Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Carnival - Behind the Scenes!

I'm really excited that we could revive the Unschooling Blog Carnival. If you haven't gotten a chance to look at it, please do! It's so funny because I had no idea what a Blog Carnival was just 6 months ago. I remember seeing someone host it - maybe Linda Dobson with her Parent at the Helm?  She had all these links to other people's blogs but I was going there to read more of what Linda writes! I couldn't figure out why I was being redirected to all kinds of other places!

Then I stumbled across the Homeschool Carnival - which has been running for 6 years, WEEKLY!  That is so impressive to me. They were kind enough to let me participate a couple of weeks in a row, I read more from the links at their site, and soon I was up to speed.

For those who don't know, the Blog Carnival is simply a collection of blog posts under a particular theme.   In our case, the general theme is Unschooling. But we've decided that that's too general. We are selecting a theme each month and requesting blog posts to correlate (albeit loosely) with that theme.

For the Unschooling Blog Carnival, we opened with the theme of LOVE.  It was interesting to see how different people interpreted the theme. I really liked how we took a Beatles song - All You Need Is Love - and after pulling the lyrics out, placed the different blog posts near the lyric that fit best. It didn't always work, but it was fun to try to do this with a little creativity. This particular rendition of the song is so great! We just stumbled over it. It has a very Wizard of Oz feeling to me. It starts in black and white and then when John Lennon begins to sing, it moves into a colorized version. And it's not a big staged rendition. There are people sitting on the floor around them - including a very young Mick Jagger! - and they're sitting on stool singing away. In the end, protestors with signs come walking through the song. It's very "60's" feeling; so I just love it!

We were a little worried at first when we didn't have a lot of submissions. I had put the word out on a few Facebook Group Pages, but the submissions weren't coming in very fast. I was visualizing the Homeschool Blog Carnival which has TONS of blog post submissions. I had 3. I thought it would be much easier to contact bloggers, but it turns out that many bloggers don't include their email address at their blog. Was I supposed to just leave a request on one of their posts? I wasn't really sure what to do. Frank had sent a WONDERFUL blog post, but he opened with a comment about his penis. Was I really supposed to lead the Grand Opening of the Carnival with the Penis Piece? lol I asked a few more friends, some came through, others postponed to next time. Nevertheless, just when I was getting seriously worried, the blog posts started coming in. Hopefully, the word about the Unschooling Blog Carnival will spread, and we'll just keep growing it!

And for those who are asking, "OK, but why?" Here's my best answer. I am in this transition time as a mom. My kids are grown and leaving the nest. Yet, I've spent all this time studying, talking, immersing myself in learning. And the most joyful way to approach learning seems to me to be unschooling. So I did the National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) last November - 30 posts in 30 days, I learned a few things about the blogging community as well as about myself. Mostly I learned how shared projects like this can connect people. So that's one of my goals with the Carnival, to increase the connection among Unschooling Bloggers.

I'm working hard to add more creativity into my life. It's my word for the year. Christine Kane writes about "choosing a word" in Resolution Revolution: A Better Way to Start Your Year. Last year, my word was Focus. I had so many things that had to be completed, if I just allowed myself to drift in my typical fashion, I would never have gotten anything done. OR I would have regretted missing things when I pulled my head out of the clouds.  But this year, the word is Creativity.  When I'm working on creative projects, it just makes me more joyful in my life in general. So, January's Creative Project was the Unschooling Blog Carnival.

But one of the true blessings about stepping toward my creativity is that I was able to rope in invite my friend Cydney Romano to help me with the Carnival. She does a little blogging at Recording the Atoms. She is SO creative and I just knew some of that could rub off on me. Plus, after the NaBloPoMo in November, I made a discovery! In addition to being a wonderful artist, Cydney is also an incredible writer.  I'm so happy to have another connection with her! And everyone will be so happy that she's agreed to work on the Unschooling Blog Carnival too!


Cap'n Franko said...

You can't go wrong leading off with a penis reference. (grin)

I'm thinking about next month's theme. I'm pretty sure I can do something with "Animals." For example, our older daughter, MJ, was in the movie >Zoo when she was 14. That would make for a fascinating opening post for the carnival. (grin)

Maybe I'll think of something else.

Sue said...

One thing I've learned is that you simply must click the links that Frank gives, if you want to know what's going on!

Once again, I thought, "How sweet, his daughter was in some Animal Planet kind of film, or Zoboomafoo, or something along those lines. Not so. I'm glad I read all the way to the bottom; and I'd still like to read some of the newspaper links at the bottom of the page. Specifically the LA Times piece, "Zoo, it's not just 'ewww", since that was MY initial reaction.
Then, I would really be interested to hear what your daughter thought of all of it, how she came to be in this movie, did she go to the film festivals?, etc.

If you don't write it for the Unschooling blog Carnival, and I don't see why you wouldn't, then you simply have to write it for me! lol

Always intriguing!

Cap'n Franko said...

My life is fascinating! (grin)

Basically, MJ volunteered with the horse rescue group which "rehabilitated" the horse after the event(s). When the filmmakers made the movie, they had the rescue people play themselves and needed a young teen girl to portray the girl who wound up with the horse at the end of things. MJ was convenient. I wrote a bit about it here. I derive a perverse sort of please from telling people that my 14yo was in a bestiality movie. I'm just kinda warped that way.

Sue said...

I should say it is!!

That's cool that she got to see her name in the credits and that she had the opportunity to help with horse rehabilitation. It always makes me smile to think of kids out there LIVING life instead of just reading about it. One opportunity so often begets another!

And as for trying to shock people, I kinda got that about you. ;) I'm not that easily shocked so it's ok with me. Now, don't take that as some challenge to TRY to shock me, because I'd imagine even *I* have my limits! hahaha!

Cydney S, Romano said...

Flattery will get you everywhere, darling! I had a lot of fun too! And I think we worked out a great system to bring it all together!