When Nat tweeted at the beginning of May and suggested a RA blog reunion to find out what people had been up to, I initially did not think the call for the blogging event was addressed at me but at all those bloggers who I remember from my early days in the fandom and many of whom retired their blogs over the past years. Me, OTOH – I am still here, typing away
and scraping the barrel for suitable topics for my RA-centric blog. So no real update necessary – it’s all there, at least once a week, for the past six years. And then I realised that those fellow RA bloggers who are now inactive, were hardly going to read up on six years’ worth of collected nonsense courtesy of Guylty. So, what have I been up to?
At the beginning…
Somehow, my activities in blog world are anti-cyclical. At the time that many of the legacy bloggers were actually scaling back their involvement in the blog world, I was actually making the move from my tumblr presence over to WordPress blogging. It took off here with my fan report from the red carpet in Berlin 2013, and accelerated when my husband made “The Original Portable Shrine” and I later turned it into a pocket version. At the time there were plenty of RA blogs active, and every day you could read a new, original post that was somehow connected to Richard or one of his chaRActers. I have wonderful memories of long discussions over details in his work or even his look, and I fondly remember the excitement collectively experienced when Richard turned up at live events and we all watched it from our various locations all over the world. It culminated all in the opportunity for fan meets that the Hobbit premieres provided in 2012-2014 as well as Richard’s return to the stage in The Crucible in 2014. The latter also brought an influx of new bloggers and fans, but after that blog world seemed to slow down. I put it down to two things – 1) the diversification of social media, in that there were more platforms available in which the fandom established itself in micro-communities, and 2) Richard himself debuted on Twitter and concentrated (and moderated) much of the discourse there. Blogging as a form of SM, was on the way out. The short messaging platforms – Twitter, FB, IG etc. – won over the lengthy commitment required for writers and readers on WordPress, Blogspot, Typepad, as well as boards and forums.
In the meantime…
Taking 2014 as the point where many of the legacy bloggers scaled down their commitment, this is what I have been up to: With my children entering their teenage years just then, I had more personal freedom to spend time on my own career and interests. Professionally, I had a run of 3 great years working as a highly-specialised online journalist which required frequent business trips to London. This (and a new friendship with a fellow fan based in London) provided the opportunity to indulge in seeing live performances, and so I developed a strong interest in theatre. Despite a fulfilled work life, the fandom continued to be my main creative outlet in the shape of blogging and making my silly little pocket shrines.
Something that is a high point of every year, both in terms of fandom and just me in general, is the annual charity auction on RA’s birthday. The fandom probably also acted as my parallel universe into which I could escape away from the demanding relationship with my mother that developed in the wake of my father’s unforeseen death in the summer of 2014. My posting frequency increased. Since my contract with my London client finished, my professional life has quietened down considerably. But that has benefitted my creativity, and I have become a fanatical crafter who is even selling her products successfully online. These days, my frantic crafting occasionally interferes with my blogging interests.
Some time a couple of years ago, I switched to daily posting *whenever possible* because it felt as if blog world had become much quieter and I wanted to keep Richard’s name out there in blog world. But that kind of blogging frequency takes its toll, and I am currently experiencing a bit of a burn out. Well, since I am being honest here, I might as well say that that could also be connected to a slight lack of interest because the OOA refuses to live, work and behave according to *my* expectations 😂. Bad boy, Richard!
Where are you going with this…
I have no idea. I sometimes look at all the blogs that are now defunct, and I almost envy their proprietors because they have moved on. Have they found something, some*one* new which/who fills them with excitement and giddy happiness, just like those precious first few months of a new relationship when you can’t get enough of your new love? Am I being stuck here, on endless loop, in something that neither makes sense nor receives acknowledgment? But then I remember that the blog is just a springboard. A reason for interaction. And that is what I love the most – the interaction. And it almost doesn’t matter why we talk or what we talk about. Richard – has become incidental.
Today’s RA blog reunion unfortunately also reminds me that I am missing the interaction with a lot of wonderful, funny, creative, clever women, whose contributions to the fandom – and my enjoyment of the fandom – I loved. There are many among them that I actually met in person at the SD, spent an unforgettable holiday with, consider friends. Search for the #RABlogReunion hashtag on Twitter and you will find lots of blog posts linked. iI you are relatively new in the fandom, I envy you. You might fall into a rabbit hole, discovering the past posts of these bloggers. *Days* of fun entertainment ahead! Just think the adventures of “the man” courtesy of Judiang, stick figure Richard by Nat, the Australian perspective on Richard by Mulubinba, remembering cool fandom initiatives such as Spread the Love, organised by Funkybluedandelion and Obscura who also posted about Ancient Armitage on her eponymous blog, the hilarious edits and posts by Agzy on Iwanttobeapinup, fake letters to RA by RAFrenzy, catching up on some steamy fan fictions by Angie, opinion and news collected by armitageagonistes, squeeing courtesy of – ha! – The Squeee, King Richard III connection with cdoart… Not all of these blogs are taking part in today’s reunion day, but they were big contributors to the Armitage blog world way back when, so do check them out. Among the newer and also badly missed dormant blogs are: Hariclea’s operaismagic, Jennifer’s preoccupiedwitharmitage, I am sure I am forgetting some lovely bloggers – and I apologise for that and will update and add – and I am deliberately not listing the *active* blogs here, some of whom, like me, are taking part in today’s reunion day.