Our blog’s first January is complete! Next month I can really start data crunching those statistics. Sometimes blogging is a tsunami of excitement. We live in tumultuous times but it’s good to know there’s always the joy of writing.
We’ll be taking a look at The Well-Red Mage “Year Two” come February 2oth but in the mean time, let’s summarize the month of Jan.
Advice I gave myself in January: taking a break can help to look at things from a new angle. I started out the month of January very slow. Much slower than I’d have liked to, but it was for a variety of reasons. Taking a vacation of sorts from the blog, reassessing whether this was something I still wanted to pursue, combating personal disappointment at not having finished my Studio Ghibli series in one month like I’d planned while still making time for holiday merriment and recovery as well as investing time in my family and work all came to a head. But I’m delighted to be back writing again!
Here are our reviews for the month of January:
With our review of the Studio Ghibli library complete, I am glad to have that behind me. It was an incredible experience but I don’t envy the jobs of film critics. Thanks to everyone who took the time to leave thoughtful comments and engage in the conversation over these (mostly) great films. You maybe don’t have the time to read all of our long-winded critiques, but you can check out our closing post on the subject entitled “A Kingdom of Dreams”. It was a bittersweet feeling to complete the task knowing that Miyazaki and Takahata are both retired.
One of the great joys of blogging is meeting and interacting with new people and that was definitely true in January. Our newest magical contributor, the ineffable Midnight Mystic Mage (whose alter ego is secretly a wizard on loan from Sublime Game Reviews) wrote up an excellent review on a game I could never play, the horrifying Amnesia: the Dark Descent. Thank you, MMM! Abbreviating your name describes my feelings when reading your work. Welcome aboard!
Another amiable individual who stopped in for a chat was Nick the Gent of Deconstructing Video Games. You can check out his most agreeable interview here, as well as all of the other Blogger Interviews we’ve conducted in the past. Rest with great assuredness. There are more of these on the way. I seriously consider tapping into the positivity of a lot of these individuals to be one of the supreme pleasures of blogging. While we lost one blogger interview to rampant negativity, I’m certain there are many more enthusiastic and hilarious people to meet and greet! Lesson: don’t let anything get you down. Life is too short. If I learned anything from Ghibli, it’s that.
A couple other scattered articles to take note of: We put on our rose-colored glasses for a positive take on the Nintendo Switch. Speaking of positivity, there is none of it in the Rage Mage’s characteristic hyperbole condemning Square Enix’s recent blasé announcement. If you’re easily offended (who isn’t?) then please do not read it.
Taking a cue from the most popular post of all time here on this blog, we shared a short translation of the Gaelic lyrics to “The Best Is Yet To Come” from Metal Gear Solid. And finally, we’ve received some really pleasant feedback for a post about some of the good and some of the not so good moms and dads in video games. Most of them are pretty bad.
On the stats side of things, which I’ll be brief on, considering our anniversary is fast approaching, we reached 30,000 views. We celebrated by sharing one of my personal favorite orchestra performances of Joe Hisaishi’s incredible and moving work with Studio Ghibli. There is absolutely no way to express how delighted I am over everyone who has wandered in here and shared content and their thoughts, commenting and engaging. Thank you to all of our followers for this great gift of your community. I feel that in the times we live in, we as writers have a responsibility and privilege to demonstrate the beauty of life and its value (sarcasm allowed!), and a lot of our conversations have reflected that, even if just in passing.
And in conclusion, I owe a debt of thanks to everyone who nominated The Well-Red Mage for an award. We received several and while I would love to respond to each one, I find that my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak. Had I an inexhaustible supply of energy and time, the most precious of resources, I would gladly engage with each of these and present my own nominations. In the past I haven’t been able to truly nominate everyone who deserves to be nominated. As it stands, I can only graciously accept them and hope that producing my own style of content will come close to earning these awards and your attention. So thank you to…
Stuff and That Reviews for the Liebster and Sunshine Blogger:
Jedi by Knight for the Mystery Blogger:
Mystery Blogger Award
AmbiGaming for the Sunshine Blogger:
Later Levels for the Sunshine Blogger:
Matt-in-the-Hat for the Blogger Recognition:
By the way, I got this idea for addressing multiple awards in one summary post from the wonderful Mr. Panda, so all credit goes to his genius. If I missed anyone who nominated us, know that it was not out of malice but out of ignorance. Please let me know about it and I’ll be happy to include your link.
Here’s to February! The best is yet to come! Don’t miss the nostalgic I Am Setsuna launching with the Switch! Or… just play it on the other systems.
-The Well-Red Mage