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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Sunflower #AtoZChallenge Update

          As we head into the final ten day stretch of the 2015 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, some of you might be feeling a little worn and ragged like my poor sunflower in the above photo.  If you don't know about my sunflower you can read the beginning of the story here as well as the follow-up here.

         I've mentioned previously that I'm not much of a gardener and this sunflower is essentially on its own as it struggles during our current California drought.  Maybe this is what a sunflower bloom is supposed to look like after two and a half weeks, but I wouldn't think so.  In any case, this flower is still hanging in there and hopefully will continue to stand until at least the May 4th A to Z Reflections Post.   This Reflections post has become a yearly tradition of the Challenge and we hope that everyone who finishes the Challenge will join us in this event.  Be watching for more information in the days to come.

Stay Strong!

        My sunflower is hanging in there for April.   Are you hanging in there as well with your posting and commenting?    Maybe your initial A to Z bloom has wilted away some, but we hope you're still meeting the Challenge as it was initially stated.   Since opening day approximately 250 links have been removed from the list due to not keeping up as the Challenge calls for.  We hope you aren't one of them and hope you don't become one of them.

        So how are you doing right now?   Up to date with posts?   On the right letter (tomorrow will be the letter "Q")?  

Don't Slack Off!

         As we find those of you who have fallen behind or just slacked off for some reason you may feel is fitting to not post, we are trying to leave reminders and notes of encouragement to nudge you into catching up or at least letting us know that you are there.  The co-hosts don't want to appear to be insensitive, but keep in mind that this is a challenge and not just some idle blog hop where you put your name on a Linky List and just expect it to stay there.  

        If you are not keeping up, not keeping readers informed about your status if you are not keeping up, and not communicating with the co-hosts when they attempt to find out what's going on, then you will be removed from the Challenge list.  We want to be fair to all participants including those who are faithfully posting according to the guidelines we've set for the Challenge.  When these participants take the time to visit a blog only to find that blog hasn't posted according to the letters or has shown no activity for many days then they are wasting their valuable time because that slacker blogger wasn't considerate enough to keep their blog updated.

        If you look at the instructions in the "Sign up List" tab you will see that we clearly state:
Blogs on the list showing no activity once the Challenge starts or miss five days in a row will be removed. 
We try to show some leniency and compassion for most of you other than the blogs that are obviously only on the list to be on the list and having no intention of participating--those blogs are cut without mercy when we find them.  But the others we try to give a chance before removal.  It would be unfair for anyone to say that the A to Z Team is unfair in maintaining the list to reflect actual participants.  

We're Only Human

       Admitting mistakes can happen, but we do everything we can to correct the errors when they are brought to our attention.   If you feel that you've been unfairly cut from the list then we apologize and hope that you will let us know so that we can do what we can to fix the situation.

        We are still weeding through the list in hopes of finishing with a list of bloggers who mightily made their way to the end.   And I hope that if you are reading this, you are one of those champion bloggers who cross the finish line with your letter "Z" post and stand with us in the winners circle of the May 4th A to Z Reflections Post.

          You are almost there.  You can do it!  Don't give up when you are so close and catch up to the rest of us if you have fallen a bit behind.  This Challenge is doable.

          Are you keeping up to the letter of the day?    Has there been a point during the month where you fell behind or maybe even considered giving up?    Will you be joining us for the Reflections Post on May 4th? 


Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Peace, Bugs, and Understanding: An Adventure in Sibling Harmony

It's P Day

Which means P is for Pammy Pam,  
your fave unconventional librarian!

I have a book for you that I think you'll love:

Peace, Bugs, and Understanding: An Adventure in Sibling Harmony 
by Gail Silver, Illustrated by Youme Nguyen Ly

I know you're looking at the title and wondering what in the world the book is about. 
I also know you're loving the adorbs cover as much as I am!

So, here's a recap: Lily and her little sister Ruby are having a picnic when, in typical little sibling style Ruby ruins their checkers game. Lily is irritated at her sister, of course, but after reading a beautiful allegory about her grandfather who must come to terms with his angry feelings.
Lily learns to practice breathing techniques to calm herself and not feel so angry at her little sister too. The process of Metta is kind of like mindfulness, which includes breathing techniques and may help promote forgiveness.  

I love this sweet picture book for so many reasons! First the illustrations are breathtakingly simple watercolors that evoke the feeling of child like storytelling. Second the philosophies are Asian inspired and the people and the culture are beautifully authentic looking. And finally, I love the idea of teaching children (and the grown ups who are reading the book to them) how to channel their anger into positive feelings. 

As the book says;
May you be happy.
May you be strong.
May you be safe.
May you live with peace.  

We all could all benefit from a little more peace, bugs, and understanding, no? Do you have any suggestions for mindfulness for the little ones? Tell me!

Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for Optimism

If you’ve gotten to this point in the Challenge, it means you’re safely over the half-way hump and well on your way to joining the survivor ranks at the end of the month.

Although I intended to write all my posts before April set in, I was caught flat-footed because of a number of other projects I’ve been trying to straddle. At times, panic threatened to set in, but since I’ve done the Challenge for a few years, I was upbeat about the chances of being able to finish.

Optimism counts for a lot in anything we do. If we tackle challenges with a positive attitude and the feeling that we will be successful, then we’ve already won. Negativity tells us what we can’t do, but optimism says hey, I’m here, ready to make the most of each opportunity.

I know we’re on the side of having positive energy, right? So on we go to the next letter and the next ... you get the idea.

What are your strategies for keeping a positive frame of mind and believing for good things?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for Not Giving Up

Yay! We're halfway through the challenge! How's it been going for everyone? Have you made new blogging buddies? Found some great themes you can't wait to check in on every day? I know I have! 

And yet, as fun as A to Z absolutely is, it's not called a blog challenge for nothing. It's meant to test you blogging perseverance. Twenty-six posts in one month is no small feat. And it's around this point in the challenge when bloggers tend to start running into walls here and there. Again, I know I have. 

But try not to lose sight of the goal here. A community of bloggers, coming together to push themselves and one another to blogging excellence. And you can do it. Just keep plugging away. Trust me, the harder it feels right now, the greater the reward when you finally cross that finish line at the end of April. 

So congratulations for NOT giving up on the A to Z Challenge. You're a survivor, you're gonna make it! And we'll be there waiting for you when you reach your goal!

A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy can be found blogging at Pensuasion

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"M" Marketing Experiment - With AtoZ Gear!

Greetings AtoZ Challengers, We are at the half point of the 2015 A to Z Challenge and we thought those who are going to the finish line might like to tell the world and show your support. We thought those "SURVIVORS" might like to get your very own design by myself and supported by the Hosts of this challenge. Here is where you go "CLICK HERE".

We are trying our very first "Marketing Campaign and Experiment", see what the possibilities might be and thought we would share it all with you. I have been working with this company "NEATOSHOP" for a few years and they are one of the top in their business. So show your support, wear this proudly and enjoy the remaining A to Z Challenge. We will answer questions, so if you have some please ask...

AtoZ Challenge Co-Host