Posts Tagged ‘Reflections’

2019 A to Z Blogging Challenge Reflections

May 6, 2019

Five days ago I finished another year of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Which means that I am a survivor once again. It was nice stretching those muscles again, forcing myself to type nearly 25,000 words in one month once again. However, it was not just me that made it through this month. In fact, we all survived. So give yourself a round of applause if you made it to the end of the month intact. If you did not make it, I definitely understand that too. I started a new job recently and that has taken up a lot of my time. I did not visit as many blogs and comment as much as I wanted to. So, I apologize to all of the writers out there who I did not visit. I will try better next year.

As for the content, I am more proud of it this year than I have been every other year of this challenge. I chose the loose theme of “Music”. I say loose theme because so many people choose tight themes like “D&D Monsters of the Day” or “Movie Review of the Day” or even “Documentary Review of the Day”. Those are admirable choices but I do not like getting pinned down. Instead, each of my posts roughly had something to do with music. As I said in the reveal, this was to honor a recently fallen friend and because I feel like music is important. I succeeded in thinking of enough topics related to music to get it done.

I think my favorite post that I wrote was actually the one about The Nightmare Before Christmas. Sure, I have written about that movie many times before but I am pleased that every time I tackle it, I think of something new to talk about. I actually feel like I could hit even more angles on the movie. Of course, I also loved writing a lot more material for my fantasy setting that I plan to use for a D&D campaign. Of course, at this point, I also feel like I am worldbuilding for the stories I want to write in that world. Maybe eventually I will write a book. I really do not know. I also got to write some stories outside of that world, some of them were not even fantasy stories. I also got to share my love for some of my favorite music. I also reviewed some fun musicals.

It’s weird because I did feel a bit out of place this year. Many of the blogs on the list felt a little hard to parse because they looked like billboards for the latest book coming out by the author. It was hard to find an actual blog post. The more of those I saw, I felt out of place. I am not really a professional writer, I just like to write. Some blogs were just a photo, no words. They had far more comments on their posts. Which is a really dumb thought to have. I don’t do this for the likes, the comments, or the views. I do this because I am a writer and I have to do it. I have to write or I will fill up with words and I will burst. It is an impulse that I have indulged in since I was a little kid and I am not going to stop. Each year I recommit to this blog and I am doing it once again. So get ready for another year of fun.

If you missed any of my posts, I have listed them all below. Movie and television reviews are in blue (and they are largely spoiler free). Short stories are in green. Fan ravings are in red (some spoilers).  Everything else is in black.

April 1 – The Aristocats
April 2 – The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story
April 3 – Carousel
April 4 – The Dragonsong
April 5 – Empire Records
April 6 – The Fili Reborn

April 8 – The Gorillaz
April 9 – Halestorm
April 10 – Into the Woods
April 11 – Jamming
April 12 – King of Bards
April 13 – Legally Frisked

April 15 – WILPW: Musical Gimmicks
April 16 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
April 17 – An Ode Remembered
April 18 – Playlists
April 19 – Quality Control
April 20 – Repo: The Genetic Opera

April 22 – A Star is Born
April 23 – Tidelands
April 24 – Unsing the World
April 25 – Voice of an Angel
April 26 – Wolfsong
April 27 – Xanadu

April 29 – Yacht Rock
April 30 – Zombies

A to Z Challenge Reflections 2018

May 7, 2018

It was certainly a long but interesting April, was it not? I tend to prepare for April months in advance and this year was no different. I worked fairly hard at picking my posts carefully based on what I thought would be fun to write about. On April 1, I was over two weeks ahead which was really nice. It gave me plenty of time to work on Media Update posts and to actually take a little break from blogging. During week 2 I wrote week 3 and then took another break and then I banged out the rest. For the most part, the writing went easily. Some of it was done at lunch hour at work, some on the train to and from the movie theater, but most of it was done from my couch.

This month was a little bit interesting for me because, as we all know, the real world does not stop while we blog. There was a little family get together for Seder and Easter during the weekend of April 1 so I was out of town. That’s what buffers are for. There was a much larger family get together two weeks later which was a memorial for my Great Aunt Tuta. I saw a lot of family that I had not seen for a while, some of them for at least over a decade. It was really fantastic to have a buffer built up so I could concentrate on hanging out instead of taking that time to write. I also started seeing a psychiatric nurse in April and tending more to my physical and mental health. I started on Zoloft last week.

I thought the posts I came up with worked out pretty well. Some of them ended up a little weirder than I originally intended. For example, Xenopus was a little slice of life story about a frog trying to date a human and realizing he never wanted such things. As with most one-shot stories I do, it is a reflection of what I was feeling at the time. I felt similarly odd about the story of a guy who gets dragged under a commuter train and then resurrects (Died on a Saturday). I also spent quite a bit of time doing some fan gushing about Critical Role, Undertale, NSP, and other favorites of mine. I usually never write such gushing posts but I felt like the challenge was a good excuse for it. I reviewed some movies I had I had been meaning to see. I reviewed the law (twice) and had a lot of fun doing so. Finally, I did three parts of a new as yet unnamed ongoing story.

I hate to talk numbers on my blog as I have stated over and over that I do not write this blog for page hits or views or anything. However, I was touched at how much this little blog was visited over the last month. The first year I did this challenge in 2015, I got 142 views which blew my mind. Last year, I got 398 views which really made me happy. This year, I got a whopping 528 views with 243 visitors and I am at 1000 views for the year. To put that in perspective, I am now at 2/3 of the visitors I had all year last year and it is only May. I am so glad to have all of you and that you spent even a moment on my shenanigans. Your kind words in your comments and your insightful questions were really encouraging. I hope I responded to all of you. I made a point of doing so.

I visited a lot of blogs this past April. I had a lot of fun reading your stuff and seeing how I could improve my own material. It felt really good to be so connected just like I am every year at this time. I always wish I could have done more and seen more every year but there is only so much time and energy in my day. I loved the utilization of Google Sheets to really lay out who was participating. I wish all of the links had worked but I feel that had a lot to do with people posting links before publishing the accompanying post. Once again, I feel like there is a divide between WordPress and Blogger. I wish the two linked together better but I think everything mostly worked out. I had to dust off the old HTML skills to post links in Blogger comments and I was glad to still have those skills.

I would like to give a shout out to the people who were particularly vocal in my comments and whose posts I also enjoyed:

Iain Kelly

Silvia Writes

An Artist’s Path

Beyond the Flow (Rowena)

Donna B. McNicol

Colette Bates

And many more and also the people who visited but did not comment, I hope you enjoyed yourself!

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Reflections

May 1, 2017

This was my third time going through the Blogging from A to Z Challenge and it was my most successful to date. Even though my life is kind of in upheaval lately, I never scrambled to get an entry done in time. The only time I did not have a buffer was going into the final Friday night. I solved that by writing up the last two posts and then I could relax. In fact, until the last week, I usually had a buffer of at least a week. I started working in February and it paid off. I would have had even more of a buffer if I could be more decisive about what each letter would be

This year was the first year that I had a theme which was “Getting to Know Me”. Every post had to do with me and my life. I told a lot of personal stories and I also pontificated on subjects that were on my mind at the time. I reviewed movies with subjects that I had a personal connection to. I wrote short fiction with themes important to my life. That last one probably was not completely clear. So, just for fun, I will run them down now.

Electrical Malfunction had to do with past health problems, fears that they will be future health problems and also about not being a morning person. Ion Flow was literally about my own self-discovery this month but also references to my love of research. The King is about the recent political unrest and how dissatisfied I am with the current “ruling party” in my beloved country. It is not literal. Radio is about the fear of death and my own brief fascination with working in radio. Finally, Victory Island and X Marks the Spot are about going and finding the tools to make my life better.

I had a lot more people stopped by and visited this year. From a traffic standpoint, this year I had three times as many views in April from when I started this challenge. I would like to thank all of you so much. This is a labor of love and I would do whether people visited or not but you guys and gals brightened up my days this month. I got so many lovely comments that it motivated me to go out and make thoughtful comments of my own. I hope that I brightened up somebody else’s day in return. I wish I had had more time to visit more than a handful of blogs each day.

My most successful post (most views and visitors) was Needles. That was full of very personal stories about one of my greatest weaknesses. That post, Electrical Malfunction, and Clarinet pussyfooted around a story that I am surprised to not find in my archives. It is probably one of the most important events in my life and I have never really fully gotten into it. I will be telling that story soon even if it is my first multi-part post. I want to tell it because people look at me funny when I tell it live and in person and it is fun to tell.

Finally, I have to thank you all again. Throw up your hands in exalted victory because, whether you were a writer or a reader, you made it to the end of this challenge. Cheers!

Edit (5/8/17):

The challenge has really inspired me to add to the posts that I want to write.  Instead of writing Sailor Moon fanfiction (as I said I might do) I am writing my own take on that kind of Magical Girl story.  I have also started talking about one of the biggest events of my life as I discussed above.  I am sure that all of the posts I wrote and the posts I read will continue to inspire me.

The A to Z Blog Challenge: Reflections 2016

May 2, 2016

Well, April has come and gone and here we are on my regular non-April schedule which means it is Monday. I wanted to use this post not only to decompress but also to reflect a little just like last year. I really loved this year. Sure, the challenge is difficult but it was way harder last year. I feel like I have come a long way since last year. Writing is way easier and I am much more confident in my material. I also feel that I tried too hard to please people last year. I purposely picked provocative posts last year and I felt unprepared and rushed through most of the month. This year I followed my desires and posted things that I wanted to do and I prepared far ahead of time. In fact, I think I only changed one day’s topic from what I originally planned.

I will be back next year. I am already doing a little planning but nothing concrete as it is nearly a year until April 2017. Now it is time to take down the A to Z graphic for another year and get back to normal operations. Once again, I will be updating Thursday, Saturday and Monday so please feel free to stop by through the rest of the year. If you choose to come back in October I will be doing a month-long Halloween event of my own design. It worked so well last year that I have decided to give it another try. There will be more information that closer to October. To those who participated in the challenge: We did it! Rest and celebrate! To those who continue to support me: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I do this for love of the game but I do get a happy feeling each time I see people visiting and commenting.

This Year’s Posts:

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Baltimore on Film
Comet Girl
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Felix Graham: Osaka Adventure 6
Gender Moments in Television
How to Train Your Dragon
Shield of the Ishim 7
The Key 11
Leon: The Professional
The Mystery Part 7
Oh Canada
Pee-wee’s Big Holiday
Quick Lass
Redcross Part 5
The Sword Part 5
Top 11 Romantic Comedies
An Uncooperative Subject
Victor Frankenstein
What I Love About Pro-Wrestling: Lucha Underground
The Real X-Files
Zoolander 2

I would like to thank those who came by and chose to comment:

Nilajana Rose of Madly-in-verse

Moondustwriter’s Blog

Michele of Angels Bark

Liz of Laws of Gravity

Ronel the Mythmaker

Tyler Charles Austen

Miss Andi of Music & Words

Hangry Fork

Liz Brownlee

Diary of an Internet Nobody

Star Lit Stories Blog

Silencing the Bell

But I know it’s hard to find time to comment or think of a good one so thank you also to those who came, read and left. Also, thank you to my regulars and subscribers. Thanks to Eye of the Beholder for getting me into this last year. Thanks to my family, friends and the world for being so inspiring as well.

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