For the past few years, I’ve used themes for the A to Z Challenge that involve words roughly chosen at random based on a given pattern, e.g. portmanteaus, eight-letter words, words that start and end with the same letter, etc. I even had one year where I simply said I wasn’t going with a theme, which was kind of like trick-or-treating in your street clothes.
This year, though, I wanted to do something different. I thought about using stock symbols and writing a little bit about the companies behind them, but I thought better of it. I was worried that people (that’s you) would take one look and move on to the next blog. Then I had an idea that I thought might work…
On of my regular features on The Sound of One Hand Typing is Top Ten Tuesday, which used to be The Friday 5×2. The idea is that I go out to an archive of radio station surveys such as Oldiesloon or The Airheads Radio Survey Archive, select a survey on that day in some past year, and re-create the station’s Top Ten with videos on YouTube, which I then share for your entertainment.
What I decided to do was to select a random survey from a North American radio station every day in April (except for Sundays, of course) and build its Top Ten list. Radio stations here are assigned a three- or four-letter callsign: the first letter for stations in the US is W or K (generally east or west of the Mississippi River, respectively); in Canada, the first letter is C; and in Mexico, the letter is X (and the callsigns are five letters long). The second letter of the callsign will be the letter of the day according to the official A to Z Challenge calendar.
There will be a couple of exceptions to this rule: I’ve selected a Japanese radio station (whose callsign starts with a J), and one of the offshore radio stations in Europe (Radio Veronica, off the Dutch coast at Hilversum).
I will do my best to hold to the format that I use on Top Ten Tuesday, including some remarks on the song, although they might be abbreviated. Also, the dates I choose might not be in April, to simplify things a little.
So there you have it: my theme for the 2021 A to Z Challenge. Hope to see you all there! Don’t forget to enter your theme on the official form and be sure to get a copy of the final spreadsheet after registration closes on March 20.