WordPress’ weekly writing challenge took a bit of a departure this week, asking participants to “find five blogs you’ve never read before, and leave substantive comments on each of them.” Easy-peasy, right? But where to find those five?
This line from the challenge post gave me an idea:
Are you an armchair political pundit? Check out some blogs from the other side of the spectrum.
I think of myself as more of a “semi-connected loudmouth with a vested interest,” but the point is well-taken: opposites.
I looked at my list of tags to see what I use most, guessing that this must in some way reflect the topics I naturally gravitate toward. Once I’d settled on the “opposite,” I used the WordPress Reader to find a post that had a connection to that topic, commented, and, in every case, followed. There’s great stuff out there, if you take/make the time to look.
Why I chose it: I am tempted to simply say, “FOR ITS PURE AWESOMENESS,” but my delight (and relief) in finding this at the top of the post pile deserves a little context. I was thinking I’d be looking at blogs that dealt with the many heartbreaking aspects of aging, but Whitney quickly did away with that anxiety with her post about Joe (who fancies himself a bit of a nonagenarian ladykiller) and his companion Dot (who at least has the good nature to laugh at his awkward advances).
Why I chose it: “Beaster” is actually the nickname for my three-year-old son, for which there exists no opposite. But I knew right away that I wanted to check out a post that talked about “beauty,” because it is a pretty foreign subject for me (not to say that I’m not naturally gorrrrrrgeous, just that if I wear anything more than colourless lip balm, the people who know me assume I’m on my way to a wedding, or a funeral). I really liked Gabriella’s post about her styling gone wrong, because it seems like exactly the kind of thing that would happen to me. The fact that I can’t recall a really bad haircut is testimony to my faulty memory, not my crack stylist-pickin’ skills.
Why I chose it: I didn’t come to parenthood easily or quickly. I wasn’t subjected to a barrage of questions about it, but I know that many women are, and this post, written by a person who doesn’t yet have children, contains the perfect — and I mean the perfect — response for all those who, for whatever reason, are not yet child-enabled/afflicted, and are forced to “explain themselves” to judgmental relatives and boundaryless friends:
I truly appreciate the wonder of your own creation, but I’d thank the world for not inflicting the expectation of my own on me.
Why I chose it: I’m not entirely confident in this “opposite,” but I am happy that it gave me the chance to look at many blogs I’d not have otherwise found, including Lisa Jayne’s, which led me to a whole series of blogs that are participating in SkADaMo 2012 (Sketch A Day Month 2012). Less wordy than NaNoWriMo, half as scratchy as Movember. (Disclosure: I’ve never taken my kids to see a shopping mall Santa but the doodled version here does bear a striking resemblance to my own dad).
Why I chose it: Coming up with an opposite for Toronto wasn’t easy, so I went for a literal interpretation and entered my city’s name in antipodr.com, which identified Toronto’s geographical opposite as a point in the southern Indian Ocean, with the closest point of land in southwestern Australia (Cape Leeuwin, to be precise). Alex’s photo post was the only one that came up when I searched WordPress for “Cape Leeuwin.” That made commenting (and following) easier, as did the fact that it’s a spectacular stretch of coastline that he has documented beautifully.
I have a pretty full blog reading list, so I don’t often ask for suggestions, but if you participated in this week’s challenge and found a gem or two yourself, comment below and share the link love!