Posted in Blogfest Entries, Blogging from A to Z 2016, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Sexuality and Erotica, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Reflections on an #atozchallenge Just Past

It’s been not quite two weeks since I posted my last Blogging From A-Z April Challenge 2016 post, Zinnias and Azaleas (or, Z to A). I haven’t exactly slowed down, yet, because spring is my Season of New Writing. Still, it’s time to put together my reflections on the challenge, so here I am, slipping in under the proverbial alphabetical wire.

The Personal:

I stretched and grew through my A-Z Challenge.

  • Through the month, I wrote stories every day, posted them, and went visiting.

  • My creativity was nurtured, and I set several major storylines in progress.

I extended the challenge to achieve a personal goal.

  • One of the pleasures of A-Z is that we can make it anything we want it to be.

  • I decided to use the challenge to explore my fan fiction passion, with alphabetically themed stories.

  • And then I had an idea – a BIG idea.

  • I decided to extend my challenge, and add longer, value-added stories posted, for the first time in my life, to a fan fiction site.

  • I also used A-Z to begin finally exploring a timeline creation program – something that will help me in every one of my longer-term fiction writing projects.

I had a delightful time, and learned a lot through my posts.

  • I learned about the timeline program, and the fan fiction interface, both things that are on my goals list in one form or another.

  • I also learned how to write and revise a story in a single day, at least in a rough-and-ready sense. I really didn’t have a choice, at times, if I was going to keep up with the goal. That’s important, because I’m focused on revision this year, in my long-term progress toward a sustainable writing career. Some of the stories were several thousand words long, so this was no mean feat.

  • I also ended up with over 30 stories posted and readily available here. Pop on over if you’d like to take a look. =)

The Minioning:

  • My personal sticking point in previous years has been visiting other A-Zers. I tend to get so consumed in the challenge that I forget or can’t manage to get around to make any kinds of rounds. Sometimes, it was even tricky to get to those who commented on my posts, which just isn’t good.

  • This year, I volunteered as a part-time minion, which gave me an obligation to visit 11 other blogs each day. I did miss about three days, two of them right at the end of the challenge. But, for the most part, I got to those 11 blogs every day, and finally participated in a regular fashion with other challengers.

  • I discovered many wonderful blogs, and followed a good many of them. That means I can find lots of great things to read for the rest of the year and beyond.

  • I helped keep the list full of blogs who were posting, which is something like weeding a garden. It was a service that I could give to the challenge as a whole, and

  • I lightened the load for my co-host, John Holton of The Sound of One Hand Typing, and it was a good way to support the challenge as a whole.

The Cool Kids:

  • Like I said above, I encountered some amazing blogs, and some wonderful themes. Here, I’ll list three of my many favorites. Why three? Because it’s my favorite number, and because, honestly, I’ve moved on to Story A Day May, and now I’m pushing up against the deadline for the linky list for this hop. Honestly, I could have filled three blog posts with just my favorites!


 Everything Must Change: The Child and The Prophet

Small Town Nerds (transgender honesty)

Writing Wings (alphabetical cryptic serial story)

The Assessment:

  • I’ve used the challenge in different ways, through the years. My first time out, I didn’t even have a theme, but it worked out well enough. I floundered a bit doing the post every day, because I didn’t realize I could write and schedule them ahead of time.

  • The next time I participated, I had a theme. I did fan fiction stories that year, too, mixed with my own intertwined original fantasy novel. I did a certain amount of advance planning, and more last year, when I did travel posts. I got a few of those done ahead of time. This year, I had all the shorter vignettes drafted – but next year, I’m going to improve, and have at least the first week’s posts scheduled, if I can’t get them all done. Of course, I can’t do that until I decide on a theme…which brings me to ..

What’s Next?:

  • I’ve got a few ideas.

  • Selection will happen by the end of June, and planning by the end of August.

  • The Road Trip – something I’ve always meant to do, but tend to forget. I’ve bookmarked blogs to come back to, and plan to visit a couple each week, starting next month.

  • And, of course, I’ll be keeping tabs on the many great blogs I followed during April.

Hope to see you in the #atozchallenge next year!


I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

6 thoughts on “Reflections on an #atozchallenge Just Past

  1. Thanks for the amazing choice of my cryptic post in your select three – WOW…never saw that coming. Almost good as being kissed by some gorgeous Vulcan lady. Apologies that I’m still playing A to Z catch-up = jumping all over the blogosphere. Problem is my hyper-drive keeps failing and I haven’t got a Vulcan…only a Wookie.

    1. Wookies are cool, too. And if you try to kiss that particular gorgeous Vulcan lady, I think you’re going to have one irate engineer to deal with…

      I know the story. I haven’t even gotten started visiting yet. I want to read your entire story and associated posts, but things are hopping here, too…writing wise and life wise. Tomorrow, my daughter is getting a new kitten, and we’ve got three birthdays and an anniversary this summer. Crazy but fulfilling! =D

      Come around whenever you like. There aren’t ALWAYS Vulcans, but there’s always something! =D

  2. I love the scope of your assessment here of that marvelous A to Z Challenge, especially that insight on how participating in such writing challenges expands your own creativity as well as connecting with others. I’m following along, more slowly, but still appreciative of every word I wrote and every blogger I met along the way. To next year!

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