Rant regarding Musketeer Challenge on VN.

a writing by Denis Barter

Hi fellow Members, this is nothing more than my personal opinion: a Blog or summation if you like, of how I feel Voice Net, Musketeer Challenge inter alia, seems to be headed of late.

Poetry, as it is termed,, is written in many eclectic forms, and dons many guises, and was, I understand, the reason why this site was first put together by JJ - sadly departed. Since its inception, the pages of VN - for the most part - have been a delightful place to display the talents of Members, but, over these past months, it appears to be deluged, even overwhelmed by advertising!

Unwanted by mos Memberst, and annoying to negotiate through for some of us with handicaps! An interfering “Must” I suppose, in today’s modern commercial world, that drives and controls the Internet phenomena, which most likely supports - at a profit - the owner(s) of this site. Unfortunately, it seems to be taking over, and making Member browsing, complicated and annoying..

One also notes the recent absence of a number of stalwart Members, that helped make Voice Net unique. Members that through serious illness; family matters, and even perhaps, their dislike of what evolves of late? have been missing for some time. All of which adds to the detriment of the site, I suggest.

It seems the Musketeer Monthly Challenge, that has proven to be a contributing factor to the success - to date - and a inciting influence on the site, with its variety of inspiring themes, has been almost completely ignored of late. Once well supported by Members of all poetic styles, for it excited numerous Members of all genres, to partake in same, today it barely excites Members to participate! Except for a loyal few that partake of a mind challenging montly exercise, and tackle its inspiring topic, efforts of late, to sustain the Challenge, appear to have failed! Whether one chooses to write, a Poem in Rhyme, Free or Blank verse: perhaps a personal Diatribe, Observation, Rant or Blog, matters not. Contributions by Members of all styles, taking part and displaying their various talents for others to enjoy, are sadly missed.!

Of late, despite the efforts of a few, the participation in such Challenges, has declined to the point where Voices Net, seems to have denigrated to a standard that sees many long time Members looking for and departing to competing poetry sites. Even to the Voice Net Facebook site, and no one can blame them for doing so, although it is somewhat disheartening for me, to see this exodus from what has long been a great site and a pleasant haven for all manner of poets to browse therein,

I, like many others, find personal events, health problems and occurrences have played an influential role in my participation of late, inasmuch as health and private happenings, have effected and curtailed the time I personally, can spend at a pleasure, I have long enjoyed. Added to this, the lack of enthusiasm and support, along with a lacklustre Member involvement, will contribute to the demise of Voices Net, unless Member involvement, increases.

The Monthly Musketeer Challenge, is normally renewed under the guidance and auspices of a Baton Holder, at this time, but....? what next? Can or will another Member step up to the plate, and offer a Challenge to the Membership? Surely there is one amongst the Membership[ that has the time, acumen and spirit to don the role of Challenger - with a topic, based on their personal observation: experience: inspiration or whatsoever strikes them as a suitable and worthwhile subject?

Yes, it is - as only too well do I know - a daunting task, which entails time, enthusiasm, tact and even a little diplomacy at times, but the rewards, as I have found on several occasions, are many.

So I address the Membership thus: is there one of you who would undertake the chore of Chairing this months Musketeer Challenge? Known as the Musketeer Challenge? It has been a much looked for, monthly event that adds little kudos, but demands much work and attention to the Baton Holder. The subject/topic of your Challenge, is yours alone to choose. One that allows for an eclectic response, is always a winner. So come one, come all, let’s see what we can do to keep this Membership alive and thriving! Who knows? Within a week or so, we might well see some of the recuperating Members return, actively inspired by your Elysian effort? It’s now up to one who has both the courage, time and will to keep Voices Net thriving as it once did.

This is purely thoughts I have had recently, and may not reflect those of other Members. I have yet to be convinced otherwise!! Nevertheless, the demise or continued existence of Voices Net, is at a crossroads right now, I feel,unless an emboldened Member is prepared to unreservedly volunteer time, effort and diplomatic skills, for the next four weeks.

Whatever? So be it! Rhymer.

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