Illuminating the Fool’s Mirror is officially a year old! Technically, the anniversary for my WordPress account was a while back, but this marks one year ago that I published my first feature-length article. A couple of my blogger friends have recently posted about reaching that first year milestone, including Kacha and Dragon Warrior. Reading about their journeys brought me back to this post that I read when I first started blogging. Can you believe most blogs don’t make it past to their first year? Congratulations to all of you who have one, two, or more years on your blog. I’m so glad you’re here and so happy to be standing with you!
Looking back on my first feature post, “Behind the Lion Mask,” I see not dramatic changes but subtle shifts. The basic approach is familiar, looking at a piece of modern media and considering its connections to mythology with a list of citations at the end. I was still figuring out the tone of my blog, so some of my phrasings seem a bit erratic to me now. This post had so many firsts. It was the first time I watched a movie entirely for research. It was also the first time I tried to figure out how to cover a movie when I couldn’t find rights-free images for it. I spent a lot of time figuring out what I could and couldn’t do with basic-level WordPress and the theme I had chosen. In the end, I think it worked out, but it was a learning experience for sure.
One of my most frequently viewed posts is my first Quarterly Bestiary on weretigers. Having a regular creature feature was something I wanted to try from the beginning. Also, I had just recently discovered the concept of weretigers, so I was eager to do a write-up on them. I’ve still got a long personal list of beasts that I’m working through, though I give a regular call for suggestions as the next one draws near. Speaking of that, if you have any suggestions, please leave them in comments! My next topic is already set and after that I’ll be working with my first suggestion, courtesy of Tiege McCian at The Burnt Thumb. Next Quarterly Bestiary is in October, once again featuring artwork from Bridget Sarsen, so stay tuned!
My first Red Thread Reblog was the beginning of this year. I’d wanted to try reblogging since discovering the concept. However, since my blog focuses on mythology and media, I had a bit of a quandary. I love reading them, but if I’d simply reblogged a post on mental health or travel or even works of prose or poetry, they’d look out of place. Rather than look for posts that matched me, I decided to pair up posts on mythology with those on media. It’s more challenging than I thought it would be, but I’m grateful that it has introduced me to some new blogs. A big thank you to all who have let me reblog your posts: The Quiet Pond, Eric Stone/ Haoheng, Nicole’s Book Thoughts, and Olivia’s Blog.
One of my most exciting discoveries in blogging was blogger awards. I wasn’t sure I’d ever get a nomination, so when Kacha gave me my first Sunshine Blogger Award, I was elated. Since then, award posts have been a fun way for me to show appreciation for bloggers I follow. I love answering and creating the questions that go along with many award posts, and I’m glad that they push me to continue exploring new blogs so that I have more people to nominate. It’s also nice to have something that’s relatively quick to write up if my research for a post is taking longer than expected. But mostly, I’m just happy to have such a fun way to connect with my fellow bloggers!
What else has changed? Well, I’ve continued to tinker with small details of my blog to make it more readable, like making the sources section collapsible. I still struggle to keep length down, though I’m trying to remember to break things into two-parters anytime a post gets too long and complicated. I’ve also allowed myself to show a bit more opinion in some posts, especially my last one. Often, I hesitate to venture into anything beyond neutral facts and reflection because it’s just so nerve-wracking thinking about how my words will be received. However, so far you’ve all been really supportive, and I thank you for that. It gives me courage to keep delving and daring to share what I think about my findings.
And what does the future hold? I don’t pretend to know the answer, but I remain curious about the road ahead. I’ve got a good list of topics to work through, and I’ll keep trying to get to the point where I have a few stockpiled so that I can work on more complicated projects. One thing I’m going to start looking into is the possibility of upgrading to full WordPress capacity. It’ll be a big and complicated step, but I want to make sure I’m continually improving my site and that’s the best way to do it.
Finally, I’d like to thank all of you who read and follow my blog. Thank you for encouraging me to dive into more books and movies with mythology connections. Not that I wouldn’t have done that before, but it’s more of a priority now! Thank you for engaging with my posts in comments and sparking new insight when you share your knowledge. Thank you for following me so that I get the chance to discover your blogs. Most importantly, thank you for showing me that my thoughts do have a place out here in the blogosphere. You’ve made me feel welcome and engaged in a new world. I can’t wait to continue exploring with you.