May 05 2014

#AtoZchallenge Reflections Post 2014

A to Z 2014 reflection image by J Dorner that you may copy and use if you want to

I feel fortunate to have been able to take part in the 2014 A to Z challenge. I am thankful for all the people who were kind enough to stop by my blog. I am optimistic about the “road trip,” where visiting the challenge blogs continues. There were many passionate, engrossing, and unique blogs I had the good fortune to discover as I hopped this year.


theme hop image

The theme reveal was a great idea. It is helpful to know what is out there. I do wish that there was a list with just the themes though. “Your theme in fewer than 35 characters,” would be very useful. If Linky lists offered two lines, that’d be so awesome! (Line one- your blog name and category. Line two- your theme. *Hint hint to @Brent_Riggs *) I had a project for a writing class I’m in where I had to pick an obscure mythological animal to write about. My Google search?

J's Google search image

(I went with a Jackelople, if anyone reading this wondered.)


A short story in 26 parts was a fun idea, but it didn’t work out as well in reality as it did in my head. Last year, I wrote 26 short stories which, when pieced together, made one whole story. This year it was one whole story broken into 26 parts— and the trouble with that is no one in the hop has time to read 26 posts! (This seems so obvious to me now. Hindsight really is 20/20 folks.) Even if I, as a reader, found a blog with a super fantastic story that was in 26 parts, I would have bookmarked it to come back after all the posts were up. It could have been a collaboration story from J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, and Veronica Roth teaming up to fill in the blanks from an unfinished J.D. Salinger short, and I STILL would have come back later. (Please hold. My whole body is responding to that sentence with a crazy amount of desire. Well, there goes my inner calm. LOL.) So, as a tip to other writers, even if you are currently cool enough to get a reservation at the best place in town with less than five minutes notice, I still suggest not writing a story in 26 parts for the A to Z challenge.


(Glance to my bookcase. Spot “The Green Mile.” Notice it came out in six parts… each which I bought from the store the day they released. The day… who am I kidding… I was down at Acme at midnight harassing Bryon in the hopes he’d go in the backroom and cut that box open early, and explaining why lock picking isn’t really a crime, and that his manager would never know if he got in the office to get me one little book. All right, all right, but in my defense, that was SIX parts, not TWENTY-SIX! And the waiting period was more than just a day. Therefore, it’s not the same. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.)

old Acme logo image from commons

As you can see if you look through my posts from this year, my blog moved from GoDaddy’s Quick Blogcast to after the “U” post. Everything before the letter “V” lacks basic word-wrap. No, I don’t know why this is. No, I don’t know what to click to fix it. Yes, it does bother me. (Not as much as the “subscribe” options on this blog which don’t currently subscribe anyone TO anything, since my blog has yet to send a single email alerting anyone to any new posts. One adds people as a “user,” which is a subscriber that also is subscribed to nothing. I’ve tried a few plugins, none that have generated any emails. Fail fail #fail! I’m working on it.)


image 7 reflection post

What shall I do next year? I’m considering mashing up two of my loves. I’d be taking screenshots of videogames, and then writing a story to go with each one. Twenty-six short stories, related only in that they spawn from the same idea pool. This might border on fan-fiction. Which theme would I be in- writing (WR) or gaming (GA)? Only ONE can be selected… dun dun dunnnnnnnnnn. Maybe I should rethink this idea.


Thank you for stopping by. Did you partake in the challenge as a blogger, a commenter, both, or none of the above? If you were one of the bloggers, did you have a theme and what was it? Much love from number 64!


A to Z 2014 image


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  1. Congrats on making it to the end of the Challenge, Jay. I’m seriously digging your plan for next year’s Challenge. Oh, yeah, and by the way, I gave you an honorable mention in my reflections post. 😉
    Michael Abayomi has this post to share Reflections on the 2014 A-Z ChallengeMy Profile
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    1. Much thanks for that. Glad it all worked out. 🙂

  2. It’s a great idea to show the themes on the linky list, I bet there are some amazing themes that I missed out on this year.
    Laura Clipson has this post to share A to Z ReflectionsMy Profile
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    1. I totally agree!

  3. Congrats on making it through the challenge. I’m impressed to know you already have a theme for next year. I am still recoving from the excitement of the challenge. Michelle @
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    1. Just one of the ideas rolling through my head.

  4. I think video games sounds like a fun idea! It’s easy to keep it short…and people are visual, so they’ll like the pictures to go with it!
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    1. Thanks for liking the idea. 🙂

  5. I’m trying again to comment. Did you say you are on WordPress? Sue
    Susan Sanderson has this post to share Some blogging tipsMy Profile
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    1. Yes, I am. I can see your comment. Did you have any error this time?

      1. No error, but I have to jump through hoops to comment. Is this your WordPress blog? Sue
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        1. It is. Odd that it made you jump through hoops. The only one I have set up is a “check this box.” Strange.

  6. I have no idea what I’ll be doing for next year, coming up with an idea now is forward planning kudos! 🙂 – The gaming and short story idea sounds cool. Good luck with that (and the categorising!) 🙂

    I did a 26 part story as well, but it was only part of my post, so it wasn’t such a limitation when folks decided to book mark the story and I also gave them a link to all the parts in my reflections/summary post too.

    Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles – A to Z Ghosts
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    1. I’m sure I’ll entertain a dozen more ideas between now and next April.

      Ah, adding more than the story- not a bad idea. Good call.

      The final link in my reflection post (where it says “A to Z complete list” and “click here”) goes to a page with everything. Seemed efficient.

  7. Congratulations on completing the tour and thanks for stopping by my blog.
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    1. Thanks. 🙂 Glad you jumped over to say hello back.

    • J.L. Campbell ( from JL_Campbell) on May 6, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. I find that I didn’t visit more than a few of the same blogs each day, so it would have taken a real effort to visit more of the same each day. Congrats on getting it all done.
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    1. Yes indeed. I was trying to visit as many as possible. I wasn’t thinking like a commenter when I picked my theme and wrote my posts. I was thinking like a writer with a story I wanted to tell. I need to remember to wear BOTH hats next year!

    • Cait on May 6, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Congratulations for completing the challenge.

    I agree that it might be handyif the Linky List was structured a little better. I read blogs almost exclusively on my Kindle and it wasn’t the most convenient list to navigate on there. Having theme categories would be helpful in keeping track of what you’ve read. 🙂
    Cait has this post to share Book 63 of 2013: A Christmas Posy by Mrs MolesworthMy Profile
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    1. I’ve never tried using a Kindle for this. (My “kindle” is an app on my phone and my computer, not an actual Kindle device.)

      Maybe even another linky list which ONLY is for the theme? I’d be willing to put it on page if people wished. (Though I imagine our hosts and co-hosts would be better suited. I am thinking of tossing my name in the ring for that, or to be a helpful minion, next year. We’ll see.)

  8. I’m pretty sure I left a comment earlier, but for some reason, I don’t see it now!

    You did a fab job of the challenge, not just with the writing, but also the visiting. Thank you for your support on both my blogs!
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    1. Thank you. 🙂
      I enjoyed your blogs.

  9. Congrats finishing A-Z. Your planned theme for next year sounds great! Enjoy your weekend!
    Caffe Maggieato has this post to share Celebrate The Small Things with Melissa + GiveawayMy Profile
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    1. Thank you. 🙂

  10. A list of themes – that’s a good idea. We are looking to revamp the sign up list for next year. (I’m the list-master and would be really happy with that!) I never use the codes. I’m an author and writer, but my posts are never about that.
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    1. I do like the codes. I use them when I go “hunting” for which blog to check out next. But you are right- just because a blog writer does one thing doesn’t mean that the blog posts will be about that, or that the A to Z posts will mirror the normal blog tone. I do think a theme list would be cool. Maybe a few volunteers could organize it? Like an index in a reference book. I’m not sure what kind of undertaking that would be. I can see how it would be useful, and CONTINUE to be useful. Connecting people with knowledge forever. The list of blogs only stays up for a year. The index of themes could, perhaps, stay up indefinitely. I’m just spit-balling ideas here, of course, not delving into the management and project analysis side at this time.

      • this blog
      • that blog

      • this post
      • another blog
      • bloggidy blog

  11. Oh, here it is! Congratulations!!! 🙂
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    1. I feel like I’m missing out on part of the conversation. Here what is? LOL.

      1. HA HA HAAA!! Sorry about that. I just commented on on your own comment at someone’s blog about writing way more than 100 words for posts. I said congratulations if ever you finished and I decided to check if you did 😉
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        1. Ahhhhh. That makes sense. 🙂

    • TaMara on May 29, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Congrats on finishing the challenge! This was my 2nd year participating in the challenge and my first as a minion for one of the co-hosts. I love your idea of having a list of the themes.
    TaMara has this post to share Our 2014 Summer Bucket ListMy Profile
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    1. Thank you. Congratulations on finishing to you as well. Was it fun being a minion?

        • TaMara on May 29, 2014 at 8:21 PM

        Being a minion was fun because I had to visit a lot of blogs. I found some really good ones. Of course it was a lot of work too. If I decide to be a minion next year, I will definitely have my posts pre-written.
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        1. Sounds like a smart plan!

  12. Video games and writing are two of my favorite things, too! Can’t wait to see how this plays out! (Don’t rethink it – it sounds awesome!)

    Michelle @ In Media Res
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    1. Thank you. I keep working on the idea. What is it really like for the citizens of Civilization V when I play? (Okay, they don’t exist, but still.) Would it be from the point of one citizens per turn per post? Perhaps the citizens are from the same line. It has a natural story flow, in my head. I’m glad you like the idea so far. 🙂

      1. Civ is one of my boyfriend’s favorite games! Write about that, and I might be able to get him to follow a blog other than mine! 😉
        Michelle has this post to share Review: “30 Days to a More Beautiful You” by Kylie BisuttiMy Profile

        1. LOL. Well THERE’S my incentive right there. 🙂
          I have a serious Civ V addiction. I’m loving the Steam Network. Does he play on the computer or on a console? I have Civilization Revolution on Xbox 360. I like Civ 5 on the PC much more though.

          1. He plays Civ 5 on the PC and recently got a touch screen PC which apparently makes it all the more awesome 🙂
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          2. Yes, I imagine that it would make it even better.

  13. Great reflections. It was good to have you in the Challenge and glad you’re doing the Road Trip.

    Hope we can make some improvements in the list next year.

    Tossing It Out
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    1. It is a great list, and by far the best hop out there. But there are very few things in life which can’t be made even better. I’m happy with what we have, but I also believe we could have even more and that it would be great. I’m also happy with vanilla ice-cream, but that doesn’t mean I’d say no to a banana split. 😉

  14. I didn’t even try the A-Z challenge this year. I was totally swamped and knew I would fail at it. Even of people didn’t have time to read each post of the story, you could post them to Wattpad.

    Thanks for visiting my blog! Nice to meet you 🙂
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    1. I had not considered Wattpad. Certainly something to think about. Thank you.

  15. I didn’t participate but I sure commented on a lot of participants posts. Lots of work. I’m too lazy for lots of work.

    Have a fabulous day. 🙂
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    1. LOL.

  16. OMG, the ACME story nearly caused me to fall out of my chair! Too funny! :O)
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    1. Glad to amuse. 🙂

  17. Hello there.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge! Thanks for sharing. I’m just stopping by briefly as I try to navigate the twists and turns of the AtoZ Road Trip…don’t forget to wave when you see me drive by. (lol)
    Entrepreneurial Goddess
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    1. Happy road-tripping! Glad to see you still on route.

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