Monday, May 9, 2016

Blogging from A to Z Reflections

I’m pleased to have this nifty new badge on my blog announcing that I survived last month’s Blogging from A to Z ChallengeFor this week’s reflections post, participants are invited to share their thoughts about their experience. First, I want to thank all the A to Z volunteers who maintained the operations of last month’s challenge and made this challenge possible for the many people who participated. 

During the challenge, I enjoyed connecting with new bloggers and getting to know better the bloggers I’ve connected with before. I was also open to meeting bloggers whose blogs/challenge themes didn’t match mine. That way, I got to learn more about subjects I didn’t know a lot about before. (Of course, there were bloggers who never visited me back in spite of my repeated visits to their blog. But I prefer to be thankful for the people who did come by to show their support.) 

My own challenge theme was about authors whose stories I read when I was younger. While composing my posts, I reflected on why certain stories stuck with me. Many of these thoughts were shared in the notes after a story synopsis. I noticed how certain subjects also occurred more than once in the books I shared- first time love, prom horror, the Ozarks, gang life, the disappearance of children, bullying and rivalries, to name a few.   

I made the effort not to discuss movies or other mediums inspired by these stories, even when sometimes I really wanted to talk about the movie. For example, for my OUTSIDERS post, I kept thinking about how The Outsiders movie was one of my favorites back in the day. Coincidentally, Rob Lowe (who played Sodapop Curtis) was in a number of my favorite scenes in the movie...So anyway, discussing movies and discussing books are two different things. So for the purpose of this challenge, I stuck with just discussing books.

If you have done the Blogging from A to Z Challenge before, what were your thoughts about your experience? Have you noticed recurring subjects in books you like to read?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

IWSG: Traces of a Story

Today is IWSG day, a monthly event Alex Cavanaugh started to get writers sharing about their insecurities and other stuff going on in their lives.

While preparing for last month’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge, I sifted through the little pockets of memory in my head to retrieve certain stories I read during my youth.  Sometimes I remembered the title, but not the author. Easy, I could just look up the title online. Sometimes I remembered neither the title or the author, but just traces of a story. In such cases, there was not much I could do to locate the title and author.

One particular story (sans title and author in my head) that really intrigued me when I was a ‘tween is a MG novel of historical fiction. If I remember correctly, here are the traces of the story… An older woman, someone who isn’t so pleasant, is about to inherit a big fortune, as long as no one else steps forward as being one of the relations closer to the deceased than she. A younger woman comes forward. She claims to be the daughter of someone in the family- it was thought that she, as a child, had died in a plane crash many years ago. If this woman is who she says she is, she will receive the inheritance. DNA testing does not exist in this time period so there is no way to scientifically test the younger woman’s veracity. But this young woman is able to tell stories about the family that only the family members know, and she easily identifies family members in person and in photographs.

At the end of the story, the younger woman takes the inheritance. It’s also revealed that the younger woman was actually the nurse of a true relation who, on her deathbed, wanted to target the older woman who was about to take a fortune that should’ve belonged to her. So she coached her nurse on how to pose as the heiress by feeding her family stories and making her memorize people's faces in old photographs. 

Does this story sound familiar to anyone? If so, can you please remind me of the title and author?

Stay tuned for my Blogging from A to Z Challenge Reflections Post coming next week!