Wednesday, January 03, 2018

2018 Discussion Post Challenges & A Les Misérables Read-Along

Every now and then I brainstorm ideas for my blog, whether it be new features and/or a change up of my schedule. Coming up with my own discussion posts is my weakest area. I feel most comfortable relying on a meme or blog hop to give me inspiration. Given how much of a balancing act it is for me juggle work, my family/home life and my blog plus find time to read, those types of discussion starters or posts are big time savers. Not to mention I have made a few new friends via those memes. You get to recognize names and bloggers, find new blogs to follow, and develop friendships. We support each other by commenting on each others' blogs and getting to know one another. 

In years past I would come across the Discussion Challenge and dismiss the idea almost immediately.  How would I ever come up with ideas for discussion posts?! In my eleven and a half years of blogging, I feel like I have talked about everything possible at least once, twice or sometimes even more. And I am terrible about coming up with ideas on my own. However, this year, I find myself pausing and considering giving it a try. I even made a list of possible discussion topics I might want to cover throughout the year.


And so, while I still have the courage and before I talk myself out of it, I am signing up for the 2018 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight. I am taking on the Discussion Dabbler level, with the goal of posting 1 to 10 discussion posts. My personal goal is to write at least six discussion posts throughout the year. Per the hosts, "The idea of this challenge is to help get us discussing books and book blogging." The sky is the limit topic wise. So let's get talking!

Thank you to Nicole and Shannon for hosting the Discussion Challenge!

Have you ever taken part in the discussion challenge? Do you find discussion posts as intimidating as I do? Or do they come easily for you? 


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While blog hopping, Lauren of Shooting Stars Mag lead me to another discussion type challenge--or more of a blogging prompt challenge--called Blog All About It Challenge, hosted by Anna from Herding Cats and Burning Soup, which I thought I would give a try. Each month has an assigned word and participants can go in any direction he or she wants with it--an essay, a book review, photos, an interview, or what have you. I thought it would be fun to give it a try--not to mention be a little different from my usual blogging fare.

Prompts:
 January– Winter
February– Red
March– Favorite Scent
April– Art
May– Organize
June– Growl
July– Spirit
August– Beginning
September– Escape
October– Trees
November– Truth
December– Shine/Sparkle


 Thank you for hosting Blog All About It, Anna!

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And because I am all about copying dear Lauren (Shooting Stars Mag) today, I was unable to resist this one either: Les Misérables Chapter-A-Day Read-Along hosted by Nick of One Catholic Life.

One summer break over twenty years ago, I began reading Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. I had fallen in love with the musical soundtrack my freshman year of high school, playing it over and over until I had it just about memorized, It wasn't until much later that I would actually get a chance to see the musical performed on stage. I fell in love with the songs and the story. When I began reading the book, I was just as smitten, taken in by Hugo's writing and really experiencing the story I had come to love in its original form. Then university classes resumed before I could finish and my coursework was just too heavy. I ended up having to set Les Misérables aside. And I never found my way back to it. It is to my shame really. Les Misérables is my favorite musical, and I would really like to read the book in its entirety.

When I came across Lauren's blog post about the 2018 challenges she's signed up for and I saw that there was a year long Les Misérables read-along taking place (a chapter a day--to read all 365 chapters in the book), I might have squealed out loud. It seems like fate as I had been considering reading the book this year as it was. What better way to do it than to read along with others? 

I am already a little behind given the read-along started on the 1st of January. Fortunately, the chapters aren't terribly long, and, while reading a chapter a day is recommended and encouraged, it isn't compulsory. I will be reading the Christine Donougher (2013) unabridged version. 

Thank you to  Nick for hosting the read-along!

Have you ever read Les Miserables


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27 comments:

  1. Wendy, you find the most interesting challenges! No, I've never taken part in a challenge regarding discussion posts, but I agree that often they are most interesting (if I could ever think of something to discuss). I'll watch for your and take part if I can.

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    1. Kay - Hopefully mine will be worth reading. LOL I have a hard time coming up with what to say myself, so that will be a challenge in and of itself.

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  2. I've never written many discussion posts but I sure do love to read them. Good luck with your challenges.

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    1. Kathy - I enjoy reading them too! Hopefully I can manage it successfully!

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  3. Welcome to the Les Mis Readalong, Wendy! I'm so glad you can join us!

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    1. Nick - Thank you for hosting the read-along. It is perfect timing as I was hoping to read Les Miserables this year and you gave me a reason I couldn't refuse.

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  4. I totally can relate, the memes are a fun way to start up blog discussions. Have fun with those, I like the prompts! And have fun with the Les Misérables read along. I have never read or seen the film and I want to see the recent one, I love Hugh Jackman.

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    1. Naida - Thank you! I enjoyed the film version of Les Misérables, but nothing compare to seeing it live on stage with a live orchestra.

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  5. I read a good chunk of Les Miserables years ago through dailylit.com, but hit my Waterloo at Waterloo, lol. Good luck!

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    1. Elizabeth - I've heard that's the most challenging part to get through in the novel.

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  6. Love the challenges and especially the one with the prompts. That's a cool way to get some ideas for what to blog about! You are going to have a blast with these I'm sure so I can't wait to hear more about them!

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    1. Iliana - I think it will be fun! We'll see what I come up with. Hopefully inspiration will hit soon!

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  7. Ooooh, I wouldn't know what to say for discussion posts, but I look forward to reading yours!

    And I can't wait to read your Les Mis readalong posts too! I love the musical, but the book was one of the longest I've ever read :p

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    1. Eustacia - That's about where I am. I have some ideas for discussion posts--but can I actually say something articulate enough to post? That is the question! Haha

      I love the Les Misérables musical too. :-)

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  8. Not to say that it wasn't good. Just wanted to clarify that, because I realised my previous sentence could be taken the wrong way.

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    1. Eustacia - I knew what you meant. :-) It is a very long book!

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  9. I decided to try the Discussion Challenge again this year. I haven't participated in three years, and I'm only aiming for one post a month. Good luck!

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    1. Charlie - I look forward to reading your discussion posts, Charlie! We can cheer each other on. :-) Although, you are pretty good at them from what I've read.

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  10. My grandmother had a copy of Les Miserables that I started several times as a child. Way too much for me then, but maybe spread out over a year would be a good approach.

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    1. Jenclair - The beginning chapters really have been rather short. It's easy to skip ahead. I just hope I remember what I've read early in the year by the time I reach the end.

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  11. Wendy, so glad you are reading Les Miserables with Nick and the rest of the participants!

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    1. Nancy - Thank you! I'm glad to finally be returning to it, and I think this is a fun way to do it.

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  12. Aw, I'm glad I was able to share some fun challenges with you! I've never read Les Mis but I do love the musical too. I figured this was a great way to be able to read it without getting too overwhelmed!! :)

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Lauren - Thank you for bringing them to my attention!

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  13. Have fun! I've not read or watch Les Miserables and I'm looking forward to your review on it.

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    1. Melody - I think I will enjoy it. Let's just see how I do stretching the reading out for an entire year. LOL

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  14. I have not ever take part in a discussion Challenge. Though i came a upon it and and still a bit confuse to it and how it works. I am going to give it a try and this is the month to do it. I have have done Blog Hops and I like them. They kind are a bit easier or help with know what to maybe come up with something with a topic. here is my post -https://nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/04/2018-discussion-challenge-how-to-start.html

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