Monday, May 5, 2014

What I Learned from A to Z in 2014


This was my second year for the A to Z Challenge.  After completing the challenge last year, I had a lot of time to think about what I would post.  So, when I set off for Europe last September, I knew that I would have to find cities or places to fill out my alphabet soup if I was going to use the trip for this year's challenge.

I learned more this year than last.  First and foremost I learned to write posts ahead of time.  Really write them ahead, not just have A is for Alligator.  Then, once I figured that out, I learned to actually to schedule them for publication.  (why have I never done this in the past?)  This way I could go back and work on them right up until publication date, but if something came up, the post would still be in decent shape to move forward.  (Something like having your grandson born half way through the month.)

There were several things I discovered this month while reading new blogs.  I ended up with lots of questions.  Like, why sign up and then not even make one post?  Or, if you are going to quit, why not post that you are quitting - don't just disappear.  Did you have a serious accident?  Turns out that a regular commenter (is that a word?) on one of the blogs I follow was in hospice.  Kinda nice to know.  Even on the next to the last day I was finding blogs that stopped back at letter L or whatever.

And speaking of comments, why do people turn off the ability to comment?  Are you just not interested in what anyone has to say?  What if I don't want to subscribe to your Twitter feeds?  Why no way to follow without receiving constant emails?

While I like the fact that blogs had categories, how about a category #23 for folks who bring religion into their blogs?  Consistently.  I am just not interested in how your life is built around your faith.

I happily discovered several new blogs to follow, lost some of my old favorites (where are you?), and had some delightful folks follow me and comment.

I know that a couple of times I hit a nerve, but that is me.  What I say in my posts is not accidental, but calculated to make people think.  It's just my frustrated wanna-be journalist coming out mixed with my life in politics.  If I sometimes make you uncomfortable, then I have likely achieved my goal.

But the primary purpose this last month was to share with each of you the pictures of the places I visited last year.  I hope you enjoyed them.

I am already thinking about next year.  I have two lists prepared.  My choice will depend on what happens over the next eleven months.

If you participated in the challenge and finished, Congratulations!  If you were visiting here for the first time, I hope you stick around.  I'll be back to blogging about my garden, my cooking, my life, and my adventures with my new grandson.  Thanks for being here.


As an aside, someone once asked me how I would describe myself in one word.  I chose 'survivor'.  I've survived life in more ways than one, but never thought it would be applied to blogging, :-).

12 comments:

  1. Congratulations on finishing and, yes, I stand guilty as charged. I disappeared without saying anything. I do that a lot. I'm sorry. :-(
    *hangs head in shame and promises not to do it again*
    Nice to see you're still around though and I loved reading your posts this year. Maybe I should take your advice and start writing next year's posts early. ;-)

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    1. Oh, at least you said something eventually. There are a couple of bloggers I have followed for a long time who seemed to have completely disappeared. I am looking forward to details about your run.. Enjoyed the video you posted.

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    2. It is a shame when people disappear completely, but sometimes they come back when you least expect it.
      I'm glad you liked the video. It's almost tempting to do the walk/run in a bowler hat while smoking a cigar, but I'm not sure I could pull off the plummy English accent. ;-)

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  2. I loved all your posts-They were fun to read, loved the pictures(who doesn't love pictures) and loved your comments as they were insightful and intelligent. We made it! I am thinking what to do next year and I may even just repeat what I did as i enjoyed it so much:) I had one comment that i felt my hands were being slapped for not knowing. I went back to review what I had read in all my books I have and found that I was right. I always pride myself in making sure i have the right stuff-sort of speak. Will keep loooking at your posts

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  3. One thing I thought of looking at the pictures of the travels you made, you never once mentioned the food you ate in the towns you visited. I of course would have been very interested to know about this. Enjoyed your travels vicariously though.

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    1. Gelato. I do have some food pictures, but overall nothing outstanding. The stollen I brought home from Dresden was very good. Germans eat a lot of pork. And I did show a picture of the Berliner stand. I did visit an interesting candy store in Berlin. Which gives me an idea for a post. I'll have to go back and look at my photos.

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  4. I love it that you are called a Survivor...so am I! Happy that we made it. I found you after the challenge but plan to stick around and do some browsing...

    http://smidgensbitsandsnippets.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks for finding me. Sorry to hear about your husband's battle with Parkinson's. I have a dear friend who is also putting up a good fight.

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  5. Great Reflections post. I too am frustrated by those who disappear, and I also rapidly left a number of overtly religious blogs. Like you, I'm just not interested. LIkewise movie reviews (I seldom watch movies) and especially video game stuff. Great they are out there, since those are probably rather popular topics! But I have to look farther for blogs like this one :)

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  6. Congratulations on surviving the challenge.

    I agree with you that it's frustrating when you visit a blog that's never even started or you read an interesting post and there's no way of commenting on it. I've definitely enjoyed the challenge and like you, I'm alread throwing around idea of what I could write next year!

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  7. Hello there.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge! Thanks for sharing. I'm just stopping by briefly as I drive around on the 2014 A-Z Road Trip…don't forget to wave when you see me go by! (lol)
    Entrepreneurial Goddess

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    1. Oh, completing the challenge is easy. I have yet to try the road-trip. Not sure I have the stamina.

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