Friday, March 21, 2014

THE GREAT THEME REVEAL FOR THE A-TO-Z BLOG CHALLENGE 2014







I had to think about this whole theme thing, long and hard. You see, last year, I jumped into this challenge at the last minute, kind of like the way I jumped into NaNoWriMo in 2012. A-to-Z, 2013 turned out spectacularly for me, in that I actually finished the damned thing! I did not finish NaNoWriMo in 2012, but quit a mere 1637 words into it, because at the time I was trying to cope with severe and untreated symptoms of Parkinsonism, or essential tremor, – another movement disorder that is closely related to Parkinson's Disease – which was making my life an unmitigated hell. I was still sans treatment at the time of the A-to-Z challenge, but was undergoing testing, after finding this neat-o neurologist at the Parkinson's Center of Excellence on the campus of USF. It's been an arduous journey and is not yet done, but I'm digressing, and I want to remain on point. Suffice it to say, I am being treated and it helps; it's not a cure, but I'm feeling much better and the tremors and pain and all the other assorted psychological aspects of the disease have abated. I'm still crazier than hell, but I know what to do about it.

I finished last year, by dint of keeping my posts short and snappy and just having fun with reading others' posts and commenting. When the most awesome Damyanti announced that she was co-hosting again this year and looking for assistants, I jumped on board. Damyanti has been a magnificent presence at the A-to-Z challenge that was started by our own Arlee Bird, several years ago. As I have become a larger presence in the blogging world, I find myself becoming part of a larger community that spans the globe and that, all by itself, is pretty terrific!

It also didn't hurt that I actually finished NaNoWriMo 2013 this year and have a manuscript, albeit, an unpolished one to show for my efforts. But that's a story for another day. This is not about the other blogging communities (shout out to IWSG, ROW80 and Blog Blitz!) but our A-to-Z Challenge; 26 letters of the alphabet in 26 days! A post for each letter, every day, with the exceptions of Sundays, during the month of April.

So, without further ado, and since I am on the team that is responsible for the assistance and creation of “themes” for people who are having issues with letters (“Q”, “X”, and “Z” are the usual culprits) I will reveal my theme: HUMOR AND HUMORISTS.

Yep, it came to me yesterday, while I was sitting in the ER waiting room for about the eleventy-billionth time – please name your next wing after me, TGH – with another stupid eye problem, that HUMOR AND HUMORISTS is the perfect theme for me!

I've got to be the only person in the world (well, maybe not the only one) that is legally blind, and has Parkinsonism so severe, that at times, when I make a taco salad, it looks like a piñata exploded in the kitchen. I have no depth perception, so everything is the same size. A mouse the size of a canoe ran through my bedroom, recently, where my computers are, and I almost jumped into the closet. When JC wanted to know what in Sam Hill was going on, I told him I was practicing the dance steps for “What Does the Fox Say?” So he bought me a Leopard Hat and Shirt at the Dollar Store and now I'm gonna have to learn the damned thing. “Ring-ding-ding-ding-a-ding-ding-ding!”

But at least I'm not the only person in this house that does stupid stuff. During the Olympics, we were looking at the news, and the sports announcer in Sochi, Russia for no discernible reason, helpfully mentioned that there was snow in every state of the United States, except Florida. We were watching some Olympics; ice-skating, where every routine was skated to Tchaikovsky, blaringly and hollowly, with echoes that lasted for eons, so that the music became just a huge A-minor smear. The only way I knew the piece was over, was when the people on the ice were no longer twirling, or falling down.

Then, we watched some more Olympics. Curling, with the Norwegians and their pants; all looking like someone was on one hell of a bad acid trip during the designing, or else the athletes raided their grandmothers' quilting bins and did a one-off. They were sporting colors that don't exist in nature, or at least on this planet. Ten minutes of this and I'm thinking that cleaning the house isn't such a bad idea.

Cut to the local news. The sports comes on; thank God the Norwegians and their Dayglo pants aren't part of this broadcast. JC pipes up, “I hear that there's snow in every state except Florida.” I look over at Alex, and we both just lose it. JC listens to us howl and yawp like hyenas for a few minutes and then asks what is so funny. We tell him, “We were here when the guy said there is snow in every state except Florida!” And off we went again. JC makes it worse when he says, “I didn't hear that!” Oh. Jesus. Stop. Now. Now. Because, I'm in the Red Zone of Laughter; the kind of laughing where you may have apoplexy and get a hernia. JC is hard of hearing and he finally catches on and gets into the moment and he has that sort of hearty laughter that makes you laugh, even if you don't know what in the hell is going on.

Laughing is good for the soul and is certainly good for the body; it helps to release endorphins and they are good for nerve endings. I make it a rule to laugh as much as possible, but kindly. Never cruelly, or at the expense of someone else. God has given us the capacity to do many things and there is no injunction against humor and laughter in any religion or faith, culture or nationality that I know of.

Some of my posts will be on funny topics; some will be on funny writers, present and past. Last year, I started out this challenge with an honest-to-God spreadsheet with all of the letters A, B, C, and so on, with the topics listed. I think I had this half-assed notion that I was going to fill it out and hand it in to Arlee Bird for a grade at the end of the challenge, or something. I had a topic picked for each letter, but that went out the window the second day of the challenge, when I wrote about Beethoven and his 3rd Symphony, instead of Bravery. I'm glad I did so. I may have a theme picked out, but I have no earthly clue what I'm going to do for the letter “A”, but I've got a few days to think about it. It'll come to me.
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