As we walk into the year 2019, I want to be more deliberate about the blog. I have some pretty big plans. Plans to improve what I am doing now and plans to expand into new territory. I took some time over the holiday break to work ahead, so that the new setup wouldn’t seem so daunting. I want to be able to hold myself accountable though. I want to be able to look back at this blog post and say “I did my best to meet these goals,” and so I am sharing them with you, my reader. And so, without further ado, here are the plans I have for Ripe Good Scholar in 2019:
One Play per MonthWhat seems like ages ago, I gave myself the challenge to read through the complete works in a single year. That quickly proved too difficult to accomplish and since then I have been experimenting with different workflows, trying to find the best option for me and my lifestyle. I think I have found it. I will summarize and analyze one play per month. This will give me the amount of time necessary to properly work through each play and still have time for other fun things. That is why each Friday will be dedicated to an illustrated summary.
I grappled with whether or not to just summarize each act as a standalone blog, or keep up with the three part split I have been doing. Standalone acts feel tidier, but the 3 part structure allows me to finish one play in a single month and have an analysis. In the end, I decided to stick with the three part plan. Mostly because I like the idea of doing one play per month. I think this schedule will give me the time to make the summaries entertaining to read and include illustrations.
Then, the fourth Friday of the month will be dedicated to an analysis of the play. The analysis could cover a wide variety of topics. We could look at the themes or the setting. We may dedicate time to looking at a specific character or some important historical context. It’s whatever tickles my fancy really, but that is what will make the final Friday so much fun. If there’s a fifth Friday in that month we’ll get some bonus fun!
Wednesday Fun Blogs
Each Wednesday I will write about anything and everything Shakespeare related. These blogs will be more casual, more personal, and hopefully just as much fun as the summaries. This will be our opportunity to discuss topics that don’t necessarily have to do with a specific play. Rather we can look at a wide variety of unique topics. I have some in mind, but I am always open to suggestions.
There will be some recurring themes to the Wednesday blogs, such as book reviews and performance reviews. I also thought I would try a recipe from Shakespeare’s Kitchen by Francine Segan each month, just to get a little taste of Shakespeare’s life. Then, all the other Wednesdays will be taken up by whatever other Shakespeare news or thoughts come up at the time. Because what is life without a little randomness.
In a couple weeks, I will be launching the Ripe Good Scholar YouTube channel. I will post a video every other Monday. They will be released in a series. First, will be a series on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. After that, I will do a series during which we will look at Shakespeare’s life. I will continue on alternating a series on a specific play and a series on another facet of Shakespeare studies for the foreseeable future. It should be a lot of fun and I hope you will join me as I expand to a new platform.
Later this year, a friend of mine and I will be starting a podcast. The working title is A Chronicle of Wasted Time. The idea is to cover history according to Shakespeare. We’ll be starting with Richard II and go all the way through the Wars of the Roses. After that, we’ll cover various aspects of British history and historical elements that are featured in Shakespeare’s plays (ie. Julius Caesar and Cleopatra). I’m really excited for this and I’m hoping to get it launched this spring.
I am currently developing some classroom materials that will accompany my YouTube series. Plus, a few standalone worksheets.
I have been playing with hand lettering and design to create some fun products featuring quotes from the plays.
Finally, I have this awesome planner called The Tudor Book of Days. I am going to use it to provide daily insights into court life on twitter, so make sure you follow me @RipeGoodScholar to keep up on that fun.
That about does it. 2019 should be an exciting year here at Ripe Good Scholar. I hope you’ll come with me on this journey and together we’ll build something pretty cool (or extremely nerdy, depending on how you look at it).