26 parts of a Speculative Fiction story by J Lenni Dorner
I’m so grateful the 2018 blogging from A to Z Challenge happened. I’m thankful to have been such a huge part of it, taking on the role of team captain. Next year will be the TENTH ANNIVERSARY. That’s incredibly exciting.
There were a LOT of bumps along the way. Our website went down for a few months before the challenge, and it was a bear of a time getting the domain back. Then Twitter chucked us out, and a newsbot took over the feed. Facebook changed the algorithm and rules, so it was hard to reach out to folks there. I won’t even get into the madness that is Google Plus. And we had to figure out a way to make a list because we lost hundreds of people trying the comment-link-only method in 2017.
But you know what? We did it. The team pulled together. Jayden joined in and worked magic with the Google Forms and Sheets. John busted his hump attacking technical problems like he was Neo flying around the Matrix. Zalka Csenge got her groove on handling things left and right. Jeremy brought not one, but TWO, logos to the table. Arlee put out the fires that kept cropping up. And I rallied time and again to keep the trains on time (even when Blogger switched our freaking timezone location).
Running a blog hop of this magnitude isn’t easy. There’s a reason we need a whole team. Honestly, we should have one more person exclusively to handle the social media sites. But every May I reflect back and realize I’m grateful to have been a part of it. This hop is something special. It’s about making a cyber community. Taking all these people with different interests and viewpoints and bringing them together with a common goal. It’s giving people a support system where one wouldn’t naturally exist. A blog is just you and your computer shouting to the world, hoping to be noticed, perhaps wanting not to be forgotten or overlooked, maybe to make a difference. Blog hops provide an audience. This is the basis of friendship, for those looking for such a relationship. It’s the, “hey, I know that person!” of our online world. The #AtoZChallenge is something special.
As for reflecting on the last twelve weeks of my life…
There were complications at my day job that sent me into an emotional spiral. My book tour didn’t yield the hoped-for results. My spouse was sick enough to require an emergency room visit. Then I fell ill. Twitter locked me out after someone hacked my account. My assistant/ cousin-in-law was hospitalized for several days. A story I wrote didn’t make it into a writing competition final. (It’s about a society where elders trade their “golden years” to work for medical care for their grandchildren. There are a few places they train for new jobs. One of these places has them wear special suits when they go through portals to other worlds. One world is called Earth, and the primary target inhabitants look a lot like them. The first missions are simple, just taking a sock or a food storage lid. But an elite few are chosen to abduct people from Earth. Most of the abducted survive and are returned. But there’s something about the task that has driven many who do it to madness– one famously so. For the main character, it’s a chance to save his family from poverty and death, but something could change this grandfather’s mind. Maybe I’ll self-publish it.) Also I turned myself into an outcast at a co-workers cookout party. (Tip: If you volunteer to bring food to a party in the American suburbs, get it at a grocery store. People freak out if they can still see “animal” with their meat. And if you normally collect firewood to cook over, those fancy grills are a trap– it’s indoor cooking that has been safely moved outside. Trust me on that. Also, don’t invite me to a cookout, or to go “glamping.”)
I’ve fallen behind on much of my computer/ electronic activities, duties, and responsibilities because I went off to the woods several times in May in search of respite. (I’d be out there right now if the rain hadn’t freaked my Snookums out. One ER trip was enough for my other half, so I agreed to pack it in and come back to “civilization.”)
My second virtual book tour just wrapped up (chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-fractions-of-existence-by-j-lenni-dorner ) I’m excited about Bout of Books on Monday. I still need to post my current goals. And then the A to Z road trip starts. Plus, I’m hoping more people will take the After Survey. I intended for next year’s tenth anniversary to be the best #AtoZChallenge yet!
— J Lenni Dorner (@JLenniDorner) May 12, 2018
Click for the MASTER LIST
of all participants who signed up
for the #AtoZchallenge 2018!