As mentioned in part one of my Animal Alphabet roundup, folks seem to be interested in a new alphabet project. There was a bit of discussion about possible themes a few weeks back on Twitter and Google+, but I thought I’d post some thoughts here as a centralized area for getting input and suggestions–and hopefully finalizing something so we can officially launch the new alphabet project as soon as possible.
Beasts and Creatures
As things stood at the end of preliminary discussions a few weeks back, the most agreed-upon theme was “Beasts and Creatures.” I’ve been doing a bit of thinking on this, though, and it’s seeming to me that there’re probably some specific guidelines that should be sorted out beforehand. Animals is a fairly straightforward theme and with the exception of one or two mythical animals (that I culled from the tumblr and will repost if we do Beasts and Creatures as our theme) there wasn’t a whole lot of explanation needed. “Beasts and Creatures” though has a lot more wiggle room. I’m just throwing things out there, but here are some thoughts:
1) No creatures that actually exist or have actually existed in the past. So, no dinosaurs or giant sloths.
2) Generic creature names are legit, but so are proper names. “D is for Dragon” works. So does “S is for Smaug” (the dragon from The Hobbit).
3) Fictional does not equal “creature.” Hedwig the owl from Harry Potter is not legit.
4) OK, here’s one that’s maybe contentious: The creature must be from something–a book, movie, myth, legend whatever–but you can’t just make up an original creature yourself.
5) Another contentious one: It seems to me like we want myth/fantasy-type creatures, not SF-type creatures. Is there “neat” way to exclude, say, rancors and Tribbles, etc.
Edit: 6) Should humanoid fantasy creatures like dwarves and elves count for beasts & creatures?
As I said, I’m just throwing these out there. Please comment and let me know what you think.
Robots and Aliens
Thinking through that last point, it occurred to me that another potentially fun theme–and one that wouldn’t have nearly as much wiggle room–would be “Robots and Aliens.” The guidelines here would be pretty straightforward:
Any non-human from any science fiction book, movie, TV show, etc.
So, anyway… existing Animal Alphabet participants, possible contributors to this next project, let me know your thoughts!
(Also: this go round, I’d like to pawn off tumblr updating duties to someone else. It’s not a hugely time-consuming, but I’ll soon be losing a work morning to some weekly volunteer work at my daughter’s school, so I’m trying to economize time-wise at the moment. Andrew Neal volunteered to help on that front, but if someone else wants to be in charge of updating, or wants to help Andrew out, please mention that as well.)