In 2014, when I first participated in the April A To Z Blogging Challenge, I said to myself, “I shall do this thing, but I shan’t allow myself to spend too much time on it each day. It will be fun, and take about an hour.” But things do not always go as we expect. Soon, I found I was having LOTS of fun, and spending anywhere from 3 to 10 hours on my posts. They are, by the way, glorious, and I highly encourage the reader to peruse them. They are Classic British Mystery Themed Artificial Artifacts, and some of them are Extremely Amusing. Here is my 2014 A; you ought to be able to click through the entries from there.
In 2015, I said to myself, “Now, Melanie. Last year was fun, but it also ate your life. Remember last year? Right. This year, really, do something simple. Like dressing up in costumes. Simple. You do have an ungodly lot of clothes. Put them to use.” And so I found myself writing a 50,000 word novella, a mystery set in Edwardian England, told every day from a different character’s point of view. I would also dress up as that character and include a picture with that day’s chapter.
It was like my own personal NaNoRiMo.
I spent anywhere from 6 to 18 hours a day on my posts that year. The final product I called Alas!. It is a thing of wonder and beauty, and I highly recommend it. I don’t think I’d even decided who done it until like letter E, but all the clues work, and the solution, if a bit improbable, isn’t, I think, at all bad. And the pictures are pretty good, too, I think. I mean, I have to explain to people that, where there is only one person in a picture, that one person is invariably me (where there are two figures in a picture, the other person is my awesome and cooperative boyfriend). I have organized Alas! into a gallery so that my weird costumes can conveniently be admired; to read a chapter, you just click on the character. You can do that here. I will wait.
In 2016, I decided to do another round of Artificial Artifacts, this time mostly horror-themed. I knew it would eat my life, and it did, but that was fine. I like making content for this blog (or blaugh), and, as I barely post anything for the rest of the year, I had, by 2016, come to think of April as “the month where I do literally nothing but generate content for my website.” This makes some sense, though I don’t know how much sense it makes. Also? My 2016 A To Z is great. I recommend that you read it as obsessively as I wrote it. That does not, on reflection, make much sense, but I think you know what I mean. Anyway, here is my 2016 theme reveal; you should be able to navigate through from there.
But! This year, no really, I am determined not to spend gobs of time on my A To Z. So it will, I hope, be awesome, but it won’t be super-involved, as it has been in years past.
The Actual Theme Reveal
I love the old Strand Magazine. A lot. Especially the pictures. So I am going to take pictures from old (not-in-copyright-I-seriously-hope) Strand Magazines, re-caption them, and arrange them in a story. Or several stories. The alphabet part will come in because the first letter of the first caption of each day’s installment will be the daily letter. Does anyone else find it singularly difficult to talk about the technical aspects of the April A To Z Blogging Challenge clearly, by the way? Anyway, I may do one continuous story through the month of April, but I think I will probably break off stories and continue them later, and in the meantime tell a new story, which will itself break off and be continued later.
See you in April!