I have had a sluggish week after the exhausting Read-a-thon last weekend so am only just getting round to my A to Z Reflections post. During the month I probably visited over 1300 of the participants, though I confess that in many cases I clicked the link and closed it again if the content did not interest me. Who would have thought there were quite so many fantasy writers out there. At least most people were actually writing about stuff; last year I was disappointed by how many people just picked a word and defined it and called it a blog post. Having said that I have read lots of interesting blogs over the last month; book reviewers, family stories, curious hobbies, some fabulous recipes and pictures from around the globe. So here are a few I enjoyed:
Kyle Henderson blogs at This is Otis, where he draws cartoons of a curious little green character in a variety of common and not-so-common situation.
Azia blogs at Azia Says What? and she treated us to a poem a day during the challenge, I will have to wait and see what she blogs about the rest of the year.
Lisa Southard blogs at Wishbone Soup Cures Everything and wrote a strange story about a woman and a little girl.
Luana Krause blogs at Skating Buffalo and had a very unique theme of objects that have been used as film props, just quirky and interesting.
Anyway I just needed to add a little postscript to my challenge. When browsing the wiki page of Helen Oxenbury I came across a link to Margaret Mahy and was astounded that I had completely forgotten her and how much we loved 'The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate'. However the one I had to write about is 'Jam' (illustrated by Helen Craig) (and had to pop to Amazon to find a second hand copy, I am not sure we ever owned this but had it from the library regularly.)
The story goes that Mr Castle takes over the running of the family home when Mrs Castle goes off to be a scientist. Of course he has to be an uber-house-husband and gets all the jobs done in super efficient style, but we'll let that pass because the rest of the tale is so good. In searching for more domestic chores to fill his day he discovers the plum tree in the garden just loaded with fruit and sets about making some jam.
However, he begins to take it all a little too far. Determined not to waste any of the precious plums he makes more and more jam, filling every possible container in the house, including the flower vases and the sherry glasses. Then the family has to eat all the jam. At first it is wonderful and they enjoy all the cakes and puddings, but after a while they begin to tire of it (not to mention worrying about their expanding waistlines.)
They dare not say anything to Mr Castle for fear of hurting his feelings but eventually the jam haunts their dreams and they come to long for something, anything, to eat that is not jam. At last the final jar of jam is consumed and they plan a new exciting menu, only to discover that a whole year has passed and the plums on the tree are ripe once again. A cautionary tale about home preserves I think.
(You can visit other A to Z Reflections posts here)