Are you part of the Great and Powerful #AtoZchallenge Theme Reveal?

(I’m not in the best of health, and am scheduling this post a day in advance, but the 21st will be a big day for me, and I can’t afford to miss this post!)

Team Damyanti: Working together to make a better A to Z Challenge
Team Damyanti: Working together to make a better A to Z Challenge

If you’re a blogger, I hope you’ve found out about the A to Z Challenge. You would have, if you’ve visited this blog before, as I’m one of the co-hosts.

Today about 300 bloggers get together to celebrate the revealing of their A to Z Challenge theme— the theme on which they’ll blog for 26 days in April!

Not on the challenge or the reveal yet? You can sign up now!

Yes, the ladies of #TeamDamyanti, Anna Tan, Csenge Zalka, Guilie Castillo Oriard, Samantha Geary Jones, and Vidya Sury *with technical support from Jemima Pett & Mary Wallace are hosting the A to Z Theme Reveal Blogfest (following the unofficial tradition Mina Lobo started last year for the A to Z Challenge.)

The A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal Badge
The A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal Badge

I couldn’t be prouder, because my team of ladies is the best in the world– I’ve learned and continue to learn from each of them!

Without further ado, here’s my Theme this year: I’m going to write a piece of flash fiction a day, based on prompts from #TeamDamyanti and other blog friends, and combine them with photographs from one of my fave photographers: Joseph W Richardson, or Joe Richardson.

Joe is a writer as well as a photographer, and that fascinates me. I’ve written stories based on his pictures before, but this is the first time I’ll be basing an entire month of writing on his photographs. I asked him a few questions and here are the answers he gave me:

Tell us a little bit about yourself—why did you pick photography as your creative medium?
I fell into photography through writing. When I was in grade school, I discovered the books of naturalist Gerald Durrell. Durrell told incredible tales about wildlife encounters in exotic locales. He wrote with power and humor and grace. I loved Durrell’s adventures, and thought I’d travel the world taking wildlife photos. I never made it far from home. I did learn to use a camera. But I never really escaped my love for a tale well told.

These days, I spend as much time with a keyboard as I do with a camera. Some days I think of myself as a photographer who writes. Some days I think of myself as a writer who shoots.

Where is home?
Home is a small town in Southwestern Illinois, in the United States. It’s the kind of place you can’t wait to leave as a kid, and don’t want to leave as an adult.

We have a courthouse square where we sing Christmas carols in winter and eat apples in fall. West of the square we have an old library that, from the outside, looks like a sorcerer’s lair. East of the courthouse, we’ve a strange museum filled with devices you’d find in the magician’s trade. The town is bordered by cornfields and trees and creeks and rolling hills. At night, you can hear owls and coyotes calling beyond the edges of the light.

If you could live anywhere on this planet where would you build your dream home?
There’s a wooded hill a couple miles southwest of town that’s really nice, if you could put in good word with the owner.

Aside from that, maybe Melbourne or Darwin or Sydney–but certainly somewhere in Australia. I love the architecture, the culture, the wildlife, and the music in Aussie speech. The people I know from Australia–love them, every one.

What sort of subjects do you like to explore through your photography? What inspires you as a photographer? What sort of locations do you choose for your work?
I like to shoot places, buildings, and objects that have a strong sense of history about them. I can spend hours exploring old barns or ramshackle shops or broken brick buildings. I look at these places, forlorn and forgotten, and I see stories. I hear echoes of what was or what could have been. Places like this call to me. I think they appeal to a lot of people. That’s why we try to preserve them.

How much editing is involved in the final result?
With some photos, I bump the contrast or push or pull the color a bit and that’s it. With others, I apply filters and distress the original, until it looks like something I peeled from the bottom of a tool box, or that slept at the back of a wardrobe for fifty years.

Did you go to school to study photography?
As a kid, I learned to shoot through trial and error with a Pentax K1000 35mm SLR. Later, I took a job at a newspaper and worked in the darkroom. So I had excellent teachers, but no formal training. Pretty good metaphor for life, that.


Joseph W Richardson
Joseph W Richardson

About Joe Richardson: Joe Richardson is a writer and photographer in Southwestern Illinois. His work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, national trade publications, and on more than one refrigerator.
At present, he has a bit of writing tacked to a museum door that won kind comments from a former poet laureate. He divides his time among serving as communications director for a not-for-profit utility, producing content for a cultural heritage interpretive project, working on novels, and trying to keep up with his wife and kids.

Are you part of the A to Z Challenge? The Reveal? Have you ever written or read fiction based on photographs?

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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Add Yours
  1. uniqusatya

    Reblogged this on Simply Poetry and commented:
    I have missed the #Theme reveal of #Team Damyanti due to my personal commitments and after lot of thought decided upon my theme for the #ato z challenge and am really excited about it.This being my first time ,am little nervous too.But with all the help from my blogging friends,i hope i could do it.

  2. zenkatwrites

    I am a bit confused. I am writing for two blogs, and the dkatiepowellart is easy-peasy — its an art blog. But zenkatwrites is harder — personal / journal / religion / life? and I need help — I don’t know where to do this reveal. url pllease. BTW, take care if you catch this flu/cold crud thang — i had it FOUR weeks and it went into an infection — and I am not typically a sicko. Healthwise, anywho. But that is why I am a bit behind, and catching up on my normal job.

    • Damyanti

      Hi, you do the reveal on your blog. Link to the signup list is in the post above. The signup list may not be open anymore tho– but no harm in doing your reveal and then sharing with us on social media with the hashtags #atozchallenge and #A2Zreveal .

  3. Linda Brendle

    Damyanti, I hope your are feeling better this morning. I look forward to your flash fiction and Joe’s photos. Thanks again for hosting this event.

  4. Aditi

    Lovely interview! A good photo makes for a great writing prompt! I am doing A to Z for the first time and also trying my hand at flash fiction! Yayy! 😀

  5. Miss Alister

    Most excellent theme idea Mizz D! To write a good flash pinging off the work of a gifted photographer would be a tall order for me with all I’ve got on my plate. So I all the more look forward to seeing what you come up with. Can’t wait!

  6. shailajav

    Flash Fiction is one of my favourite genres! So looking forward to this 🙂

  7. Sreeja Praveen

    This is a challenge within the challenge, flash fiction with photograph. You’ll surely do justice to the theme , we’re just waiting for the picture-magic 🙂 🙂

  8. robertlampros

    Joe sounds awesome. I love the idea of art transcending time, his photographing places with “a strong sense of history.” Looking forward to your A to Z posts, Damyanti. This should be a lot of fun.

  9. Vidya Sury

    Mmmwah~ Damyanti! (By the way 366 and counting for the Theme Reveal Blog Hop!)

    This April is going to be the best ever yet! 😀 Hugs and so happy we’re connected and on the same team!

  10. sdneeve1

    Hope you feel better for April, flash fiction is a toughie. The longest stint I did was 9 days! Sending health and good wishes your way. 🙂

  11. leesha0304

    Great themes for the A to Z challenge! I didn’t know it was theme reveal day today, but I posted mine late last night. Can’t wait for April to start to see all of the great upcoming posts! 🙂

  12. worldruler007

    Thanks to all who are organizing this! This is exactly what I was searching for. I’m so participating 😀

    One question, I don’t have a sidebar, but can I add a ‘Page’ on my blog?

  13. Tyrean

    Great theme! I hope you feel better soon.
    I enjoyed the interview too. It’s nice to read about the creative journey that each of us takes in writing, art, and life. 🙂

  14. Rutilly

    Wow I love this idea. It has been a long while since I have written any kind of fiction but I am also a taker of photo’s. So maybe I should combine the two and maybe the things I see that inspire me to take a photo could then inspire a short story. So thank you for this wonderful idea. Maybe next year I could enter you month challenge.

  15. April Come She Will #AtoZChallenge - Everyday Gyaan

    […] Team Damyanti, part of the organizing group for the A to Z challenge, came up with a superb idea. To encourage bloggers to have a theme for the challenge, they’ve organized the Great and Powerful Theme Reveal today. You’ll find the link on Vidya’s blog – do visit to see all the wonderful ideas people have come up with. […]

  16. cjparsons

    Writing to photography was actually part of our English class assignments back in the day. We still use it in our bell ringer assignments in AVID.

  17. Leanne Ross

    That is a great theme! Does that mean you won’t be able to get the writing finished before April? It sounds so daunting.

    I hope you’re feeling better!

    Leanne Ross ( & @LeanneRossRF )

  18. M. Zane McClellan

    I hope you feel better. I am looking forward to reading your work throughout April. Good luck with the challenge.

    I just caught a flu like bug myself, no fun 🙁