Well here I am, just about a week outside of the A-Z Challenge. I cannot believe that I made my way through it. Whew!
Because I’m a procrastinator (and because I’m busy), I didn’t have anything written ahead of time, even though I decided back in about January that I’d participate in the challenge and chose my theme in March. And goodness, I’d forgotten how difficult it could be to write the equivalent of a literary essay a day. Some of those came easier than others—I had to make myself stop talking about Jo March, but Irene was more difficult to write extensively about–and I’m sure that some of that was related to the character, but it was also related to my own mood and real-life circumstances that affected how well I was(n’t) able to focus on writing the blogs.
And just in general, there was a whole host of things happening in April. We were moving closer and closer to the end of the semester at the university, something we’ve finally reached—this week is all about grading final projects and averaging grades. And I know it seems like things wind down right around this time, but for professors and grad students, this is the busiest time of the semester—grading finals, averaging, meeting with students, finishing our own final projects, and readying for the next semester make for quite a bit of work. At the beginning of April, we had an unfortunate hiccup in the blogging network on the same weekend that I was out of town for Little Jedi’s birthday adventures. It was also a month that saw everyone in the family getting sick at some point or another, including an asthma flare-up for me, the first in years. There’s roadwork going on literally beside our house, and there’ve been people working on the outside of our house for weeks–so it’s loud here. And then there’s the ever-present concern about comprehensive exams, now scheduled for September with a dissertation prospectus defense projected for November.
And so I made it through the month with the writing, but I didn’t spend nearly as much time finding new blogs and commenting on them as I’d wanted to. I was able to do that at the very beginning of the challenge, but as time moved on, it was all I could do to keep up the writing. I loved visiting and connecting with the bloggers that I was able to–and that’s probably my only regret about this challenge, not getting to do more of that. But because the writing was creating some wonderful discussions, and because it was designed to help me start thinking about comps (adolescent femininity in literature is the bread and butter of my work), I couldn’t not finish. I was lucky enough to have contributors help with 2 or 3 of the letters, and I posted what should’ve been a Saturday post on a Sunday once, but I did it.
And here it is, in its entirety, the A-Z posts that appeared on the Monster this month:
A-On American Girls Dolls and being a Molly
B-Beezie Maddox, Abuse, and the Stories We Don’t Want to Hear
D-Diana Barry, Namesakes, and Queering Friendships
E-Ella of Frell
H-Harriet the Spy
L-Laura Ingalls-by Annie
T-The Giving Tree-by Brandie
V-Veruca Salt and Violet Beauregard