Where's the sign-up List?

For the 2017 Challenge we're trying something new--no Linky List! So if you're looking for a list--stop now. It's really not so bad. Now you'll have many options for discovering participant blogs--blogs that are actually participating in the Challenge. For more info click on the link at the top of the sidebar on the right hand side of your page.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Zip, Zap, Zoom! #atozchallenge




Time to zip this challenge up for another year!  

Did you have fun?   Did you finish like you should have done--making new friends, leaving comments on the blogs of others, posting good content on your own blog?

If you made it this far successfully you are probably zapped.   Maybe it's even time for a nap.  Relax, but don't stop yet.  Rest for a bit if you need but don't quit blogging--agreed?

This Challenge is just a jumping off point for more blogging ahead.    Blogging and more blogging should be stuck in your head.   You heard me; that's what I said.   

Time now to zoom into the future--May, June, July, and on and on.  Now you can post one day a week or whatever you want.  Or every day if that's your desire.  If you're burning to blog don't put out the fire.

Now one more thing before this Challenge is toast.  Don't forget to schedule your A to Z Reflections Post!

Thanks for joining us in A to Z for 2016!

       You can do your Reflections Post at any time, but the list won't open until Monday May 9th and will stay open until May 13th and that's when you can add your link to your post. Watch this blog for further details.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y - You, Your, You're and You Are "AWESOME"

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I am back again and almost at the end of this A TO Z CHALLENGE... how have you all done this year? It has been great I always seem to make friends and visit some very cool sites, this year was no different.  I being a co/host for a few years now has been great and I always am trying to keep you all on your toes.  Like why is FRANKENBERRY in this post?  Well in my last posts a few days ago, I shared my stuff, my goods and well it's FREE. So I thought I would share me and myself again, hopefully you will like it... share it... comment? It's called "SIX STRINGS" it's a free magazine for your Ipad, E.T.C and it's about everything I love. I made a special A TO Z EDITION of the you can get it here: http://www.jmhdigital.com/

Our GREAT friend Mark Kelly has hand-drawn the letters above for us and helped us design our CHALLENGE T-SHIRT [CLICK ME] that is located at the end of this magazine. So get a looky-loo at it, as it will be available. I hope you all have been enjoying this 2016 Challenge... thanks to all the host, co-hosts, minions and of course you guys.

THANK YOU!
Jeremy [RETRO]

Credits:
Alphabet Letters Designed by Mark Kelly
http://theopenhearth.blogspot.com/

SIX STRINGS: MAGAZINE
Designed by Jeremy Hawkins

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

#atozchallenge -- Starts with X!

Some of my favorite things start with X!
Like what?
The X-Files

Last year, all 26 posts for my A to Z theme were about my love of the show, the characters/actors, and my X-Files memorabilia.


The X-Men

Some of the movies don't have the best scripts, but they are, as my son says, Made of Action.

And, I do love me some Wolverine. 


The XBox

My husband and I have played video games together our whole relationship. Granted, we mostly play Lego XBox games with our son now, but it's still fun. 

What else?
The letter X starts with X!
X is the 24th letter of the alphabet, which means ... we are almost done with the Challenge!

In case no one has said it yet ...

***

Come meet Stormy the Weather Gnome, and friends, on his Epic Adventurous Quest Journey to get fixed!


***

HUGE THANKS to my amazing Sidekick Team!





Heather M. Gardner's Team: Stormy's Sidekicks!


Suzanne W. Skeels – Suzi’s Ice Box Art
Sarah Foster – The Faux Fountain Pen
L.G. Keltner – Writing Off the Edge
Penny/SENCO Cat Herder – Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace
Diana Gordon – Part-Time Monster
Tamara Narayan – Tamara Narayan, Author
 



Heather M. Gardner
The Waiting is the Hardest Part 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Woohoo! Almost survived the #atozchallenge!

Can I get a Woohoo?!

Y'all, Way to go! Only three more days of the Challenge. You've almost made it!

At the end of the Challenge here, I'd like to take a moment to thank my wHooligan team. Hopefully many of you have met my wHooligans, but if you haven't, here's a great chance! Stop by and thank these lovely ladies for all the work they've done to make the Challenge a welcoming place :)

Shilpa Garg @shilpaagarg
LuAnn Braley @kentuckygal
Geetika Gupta @Geetika0718


Have a fantastic last few days of the Challenge, everyone! We're so impressed by the comaraderie, support, creativity, and general awesome'ness you all have exhibited this month!

Keep an eye out for my end-of-Challenge survey, coming soon to the email address you used to sign up for the Challenge :)


~co-host AJ Lauer's theme this year is a choose-your-own-adventure that relies upon visitor comments to be successful! She's made it this far writing EVERY DAY of the Challenge. Stop by, share some love, and cast your vote for the ending!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Victory Lap at the #AtoZChallenge !

Now the end is nigh and the finish line is in sight: three more posts to go and you'll be an A to Z Challenge Winner!

On my blog, I've been writing about the nonprofit Project Why and their unsung heroes, and will be sad once the challenge is done.

Don't let up on your blog: keep the Adrenalin pumping.

  • Visit those who have commented on your posts. 
  • Follow back those who have followed you. 
  • Follow them on social media, too. 
  • The more visits and comments you do in a day, the more you shall get out of the challenge.

Time enough to take a break once you're done with the challenge!

Do not forget the A to Z Reflections Post on 9th of May, about which we will talk about soon: this will be your chance to give us feedback. What did we do well? What could be done better?

For now, go visit a blog or two, or five or fifty! The A to Z Challenge list is waiting for you!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Ultima Hora - The last week of the #atozchallenge is here!

The last week of the Challenge has begun! Only six more letters to go!
(Including today's)
Quick! What are the thing you planned on doing but you have not gotten around to yet?

Visit more blogs?
Get to the end of the list?
Go back, find that one theme you really liked, and bookmark it?
Follow your favorite bloggers on Twitter?
Add blogs to your Feedly?
Participate in an #azchat but you keep forgetting when they are?

You still have a week to up your A to Z experience, get a second wind, and do all the things you planned on doing back when we started with A.

Make the last week of the challenge feel like the first! :)


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tell us about your fave #AtoZChallenge Twitter Moments!

It's Letter T Day! And I want to talk to you about Twitter.

Are you on Twitter? If you are, leave your "handle" below. My handle is @pamlovesbooks and if you haven't figured out by now I love to talk books!

But I can talk about things other than books. What I'm wondering today, as the A to Z Challenge winds down, is how do you use Twitter? 

Have you participated in the Twitter chats? They are Thursdays at 9pm Eastern (NY) and during March they were also on Saturday mornings. The reason I ask is because I've seen alot of you on Twitter during the #azchats. But some of you I haven't seen on the chats and haven't had the chance to get to know you. Perhaps the chat times are inconvenient for you  or perhaps you didn't know about them or perhaps you don't use Twitter. Whatever the reason for not getting to know us better at the chats here's your chance to chat with me or any of the other co hosts. 

I can only speak for myself, but I am always on Twitter. I like to see what everyone's eating for brekkies, what book you are reading, or what blogs you like best during the A to Z Challenge. I like to rhyme and I've been told by some that I've been helpful when it comes to thinking of words for their challenge posts. Do you need help rhyming? Do you need last minute help with word for X? Do you need an idea for dinner because your brain is so fried from doing the A to Z Challenge? Whatever you need, I'm here to help. Remember, I'm a librarian and we love to help. 

And because it's T day, here's a tiger in a wheelbarrow.

Ok I know it's a lion but how funny is that?

The point is I'm waiting to chat with you on Twitter. 

I can chat, with a hat, and a bat, and my cat, whose hair is flat and almost ate a gnat.

See? Told you I could rhyme.

Anytime.

Give me a dime

or go eat a lime. 

Either way, I've brightened your day and and now that you've had a moment to play, you can get back to the A to Z Challenge.  

I hope I've made you smile. 

For a little while. 

Sorry, I can't help it. 

(must not type rhyme)

Enjoy your day off and we'll see you for the last week of The A to Z Challenge!!

p.s. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and say Hello.


Friday, April 22, 2016

What's your #atozchallenge Story?

Hi, friendly neighborhood storyteller here.

What's your story?

The A to Z challenge is one place where it is okay to make things personal. Chances are, if you did the Theme Reveal, you told us why you picked the theme you are doing. But even if you don't have a theme, you can still have a story.

Why do you blog?
What got you started?
What are the things that you are passionate about?
What are the stories you want to share with the rest of the world?

One place to tell your story will be during the A to Z Reflections in May. Tell us about your journey! The successes, the challenges, the encounters. Things you learned, things you enjoyed, treasures you found. Reflections help us look back on a crazy, hectic, chaotic, scrambling April (or is that just me?...) and see the story we have just been through. And say WOW.
(Or something like "wait... did I really just do that?...)

Find your Story!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

R is always going to be for RETRO!

----------------------------------------------------------------------
I am here to say HELLO.... HELLO, I have gone missing from the start of the year and you all may have noticed this? I have been working on a new project, well a revamp of something I have been working on for our "8" year and well it's been great. I would rather show you and let you all decide if it's worthy of your attentions. It's called "SIX STRINGS" it's a free magazine for your Ipad, E.T.C and it's about everything I love. I made a special A TO Z EDITION of the you can get it here: http://www.jmhdigital.com/


Not to mention the very lovable letters that you see above created by our friend Mark Kelly and our CHALLENGE T-SHIRT [CLICK ME] is located at the end of this magazine. So get a sneak peak at it, as it will be available soon. I hope you all have been enjoying this 2016 Challenge... thanks to all the host, co-hosts, minions and of course you guys.

THANK YOU!
Jeremy [RETRO]

Credits:
Alphabet Letters Designed by Mark Kelly
http://theopenhearth.blogspot.com/

SIX STRINGS: MAGAZINE
Designed by Jeremy Hawkins

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

#atozchallenge -- Quiz Time!!!

Quiz time!

Don't you just love a quiz?

I know! Me, too!

This is just for fun and all the answers can be found at the bottom of this post.

So, here we go.


Question #1: Who is the founder of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge?

Question #2: How many years has the Challenge been in existence?

Question #3: How many co-hosts are there this year? (including the founder)

Question #4: What day is the Twitter Chat?

Question #5: What number is the letter Q in the alphabet?


***




***



Answer #1: Arlee Bird 
Answer #2: This is the 7th Challenge. (2010)
Answer #3: 10!
Answer #4: Thursdays!
Answer #5: 17! Did you have to count? Me, too!


9 days to go! You can do it!



Heather M. Gardner
The Waiting is the Hardest Part 




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It's me, CO-HOST Jeremy @ HOLLYWOOD NUTS, and I have great news, our gear is here. I wanted to let those who are going to make it to show their support and that you have finished the A TO Z CHALLENGE [2016]. To find out more please [CLICK HERE], you will be transported to the store and well there you are.

SHARE/LIKE/COMMENT...

Thank you, I return you all to your regularly scheduled program!

Jeremy [Retro]
Hollywood Nuts

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

It's My Letter Day! P for Pam and P for Books, what? #AtoZChallenge

Happy letter P day!


I am so happy to share my letter day with you because I'm sure you've figured out by now that I love to talk about books. So it stands to reason that on P day Pam would have a book that begins with the letter P; 
Am I right?
Gosh, ya'll know me too well.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

I loved this book SO HARD as a girl. I've read it a few times and have seen the movie like one skillion times. And that's a lot. smile. The movie stars a very young Prof McGonagall, aka Dame Maggie Smith, from Harry Potter,  as Miss Jean Brodie herself
'Give me a girl at an impressionable age, and she is mine for life . . .'

That's what Miss Brodie says to her students at the Marcia Blaine School (pronounced Mar See Ah). Miss Brodie is probably the first unconventional woman I ever admired. Miss Brodie is a free thinker, a romantic, and progressive in a time where those qualities weren't appreciated by everyone. Miss Brodie collected a group of students called The Brody Set and for the price of unbridled loyalty, she poured herself into these girls, allowing them access to her thought processes, her personal life, etc. Naturally everything comes at a price and the outcome of this book is dark. But, you will forever love Miss Brodie and appreciate how she tries to change the world, one girl at a time.

If The Bad Girls Book Club (over at An Unconventional Librarian) had a group leader or a Headmistress, it would be Miss Brodie. 

Happy P Day friends! 



Monday, April 18, 2016

Offline a Bit? #atozchallenge

Offline a Bit?

Not to be confused with off-sides or being off-kilter!

Have you been offline a day or two during the Challenge?

Don’t let the sheer amount of blog posts during that time scare you.

Just focus on those who visited you the day you were absent. Return those comments and just delete all the other posts from your blog reader. People will understand.

Use Sundays to catch up. Or, if you’re caught up, use Sundays as your day to be completely offline. Spend some time with your family, go see a movie, go read a book. Regroup and recharge.

We’re over halfway – don’t get burnout now!


Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars, and his blog can be found HERE

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Helpful Hint about Sharing Images #atozchallenge #blogging

Thanks to J Lenni Dorner of Arlee's Ambassadors for the following info that some of you might find helpful.  It might be a bit technical for some of you, but those who understand might be able to put this to good use.  

I am not a coding expert. I learned all of this by watching other people, Google searching, and trial with lots of error. (Ha ha) But here's an important tip on something I do know about-- using the img alt in the HTML of your posts.
  1. Blind and visually impaired people sometimes use the Internet. There are programs that read to them, partly using the HTML of websites. I didn't know this when I started blogging. A blind woman told me about it. She said the "img alt" tag is used to read what the picture is of... assuming there's an alt tag, of course. "Image of a woman on horseback." vs "32343" You can understand now how defining your image is more useful than leaving just a number or something.
  2. Pinterest captions your pin based on what is written inside the alt tag. Readers hitting the share button might be too lazy to edit that. What do you want people to read when your image is clicked from the Pinterest (or other sharing) site? Tag yourself with your Twitter handle if you have one! It works.
  3. Sometimes image hosting sites go down. The picture you used doesn't appear. What you wrote in the alt tag will show in place of the image. Consider what you'd at least like your readers to imagine for the downtime duration.
  4. With Internet Explorer, hovering the mouse over the image will create a small pop-up text block of the "alt" words. (Firefox and Opera do this with the TITLE tag instead of ALT. The two seem similar otherwise.)
Always keep it relevant, meaningful, and short!
And now it's example time!
Blogging from #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z April 2016 The A to Z Challenge

The how and why of img alt code in HTML by @JLenniDorner Blogger image
The how and why of img alt code in HTML by @JLenniDorner WordPress image

WHAT DOES ALL THAT MEAN?

center means that it will be in the middle of post, not to the left. a href I have hyperlinked my image. If you click it, it takes you to another webpage. target=_blank That other webpage will open in a new window or new tab, so you don't leave me! img means image src means source -- that's always the URL where the image is hosted alt THAT'S what this image is about. I have Twitter handles and a hashtag to increase the viral trending. backslash close your tags

NOW YOU KNOW!
J Lenni Dorner can be found at the blog http://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com, on #TeamArlee Arlee's Ambassadors, @JLenniDorner, and on Facebook.com/WhatAreThey.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

#atozchallenge -- NO sleep til ... Z!



NO way we are stopping now!


NO is the loneliest word!

 
NO is not in our vocabulary!


NO doubt we will finish!

 
NO, giving up is not an option!

NO chance we will fail!


Keep going, people!
We will make it to the end!


The Beastie Boys - No Sleep Till Brooklyn 



Heather M. Gardner
The Waiting is the Hardest Part
  


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 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BEEP... BEEP... So I am sneaking in, yes it's me CO-HOST Jeremy @ HOLLYWOOD NUTS and I have great news, our gear is here. I wanted to let those who are going to make it to show their support and that you have finished the A TO Z CHALLENGE [2016]. To find out more please [CLICK HERE], you will be transported to the store and well there you are.

SHARE/LIKE/COMMENT...

Thank you, I return you all to your regularly scheduled program.... From Co-Host Heather!

Jeremy [Retro]
Hollywood Nuts

Friday, April 15, 2016

Mid-way through the #atozchallenge!

So I'm actually writing this in Mid-March. I've just painted my toenails and it is taking a reMarkable amount of energy to not wiggle them around (who knew I had fidgety feet while writing?? Try holding your feet perfectly still the next time you write - it's hard!).

One of the beauties of blogging is that you can pre-write posts, get them scheduled, and instead spend your time coMMenting and visiting other folks. It is the Middle of the Challenge and this is about where we start to see folks lose Momentum - comments slow down, people who didn't pre-write start to Miss letters, we all start to drag a little.

So this is my Mid-Challenge pep talk!

You, intrepid blogger, have totally GOT THIS. No Mid-April slump for you - no! You will Masterfully, Mindfully, and Maybe Maniacally (Mwahahahah...) Make it through this Mayhem.

And for your cheery enjoyment, I present Mork as a Male cheerleader :)


Robin Williams, aka “Mork,” made Broncos... by italiaradio1

You're gonna Make it!


~co-host AJ Lauer's theme this year is a choose-your-own-adventure that relies upon visitor comments to be successful! Stop by and join the story!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Labour of Love

In more ways than one, this Challenge is a labour of love—not only for Arlee Bird, the conceptualizer behind this phenomenal blogging extravaganza—but for all you wonderful participants.

It takes discipline and dedication to create 26 posts for a month, as most of us don't blog that often. Many of us do research, if we select a theme, to ensure we have all the facts we need before we write a word and then there's the editing and fine-tuning.

Others will spend hours going through pictures and various sites to be able to pull everything together for a well-organized and attention-grabbing line-up.


Hearty congratulations to all of us who have made it this far. Blogging from A-Z is no mean feat and we all deserve a pat on the back for the labour or love we've undertaken this month.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Keep it Going with the #AtoZChallenge !


Today, Misha Gericke from D's Company shares her experience with you about the A to Z Blogging challenge.
 ------
When you signed up for the A to Z Challenge, I bet you thought it was a good idea.

But now, we’re starting to get to the point where the start-out adrenaline fades away and the month is starting to look long. Especially when you didn’t plan and schedule posts ahead. (I know the feeling. Until this year, I only ever planned the topics for my A to Z posts and wrote the posts on the day they were due.)

Except for last year, I won every time. For two blogs. But last year doesn’t count for me. (It’s my guest post, my rules.)

Here’s the thing, every year, I’d hit a point where I just got tired of the whole blogging thing. And I still won. How?

Simple.

I didn’t give up. Sometimes, I ended up having to write two posts on one day. Or to write on Sundays to make up for a skipped week-day. Whatever it took. Eventually I caught up, and it made the win all the sweeter.

So don’t give up when you lag behind. Keep going. It gets easier when the end is in sight.


What are you doing to keep going this year? Any tips?

---------------------

If you’d like to see what Misha’s up to at the moment, you can find her on these social networks:  Tumblr | Twitter | Google Plus | Writing Blog
---------------------------------
Follow the A to Z Blogging team on our Facebook Page!
Email address is contactatozteam at gmail dot com
Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z
 
We’re still holding Twitter chats on Thursdays at the tag #azchat at 9.00 PM EDT. Please follow the Twitter and Facebook handles, and the hashtags in order to keep up with the conversation.



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

#atozchallenge Blog Envy (i.e. Jealousy)



As you visit blogs during the A to Z Challenge and later, you're bound to notice that some bloggers have a lot more readers and get a lot more comments than you do. If you're new at the blogging game, this is to be expected; some of you started your blog because you heard about this challenge and you learned that you have to have a blog to participate. But let's say you've been blogging for a few years, and you notice that some blogs that came online when you did are brimming with comments and "like"s while you still get maybe half a dozen comments a couple of times a week and no comments more often than not.

Jealous? Upset that they're getting all the attention and comments and you aren't?

It's understandable. You spend hours writing blog posts that will change other people's lives, and they don't seem to care, while someone else is writing about their dog and getting hundreds of people to comment every time they drop an entry onto the world of blog readers. It's hard not to be jealous of success like that.

But that's what I'm going to tell you: don't be jealous of other bloggers' success. Their success isn't your failure.

When you find a successful blog, try to figure out what it is that makes it so successful, and adapt it to your blogging. Become a part of that blog's community and interact with the blogger and the other readers. Since most members of a blog's community are also bloggers, go visit their blogs. Become part of their communities. Make sure they know where to find you.

Remember, blogging is a conversation between friends. This is true whether you're writing a blog for a business or just writing a blog to talk about you dog. Mom always used to say that if you want friends, you need to be a friend. Don't look at other bloggers as your rivals, look at them as your friends. Soon, they'll return the favor.

You have a couple of thousand opportunities to make friends with the A to Z Challenge. That list you got on will be around for a while, so why not take advantage of it?

John Holton
The Sound of One Hand Typing
The Sound of One Hand Typing FM

Monday, April 11, 2016

I'm Falling Behind! #atozchallenge

I’m Falling Behind!

Is that you right now? Don’t panic!

Falling behind on posts? Fortunately, they’re short. Set aside thirty minutes and write and schedule two or three. Then you’ll be ahead.

Falling behind visiting other blogs? Set aside Sundays to visit new ones. Just do what you can.

Falling behind on returning comments? If you’re commenting on blogs who are not returning yours, just skip those for now. Focus on your visitors.

Yes, it is a Challenge! But we are doing it to have fun as well. And make new friends. We might have to stretch a bit, but we can accomplish all that and enjoy ourselves in the process.


Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars, and his blog can be found HERE

Saturday, April 9, 2016

#atozchallenge Hello! Howdy! How Are Ya?



The great Yogi Berra was known for his unique way of twisting the English language. He knew exactly what he was talking about, but sometimes it came out in an unintentionally funny manner. One of my favorite quotes of his is this:

You should always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours.

What he meant to say was that if you want people to care about you, you should show them that you care about them. Or, to put it in blogging terms, if you want people to read your blog, you should show that you want to read theirs.

That's the purpose of the A to Z Challenge, after all: to open your blog up to a wider audience, to hold a dialogue with other bloggers and non-bloggers. Nothing can be more disheartening than writing a fantastic blog post and not getting any feedback from anyone. Likewise, nothing feels worse than leaving a comment on someone's blog and having the blogger ignore the comment completely.

The Golden Rule applies here: Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. If you want people to come visit your blog, go visit theirs, and be sure to leave a comment when you go. If you want people to reply to your blog comments, be sure and reply to the comments people leave for you.

It isn't always easy, I know. There will be days when you fall behind in keeping up with comments, and life happens when you're busy making other plans. But you should make the best effort you can to reply to comments, and to visit the blogs of people who visit yours.

"Okay, John," I hear you say. "There are hundreds of bloggers signed up for the A to Z Challenge; how am I going to get to all of them?"

I'll tell you right up front, you won't. You can't. At least not in the thirty days of April. I'm sure, if you didn't sleep and did nothing all day but visit blogs, you might be able to do it, but you have a life, too, and it's not good for you to spend that much time sitting in front of a computer. So, don't try.

Instead, resolve to visit a few blogs every day. Say ten. Take the list of blogs and visit the five bloggers before you and the five after you. So, if you're number 789 on the list, visit 784 through 788 and 790 through 794, as well as all the bloggers who have left you comments. If you have more time on your hands, visit the ten before and after you. Or, you could do what I did one year and visit ten blogs each day whose numbers were chosen by Random.org. Visit them, read what they have to say, and leave them a comment, even one that just says "Hi! I'm stopping by from the A to Z Challenge. I enjoyed your post!"

And, just so you know, the list of blogs that participated in the challenge will be around at least through the end of the year. That gives you eight months to get through the entire list. More on that later.

John Holton
The Sound of One Hand Typing
The Sound of One Hand Typing FM


**editor's note: Check out our Helpers page, that lists all the awesome bloggers donating their time to make the Challenge run well! We hope you'll visit and tell them you appreciate their work! ~AJ **

Friday, April 8, 2016

Tackling the Challenge with Gusto!

So the Challenge is lots of fun and excitement for those who enjoy this business of blogging.

One of the best things about the Challenge is meeting new people and finding cool blogs that are super-interesting. However, the only way people will know you've visited is if you leave comments on their blogs. That not only says that we've dropped in, but that we were engaged enough to introduce ourselves.

There's no better way of fueling the gusto to continue visiting participants than to charge through a section of the list each day.

You'll find that by leaving meaningful comments, other bloggers will gravitate to your blog. So it pays to put your energy into crafting creative posts and making as many visits as you can, so you can power through the Challenge with gusto!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Are we having FUN yet? #atozchallenge

Your first full week of A to Z is concluding!

Are you having FUN?

This challenge, first and foremost, is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. While it is designed to challenge you, your focus, writing skills, and your blogging resolve, all of that is moot if you are not having at least some amount of fun with it.

A to Z fun can take many forms. Here is how you can achieve them:

1. Getting appreciative comments on your blog
Sure, "Good post!" is also a sign of appreciation, but everybody loves to get more detailed, personal comments. People reciprocate: The better comments you leave, the more likely they will visit you back and show their appreciation for your work. Everyone likes being complimented.

2. Finding new blog treasures
Visit at least a small amount of new blogs every day. Work your way down the list (even if it's at the pace of a snail). You will find treasures - people, blogs, and themes you love. Make sure to bookmark of Follow them, so you can come back later for more.

3. Making new blog friendships
Blog friendships can last beyond A to Z, and they are the best outcome of the challenge. Nurture them, build them. Connect with your new blog friends through other media - follow them on Twitter, friend them on Facebook, whatever. Enjoy getting to know all the wonderful people out there who share your interests.

4. Participating in the community
Join us for the #azchat Twitter chats! Talk to others about the challenge. Make yourself at home in the A to Z community.



Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Excellent start to the #atozchallenge Everyone!

Here we are, five days in - how are you all doing?

I think we're off to an Excellent start!

How many of you just made the
wee-ooh-wee-ooh noise after reading this?

Part of what I love about the Challenge is all the Encouragement everyone gives one another. Whether to help folks keep going, or even when they just leave a comment to say 'Hey I liked your post!' Whether you are visiting one other person per day or one hundred, us co-host types love the Energy, Empathy, and Entropy.  Keep it up, team :)


~co-host AJ Lauer's theme this year is a choose-your-own-adventure that relies upon visitor comments to be successful! Stop by and join the story!


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Discipline in Blogging for #AtoZChallenge!


 For the alphabet D, Samantha Redstreake Geary from D's Company (I was tempted to make this D for Damyanti, but asked Samantha instead, who I clearly see is no better at Discipline than me!) offers her tongue-in-cheek take.
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discipline-i-know-its-in-there-somewhere.jpgToday, I’m dishing out a big helping of “D” with a side of irony, considering I rarely choose Discipline at the all-you-can-do buffet. Let’s be honest. Discipline is the kale on the salad bar of life. You know it’s good for you, but you’ve only so much room and so little time, and that treasure trove of desserts is whispering sweet nothings like there’s no tomorrow. And then, when tomorrow rears its ugly head at the crack of dawn, you’ll look back on those empty calorie hours with a pounding regret hangover and think to yourself, I should’ve had the kale.la-ss-decadent-desserts-20131113-dto.jpg

Rinse and repeat.meet-kale.jpg

What IF, one day, while grazing in the pasture of possibility, you decided to give the questionable green leaves a shot. This time, you ignore the sugar-laden distractions, seize the salad tongs, and load up on vitamin-infused productivity. When tomorrow comes, self-reproach is replaced with satisfaction. And before too long, you’ll feel so fulfilled you won’t give that syrupy stack of procrastination a second glance because kale is where it’s at.

B-M49MsIgAAip9g.jpg
Recap
Kale = Discipline

Eat your kale EVERY DAY, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your aspirations and one step closer to becoming an organic, shade grown, fair trade, bird sanctuary badass!

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Which is to say, now that you're in the A to Z Challenge, stick with your blogging discipline, even though on some days it feels like chewing on steamed Kale!

On a more serious note, D is for Determination, Drive and Daring. You'll need all of it while you dish out posts on the remaining 22 days of April!