Technically, this reflection post is not supposed to happen until tomorrow. However, I have the time and inclination to do it today … and I don’t think anyone will condemn me.
This was my second year participating in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Last year, I did it on a whim — and with no real plan. I wound up doing some general posts and a healthy dose of Facts from My Fiction. This year, I had a plan: The Music of David Bowie. I presented 26 Bowie songs (okay, 25 … and one by Angie Bowie because there was no X song), trivia, and album information. I not only shared the hits, but also some deep cuts with which many readers were unfamiliar but still enjoyed.
Engagement was down 30 percent this year during the challenge. Frankly, I don’t know quite why that is. People were perhaps less interested in my theme, or maybe (as was the case for me) found having to register their post on one list and go to one or more other lists to find posts to visit time-consuming and a little bothersome. Personally, I preferred putting the post link in a comments list where I could readily find other blogs and see what the subject was rather than trying to guess it on the daily letter list or match it up with the master theme reveal list to see whether it was interesting to me. So, I also commented on fewer blogs than I did in the past. Still, I did find some interesting new blogs to follow.
Astute observers of this year’s challenge will notice that I didn’t include any of the songs from Bowie’s brilliant final album, Blackstar. Honestly, I’m still not ready. I’ve been a fan since I was 12 years old, and that was a long time ago. Losing David Bowie was, for me, like losing a family member … and Blackstar (particularly “Lazarus”) is an album that shows us Bowie knew his time was short and that he wanted to give us one last gift of music.
From the beginning of this year’s challenge, I knew what song and performance I would use to bring the whole thing full circle at the end. David Bowie’s first major hit was “Space Oddity,” in 1969. The song influenced later hits “Ashes to Ashes” (from Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)) and “Hallo Spaceboy” (from 1. Outside). It was this song that Toronto’s Choir! Choir! Choir! sang after Bowie’s passing, in the rotunda of Art Gallery of Ontario where I saw the David Bowie Is … exhibit in 2013. There could be no more fitting send-off.
If you missed any of this year’s A to Z Challenge posts, you will find them at this link. Thank you, as always, for reading.