge this year; and
- I’m looking forward to following — to the end, this time — many of the bloggers I discovered these last two years, seeing what new theme they’ve developed, and possibly even checking out the posts I missed last year.
And finally, I know that if I can just get through April, I’ll really be forced to get back to my own novel, Finding Dragons, and then maybe, just maybe, I’ll find my right blogging/writing balance, and Finding Dragons will be found!
Thank you as always for reading, and welcome to any new readers! Take care, and stay creative — and see you next week for my Writing Thoughts post, before AtoZ starts up Sunday, April 1st!