Monday, May 4, 2015

Reflections on My Third A to Z Experience



This is my third A to Z Challenge.  I cannot remember whose blog I was reading when I first discovered the Challenge, but I thank them for mentioning it.  I have thoroughly enjoyed all three years.

Each of those years has been a travel blog.  The 2013 Challenge allowed me to revisit some places I hadn't thought about in years.  In 2014, I covered my then recently finished tour of Switzerland and Germany, with side excursions into neighboring France, Italy, and Liechtenstein.  This year?  My Russian Adventure, with stops in Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia.

I really learned this year to have everything written in advance, for the most part, and scheduled. Then I just went back and edited before publication.  Of course, I also had my bonus posts of Middle-Earth, so I had to make sure those YouTube videos were still working (one wasn't).

As for visiting other blogs, I managed to visit over 300 bloggers.  While skipping those with the label AC, I had several thoughts while traveling the list.  My top ten are as follows:

1.  First, since blogs are able to choose labels, how about one for religion.  I am not  a religious person, so just as I skip the adult content, I'd just as soon skip those who are spouting religion.  Incessantly.  No offense taken, but it would be nice to choose to skip.

2.  Some bloggers are way to wordy.  I do not care to read a short story in an A to Z post.  Not enough time for that.  OTOH, some bloggers give me 'photo envy'.  WOW, is all I can say, and I did many, many  times.

3.  Some bloggers never got off the ground, or just gave up.  It made me wonder why they bothered to put their name on the list.  Plus, it wasted my time and I'm sure the time of others.  Or maybe I am just too crabby, lol.

4.  One blog was limited to 'invitees only'.  What is up with that???  And Captcha and comments awaiting moderation are really annoying.  Nuf said.  (I do understand spamming, but fortunately I've only had to delete a few comments over the years.)

5.  Some blogs had such glaring backgrounds I couldn't get past the first few sentences.  The backgrounds may be fine if there is nothing else on the page.  But....

6.  One blogger was so angry in all of her posts that I actually left a comment and told her to chill before she had a heart attack.  Blogs are a great place to vent and I certainly have done that.  But on a daily basis?  And during the Challenge?

7.  I discovered that there are tons of writers out there.  I have often told stories about my life growing up in a poor, lower-middle class neighborhood.  Everyone tells me I should write about it and I tell them that first, most of that crap was covered in 'Peyton Place', and second, Eminem, who grew up nearby, (though many years later) told about it in the movie 'Eight Mile' (I lived in the first house off of Eight Mile Road in Warren, MI and I would never want to raise my children there.)  I give these writers a lot of credit.  I have a hard enough time just blogging.

8.  My 'Thanks' to blogger A Tarkabarka Holgy for discussing 'Signature' on the A to Z blog page.  Too bad it wasn't on A for 'Affixing Signature'.  I will definitely remember this for next year.

9.  I am already thinking about next year.  It will not be about travel since nothing is planned between now and then.  It will be consistent with some of the things I talk about during the year.  And no, I will not post pictures of my adorable grandson for 26 days, lol.

10.  All in all, I love this experience.  While I do not get a ton of new followers, I am happy with the faithful ones I have who visit and post interesting comments.  If I missed replying to anyone, I apologize.  I've got several new blogs to follow, assuming they do not disappear after the Challenge, which has been known to happen.

Hopefully you will stay with me over the coming year.  Recipes, pictures of my garden,  more travel photos and of course, Charlie, are all up and coming.

And again, Thanks to everyone for reading this rant.  Yes, I did rant up top.

28 comments:

  1. I have always enjoyed your travel posts, Denise, and if you are planning to do something different next year, I look forward to it. i'm sure it will be both entertaining and enlightening, all tied up together with your distinctive sense of humour.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Denise. Great post and I totally agree with what you're saying - although I have been guilty of No 3! I've done the challenge for the last two years but didn't finish last year as I just couldn't find the time. I skipped it this year but feel like I've missed out now. Perhaps I'll go back and visit everyone retrospectively. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This year I was very good about planning all my posts. Knowing that I was doing Russia I pre-planned some of my letters even before the trip! Once I had rough ideas sketched out and saved as drafts it was much easier to go back and fix them. I understand not-finishing. Life happens. Thanks for commenting.

      Delete
  3. I love your Life After Retirement blog because it allows me to travel vicariously. I'm so envious of people who travel. I have a dogsitting business so while everyone else is traveling, taking vacations, enjoying holidays with family, I'm watching their dogs. So I have to travel vicariously through my customers...and now through blogs. Your travel theme is a wonderful for someone like me. I'll be back to explore: I want to see Russia.
    Great reflections post: you have very valid points and I agree with them.
    Congrats on completing the Challenge. Now I'm ready for the A-Z Road Trip!
    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I have never done the road trip. I am closest this year since I already visited more blogs than ever before. You dog sit. I grandson sit. I traveled before my marriage and in the early years, but not so much when the boys came along. Once they were grown, I started up again. You'll have time for it. Put the places on your bucket list. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  4. I missed doing the A to Z this year. My other two years were about New York City and I really enjoyed doing them. Enjoy traveling with you and look forward to your travel posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, but you got to go to Japan. That is definitely on my bucket list.

      Delete
  5. I loved your blog all challenge, and can't wait to see what you've got coming up now that it's over. And I love the idea of adding a religion tag for next year - we will add that to our list! Thanks for your wonderful reflections and for being such an awesome A to Z blogger!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. And so much thanks for being a host AND posting interesting blogs.

      Delete
  6. I love your blog and glad I found you last year. I think some people join not realizing how much time it takes and dedication. It's like kids in high school who think they will take Art for an easy A and find out it is anything but. I never had anything but my name down and that tells people nothing. A dim light bulb went off in my head about this half-way through this challenge. I agree about long posts. I thought mine was a bit long so i have to do better next time but some were so long i just went to the next one. I felt bad doing that. Can't wait to see more pics and your wonderful feasts you create

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yours were not long. When I have to click the page down more than once, that is way too long. Right now my garden is front and center in my mind. The new fence is up and I have to order the pavers so that the patio can be redone. Then I am ready to sit back and BBQ. And blog.

      Delete
  7. Wow! You travel a lot. I am envious! You managed to get to a lot of blogs this year.Way to go! I agree about the religious tag, as I don't like those kinds of posts either. I know my posts tend to get long, but I really tried to shorten my A to Z posts, so I hope they weren't too long for you. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, you were not too long. And sometimes even long blog posts are enjoyable. Then again... I do want to go back and spend more time reading some of the posts on blogs that I 'zipped' through. When I find the time, lol.

      Delete
  8. I am glad you found the signature post useful. We'll probably save it for next year too! :) And I really enjoyed your pictures and your travel posts. And you made good points in your reflections list! The religion label would be a good idea, but that's my personal opinion.
    Thanks for the visits! :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary
    MopDog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad to know that I am not the only one who would like a religion label. And I look forward to your future posts.

      Delete
  9. Do I ever agree with you about the religion label Denise. I too have visited blogs where religion is pushed at one in large doses. Sorry, but no thank you. I am afraid I cannot emulate the amount of blogs you visited, I am impressed. I just didn't have enough time - not totally sure why, just happened that way. I loved your pix of your Russian trip. What magnificent buildings. Doesn't surprise me there was a revolution though. I didn't play your LOR clips because I was always reading them in the morning when hubby was watching TV. See you around my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. As for the religion thing, even some of the comments folks make cause me to roll my eyes. When someone isn't sure that dinosaurs ever existed because they are not mentioned in the Bible, I give up. Makes me want to do my Dinosaur A to Z next year which is pretty easy with over 1,000 species identified.

      Delete
    2. I didn't know the number of identified species was that high. Yes you should do that for the A to Z it would be a very different theme. I would certainly enjoy it. I never did understand why a bunch of somewhat inaccurate historical stories became so important to the world of Christianity.

      Delete
  10. I don't consider that a rant but rather a good evaluation of what works on the challenge for you and what doesn't. Congrats on finishing and hope to see you back next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The good Lord willing, I'll definitely be back. And even if he isn't.

      Delete
  11. Love your thoughts on the challenge in general. Also agree about about religion indicator, because I, too, have nothing to say to that. And colors! I will not read white on black, and sever have these weird white on grey comment sections that I can barely see at all.

    Sorry about the fiction :) It's what I do. But if I do A to Z next year, I will probably try to keep the stories to 100-200 words.
    Rebecca at The Ninja Librarian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your fiction was fine because you tied it in with beautiful pictures. I love National Parks and blogged about several in 2013. I just don't need to read someone's short story, novella, on some random word they picked out of the air. Then again, I usually stopped reading and went to another blog. Of course, on the days when I write my political commentary I know I irritate some of my followers.

      Delete
  12. Hello there.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge!
    I'm so envious of all the places you've been...that's what I'd like to do one fine day...travel around the world when it's free to go anywhere and there's no crime or violence to worry about. Well done too for visiting so many blogs. I had done about 450+ before my reflections post. At least we have the rest of the year to meander through the list before the next challenge starts (lol). Thanks for reflecting.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by. You are right about travel. So many countries I want to still visit but hesitate because of the political situations there.

      Delete
  13. Glad you had an overall good A to Z Experience! And, honestly, the only people who are bored with pictures of grandchildren are those who have yet to have had any. Us Mawmaw, grandmothers, meemaw, grannys, etc all understand and adore them.
    Stopping in from Life & Faith in Caneyhead

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could post pictures of Charlie everyday. Oops, I did today. (May 10)

      Delete
  14. Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year! See you on the Road Trip!

    Mary @ Jingle Jangle Jungle

    ReplyDelete