not invented by me!--originated after the release of the final movie. Some wise person foresaw in true Tolkien fashion the decline of the fandom without new movies to fuel enthusiasm. B2MeM came about as a way to keep the energy flowing in fandom. My group, the Silmarillion Writers' Guild, was very new at this time too, and we participated in that first B2MeM. It was very low-key and remained so for the first few years after. We always kept our doors open to all Tolkien fans--not just Silm fans--with the result that B2MeM grew; we were eventually joined by LotRGen/Many Paths to Tread and Arda Inspired, which brought LotR fans and fan artists to B2MeM. And now we are where we are today!
Given the initial mission of B2MeM, it always warms my little fannish heart to see new stories and art being posted every day during March, and to see people reaching beyond their usual borders to make new friends and stretch their wings creatively.
B2MeM has become a huge event to run. We generally start planning in December--we started late this year!--and hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours go into planning and running the event. This year was no exception. This is not an event that can be run single-handedly; it'd be difficult to manage even for one group of mods to run. This year was extra-challenging, as many of our mods had serious real life obligations--foreseen and not--that took almost every one of us away during at least part of February and March. We owe B2MeM to the volunteers who are willing to raise their hands when something needs to be done and who always seem to exceed our expectations!
Firstly, I want to thank the mods who work behind the scenes to launch this lead balloon each year: from the SWG, Rhapsody, Angelica, Tarion, and Russandol; from MPTT, Dreamflower, Cathleen, and Pearl Took; and Mirach from Arda Inspired.
Part of the fun of B2MeM is getting to collect beautiful icons, banners, and other digital creations for participating. B2MeM brings out the inner-magpie in all of us a little! This year, because we got a late start, we mod-types set our sights low: We would like participant banners and, if possible, an icon for each day. Our bannermakers wildly exceeded what we thought were already high expectations. Not only did we get a selection of participant banners, they also made an icon for each theme prompt, an icon for each daily prompt, a daily abecedarium icon, and Reading Week banners. And they did this with only hints from me about the prompts! Zdenka, Lyra, Elleth, and Nath, your generosity with your time and talents is so appreciated. Your work was gorgeous and, judging by how many icons and banners I saw around the web this March, very much appreciated by participants. Thank you.
B2MeM can produce hundreds of stories and artworks each year. I haven't counted this year's yet, but with this kind of influx, the community can get chaotic quickly, making it almost impossible to find stories you want to read. Our tagging volunteers help keep that chaos in check by ensuring that new entries are properly tagged so that participants and visitors can enjoy the fruits of B2MeM for years to come! Indy stepped up this year as our tagging moderator; when I had twenty-five hours worth of work to squeeze into each day, she developed this year's tagging plan, wrote the guidelines, and recruited volunteers. Zdenka, Brooke of Lorien, and Foxrafer assisted with tagging this year. This can be a herculean task that has required hours of work each day in the past, since volunteers often have to read each story in order to tag it properly. Thank you all so much.
Finally, this event would be nothing without our participants, who make it possible to realize the original vision of B2MeM. Additionally, this was the first year that B2MeM members helped to design the challenge, so a special thank you to all of you who made suggestions, gave feedback, and voted in the poll.
If I missed anyone, it was not intentional; please message me, email me, or comment so that I can correct my mistake.
Here's to March 2014! :)
Today is the final day of Reading Week, so we say goodbye to another B2MeM. It's been another great year. For those who are new to B2MeM, the concept--