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Monday, November 9, 2015

Themes That Rocked the Challenge - Mark Twain's Boyhood Town

Today we welcome Jennifer Hawes!

If you've struggled with your A to Z theme, it might be right there under your feet. Jennifer chose her hometown of Hannibal, MO, which also happens to be the boyhood town of a certain author named Mark Twain…

What made you choose Hannibal, MO as your theme? (Besides the fact you live there!)

I love the natural beauty of this town nestled on the Mississippi River. Photography was a big part of why I chose to feature Hannibal for the challenge.

Which topic was your favorite?

My posts on "Trains" and "Meet Me in St. Louis" were fun to feature because of the recent trip I took with my family exploring the train yards in St. Louis. Urban exploration and photography remain my favorite activities besides writing ,of course!

Which letter was the most challenging?

Toward the end I was getting burned out. Y was a bit of a challenge so I changed my post to "whY you should visit Hannibal" and featured football and my oldest teenage son. This town worships football. This year my son's team, the Hannibal Pirates, went 10-0 are in the playoffs! He was also chosen for first team all conference in Northeast Missouri High Schools two years in a row. I'm one proud mom!

What should first time visitors absolutely not miss?

Mark Twain's dream was to be a riverboat captain. He adored the Big River. You will get a wonderful tour aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat. And don't forget to visit the famous cave!

How many places are named after Mark Twain?

I've lost count.

Just what is the Tom and Becky contest?

Every summer five Tom and Becky couples are chosen right before their eighth grade year. One couple is the main Tom and Becky and the rest stay busy hosting the numerous festivals in town. Tom and Becky are fictional characters created by Mark Twain in his book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. They had a major crush on each other. They hid inside the cave to escape Injun Joe who was after them. Mark Twain really did have a crush on his next door neighbor Laura Hawkins aka Becky Thatcher.

Did you find it odd there was a lighthouse in town?

Not really. With all the hills, rocky terrain, and endless fog, I'm sure the town built the lighthouse to help navigate the boats safely down the river.

What theme are you considering for the Challenge next year?

Oh boy. I'm glad I have some time to think about it! I've debated whether or not to write about the writer's journey to publication. Or something to do with writing. My theme last time featured Mark Twain, one of the greatest fiction writers of all time, and his boyhood home town. Maybe I'll feature more great writers. Writing is my life and passion!

Thanks, Alex, for featuring my blog from AtoZ!

Thanks for doing the interview, Jennifer! I want to visit now.

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars, and his blog can be found HERE


Billy Blue Eyes said...

Nice to see photo's as well because we are not all writers that enter the A to Z

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's why I always include images with this feature.

Jennifer Hawes said...

Thanks, Alex, for featuring my blog today! The Hannibal Pirates are now 12-0 and District champs and still in the playoffs. If they win 2 more times, they play in the Rams stadium in St. Louis on Black Friday:) If I can get to Chicago, maybe I'll feature my favorite big city in the challenge next year!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Love the featured blogs idea.

Jo said...

Interesting subject to choose. It is nice to see the photos too.

Heather M. Gardner said...

And...she's a great sidekick!
Great blog post!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jennifer and Alex - great fun post to read .. and I'm sure I read a few of yours through the A-Z challenge before overwhelment set in (if that's a word?!) ... congratulations to your son - he must be so chuffed ... cheers and good to see you - Hilary

Nilanjana Bose said...

Great theme idea! and also inexhaustible. Beautiful photos.