Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Relax and Have Fun: Guest Sheri Larsen

REWIND:    I remember when I first heard about the A to Z Blogging Challenge.  It was last March, only a few weeks before the challenge was scheduled to begin. “What a fabulous idea!” raced through my brain. I was so excited at the thought of being included in an event with so many other bloggers that I signed up.

Obviously, there were ideas that immediately came to my mind for a few letters. But then I started to think about it, really started to think—THE ENTIRE ALPHABET—and then quiver, shiver, and sweat. How was I to handle committing to a new letter each day? What had I done?

What about those strange letters like X and Z? Or what if I had another commitment on the day P was supposed to be posted and there was no way to fit that letter into my post? How could I be unique? Would I make my posts about writing, which is what my blog is geared to? Or should I veer off course? If so, what the heck do I write about? What if there was an earthquake, a hurricane, or a flood?

I think you get my drift here.

With the help of a few deep breaths, I put an axe to that train of creative-diluting thoughts and went for the fun angle. I decided to stick to my normally posting days of M-T-F, highlight whichever letter fell on said day, and committed to seeking out new and interesting ideas to post about.  

FASTFORWARD: This challenge is to exercise your thoughts and push you out of that safe comfort zone. How else do we expect to grow if we don’t try new things? Whether you’re looking to grow as a blogger, a writer, or as a thinker, this challenge is for you.

Here’s a list of some fun ideas. All are special days celebrated during the month of April. Use this list as a reference if you feel stagnant during the challenge. I’ve even shared with you my official logo I’ll be using for all my ‘April’ posts! Hope you like it. 


  • ·     Autism Awareness Month = Letter A
  • ·          National Frog Month = Letter F
  • ·         National Humor Month = Letter H
  • ·         National Educational Mathematics Month = Letter M
  • ·         National Volunteer Month = Letter V

Of course, there are individual days to celebrate as well. April:

  • ·         1st – Cents Day = Letter C
  • ·         3rd – Find-A-Rainbow Day = Letter R
  • ·         6th – Jump-Over-Things-Day = Letter J
  • ·         10th – Encourage a Young Writer Day = Y
  • ·         13th – Scrabble Day = Letter S
  • ·         21st – Kindergarten Day = Letter K

For a more complete list and for fabulous explanations of each, click HERE. (can you link the HERE with this *credit for research goes to family crafts

Sheri Larsen is a published freelance and short story writer, and KidLit author. Her current YA novel is with literary agents, and she’s preparing to sub one of her picture books to agents. Her website, Writers’ Ally (, is where she explores writing, children’s literature, and motherhood. She lives in Maine with her husband and four children.

We're still accepting A to Z videos until Sunday March 11th.  Details can be found in the tab at the top of this page.  This video comes from Reka at A Chronicle of Dreams.

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Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for the ideas.

I'm already set for my theme. Now to finish those posts...

Karen Baldwin said...

This will be my first A - Z challenge and I'm excited. I skipped looking at your ideas (though I was SO tempted) because I want my brain to do some heavy push-ups in April.

Dani said...

Even though I have my lists done, I still think your ideas are unique and clever. Great post btw!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If you really think about it, there are plenty of words for every letter, and with a little creativity, you can make it happen.

Anonymous said...

What a challenge...especially since I just got back into blogging last week...

Can I do it? Hmmm. I think I'll try.

Tina said...

Great post, Sheri. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm with us! Many readers will benefit from your sage advice. Good luck to you in the challenge! May you have many visitors and many new followers. (Said in the serious tone of a Vulcan: Live Long and Prosper).
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

Matthew MacNish said...

National Frog Month? Who knew?

JoJo said...

So far I have letters A, B, C, D, E, U and Z drafted and ready to publish on their respective days!!!

Suze said...

Hi Sherri, I was planning to post a few tips for the Challenge, this evening, too.

Thanks for this!

Rosalind Adam said...

Hi Sheri, I did my first A to Z challenge last year too. It certainly is a challenge but an enjoyable one. Thanks for all the ideas. I popped over to visit your blog too.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Thanks, Rosalind! Nice to meet you.

Haha! Matt, I know. Who knew? There are some others that are even stranger. :)

Thanks to the A to Z Challenge for letting me share my thoughts. Loved doing it!! Good luck in the challenge, everyone.

MISH said...

Thanks for sharing these great ideas, Sheri!

DL Hammons said...

Those are some great tips and idea's to get the creative juices flowing! Thank you!! :)

Rek Sesh said...

Wonderful suggestions, very unique definitely...

Nicole said...

What a fun post on ideas for A to Z topics. Participants in the event could use them to create an entire theme around one topic for the month of April.

For example, just to expand on them a bit, bloggers who are stumped for ideas could write about their favorite frogs from cartoons to favorite species to famous frogs to frogs featured on cereal boxes or other products.

Had I read this post a few months ago, I'd probably try to incorporate Frogs into my theme too, lol, but alas, I already planned out my posts. I'm just in the same boat as Theresa, with having to write them out.

Since I blog about movies, I'd like to offer some blogging ideas for other participants who need topics to play around with. You can do movie reviews, analyze your favorite scene or write about your favorite character from the following films:

Austism Awareness Month: What's Eating Gilbert Grape

National Frog Month: Disney's The Princess and the Frog or write a post about your favorite Kermit the Frog quotes.

National Humor Month: Compare The Hangover with The Hangover II

National Educational Mathematics Month: A Beautiful Mind

National Volunteer Month: Erin Brockovich (the pro-bono case in this film counts as "volunteering," right?

There you have it! Five movies to dissect in several ways or more, for your blogging pleasure!

The Madlab Post


I did mine over Christmas after visiting my daught for the festive season, I enjoy the challenge this will be my third and have made many friends over the years.
See you on the challenge.


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks for the great ideas. I think I'll use a few of those.

Marta Szemik said...

Some great ideas for the challenge!

Soggibottom said...

Nope, it's late. The sensible me tells me to go to bed read all of this tomorrow :-~) LOTS TO READ :-) X X X HI... going to love this blog :-)x x x
Not what you know, but who :-) X

MunirGhiasuddin said...

I never had a chance to get to know you. Congratulations on your new book (and the first one too).

klahanie said...

Hey Sheri,
I remember when I first heard about the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I was brought to the heights of joy and delight beyond any adequate adjectives!
In fact, Sheri, this um 'challenge' is such a nifty neato way of bringing further awareness of the alphabet and folks getting more attention about themselves.
Still, I had such a marvellous time doing my satire, alternative postings to this incredible challenge. Heck, even Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, got into the act with her 'Alphabark' Challenge 'pawsting'. And get it straight, 'K' is for Klahanie'...oops...seem to have almost self-promoted. Behave yourself, Gary.
Seriously Sheri, enjoy and all those who would take up this challenge, all the very best.
With respect and a bonus letter Zed or 'Zee', if you pronounce it incorrectly, your way, Gary

Kern Windwraith said...

National Educational Mathematics Month. Hmm. It has possibilities. Just think of all the fabulously intimidating posts a person could make with this theme. Abscissa, Boxplot, Cotangent, Degenerate Conic Sections: the possibilities are legion!

Arlee Bird said...

Great post today, Sheri. Thanks for sharing your ideas with all of us.


Unknown said...

Excellent post! I never thought about including holidays and awareness days in the post. Great advice!

Empty Nest Insider said...

These are all such creative ideas! Looking forward to seeing you in April! Julie

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Thanks, everyone!! Looking forward to all of your posts, too!! Happy writing.

Carolyn V said...

Those are great ideas for the challenge!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Love the list! Encourage a Young Writer Day is wonderful; I had no idea it existed!

Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Jeremy Bates said...

Thanks for the great ideas! I have now more idea writing..