Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oodles of Ideas for Finding Your A-Z Words

Did you know that if you're participating in the 2013 A-Z Challenge, or have participated in any of the past challenges, we'd love to showcase your ideas here at The A-Z Blog? Today's brilliant ideas are brought to you by M.J Joachim who blogs at Lots of Crochet Stitches and FOUR others.  Here's how to find them all: Follow M.J in one stop-shopping!  (I'm not a shopper...I like one stop...)

On your mark!




And they’re off, all participating in this year’s Scavenger Hunt for Alphabet Words! 

Here are a few clues, to help you on your way!

Online Alphabet Word References

There are oodles of places to find A – Z word lists online. I discovered this last year by Googling, “words that begin with x.”  Wish I’d found this out much earlier in the Challenge, I must say!

You can also get a little more specific and look up things like “scientific terms beginning with letter _” or “recipes beginning with letter _.”

Another easy thing to do is type (define:word – whatever the word may be) into Mr. Google’s search engine URL. You can also do this for synonyms, antonyms and homonyms, btw. It will search for sites to help you. Then you can click on the link and open up a virtual Pandora’s Box, containing words with links to new words, with links to new words…and so on, and so on and so on…

Bring it on Home

It takes a keen observer, and it might be an unexpected chance to clean out your garage, but most people have numerous things they’ve collected over the years, many named with at least one letter of the alphabet, some containing multiple words – things like books, movies, records and food & product labels. This sounds like an opportunity, if ever there was one!

Out and About

I might be stating the obvious by mentioning the library here, but what about all those other places you go like restaurants, museums, amusement parks, theaters, retail shops etc. etc. etc.? If you spend any length of time there, you’re bound to find at least a few bits of jargon for posts that might be puzzling you.

Don’t forget the great outdoors, when looking for words to write your posts! Start naming all those trees, plants and shrubs. Break down the animals by species, habits, diets and food chain levels. Not enough for you? How many shades of gray do you see when it rains? Is the sunset pink, orange or mauve? Does the wind shriek, lament or whisper?

It’s a challenge, but it’s not hard…

Not if you know where to look, that is!

Wow, that was some really great advice! Now we have no excuses for Q, Z, X or whatever may be stumping us on a particular day. We appreciate you sharing this with us!
~ Tina (contact me, see contact tab, if you have ideas you'd like to share at this blog)

Photo credit:  Scrabble Game in Progress, thebarrowboy, Creative Commons Attribution; Interior Mall of America, Mono P, Creative Commons Attribution; Animal Diversity, GNU Free Documentation License
©2013 All Rights Reserved


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. thanks for the introductory welcome to MJ one of your team ..

MJ - you have some excellent ideas here ... I've used my ingenuity too - sometimes needs must ..

I've got my theme for this year - 3rd time for me ... and I'm looking forward to it - but these thoughts are just great and should help so many ...

Cheers to you both .. Tina I hope the family is getting over the yuck bug .. happy weekends .. Hilary

Rob Z Tobor said...

Just in case anyone is curious as to how I dealt with 'Z' the link below will show you what I did . . . . It just goes to show there are many very different ways to deal with difficult letters . . .

Rob Z Tobor

Tina said...

I love this post M.J!
Just for clarification purposes, M.J is not one of my helpers, she's Nicoles. A.J is on my team. Didn't want any confusion.

Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

klahanie said...

Hey Tina,

Yes, it's me, your starstruck fan, Gary. I've got loads of ideas about the amazing alphabet challenge. Maybe I shall start with the letter Zed or Zee as y'all pronounce it and work my way backwards. Or get Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar do her "Alphabark Challenge" Arf! Arf!

All the best and I shall reply to your email when my back isn't hurting so much. Stay positive and keep smiling. Your friend,

Gary :)

JoJo said...

I have had to google 'words that begin with....' as well. It's been helpful and sometimes I end up thinking of a word before the list loads. What I usually do is just run through my own list of interests, places I've been and see what I can come up with from that. I find it easier than doing a theme.

Jolie du Pre said...

Nice post M.J!

Since I blog about monsters and horror/paranormal, it's easy for me to find topics for A to Z. I simply go with my theme for the words. So for A, I can go with Aliens. Or for Z, I can go with Zombies.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, wonderful A - Zers! Thank you for this fine discussion!

@Hilary - Thanks for the warm welcome:) I'm not part of Tina's fine team. I simply enjoy the party and was happy to share a few ideas for it.

@Rob - Creativity knows no bounds! It's lways good to learn from fellow A - Zers:)

@Tina - Thank you very much, dear fearless leader:) It's true. I'm a very happy minion for Nicole:)

@Gary - I think a few newbies to the challenge might be confused, if you work backwards from Z - A.

@JoJO - Theme are good. The more specific you can be when looking up words for the letter of the day, the better. I've come up with some amazing A - Z words while preparing for 2013 this way.

@Jolie - Yes, I'll bet there are lots of fun words in your genre. Some blog topics don't have it quite so easy. You should see my theme for crochet this year...believe me, the list above came in very handy for it:)

klahanie said...

Hi MJ,

I don't do the A to Z Challenge. Lee has named me "The official anti-A to Z spokesman." I do alternatives to it that ironically bring the challenge further awareness. Ask Tina :)

Enjoy your weekend.


betty said...

All great tips for finding letters, especially the hard ones towards the end of the alphabet! I have a list of the letters by my computer and as something comes to me, in my theme, which is a general theme about me, things I like, things about me others might not know, I jot down the word. I'm pleased to say I have 13 posts written and about 5 more letters with ideas so its going pretty good here :)


D.G. Hudson said...

Good Tips, Tina! I'm not a 'winger', I'm a theme person.

Krista McLaughlin said...

Those are some great tips for themes! I've been working on mine for a while and I finally came up with a theme that works and one which delves deeper into me as a person and writer. I'm hoping it will be lots of fun! I can't wait for April!

Anonymous said...

All excellent points! Thanks for sharing with us. People can find inspiration from just about anywhere for A to Z!

Anonymous said...

Great ideas. : )

Lisa said...

Thanks for posting these links well before the time to actually need those Q, X, Y letters! I wish I'd had these last year!

Tina said...

D.G - these aren't MY tips, they are M.J's I just introduced her. Don't want to take credit for he extreme creativity...which I will be taking full advantage of. I'm a themer too, but mine is wide open which is actually, I'm finding, quite harder...

Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

Anonymous said...

@Gary - But it's so much fun!!! Have a nice weekend back at you :)

@That corgi - 13 posts already! Good for you...wanna help me write some of mine?

@D.G. - Depends on the blog and blogger, I suppose...

@Krista - I'm looking forward to April as well:)

@Stephen - Glad you enjoyed my post, Stephen:) It's true, inspiration is readily available, especially when you think outside the box a bit.

@Susanne - Thanks!

@Lisa - Last year, my first, was a bit tough at times. Thought these might come in handy for people:)

@Tina - Thanks for such a lovely intro to my post, Tina. Glad a few of these things might help you out a bit too. Hope they help a lot of folks:)

klahanie said...

Hi MJ,

I do my own thing. If I wanted 'followers' that bad and my blog just passed its sixth anniversary, I'd get involved in what can sadly become a blatant self-promotion, cynical exercise.

I wish all those who do participate do it in the spirit of a sharing, caring blogging community and not some sad ego trip reason.

Take very good care.

With respect and kindness,


AJ Lauer said...

Those are all great ideas! Like @That Corgi, I have a list of words and add whenever I come up with something. I also start a draft post for each letter in advance and pop in to add the word if I'm near a computer when I think of it. :)

Jagoda said...

I was excited when I found just the right (for me) word for "X." That one had me stumped for a while. Now to go write up that one.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

MJ, Gary IS the official Anit-A to Z spokesman. And he does his job very well. Snark an added bonus.
I listed a ton of geeky topics for the A to Z at Allison's blog Friday to get people started and with this then can find their individual letters.

Arlee Bird said...

Great advice. So many possibilities! I decided on my theme, but I keep thinking up new ones.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Martha said...

My goal was to get my Q, U, V and X, Y, Z done and scheduled this month. They are the hardest! Now I will have all of March to start working on my other posts :)

Sue Ann Bowling said...

I'm using the books I've written, and since I already had alphabetized glossary and character list, the only on I've had to look for is Q.

Anonymous said...

@Gary - Well, since you've earned the title "official" and do your job very well, I think I'll leave it at that then. Happy anniversary, btw :)

@ayjay - I've been coming up with letters since January...changing them as necessary to fit the post I'm working on. Some of these things just don't crochet well at all! lol

@Jagoda - I had the worst time with "x" on my crochet blog last year - came up with the word "xeranthemum" and was able to crochet a flower for that one:)

@Alex - Chalking one up! Very cool that some of these posts can work together...light bulb brightens, list of links in margin pops in head...

@Lee - Thanks! I've done the same thing with two of my blogs...a woman's prerogative and boy am I using mine these days getting ready for the upcoming A - Z:)

@Martha - Q and V are finished for my crochet blog...Q didn't quite turn out like I expected. Hoping because of its position in the alphabet, no one notices that much...

@Sue - You know, I've actually used a few glossaries from books for some of my words too:)

Empty Nest Insider said...

Lots of great tips here MJ! This will be my third challenge, so this will really help me come up with some fresh ideas
Tina, thanks for hosting MJ!


Pam Williams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pam Williams said...

Thanks so much for hosting this yearly blogging challenge. I have found it so beneficial! My writers' group has encouraged all of our members who have blogs to join the challenge. We also have a group blog that entered last year. Here's the link to our post encouraging our bloggers to join The Challenge.

Andrea said...

I always forget that google can be my friend (and more supportive than his friend webmd...perhaps not a good place to calmly find new words). Great ideas!

Anonymous said...

For clarity - I'm a participant, that is all. Applause should readily go to the marvelous A - Z team listed in the margin on this blog.

@Empty Nest Insider - So glad these ideas will inspire you with exciting new ideas this year. It's always fun to explore new material:)

@Pam - Neat idea to form a community blog like you have with your fellow church members. Sounds like you have a wonderful group:)

@Andrea - Thank you! Google has some neat things to offer, but it's not a monopoly on the Internet...

Maple Syrup Land said...

I came up with my theme and then got stuck on a couple letters when coming up with my words...I posted on fb asking for suggestions and my friends came up with some good I'm ready to write!

Anonymous said...

That's a great idea, Maple Syrup Land. My husband helped me with topics for a few of mine. Once those were decided, it was much easier to come up with A - Z words relating to them. Thanks for the suggestion:)

Susan Kane said...

Great suggestions. I have some thoughts on X and Z, so I hope they work out!

So appreciate y'all and what you do to make the A 2 Z happen.

Shaharizan Perez said...

These are really wonderful ideas for topics for the A-Z Challenge. Thanks! :D

Michelle Wallace said...

This post reinforces the fact that the ideas are staring us in the face, but we need to open our eyes and recognize them!
Thanks for sharing!

Jen said...

Great suggestions! Thanks for this post :D I have a theme...I'm just trying to solidify HOW I'm going to communicate it!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Susan, Shaharizan, Michelle, Jen for all your positive comments regarding this post. Keep the energy flowing and things will be communicated perfectly:) I'm only a participant like all of you. And all this buzz is getting me extremely excited for April! Looking forward to it A to Z Team. You do an amazing job here! Thanks so much:)

Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

What an idea!
I visited this page earlier but could not post a comment.

you did an informative page for the new comers!

No, as well for the veterans!

Thanks Tina and Joachim.

I am sure these tips here will help to find out some difficult letters for the challenge.
Happy Blogging to all my fellow bloggers!
Happy Weekend.

Phil @ Philipscom
An ambassador to A to Z Challenge @ Tina's Life is Good
And My My Bio-blog

Unknown said...

Dont forget about, Best Scrabble Dictionary hands down!