#atozchallenge Reflections, 2022 Edition

Just to recap: all my words this year started with the prefix "in-" followed by the letter of the day. Here is my full word list:

I did something a little differently this year: rather than trying to write all my posts before April 1 and have them all waiting to be released in order as the month went on, I wrote them a day or two before they were due. I was surprised that it didn’t stress me out. Having the word list done ahead of time certainly helped. In fact, I’ve already got my theme and word list for next year. You’ll have to wait until next year’s theme reveal to find out what it is.

As of April 30, I had added eleven blogs to my Inoreader. I still have quite a few blogs to read and comment on (and potentially add to Inoreader), so if you aren’t on the list, I’ll get to you:

And, of course, all my regular readers who also participated in the Challenge, whose names are listed on my "Week That Was" posts on Sunday. You’re a big reason this is the highlight of my blogging year. I love you all.

Likewise, to the A to Z team:

  • Arlee, who started all of this twelve years ago, and who was one of the first people to comment here.
  • J, who’s the team captain and keeps us all moving and motivated and coordinates this yearly abecedarian effort.
  • Jayden, who actually understands how Google Forms works and does all the signup forms for the Challenge.
  • Zalka, who does the online chats and is an incredible blogger besides.
  • Anjela, our Rookie of the Year, who stepped into the enormous shoes of our late friend Jeremy and did all the graphics for the challenge, and didn’t have a whole lot of time to do it. I think you’ll agree that she did a spectacular job.

It is an honor, a privilege, and a pleasure to work with y’all. I mean that.

Congratulations to all of you who fought the good fight, ran the race, and kept the faith. Whether or not you did all 26 letters, we’re happy you were here. I hope that those of you who took the year off, or who wanted to see what this was all about before you tried it, will join us next year. I’ll be back to tell you about the Road Trip on the A to Z Challenge blog or the simulcast blog on the 16th, so stay tuned for that. Until then,

#atozchallenge: Inzombia

Slant 6 was a "riot grrrl" power trio from Washington, DC, consisting of Christina Billotte on guitar and vocals, Myra Power on bass and vocals, and Marge Marshall on drums and trumpet. Inzombia (1995) was their second and last album on Dischord Records. Here is the title track, for your listening enjoyment. The entire album is available out there as well.

Inzombia is also the name of the 2016 mixtape by Palestinian-Canadian rapper Belly. I’ve linked it above, for your further enjoyment.

And with that, I’ve completed the A to Challenge for 2022! Thanks for reading!

#atozchallenge: INY

INY is an acronym for "I need you," I guess when you’re texting someone. Here are a few songs called "I Need You." The first was written by George Harrison and was used in the 1965 movie Help!, starring The Beatles, Leo McKern, and Eleanor Bron. It’s also on the album.

The next is by America, written by Gerry Beckley (who also sang lead), from their eponymous 1971 debut album.

Lynyrd Skynyrd had a song called "I Need You" on their 1974 album Second Helping. It was written by Ed King, Gary Rossington, and Ronnie Van Zant.

Tim McGraw did his "I Need You" with Faith Hill (his wife) on his 2007 album Let It Go. It was written by David Lee and Tony Lane. As a single, it reached #8 on the US Country chart and #4 on the Canadian Country chart.

Finally, Jon Batiste did his "I Need You" for his 2021 album We Are. The song was written by Jon and Autumn Rowe and was released as a single in 2020, reaching #2 on the Adult Alternative Airplay chart.

And I just realized that, by playing five songs, this will also work as my Five For Friday post.

#atozchallenge: INXS

You might wonder why I chose as my theme "words starting with in- followed by the letter of the day." Now you know…

INXS started in Australia in 1977 as The Farriss Brothers, and the core of the band was Andrew (keyboards and main composer), Jon (drums), and Tim (guitar) Farriss. The other members were Garry Gary Beers (bass), Kirk Pengilly (guitar and saxophone), and Michael Hutchence (vocals). They had their first #1 single in Australia with "Original Sin" in 1984, and achieved international success with songs like "Suicide Blonde," "Need You Tonight," "Never Tear Us Apart," and "The Devil Inside."

Sadly, Michael Hutchence hanged himself in November 1997. The band continued to appear with guest singers like Jimmy Barnes, Terence Trent D’Arby, and Russell Hitchcock, before Jon Stevens, former singer with Australian band Noiseworks, took over. In 2005, they participated in the TV show Rock Star: INXS, a show similar to American Idol, which chose Canadian singer J. D. Fortune as the new vocalist. Fortune stayed with the band, on and off, until 2011, when Ciaran Gribbin took over on vocals. In a show at the Perth Arena in November 2012, they announced that they would no longer be touring.

Here are five of their more popular songs, for your musical enjoyment.

  1. Never Tear Us Apart
  2. Need You Tonight
  3. New Sensation
  4. Suicide Blonde
  5. Devil Inside

Do you have a favorite INXS song?

#atozchallenge: Inward

Look inward. Anyone ever give you that advice? Ever wonder what they’re telling you?

You’re always faced with life decisions: whether to stay with your spouse or partner or leave them, whether to get up and go to work or stay home and look for something better to do, whether you’re living where you want to be or you should move, whether your career is all you expected or whether it’s time to try something new, whether you’re happy with yourself physically or you need to change your diet and exercise habits, whether life with the intoxicant of your choice is the life you want to lead or that it’s time to face life substance-free. If you ask the people around you what you should do, they’ll give you their opinion.

And that’s all it is, an opinion. Whether you like their opinion or not, you asked for it and they gave it. Ultimately, the choice you make won’t (or shouldn’t) be what someone opines. It might be what you end up doing, but it won’t be because they told you "you should do x." It will be because you evaluated their opinion(s) against what you already know about yourself and what you want to get out of it. They can’t answer that, because they aren’t you. Only you can make that choice, that decision.

When you think about it, you can save yourself a lot of time and aggravation if you just start out looking inward in the first place. You already know the answers to those questions. You know you should stay with your spouse. You know when it’s time to change jobs or careers, etc. When people know what you’ve decided, they’ll offer their opinions on it, at which point you can say, "Thank you, I’ll take that under advisement," and then ignore them.