Sunday, April 30, 2023

Z for Zealously #atozchallenge 2023

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Z

Blog zealously (with great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or objective).
Zealously definition #atozchallenge

Part of being resilient about blogging is staying enthusiastic, or at least faking it. Resilient bloggers have the same hard lives, stresses, and roadblocks as anyone else -- except they have a blogging community to provide a reason to keep making posts, a reliable audience to leave them comments, and a sustainable list of other blogs to visit regularly. If you've just finished the challenge, you should now have all of those!

In a training session, a doctor said just because your patients are resilient doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering. This concept of coexistence struck me. Resilience is often out of necessity, and doesn’t mean someone is okay.

We hope you enjoyed the challenge this year. Congratulations on making it to letter Z. 🙌🎉
You've earned a nap. 😴💤

Winner Badge

#AtoZChallenge 2023 Winner

2023 Site Stats-- Views and Most Popular Posts

#AtoZChallenge Views 2023
#AtoZChallenge most popular posts 2023

March 10, 2024, will be our next Theme Reveal.

Mark it on your calendar now. 

Tomorrow, May 1, Arlee will post the REFLECTIONS sign-up. 
It's important to let us know how the challenge went this year, if you feel the team has been RESILIENT at keeping this international bloghop going, what went right, what went wrong, anything you wish was different, how being part of this blogging community impacts your blog and online social standing, and whatever else you want to share. 

If any brave graphic artists/ talents out there wish to apply to do the 2024 graphics, leaving a potential sample badge in your reflection would be cool. (It is a LOT of work. There are close to 40 graphics to produce and get approved by the team. Plus the Instagram platform to run.) Our anonymous helper this year opted not to share their information because of the increase in graphics complaints since Jeremy died. It's not a gratitude-heavy volunteer position. HTML and Blogger platform knowledge is a huge bonus. 

Follow us on social media all year, because we have fun posts planned.


Instagram Facebook logo @atozchallenge
Twitter @AprilA2Z @AprilA2Z Our hashtag is #AtoZChallenge
Please follow us on social media.

#AtoZChallenge 2023 badge

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Y Is For Yield

It's the next to the last day of the A to Z Challenge for 2023! Time sure flies, doesn't it?

For my last post on the A to Z Challenge blog, I thought of another word that suggests resilience, yield. It can be used as a noun or verb. When used as a verb, it means to give way, to wait until someome else has passed before making a move yourself. You see YIELD signs on the highways, when you're on an entrance ramp and about to merge into traffic. It doesn't mean you have to stop: if, when you get to the end of the ramp, there's no traffic in the lane, you can go right ahead and move over. It's a sign of resilience to be willing to do that. Plenty of times, I've seen someone come barreling onto the highway, nearly causing an accident when they do because someone else is in the lane. If they do cause an accident, they're the ones at fault, because they failed to yield.

When used as a noun, yield relates to the amount of output you get. A recipe for muffins might yield 8 muffins; a deposit in a certificate of deposit might yield 3% interest over the course of a year. Participating in the A to Z Challenge, of course, yields 26 blog posts and hopefully a new attitude toward blogging. Maybe you'll end up with a book out of all your posts. Who can say?

Regardless of why you did the Challenge this year, we're glad you did. Thanks for participating!

Friday, April 28, 2023

X for Xiexie and Xenium #AtoZChallenge 2023

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter X


Definition: a remark showing gratefulness 


Definition: something presented to guests as a farewell gift  


The A to Z team is grateful to every blogger who took part this year. The alphabet is nearly over! Here is the badge for anyone who feels they have earned it, as our farewell gift for this year. (Don't worry, Y and Z will still post. As well as Reflections and the Road Trip!)

Winner Badge

#AtoZChallenge 2023 Winner

March 10, 2024, will be our next Theme Reveal.

Mark it on your calendar now. 

On May 1, Arlee will post the REFLECTIONS sign-up. It's important to let us know how the challenge went this year, if you feel the team has been RESILIENT at keeping this international bloghop going, what went right, what went wrong, anything you wish was different, how being part of this blogging community impacts your blog and social standing, and whatever else you want to share. 

Also, if any brave graphic artists/ talents out there wish to apply to do the 2024 graphics, leaving a suggested sample in your reflection would be cool. (It is a LOT of work. There are close to 40 graphics to produce and get approved by the team. Plus the Instagram platform to run.) Our anonymous helper this year opted not to share their information because of the increase in graphics complaints since Jeremy died. It's not a gratitude-heavy volunteer position. HTML and Blogger platform knowledge is a huge bonus. 

Follow us on social media all year, because we have fun posts planned.


Instagram Facebook logo @atozchallenge
Twitter @AprilA2Z @AprilA2Z Our hashtag is #AtoZChallenge
Please follow us on social media.

#AtoZChallenge 2023 badge

Thursday, April 27, 2023

W is for... #AtoZChallenge


Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Every time I write an invitation to any event, I go through the 5 W Questions, so when I realized that I would be writing the W post for the A to Z Challenge, that's what immediately popped into my mind.

So now, I invite you to join me in finishing this month strong. Of course there's X, Y, and Z to go, but also the Reflections and Road Trip!

Who? You! Our wondering blogging community.

What? Participate in the A to Z Challenge Reflections and Road Trip!

When? We'll be posting about Reflections on Monday, May 1st and the Road Trip on Monday, May 15th.

Where? Right there on your blog.

Why? Because you can't wait to share what you learned through the A to Z Challenge and you want one more opportunity to connect with others!

Why do you love blogging with A to Z? Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

V is for Victory Lap (#AtoZChallenge)

We are close to the end! Only a few more letters to go.

Pat yourselves on the back! (Or on the shoulder).

How are you going to celebrate your victory in completing the Challenge this year? Because you deserve to celebrate your accomplishments!

If you finished the Challenge, celebrate it!

If you made some posts, celebrate those!

If you visited new people and made new connections, celebrate them!

Even if it's just a small thing. Tiny everyday celebrations are important. Have fun! :)

Utilizing Your Writing Skills ( #AtoZChallenge )


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter U

       Up to this point, if you've been keeping up with all of your daily letter posts, you've been utilizing your writing skills.  "But it's just blogging," you might say.   It's still writing just like writing a letter or an entry in your life journal is writing.  Writing is writing the way I see it and it's up to the writer as to how good the writing is.

        Undoubtedly you've read--or are at least aware of books consisting of letters written by some author or some significant person of the past.  Why were those letters saved and treasured?   They probably were a window into a past history which made them interesting or even important to readers years later.  And often they consisted of good writing or writing that was somehow worth preserving for posterity.

        Sometimes we are just hacking out posts to have content on our blog sites.  It's writing nevertheless.  And it's up to each of us to make that writing as good as we can.  Some of our posts might be akin to first drafts for some future work we might write.  Or they might be masterpieces waiting to be discovered by readers.  They might be just the thing that some reader out there has been waiting to find--the idea or experience that connects them to a writer they may likely never meet in person.

         If you've made it successfully to this point in the A to Z Challenge then you need to congratulate yourself.  As long as you've been persistent and dedicated with your posting, you have utilized your writing skills and that is a good thing for anyone--especially anyone who thinks of themselves as a writer.   In the past, A to Z has spawned books and other projects.   Who knows where your A to Z blog posts might take you.  

        Once you've made it through the alphabet by blogging you can continue on to face new writing challenges.  Perhaps it will help you blog better.   Maybe you'll even want to come back for more A to Z blogging like so many have done for over a decade now.  

         Just a few more posts to go and then you can start planning for next year.   You might even publish something as a result of your participation in this year's Challenge.  Keep going to the end!  You can do this!

Have you ever published something as a result of your A to Z participation?   Do you think blogging helps you to be a better writer?   Do you still write letters?

Monday, April 24, 2023

T is for Time #AtoZChallenge


T is for Time

Do you ever feel like you don't have enough time? That is my constant state of being. My To Do List never ends, and sometimes feels like it gets longer every time I look at it. Just focusing on the A to Z Challenge for a moment, I have over 100 emails from the blogs I've subscribed to that I haven't read yet. I'm behind on my posts on my personal blog (actually, I got caught up just now, but I was two days behind). I haven't had a chance to read any new blogs...

The list just goes on.

I share this because I want you to know that if you feel the same way, you aren't alone! And while time is always short, there's still time left in April for you to catch up. Even if you can't catch up on your own posts, we hope that you'll take some time to visit and comment on new blogs, revisit some of your favorites, and hopefully gain something from this challenge.

Take time to invest in blogging this month. Feel free to tell us in the comments what you hope to accomplish this month with the time we have left!

Friday, April 21, 2023

S is for Surprises (#AtoZChallenge)

Even with the best laid plans and the best preparation, SURPRISES can happen. Our resilience is constantly tested when we face something we absolutely did not expect or prepare for. Case in point: I thought as I was all prepared for this month... and then my phone went down. And then the internet. And both proved to be a lot harder to fix than anticipated. And suddenly, keeping up with the Challenge became harder.

What do we do when SURPRISE pops out of nowhere? Well, if we are resilient, we deal with it. Here is a piece of advice that was very meaningful to me, and helpful in dealing with "WHAT IF?" anxieties. I'd like to share it, maybe it will help you too:

You CAN'T prepare for everything. You can't have a plan for every possible event. What you CAN do is build your resilience: take care of yourself, build up your reserves of energy, mental strength, physical wellbeing. So when the unexpected DOES happen (and it will), you have the reserves to deal with it.

Some surprises are not fun. But some of them are. Did you come across any FUN surprises during this year's Challenge? :)

I personally was delightfully surprised by a lot of great themes this year.

Keep up the good work, you are doing great! :)

R is for Resistant (#atozchallenge)

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter R

This clip from The Big Bang Theory Tells you almost all you need to know about the difference between resilient and resistant.

We see Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard with a complex logic problem mapped out on the white board in Leonard and Sheldon's apartment. It turns out that they are trying to choose a restaurant and a movie theater for that night's entertainment. The reason the process is so involved is because Leonard, Raj, and Howard are trying to satisfy Sheldon's demand that the theater has an Icee machine and sells Red Vines at the candy counter. They try multiple alternatives, all of which are met with Sheldon's resistance. Finally, they reach the only conclusion: leave Sheldon at home and go out without him.

Leonard, Raj, and Howard are resilient: they just want to get something to eat and go see a movie. Sheldon, who once commented that "as long as everything is exactly the way I want it, I can be flexible," is being resistant: he's willing to forgo dinner and a movie with his friends rather than settle for Twizzlers and a Slurpee.

If you've watched The Big Bang Theory from the beginning, you know that there are a lot of moments like this, where plans for an entertaining night are stymied by Sheldon's truculence. You wonder why they're willing to put up with him, an d the answer is simp[e: they're his friends.

There are good reasons to be resistant. Everyone has the hill they're willing to die on, although not necessarily over Red Vines and Icees. Sheldon is an extreme case, but we all do this. If you feel comfortable sharing, leave us a comment and let us know.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Q is for Querying #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Q The proverb is Nana korobi, ya oki which means Fall down seven times, stand up eight.

I’m Brandy, a writer of YA fantasy, thrillers and adult fantasy. And the Japanese proverb above encompasses my own personal definition of resilience: the ability to stand up after being knocked down, and a willingness to put yourself in a position to face the same circumstances, even when you know you might get knocked down again. 

Never have I found this more true than with the experience of querying.

question marks

For the writers out there you may associate querying with one of the steps on the path to traditional publishing. This is certainly what I think of. But I think that we all query way more than we realize.
love keyboard

A typical job search parallels querying very closely,
As does using dating apps,
Or, hoping for engagement with blog posts.

In all of these we are selling ourselves, our work, our experience and backgrounds, our interests, packaging them into tidy bundles that we hope will appeal.

And when rejection hits- it hurts.
Batman Robin Grey's Anatomy pick me quote passed

A lot. 

This is where resilience comes in. 

For me resiliency in querying is based on two factors:
Accepting rejection without internalizing it.  My work is being rejected. But others' opinions on my work is not a reflection of my personal worth.
Reminding myself if a door closes, it probably wasn’t the door for me. I don’t want to work with an agent or publisher who doesn’t love my work. 

I think these translate well to other avenues of querying whether it’s in your work or personal life.

When you’re resilient you have the ability to accept rejection, despite how personal it feels, and continue to put yourselves out there.

If you’re writing that means continuing to query your book, or the next book.
If you’re applying to jobs that means continuing to search for a role you want and not settling for the first opening that says yes.
If you’re searching for connection that means continuing to look.
And if you’re putting yourself out there with blog posts, it means taking on challenges like A to Z, to find the right audience and to make connections with other bloggers.

Sure, I fall down a lot, but I always get back up.

#AtoZChallenge 2023 badge

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Plodding Onward ( #AtoZChallenge )


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter P

Please tell us you haven't given up!  

Today I ran across a few blogs that seem to have stopped posting a few letters back.  If that's you and you feel like you cannot catch up then let me say:  "Yes you can!"

It's okay to fall behind a bit.  But do not give up!  Not yet.

Whatever you do though, be sure to have a good time.  After all, it's just blogging.

Let us know how you're doing.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

On and On We Go ( #AtoZChallenge )


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter O

      On and on to April's end we keep moving forward with great resilience.   

      I hope that's what's happening with all of you.  Even if you've fallen behind, you still can catch up.

      Don't give up!  You will do this!

      What have been some of the obstacles you have faced with this year's Challenge?   Have you been able to visit many new blogs so far?   Will you be able to finish by the official end date?


Monday, April 17, 2023

Nuts! No One Is Perfect! ( #AtoZChallenge)


        Sorry!   We are a little late with an 'N' post, but that's okay--this Challenge is about you and the posts on your blog.   We are here for presence and motivation.

       Leave your blog links below and let us know how things are going so far.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Mid-Month: Mayhem or Mastery? ( #AtoZChallenge )


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter M

      Made it to the mid-month part of the Challenge!   

      Mid-month means we are halfway through this April's A to Z.   How you doing so far?   I've been seeing some great posts as well as some interesting creative thinking.  Personally, I'm still working on my posts, but I have been managing to keep up with the daily schedule.  Mixing up blogging with my day to day routine has been challenging, but--hey--that's why we call this a Challenge.

      Some of you might be going through mayhem trying to keep up with everything, but then that might be the story of your life.   This Alphabet Challenge is a test of your ability to organize and to see a project to its conclusion.    A successful April might be a shining reflection of how you manage your life.  Or it might be just the learning experience you've been needing to get your life work and goals together.

       So, what's it been?   Mayhem or mastery?  Don't stop now.  You can do this and you can do it well.  It's just writing and blogging.  You've made it to the middle of the journey so no point in stopping now.  Not when you've gotten this far.   

         Let's keep up the momentum!

What's been your biggest challenge so far this April?    If this is your first A to Z, is it pretty much what you had expected?    If you're an A to Z veteran, how's this year's Challenge stacking up to previous years?   

Thursday, April 13, 2023

L is for Letters and Memories

Some of you blogging about history and genealogy might be familiar with this genre: A few years ago I started binge-reading published letters and diaries written by women who lived in turbulent times (WWI, WWII, 19th century revolutions and civil wars, etc.). They are a fascinating read, because they rarely focus on the large events of history - they tell us about the day to day life and struggles of individual, average people. These collections are a stunning testimony to RESILIENCE. Holding on to hope, taking care of each other, surviving against all odds. I am lucky enough to have some of these letters and diaries saved from my own grandparents who lived through WWII. They are precious, important stories that should not be forgotten.

Living in turbulent times, it is good to remember the people who lived through all kinds of hardships, and left their testimony, not as history texts, but as stories told in their own voice. They give us hope, teach us empathy, and tell us a lot about what resilience looks like.

If you have book or blog recommendations on this topic, please share in the comments! And don't forget: what you write now, might become similarly precious for people in a few decades... 

K is for Kintsugi

I was looking for an appropriate word for today, one that would fit well with our theme of Resilience, and came upon the word kintsugi, about which Wikipedia tells us is "the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum." The Blogger's Best Friend ™ goes on to say "As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise."

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The bowl above has had more than its share of damage over the centuries, and each time it was repaired by using a mixture of gold and lacquer to stick the pieces back together. You'll notice it also had a number of chips around the edge of the bowl that have been patched with the gold lacquer. There was no reason to discard this piece of pottery because it was fractured, when it could be repaired in such an elegant fashion.

The principle of kintsugi, where nothing is discarded if it can be repaired, applies to everything, not just pottery. What are the things in your life that have been broken and repaired?

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

J's Jamboree #AtoZchallenge 2023

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter J

Howdy! J Lenni Dorner here, your April Blogging from A to Z Challenge team captian, with the letter j post. Time for

J's Jamboree!

(A celebration, possibly international in scope, with a party-like atmosphere.)


Jubilation is a jackpot when working on resilience. Stay jolly while being as flexible as jelly and your resilience in blogging will be justified. A joyful attitude can be felt by your audience.

Be sure to jump to the blogs of others who joined us. Jabber in comments may cause bloggers to dance a jig. Our master list is jam-packed with more than just journalized blogs. Jellyfish don’t have brains 🧠, but bloggers do, so use them to juggle some jim-dandy remarks.

#AtoZChallenge 2023 badge

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

I is for, well, I. #AtoZChallenge

 I is for, well, I.

We're now in the second full week of A to Z, and I want to encourage you all to not lose sight of why you're doing this challenge. I won't speak for you, but I will share with you the reasons I am participating.

  1. I want to encourage others to challenge themselves.
  2. I want to challenge myself to get back to writing again.
  3. I want to share my blog with the world.
  4. I want to find more blogs I love reading.
What are some of the reasons you are participating?

Monday, April 10, 2023

Hope Keeps Us Going ( #AtoZChallenge )


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter H

       Hope is like an essential nutrient that keeps us alive.  Water, air, and food are necessities without which we'd eventually die.  Without them, we would struggle on with the hope that we will find what we need until we give up our last dying breath.  Hope drives us.  Hope sustains us.

       Maybe the A to Z Challenge is not quite as vital as just staying alive, but it serves as a decent metaphor for our lives and the pursuits that keep us going.  As another April approaches, some of us hope there will be another April Challenge and then when we get word that it's on, we sign up with the hope that we will finish the blogging ordeal that lies ahead.  Once the Challenge starts we hope that we will complete a post for every letter.  We hope that we will write good content that will draw readers.  We hope some of those readers will leave a comment.  We hope it's a nice comment.

        Hope moves us forward in life as well as through the things we do in life.  Without hope, we are essentially aimless.  Hope is the expectation that tomorrow is going to come and that maybe it's going to be better than today.  The best hope is realistic hope because that is hoping for a goal that we are actually likely to attain.

        Hope is the fuel that burns inside of us to bring us success and satisfaction.   But remember:  Hope works best where there is intent.  Unguided hope is just an aimless dream if you don't intend to finish what you start.  Keep your hope on a true path guided by intent.

         We are hoping you will finish the Challenge and finish well.  Now, what is your intent?

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Friday, April 7, 2023

Fun? Are We Having It Yet? ( #AtoZChallenge )


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter F

       Fun is what A to Z is about.  If you aren't having it then you might be doing something wrong.  I can relate to some stress, but only in a minor sense.  Come on folks!  This Challenge is writing, reading, writing, and reading some more.  It's up to you to decide how much work you put into it.   Just don't decide that it ain't fun!

        Sure, you want to finish the alphabet and end up with some reasonable blogging content on your site.  So just do it!  Keep it simple if you like.  Or do research and put great care into what you write.  That's good too.  It's all good.  It just depends on what your own personal goals are and how you intend to achieve them.

         Look at it this way:  April Challenge month is like any other month except maybe in hyper mode.  More writing than usual.  More posting.  More visiting.  Same but bigger than usual.  Next month you can slow down if you like and go back to blogging as normal.

         Are you having fun with your normal blogging?  Then have a good time with blogging during A to Z April.  Make new friends.  Learn new facts.  Enjoy new fictions.  Enjoy yourself.  The first week is behind us now and the rest should go as easy if not easier.

         Are you ready to have fun?  Fine!  Fantastic!  Fabulous!  Far out!

         It's all about fun so don't get overly stressed.  It's not like you're going to get fired from your blog.  You are free to have fun.  The A to Z Team is giving you permission.  To have fun.   Let's keep going!

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

E is for Energy

People who are especially enthusiastic and dedicated to what they do (whether it is work, a hobby, a cause) tend to overlook the fact that your energy is a finite resource. Some of these things sound self-explanatory, but they are worth repeating:

1. Just because you technically have the TIME to take on another task, doesn't mean you have the ENERGY to do more.

2. The best way to be prepared for unexpected situations life throws at us is to have RESERVES we can use to problem-solve. That means, even if you can't prepare for everything (I know, my anxiety hates this too), you'll be prepared to have the ENERGY to deal with stuff.

3. This also means that REPLENISHING your ENERGY is not laziness. Rest, recharging, and self-care are vital.

4. Sadly, replenishing energy takes more time than you think. And since many of us work in situations where taking days off is not easy or even always possible, this makes ENERGY an even more precious resource. To have, and to spend.

What does all this have to do with resilience? The better you learn to spend your ENERGY, the more resilient you become in the face of unexpected challenges. And also, knowing what you are willing to spend it on makes you better at drawing boundaries, and valuing yourself. And that is very important.

Which is why it is especially awesome that you decided to spend so much energy this month on participating in the Challenge! Posting and visiting. Don't stress about numbers. You're doing great. Just have fun :)

D is for Durability

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter D

I was working with synonyms for resilience (since that's our theme this year) and I realized that durability was one. Saying that something is resilient means that, when it's folded, spindled, mutilated, and otherwise abused, it comes back as good as new. That's pretty much the same as durable, except, when something's durable, it might not come back as good as new, but it'll come back just as useful as it was before.

Think of luggage: when you take it on a trip, the chances are good that it'll be roughed up pretty badly by everyone who handles it. The test of a good suitcase is whether it can endure all that punishment and still be used again. Not exactly resilient, because it'll accumulate scratches and dents and maybe even have a hole or two knocked into it, but you won't have to find time during your trip to replace it. It'll work just fine, it just won't look as good as it did when you bought it.

There are times that we're resilient and bounce back good as new from physical or emotional injury, but more frequently injuries prove our durability. We're still left with broken hearts and scars and bones that have repaired themselves, and maybe with challenges that we didn't have before, but we find our way through them, around them, under or over them, and manage to survive, even thrive. That's durability!

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

C is for Candy #AtoZChallenge 2023

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter C

Resilient candy. 

My area of the world is near the Just Born candy factory in Bethlehem, PA. Local stores are flooded with Peeps. What can these marshmallow candies endure?

"Peeperiments" (Peep experiments) include various acids, water, and microwaving. (💥 I don't suggest trying the microwaving test. It's fun to watch, but not to clean.) Could Peeps "survive nuclear fallout"? Probably not. If they are kept in an airtight container they will last for up to two years.


On a personal note, as evidence of my own resilience, the second book in my Existence series was released TODAY!
Proof of Existence is on Amazon- There's a giveaway for a blanket or character name on my blog.

C is for Candy #atozchallenge 2023

Will you celebrate #PeepsDay tomorrow, April 5?
What candy do you think is the most resilient?