Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been really trying to learn the internet. It and I have a very complicated relationship. I vacillate wildly between being a luddite and thinking that technology is wonderful magic. For example, I will never cease to be amazed at the miracle that is texting. When I have something quick to say to someone, I no longer have to call them (which I abhor), or hire a carrier pigeon, or send up smoke signals. I can simply type my thought into words and send it to them. Quicker than a bunny, my message is transported from my brain, into my phone, up into space, back down into their phone, and then straight into their brain. It’s basically telepathy, except my thoughts get to spend some time bouncing around the stars before the other person can know them. So – that’s great! Wonderful magic! With all my deep appreciation, my paw‘s probably permanently fused to the fanciest iPhone the world has to offer, right? Wrong. Behold my ultra-modern device.
Granted, I probably couldn’t afford an iPhone if I wanted one, but I don’t want one. My phone serves a utilitarian function. It is not a part of me. I don’t want to feel lost without it. Plus, if I’m ever out and about, and I desperately and immediately need to figure out who-that-actor-from-that-movie-is-and-it’s-right-on-the-tip-of-my-tongue-but-OH-GOD-why-can’t-I-think-of-it?-this-is-killing-me!, I can just ask whoever I’m with. They’ve all got one. I don’t need to be bionic. I’m already a Pooka. And a blogger. That would be too many things.
And the internet…
I can out-google pretty much anyone. I’m super adept at finding the information I need. I’m a rockstar when it comes to finding out what that book is that someone’s looking for, even if all I have to go on is, “It’s blue. And I think part of it… the title… the description on the back of the book, maybe?… had to do with a flower.” I find it.
I Facebook. Now I WordPress. And I Bloglovin’! (Are those verbs? They are now). But I don’t Twitter. I don’t Reddit. And I make my boyfriend Photoshop. (That trail of moving ants is totally befuddling.) Sometimes, the formatting on WordPress sends me into a foaming rage. (How come I keep putting a space between those two paragraphs, but when I “preview” my post or publish it, lo and behold, there’s no goddamn space?!).
All of this to say that while I know how to work the internet, I don’t know how to “work it,” like RuPaul “Supermodel” style, or like Right Said Fred. I don’t know how to give my blog a little twirl on the catwalk.
But I think it might have something to do with those hops I’ve been joining (like “Feature & Follow” Friday). And I think it might have something to do with participating in Reading Challenges. So, I’ve sought some out. Here’s an explanation of the year-long challenges I’m planning to participate in. Unlike the 48-Hour Book Challenge, there are no timelines on these, no monthly goals. They just have to be completed by December 31, 2013.
It’s basically a quest to find kick-ass girls & women in literature. When you encounter a protagonist who qualifies, or when a book has a strong feminist message, you can count that book toward your tally. There are three levels: Easy (5 books), Medium (5-10 books), and Hard (10+ books). I’m going to go for the gold, with the understanding that just because a female character may have failings, it doesn’t mean that the book doesn’t have a positive, overall message. It/she (wow, that’s a horrible, ironic pronoun combo! To clarify, “it” is the book!) doesn’t have to be perfect to be inspiring. This challenge is hosted by The Hiding Spot.
The “What’s In a Name?” Challenge, hosted by Beth Fish Reads, asks you to find & read 6 books over the course of the year, which have certain words or themes in their titles. This year, the concepts are up or down, something you’d find in your kitchen, a party or celebration, something to do with fire, an emotion, and lost and/or found. You can get creative with it; for instance, a book entitled “The Prodigal Son” could count toward the last category. I like a word-centric challenge. (If you ever want to play an online game of Scrabble or Words With Friends, just let me know. I’ll happily
trounce play nicely with you).
And finally, last but not least (I think I’m most excited about this one. Can you blame me? It’s perfect for a Pooka): The Paranormal Reading Challenge, hosted by Megan Likes Books and Auntie Spinelli Reads.
For this one, over the course of the year, you need to read at least one book about the each of the following supernatural entities:
- fey (clearly the best of the list)
- other (your choice!)
Each month has a different Creature Feature (this month’s is witches & wizards), and you get bonus points for reading about the right creature during the right month, but it’s not mandatory. Since I’m starting late, I asked if books I’ve already read this year would count toward my totals. They do. I may try to read altogether new ones before the year is out, but I may cop out and just count “The Mortal Instruments” series, which I read in February, for the Angels/Nephilim category, say. I’ll also have to backtrack and, in the coming months, read about those creatures that I missed in January – June. Pretty sweet, though, right?
I’m excited about the challenges – about meeting more people & hopefully, acquiring some new followers. Let me know if you’re participating in any of the same challenges – or, if you’ve got a new one you think I’ll like! And most importantly, if you didn’t get my references about RuPaul and Right Said Fred, please take this time to educate yourself. I can’t stick around, though. Gotta bounce. I’m too sexy for this post.