This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Another Day at the Races ( #BOTB )


     Spring has sprung!  Can the Blogging from A to Z Challenge be far behind?   Why, it's just around the corner!  Oh Father Time, say it ain't so...


      Battle of the Bands Results




"This Is Me"

           My most recent Battle was between solo artist Haley Klinkhammer and Indonesian group Mylou with their interpretations of the song from The Greatest Showman.  This same Battle post was also my A to Z Theme Reveal so that's where that is if you're looking for that.

           This Battle was a close one which was nice to see after recent near shut-outs.  The race started even and finished even.  It was like I was watching the horses running.  For my part I enjoyed the rock treatment given to the song by Mylou--they gave the song a nice twist.  However I have to give my vote to Haley Klinkhammer.  I liked her voice and delivery.  The message of the song comes out more clearly in Haley's version though I did dig the edgy dream music of Mylou.

Final Tally

Haley Klinkhammer       15 votes

Mylou                             16 votes



Next Battle on Monday April 1

          Not only will April Fools Day be the next Battle of the Bands post, it will also be the opening day of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  I'll integrate the two events into a post that will be a fun way to introduce myself to new visitors to the site using songs with an international flavor.  In other words--not in English.  See you then!


          What's the next big thing you're looking forward to?  Have you started any spring cleaning?  Is anyone still affected by the time change like I am?










Friday, March 15, 2019

This Is Me ( #BOTB ) ( #AtoZ Theme Reveal )


When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me


                                        ---Songwriters: Justin Paul / Benj Pasek



#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary Blogging Theme Reveal

The official A to Z Theme Reveal begins on March 18-28--that's when the sign up list opens.  

My Theme:  This Is Me

         Since this will be the 10th annual Blogging from A to Z April Challenge I thought it might be appropriate to do a retrospective look at my life especially as it is related to my blogging.  Also it will be a time to consider my dreams and my hopes for the next few years. There will be some memoir material as well as ruminations about what's been on my mind of late as well as whatever might pop into my mind as I write.

          Over my years of blogging I've accumulated a number of ideas for the April Challenge, but those have been again put on hold in favor of the theme I have chosen for 2019--This Is Me.  Some of you might recognize this title as the Oscar nominated song from the 2017 film The Greatest Showman.  And that is exactly where my inspiration came from.

           I first saw The Greatest Showman this past September after renting it from Netflix.  The film blew me away to the extent that I purchased a copy for my home video library--something that I rarely do these days.  Since that purchase I have watched the film numerous times--again something that I rarely do--and touted the merits of the film to anyone who lent me their ears.  You might say that I've become Greatest Showman obsessed.

           This movie has literally become a life-changing experience for me.  Every time I watch it I feel exhilarated and uplifted.  The film speaks to me in its message as well as its stylistic approach. The musical score has become ingrained in my mind not in an earworm way, but as a touchstone for my hopes and dreams for my future.

           If you haven't seen the film yet, I urge you to see it.  However, seeing the film is not a prerequisite to reading my A to Z posts.  The movie is merely my personal inspiration and what I write will not specifically have anything to do with the movie.  My April posts will not be the story of my life, but hopefully they will create an impression of who I am and where I am at this point of my life.

         This is me...   



Battle of the Bands


Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


This Is Me

         Just one of many great songs in The Greatest Showman "This Is Me" received an Oscar nomination for Best Song in 2018, but lost to the pretty ditty from Coco "Remember Me".  That song is a nice tune to listen to, but I found it rather insipid and not particularly inspiring whereas I believe that "This Is Me" is one of the best movie songs of recent years.  It's a powerful anthem of self-acceptance that would seem to be the type of song that Hollywood would embrace.  I suspect there was something behind the Hollywood snub of Greatest Showman as a Best Picture nominee as well as not giving "This Is Me" the Best Song award.

           Using "This Is Me" as my song for Battle this round is an obvious tie-in to my A to Z theme so it makes a lot of sense for me to use it.   Perusing through YouTube I found so many fantastic versions of the song, but decided to go with a couple of contrasting interpretations that are different from the original movie version which you can hear HERE.  Just don't vote on that one!  Here are your voting choices...


Haley Klinkhammer  "This Is Me"  (2019)

        This artist comes out of Wisconsin, but her name might have told us that.  Looking at her tour schedule on her website her shows are mostly concentrated in the Wisconsin area so I guess I'll have to catch her performances on YouTube.  I like her style.  What do you think?









Mylou   "This Is Me"   (2018)

        I didn't find much specific information about this band.  Their Twitter account says they're from Jakarta Indonesia.  My assessment is maybe they could use some better marketing or maybe they are staying low for a reason.  Whatever the case, I listened to two of their YouTube videos--both to my liking--and this is one of them...








Time to Vote!

     Though both very different, I think both are quite good.  But I'm going to vote for one of these as my favorite.  What about you?--Vote for your favorite version!   Have some fun with us.   What's your favorite between these two choices?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.




Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday March 22nd
          
            There will be no posts before then because of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  Oh, wait, that's the way I've been doing it, but seriously I'd better rest up and get ready for April. No matter what though, definitely come back to see who won this Battle.  And be sure to vote in the comment section! 

          Have you ever seen a movie that you would consider to have been "life-changing" for you?  Do you enjoy uplifting songs with a positive message?   What song almost always makes you feel better when you hear it?



Friday, March 8, 2019

Luck o' the Irish ( #BOTB Results )



When I think of March I start thinking of corned beef and cabbage.  Guess I'll be putting a brisket in my basket at the grocery store next week.  Hey Aldi, be sure to save me one...



Battle of the Bands Results




     The previous Battle featured Irish artist Daniel O'Donnell against punkish band The Dollyrots both performing contrasting versions of the Bobby Darin song "Dream Lover".  The Battle was dedicated to longtime A to Z blogger Yvonne Lewis.

     Those of you who know Yvonne might recall that she is a fervent fan of O'Donnell.  Looks like most of the voters including me agreed with Yvonne which gave Danny Boy a resounding win.  Thanks to Lisa and Susan for saving this Battle from being a shut out.

        Luck of the Irish?  Or are we getting too old for Dollyrots?


Final Vote Tally

Daniel O'Donnell     21

The Dollyrots            2        



Next Battle on Friday March 15

         I'll probably take the week off until that Battle day.  Unless I think of something about which I become compelled to write.


        Anybody shop at Aldi?   Do you usually eat corned beef and cabbage in celebration of St. Patrick's Day?    Who was the old comic strip character who liked corn beef and cabbage? 












Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Since It's a Me Thing ( #IWSG )


Blogging from A to Z April Challenge signups are now open at the A to Z Blog.  And if you missed my latest Battle of the Bands you can find it HERE...

The Insecure Writer's Support Group


Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog


The co-hosts for the March 6 posting of the IWSG are Fundy Blue, Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!



March 6 question - Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?



       In the past few years, for the most part, I've stopped focusing much on fiction writing as I think more about memoir writing.  Since memoir writing is a "me thing" then I guess that makes me the antagonist, as well as the protagonist at times. So that means that I have to like writing from both perspectives.

       Nearly all of my past fiction has been written from a third person limited point of view of a character who would be the protagonist of a story focused on ideas and slow in action.  My story antagonists are less character than situational predicaments. 

       Perhaps I should go back to writing at least occasional fiction, but for that matter I might be better off zeroing in on one of my memoir projects.  And my next writing project will be my posts for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  Yes, I needed to slip that in.  But it's what's going to happen in my writing world in the near future.






#AtoZChallenge 2019 badge





Friday, March 1, 2019

Dream Lover ( #BOTB )


The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge sign-ups opened today (March 1st).  Visit the site to sign up for the earliest spot on the list, but no matter when you sign, I hope you'll join us for the 10th annual A to Z!!!!


#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge


Yes!  The 10th Annual Alphabet Challenge!

         If you don't know what I'm talking about then you must be new here.  I won't explain in this post, but if you want more info you can find it at the A to Z Blog site.  Since today is when the sign up list opens and it's going to be the 10th annual Challenge, I thought I'd dedicate this Battle of the Bands round to the first person who signed up for that first A to Z Challenge in 2010.

        That person is Yvonne Lewis of Nashville Cats Poetry by Yvonne.  Yvonne has faithfully contributed to every Challenge since that first one.  Those who know Yvonne from her blogs will probably understand this Battle that follows and how it applies to her:  It has something to do with her favorite musical artist.

         Now, if you've also been doing the Challenge since the beginning then please let us know in the comments so we can honor your membership in this exclusive club of bloggers.  And even if you've only done the Challenge a few times then that's an achievement to be proud of.

          So without further ado, let's get on with the Battle...



Battle of the Bands


Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


Dream Lover

          This popular song was written and first recorded by Bobby Darin.  Since Bobby Darin always tends to win any match he's in then we'll forego his more well known version in order to present versions you may have not heard before.  I think I've offered a good contrast of styles.  Take a listen and tell us your favorite in the comment section.   


Daniel O'Donnell   "Dream Lover" (2005)

           This popular artist comes from Ireland but has fans throughout the world.  Recording since 1983, O'Donnell has a long list of best-selling albums and chart hits behind him.  His recording of "Dream Lover" is very similar to Bobby Darin's style.



The Dollyrots    "Dream Lover" (2010)

        For a complete contrast comes the Florida group The Dolly Rots.  This band formed in 2000 as a response to Bush winning the election.  The reasoning was that the world was now going to end so why not start a band.  Sounds like logical reasoning to me.  In any case, the band has continued to tour and release recordings and the world is still here.  Now let's rock...







Time to Vote!

     Come on and be a dream--Vote for your favorite version!   Have some fun with us.   What's your favorite between these two choices?   Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.





Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday March 8

         I think I'd better buckle down and get my A to Z posts underway.  I haven't even started yet, let alone come up with an exact theme.  I'm thinking, I'm thinking!  

         Are you going to join us for the 10th Annual A to Z?   Have you participated in any of the past A to Z Challenges?   What would you do if you received confirmation that the world was going to end soon?