May 07, 2017

A to Z Challenge ~ Reflections

I sit, trying to remember how I became aware of the A to Z Challenge and failing the how of it but I certainly remember the trepidation.

A post every day? A theme? Can I make a commitment and stick to it with all that is going on personally?

A couple of years ago, I resolved to write a minimum of two hours a day. I've kept to that personal commitment...mostly! There have been those days when I get on a roll; the words rapidly flowing as I sip my morning coffee. Totally unaware of the passing of time, it is dark outside, dinner is not planned let alone cooked and I am still in my pajamas.  (yeah, but who will ever know that I didn't shower until 6 p.m.)

Then there are those days...yes, t h o s e   d a y s. Minutes turn into hours, all the words I have ever known have jumped ship. My fingers cramp as they float, poised above the keyboard, waiting for the tiniest bit of vocabulary to return to me.  I jump to Facebook to relieve the pressure.

The pressure is not relieved.

I Google "ideas to blog about"! Done it, done it, done it, no, that one's stupid, done it, don't want to do it.

Hey! The A to Z Challenge will give me something to write everyday in April, it will also give me an excellent excuse not to work on 'the book'.  I am so addicted to procrastination! Therefore, apprehension was short-lived.

Choosing a theme was easy. I read a Robin Carr quote about writers. She said (paraphrasing), "A good writer is someone who chases the hero up a tree and then throws rocks at them."

It's true for every good book I've ever read! Some rocks are bigger than others, some trees are taller but the fact is there is a tree and there are rocks. It was a blast thinking up heroes and making up big ol' rocks to throw. The sadist in me thrived!

The Reflection

I can't wait April  2018!

The A to Z Challenge was exactly that; a challenge, but what a lovely challenge.

My vocabulary has increased a hundred-fold.

I discovered so many new blogs and outlooks on life.

I've been exposed to other cultures and places to add to my bucket list.

I've discovered that I have a flare for alliteration.

Favorites in the A to Z Challenge

Mrs. Dash Says. Her Theme: A piece of me or APOM.
Her posts were personal. We really did get to know bits and pieces of her.

Natasha Musing. Her Theme: Travel Epiphanies. Like Mrs. Dash, Natasha's posts are personal and filled with wisdom, amusements and, yes, epiphanies! The things that she notices, the feelings that certain colors or items bring up are enlightening. I enjoyed getting to know her and think her's will be a blog that I visit often.

Pen In Her Hand. Her Theme: Young Adult Novels. Might not be up everyone's alley but with 6 granddaughters from the age of almost 13 to 19 years old, this theme was extremely informative. I can share with granddaughters; read a book or two and talk about them! We grandmother's need all the help we can get to make them put down those phones and actually have a discussion!

Patricia Lynne. Her Theme: Strange Feelings. Remarkable theme. My love affair with words had me addicted to this theme and her words. So strange to actually put a word to things I have also felt or known!

Ever experienced Xeno? What about Vellichor? Surely you've experienced Onism!

My Ordinary Moments. Theme: Arti writes that she is 'theme less' She understated that her posts were about words. There was so much more than mere words. She wrote of emotions, experiences, how those words made her feel, about travels, architecture, culture, and more.

I will read her posts religiously.

hdhstory, Storyteller blog: Theme: What if...a great place to make your brain itch.

Is it cheating if I start creating next years posts tomorrow morning?


  1. That's great that you are so excited about next year! Thanks for being part of the challenge.

  2. My pleasure! Counting the days!

  3. So glad that you found A to Z! Thanks for participating and congratulations on all that writing during April. And we appreciate your adding your thoughts to the Reflections.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. I'm glad I found it! Finger cramps and all!

  4. No, not cheating. Some do start planning their posts in May. Some start in January. And some of us do it on the fly. Good for you for making it through.

    1. It was such a good time. Love, love challenges.

  5. Your posts were a lot of fun! Glad you took part. No, nothing wrong with getting a jump on next year!

    1. Thank you, Nick. They were fun to write. Nice to meet all of you wonderful people, too.

  6. Hey Toni.
    I'm not saying the following because you've mentioned me (and OMG--you made me sound so cool, man--where is this cool Arti got to find her:)
    I had set out to say this before I came upon your favourite list:
    You and I are the proverbial twins (from old Bollywood films- young twins get lost in a busy fair-live separate but almost identical lives-years later their paths cross- they discover they are peas of the pod-the end). I can say 'Aye' to your kind of procrastination and showering at 6pm and no dinner when moi is writing:)
    So glad our paths crossed this year.
    Will be bugging you for camera related advice in a month or so.
    Reflection Post

    1. I always thought there was another half of me out there!

      So glad to discover your blog.
      Camera advice coming soon! Got some rocks to move first!

  7. I don't think it's cheating at all to start preparing next years posts - I think most of us have that thought when we finish and then life gets in the way and then suddenly it's April again. Love the look of your blog and I'm going to catch up with some of your posts over the next week. Well done on surviving the month.

    1. I'm glad everyone is on-board with the cheating, though I am such a procrastinator, I won't start until March 27, 2018!

      The bridge in the background of the blog is just around the corner from our house. Old and beautiful!

  8. Thanks for the mention! I have enjoyed your posts over the course of the challenge and have drooled over your photo studies. What talent! I have already picked out the themes for the next two years of A to Z although I haven't done any writing on them. It's good to be prepared, right?

    1. I really did enjoy your A to Z posts. I'll be visiting often but really am looking forward to next year to see what theme you picked.

  9. Well done on completing the challenge. I read several of your posts and enjoyed them.

    I love that you're already thinking of next year's posts. That's how it gets you!

    Cait @ Click's Clan

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed reading them. It was fun creating them. It helped increase my vocabulary, reading everyone's posts!

  10. Hi Toni - it makes sense to start now ... while you're in the mood and then life can cruise by til April 2018!! You had a fun time ... and I'll be around - cheers Hilary


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