Saturday, April 17, 2021

Off Day Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is an "off day" in the Challenge. Remember, we take Sundays off from publishing A to Z Challenge posts. So tell me, what are your plans for tomorrow?

  • Write and schedule this week's Challenge posts. Many of us completed all our Challenge posts and scheduled them before April started, but many others are writing their posts while the Challenge is ongoing. You might want to use tomorrow to get a few posts written and scheduled.
  • Write and schedule this week's non-Challenge posts. Just because the A to Z Challenge is ongoing doesn't mean that all other blogging activity has to come to a halt. I have several features (Song of the Day, One Liner Wednesday etc.) that I'm continuing this month. How about you?
  • Catch up on your Challenge reading. We get so busy reading and replying to comments on our blogs that we might let our reading and commenting on other blogs fall behind. That's part of what Sunday's for. It's also what the Road Trip is all about. More on that later.
  • Something else (maybe nothing?) Spend time with your family! Watch a ballgame! Do some more work on that novel! Take the whole day off from blogging and the Challenge. It'll all be there on Monday.

Whatever you choose to do tomorrow, enjoy your day! We're past the halfway point. Only two more weeks to go!

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Friday, April 16, 2021

N is for Never Give Up!

N is for Never Give Up!

Think about the challenges you have set for yourself this month. We’re just over the halfway point in the month. Have you given up? Are you still working toward your goal?

If you’re making good progress on your challenges, great! Tell us about it in the comments.

If you’ve given up, think about how you could restart your personal challenge or adapt it to fit in the second half of the month. It’s never too late to get back up and try again!

My first A to Z was abysmal. I think I finished finally in June(?), but I never gave up. I kept going. I started my blog just so I could participate in the A to Z Challenge. That whole year, I had only 155 visitors to my blog. Just five years later, I have had 858 visitors in 2021 SO FAR, and we’re only 1/4 of the way through the year. Posting consistently and visiting other blogs has made all the difference.

But all that time, I never gave up. I kept going. I posted whenever I could. And in the end, it has paid off. The moral of the story is NEVER GIVE UP. Keep trying! And let us know how it’s going for you in the comments.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Magnifying Glass Game #atozchallenge πŸ”Ž

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter M

πŸ”Ž Magnifying Glass Game:

In this game, you post close-up (magnified πŸ”) pictures on your blog and visitors guess in the image in the comments.
(You'll also find out how dusty your camera is. Yikes. 😬)
ANSWERS will be posted at: on Sunday!

The following all start with the letter M:

(Hint: marine mammal)

(Hint: may attract metal)

(Hint: Meat condiment)

(Hint: πŸ’ͺπŸ§€)

(Hint: Makes πŸ”₯ fire)

How many can you guess correctly? 

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

#atozchallenge L is for Ludo ~ Guest post by Jemima Pett

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter L

L is for Ludo

Ludo is a board game derived from the ancient game Pachisi. Most of us have probably played at some time! 2 to 4 players roll a die in turn and move their piece around the board accordingly. You have to get all your pieces home first to win.
I also played it as Kappit - probably a version of the German Coppit.
ludo board
Picture by Micha L Reiser (via Wikipedia)

Ludo as a character

Ludo is the name I gave to the Pirate King in the second of my series The Princelings of the East. He was eventually exiled in that book. I interviewed him in 2012, and realised he would return to cause trouble, which he did, from book eight, The Princelings of the North, to the final one, Princelings Revolution, which came out last October.

This is part of that interview: you can see why I wanted to write more about him… now who asked if I had more spin-offs to write?

Jemima meets Ludo, the Pirate King

I’m sitting with Ludo at a beach table under a cloth awning, drinking the local wine. I ask how the pirating business is going. He glares at me a lot.
“I was the legitimate crown prince of Castle Marsh, going about my business according to the rules laid down by others. They were happy for me to take their produce across the water and bring them the profit, with a little charge for the service. They accused me of smuggling. Then they closed off my source of business and I formed a plan to survive in spite of them. And they called that piracy.”
There was nothing about this that came out in the trial.
“Pah, trial. One step away from a lynching to save certain people’s skins.”
I ask him to name names. He is a big chap, an imposing presence. His tan is an even deeper red than it was when I last saw him, at the trial. His black eyepatch is just as rakish. I’m not sure he actually needs it. He has a very stylish hat with a wide brim, which currently lies on the bench next to him. 
He declines, after consideration, so I ask him how he came to take up sailing. 
“Got in with a sporty crowd who raced small boats, then got onto one of the big ships and loved it. Told grandfather I was going to take a year to sail on these big ships, then come back and be crown prince properly, and he wasn’t bothered, so I did.  Took me six months to get my own ship and crew together, get the business going nicely, earning lots of gold, then someone turned everyone against me.”
“So you think you should still be king of Castle Marsh?”
“Of course I should. Although I’d rather have the ships. Free to roam, no responsibility except to your crew, and they obey you anyway. I’m doing well now, thank you!”
So while he doesn’t want any responsibility for Marsh, he still wants the recognition and the title.  
He doesn’t have any contacts in the realms he wishes to keep up, “although Uncle Vlad is a good sport.” He surprises me by recounting an embarrassing moment; I had expected him to be one of those that didn’t have them.
He’d most like to change the power play in the realms so he can be king again. He does not explain what he means by ‘power play’. The Kings’ Council, which unites the various castles, deems that he could not live in harmony with them. So is he an outsider who sees authority working against him, or is there actually someone in the Council working to undermine the peace? I am unsettled by Ludo’s accusations—or are they merely insinuations? 
I feel increasingly uncomfortable in his presence. The ferry is docking at the quay, so I have an excuse to finish.
We exchange formal thanks for the interview, and I get up, relieved. He has a casual manner that could lull you into thinking he’s a playboy, an anachronism, playing at being a pirate. But he’s not. He’s the real thing, and he’s dangerous.

About Jemima Pett

Jemima writes fantasy and science fiction, and is writing the third in her scifi series during the April AtoZ. Check on her progress at her blog She also has several books of her flash fiction coming out in time for summer. Get Critters and Crises at Amazon now, and pre-order Greed and Retribution, out 6th May.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

What Would You Do For Klondike?

Here's a hint if you're feeling the need to rest: Play a few games of Klondike!

I've found that, when writing ideas stop coming to me, the best thing to do is to give myself something mindless to do. Klondike is perfect for that: it's challenging, yet the type of game that you know almost instinctively how to play. This gives you a chance to let your mind work on something more challenging, like what to write for your next post. For an added boost, put on some instrumental music or white noise to quiet the voices in your head.

Don't have a card deck nearby, or don't have a Solitaire program on your computer? Try World of Solitaire. You can play right in your browser. And if Klondike's not your thing, there are hundreds of other solitaire games you can play there.

Only one thing: don't forget to stop and come back to the writing. Okay? Okay!

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Sunday, April 11, 2021

J is for Journeys #atozchallenge

Alright, so this past year has not been great in terms of travel opportunities. If you are like me, and you like to explore new places, it has been quite exhausting to stay put. Travel is one of the Categories for bloggers in this challenge, and I love reading about people's journeys, experiences, and countries I have never been to.

Since we are still pretty much staying put, today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite online games that revolve around travel:

GeoGuessr. There is a free version and a "pro version", but even the free version is fun. It gives you random street views from around the world, and you have to guess the place where the picture was taken. Anywhere. In the world. It is quite a challenge, but who doesn't love a challenge?

City Guesser. This one gives you videos from cities around the world, and asks you to guess where you are. Honestly, I just like to look at the place, and the people walking around.

The Map Zoom Quiz. This one starts you zoomed in on a city map, and you have to guess the city. You can zoom out to see more, but you lose points. Zooooooom!

What are your favorite places around the world? And your favorite travel blogs? Are you a travel blogger yourself? Let us know in the comments!

Friday, April 9, 2021

I is for Inspiration! #atozchallenge

What inspires you? What makes your mind wander, and wonder, and ask things like "what if...?"

Look for some extra inspiration today! Whether for your blog, or your WIP, or just for fun, here are some sites that will give you a fresh dose of inspiration!

Use this Random Art Generator to find a classic painting, and see if it becomes a story in your head!

Try this Random Landscape Generator, and see if you can imagine what happens there!

Start up the Random Music Generator and see if the music inspires you!

Play around with this amazing Random Folklore Motif Generator, and see if you can make up new tales!

Use this site to get Random Geographic Coordinates, and see what that place inspires in you! (Or learn more about it, if it is new to you!)

Inspiration can come from unexpected places. What inspires YOU in this challenge?

H is for Hustle

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: Hh

H is for Hustler

When I first mentioned to my co-blogger, Richard, that I was writing a post for H for the A to Z Blog, he suggested H is for Hustler. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to me. It's a word I'm familiar with, certainly, but putting a definition down on paper was difficult. So, I went to for a little help.


1. An enterprising person determine to succeed; go-getter.

2. Slang. A person who employs fraudulent or unscrupulous methods to obtain money; swindler.

3. Informal. An expert gambler or game player who seeks out challengers, especially unsuspecting amateur ones, in order to win money from them.

Ah yes, the last one. That's what made me think of that word in connection with our gambling theme for 2021. But then I had a new, related inspiration, courtesy of the first definition of hustler:


1. To proceed or work rapidly or energetically.

2. To push or force one's way; jostle or shove.

Recently, several of us here at A to Z experienced situations that left us scrambling to get things done on a deadline (including me making this post only a couple days beforehand, when usually I'm done before April starts). It's great to work with a team who can hustle when they need to, and which is not filled with hustlers (definition 3), but rather hustlers (definition 1). The A to Z Team is a great one, and I'm proud to be a part of it.

As we near the end of the first full week, are you hustling to finish your A to Z posts for the month, or are you all scheduled out?

If you're falling behind, don't worry, one more day and then we all get a day off to recuperate go visit other blogs!

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Games #atozchallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter G


(For those of you taking part in the scavenger hunt, today is easy! This post is about a game!)

What games can be played on a blog? Here are some ideas:

J's drawing drawize share options

Print Screen button Instead of leaving the drawing on the site, I could take a screenshot and put it on my blog for readers to take a guess. (Print Screen button [Prt Sc], paste into paint, crop, save, upload the image to your blog.)

Truth or Dare -

You could make a post asking readers to comment with various Truths and Dares, and then tackle them as you see fit. Or you could let a website pick for you.

Honestly, πŸ›πŸœπŸπŸž bugs don't bug me. I can't say I have a special affinity for them. But overall, they're just part of nature. I don't enjoy being stung or bit, and certainly am not a fan of mosquitoes. But overall, I don't especially like or dislike bugs in general. I am glad they exist and serve their function. 

J- Jublient 
A- Author
Y- Youthful
D- Determined
E- Erotic
N- Nice

What other games could be played on a blog?


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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

#atozchallenge F for Family-Friendly Fun Game Books

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter F

Guest post from Kathryn Mowers:

Hello everyone! I wanted to share how FABULOUS it is to be a 'book lady'. I get to help match FAMILIES to their FAVORITE books to FIT all of their needs! It is a wonderful way to spread literacy and get more books into the hands of children. I also really enjoyed being able to come up with the list of A to Z books, though it was hard to choose because there are so many FANTASTIC options through Usborne Books & More! I wanted to FEATURE some books with games for you today:

For the youngest gamers, "Usborne FIRST Jigsaws" is a book with eight, 2-piece jigsaw puzzles! Perfect for introducing problem solving and terminology. It comes in FARM animals, animals, and under the sea!

Usborne's "Busy Books" are great for older toddlers! They are FUN, interactive books that teach prepositional words like "around, through, over". Each page FEATURES a track that the wind-up or pull-back toy whizzes around as they explore the book! These come in several themes... bug, car, helicopter, train, bus, plane, race car, and tractor.

Preschoolers love the "Matching Games"! This set has 36 game cards, FOUR boards, and a coordinating book with FACTS and beautiful photos.  They are a great way for young children to develop recognition, memory, and communication skills. They can be used for a matching game and for bingo! This set comes in bugs, dinosaurs, and under the sea.

Getting ready for spring break or summer travel? Usborne's "Travel Games Pad" is great for long journeys or rainy days. These are ideal for school-aged children and FEATURE 200 tear-off sheets for quick games on the go! Time will pass in a FLASH!

For the FUTURE scientists and doctors, "Human Body: Book & Jigsaw Puzzle" is a 100-piece jigsaw of the human body, with a 24-page book that introduces the body systems and FUNCTION Some other options in this series include bugs, dinosaurs, and unicorns.

You can browse these titles and more here:

"Shipping only available to USA and  military bases from the provided Usborne link." - Kathryn Mowers (Consultant for the Dorner family)

Thank you, Kathryn! It's great to know there are games (our 2021 theme) mixed with books that are fun for families and children. Little readers can grow up to become bloggers one day! 

What was your favorite book as a child?

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

No "E"? No Problem!

Here's a challenge for you: try writing an entire blog post without using the letter "E." Theoretically, it shouldn't be that difficult, because E is only found in 11% of all English words. The people who figured that out looked at the Oxford English Dictionary to get that.

Of course, how many words in the OED do you use on a given basis? My guess is not a large percentage, and I'll bet that most of those words contain an E. Here's an easier challenge: write a sentence only with words that don't contain an E.

Winston Churchill once said "Short words are better than long words, and short words that are old words are the best of all." Limiting yourself only to words that don't contain an E gives you the opportunity to explore some old, short words that you might have forgotten. Give it a try!

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Have you added your blog information to the master list? The list closes tomorrow, so now would be the time to do that!

Be sure to get a copy of the Master List! Go here and select File > Save A Copy.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

D is for Dice: Roll them! #atozchallenge

Who doesn't like rolling dice? Click-clack, go the shiny math rocks! Whether you are a tabletop gamer like I am (with a collection of multi-sided dice), or you just have some dice lying around somewhere in a box... grab one and let's roll! (If you don't have dice at all, just type "dice roller" into Google)

Do either, or both of the two sets of results below.


1 - Write a long and thoughtful comment to someone's post today, and give them a lot of detailed compliments!

2 - Add two A to Z authors to your TBR list! 

3 - Pick three blogs that you have enjoyed so far in the Challenge, and Follow them, sign up for their newsletter, or follow the author on social media!

4 - Visit four new blogs, and retweet, reblog, or share the content of the one you liked best!

5 - Pick a Category from the Master List that you are the least interested in, and visit 5 blogs from that category!

6 - Visit 6 new blogs today!


1 - Eat something delicious today! (chocolate, fruit, pastry, whatever)

2 - Treat yourself to something small today! (an ebook, a snack, some cool stickers)

3 - Have you had enough water today? Go hydrate!

4 - Listen to your favorite song on repeat!

5 - Give yourself permission to postpone a task until tomorrow!

6 - Give yourself permission to take a nap today!

We hope you all have a lovely day! :)

It is not too late yet to join the challenge! You can sign up here, and see all the participating blogs on the Master List here. The sign-up closes on the 7th of April!

Saturday, April 3, 2021

C is for Card Trick


C is for Card Trick

I have always been fascinated by card tricks. I learned a couple as a kid that have stuck with me, but in honor of our A to Z theme, I thought learning a card trick would be a fun game to play. I'll be sure to impress the few people I can show it to! But, I assure you that it's a beginner level card trick and you should give it a try!

Now that you've learned something fun, a few reminders on behalf of the A to Z Team:

Happy Blogging!
- Jayden Vincente (Erotic Fiction Blogger,

Friday, April 2, 2021

B is for Bet!


B is for Bet!

Have you made a bet with yourself for April yet? 

  • I bet you can do at least three of our bonus challenges.
  • bet you can sign up on the Master List (which closes on April 7th).
  • bet you can go visit five new blogs right now from the Master List.
  • bet you can make sure you have the A to Z Logo Badge on your blog.
  • bet you can check out our T-shirt.
This theme is already proving to be a fun time for all as my co-blogger and I made a bet with each other, getting ideas from our readers (bonus challenge!) on our theme reveal. We've made a bet about who can get more likes and comments on their posts during the month. (Feel free to check us out, but ONLY adults! We're at the top of the Master List: J. R. Vincente Erotic Fiction Blog.)

Tell us in the comments what bets you've made for yourself for April!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Alphabet Scavenger Hunt #atozchallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter A

In the spirit of our "gamble on yourself" game theme, I'm running an Alphabet Scavenger Hunt!

A scavenger hunt is a game in which the organizers prepare a list defining specific items, which the participants seek to gather all items on the list.

As you hop to various participating A to Z blogs this month, look for posts that use or mention these items on that letter's day. (So look for a post on April 1st that has an Apple). 🍎 The blogger might be cooking with apples, taking pictures of apples, have a song from Fiona Apple, be discussing Apple computers, have a character named Apple... 

Copy the scavenger hunt list. Then, when you find a post that goes with that word and letter, make note of the link. On your reflection post next month, you can share with everyone how well you did and on what participating A to Z blogs you found the items on the list. 

  • A is for — Apple 🍏
  • B is for — Bear 🧸
  • C is for — Cobweb πŸ•Έ
  • D is for — Dragon 🐲
  • E is for — Evil πŸ‘Ώ
  • F is for — Flowers πŸ’
  • G is for — Game 🎲
  • H is for — Hat πŸ‘’
  • I is for — Island 🏝
  • J is for — Jewelry πŸ’
  • K is for — Key πŸ”‘
  • L is for — Leaves πŸ‚
  • M is for — Men πŸ‘¬
  • N is for — Nuts πŸ₯œ
  • O is for — Orange 🍊
  • P is for — Pen πŸ–Š
  • Q is for — Questions ❓
  • R is for — Rainbow 🌈
  • S is for — Scissors ✂
  • T is for — Tiger 🐯
  • U is for — Uniform πŸ’‚
  • V is for — Velvet 🧢
  • W is for — Whale 🐳
  • X is for — X-ray 🦴
  • Y is for — Yellow  πŸ’›
  • Z is for — Zipper 🀐

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For every tweet using #GiveThanksNotPranks, @TMobile donates πŸ’°$5 to classrooms in need through @DonorsChoose. You could tweet the hashtag to @AprilA2Z!

Didn't sign up for the challenge yet? Just fill out the form!
Need a copy of the Master List so you can "get hopping" to other blogs?
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Monday, March 29, 2021

MASTER LIST SIGN-UP #AtoZChallenge 2021

Time to SIGN UP for the challenge!
Just fill out that form!

#atozchallenge confirmation
You will see this confirmation message when you've signed up.

The results of this form will be MADE PUBLIC.
Please only sign up YOURSELF, your blog. Do not try to sign up blogs of other people. Thank you.

Grab a copy of the Master List so you can "get hopping" to other blogs: 

The Master List sign-up for the challenge does not close until April 7. 
If you make a copy of the list before that date, please remember to come back to check for additional blogs that may have signed up later.     
#AtoZChallenge 2021 banner

Challenge Awareness:

Visitors to your blog have to be able to comment on your posts (without "signing up" for anything first). Please disable any CAPTCHA. Commenting should be as easy as possible.

Remember to use a link that goes to your BLOG. Sometimes Wordpress users leave links to their dashboard where they create posts, rather than links to their blogs. The team has done what we can to raise awareness of this.

Because of GDPR and other privacy regulations, you should make sure that any options for getting email (newsletters, blog comment replies, etc) are OPT IN ~ meaning checkboxes are not "pre-checked." (If your blog doesn't have this, don't worry about it.)

Links that do not go to a BLOG with posts that can be commented on will be REMOVED.

Badges! Letters! A calendar showing which letters go on which days!

#AtoZChallenge - Please consider using the challenge hashtag to get more traffic for your blog.

In 2018, Jayden made a post with video and written instructions. If you are having difficulty with the form or Master List spreadsheet, please check the instructions first.
If you still need help after that, you can reach the team:
On Gmail: atozteam2018 
On Twitter: @JRVincente (for spreadsheet and form questions) @JLenniDorner (other issues)
On Facebook:
Or on our own blogs. Contact us.
(The team is helping as many people as we can as fast as we can. It may sometimes take a few days.)

Question the team has already gotten in 2021:
"I signed up on a Linky that one of the participants has going. Am I on the Master List?"
No. No you are not. You can ONLY be on the Master List if you sign up on the Master List from this site. The A to Z Team does not control those other Linky sign-ups. Any other linky is not officially part of this #atozchallenge, does not put your blog on our Master List, and is not endorsed, monitored, or regulated by the A to Z Team. You use them at your own discretion. We are also not part of blogchatter.
The A to Z Team runs this website, we don't control the rest of the Internet. 😏

#AtoZChallenge 2021 badge

Be sure your blog displays a participant badge so everyone knows they're in the right place!
And please consider getting a t-shirt.

(Looking for shirts from previous #atozchallenge events: )

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Tshirt survey #atozchallenge


Our graphic artist Jeremy Hawkins has some quick questions about t-shirts. PLEASE take a moment to answer this survey. Thank you!

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Theme Reveal 2021! #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to the Great and Powerful A to Z Theme Reveal of 2021! 

Are you planning on doing a theme this year? Do share! Reveal your theme on your blog, and join the fun! Our Theme Reveal list opens today, and will be open until March 20th! 

You can sign up for the Theme Reveal with this form, and you can find the list of all the blogs participating in the Theme Reveal on this list! Make sure you visit other participants to see what fun themes everyone is coming up with!
(Please make sure you share the link directly to your Theme Reveal Post, and not your general blog!)

The Master List for the challenge will open on March 29th. Stay tuned!

Be sure to join the Theme Reveal by Saturday, March 20th! After that, the form will be closed. 

Happy A to Z! :)

Master list opens: March 29
Sign up for the main challenge then!