Friday, August 24, 2012
State of the Blog 2012
The protagonist. In literature, in film and in sports, identification with the protagonist keeps us coming back. As Year 4 begins for The Armchair Squid, it is time to narrow focus and, perhaps, to explore this unifying theme. While new directions are always possible, the following are my priorities for the coming year.
These are a lot of work but they are definitely the best way I've found to network with other bloggers. A to Z is already on the calendar for April. I even have my theme ready to go. Quick-shot blog fests have also been great for me over the past year. If anyone hears of anything planned for February or March, let me know. Those tend to be my slow months.
Image via Comic Bastards
As I said in my Squiddies 2012 post, I started blogging about comic books last fall almost as an afterthought. I did not expect them to be such a rewarding topic for the blog in general. I plan to continue my explorations over the coming year. I will certainly follow the Cannons' Double Barrel project and will encourage you to do the same. Beyond that, I'm not sure where the path will lead. I am considering taking the next step in comic fandom and becoming a subscriber. There is no better demonstration of the power of the protagonist than there is in the world of comics.
To do the topic justice, I do feel I need to educate myself in the visual arts in general. I'm not sure what, if any, direct impact this will have on my blogging but I hope it will at least make for more meaningful posts.
I will also continue to explore children's literature - with my daughter and on my own. There will be sports books, too. Baseball and football books are on my to-read stack at the moment.
This time last year, I set a goal to get my family out of the house for something fun at least once a weekend. This past Sunday, I asked My Wife how she felt about it and she seemed more or less satisfied.
"I don't want you blowing up at me sometime about my 'stupid plans,'" says I.
"Well, I can't promise that..." she retorts.
Photo via The Idea Buro
Generally speaking, I've found that the best bet for getting everyone out is the promise of food. The most gratifying topic as a blogger, however, has been movies. We watch loads of them - mostly in the comfort of our own living room but we make it to the theater from time to time as well. Truth be told, it's more or less the family hobby. As such, I will focus on film for my family adventure posts in the coming year.
As my goal is to keep my blogging life separate from my professional life, this is a tricky topic. I am a music teacher, you see. But there are always intersections between music and the other subjects I write about. I will resume my celebrations of college marching bands (not my job) this coming fall. In the spring, I will turn my attention to music's role in another favorite sport. More on that in a bit.
No changes planned here. I still feel the Majors are the best point of contact for the casual fan. My Curtain Calls are at the very heart of what The Armchair Squid is all about, no matter the topic. After all, each player from the biggest star to the humblest journeyman is the protagonist of his/her own story.
The Baltimore Orioles have been a joy in 2012. I highly recommend following a team as I have this year: watch the pitchers for a few games, then the hitters, then the pitchers again, etc. Keep an eye out for new faces. Of course, it doesn't hurt when your team is winning. As fun as it's been, I'm planning a new baseball direction next year. After college football, baseball has the strongest connection to music of any American sport. I will explore that relationship more in the 2013 season.
I haven't forgotten about my bold proposal, either. At the moment, the Nationals appear to have the best chance to upset the apple cart. The Orioles and Pirates are currently in playoff position, too. I'll check in on this one at regular season's end.
No changes here, either. Women's World Championships will take place in Riga, Latvia, March 16-24. The men will play in Victoria, BC, March 30th through April 7th.
I'm paring down a little bit here - just baseball and football, no tennis or college football. I will continue to celebrate the individual players who do well by me.
In conclusion, I am eternally grateful to all of you have shared in my explorations. To borrow from Jon Wertheim, if any of you enjoys reading The Armchair Squid half as much as I enjoy writing it, we're all doing pretty well. I hope you'll join me for Year 4.
If you're interested in previous State of the Blog posts, try the links below: