Showing posts with label #atozchallenge #2023. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #atozchallenge #2023. Show all posts

Monday, May 1, 2023

Did You Win! Tell Us About It! Reflections #AtoZChallenge 2023


      If you managed to make it to the end of the alphabet in the 2023 April Blogging from A to Z  Challenge then you've earned bragging rights.  Go ahead and grab a winner's badge to slap on your own blog page to show everybody that you did it.  Thanks to our graphics star for providing us a handsome trophy to brighten our blog pages.   

     And Congratulations to all of our A to Z Winners!

      Now grab a badge and move on down the page to the next little hop.

Winner Badge

#AtoZChallenge 2023 Winner


         Ever since the very first A to Z Challenge in 2010 there has been a tradition of sharing a "Reflections" post to tell of our own experiences and what we gained from them.  It's a good time to remind readers of what you posted in April and to find out what great posts you might have missed and will want to go back to check on.   After all, A to Z ain't over until you think it's over and for some of us it's an all the time way of thinking.  

         We're hoping that each A to Z participant will tell us how this past April went for them.  Let us know what was good as well as any recommendations to make the Challenge better in the years to come. We would especially like to know if the posts with the lists were useful to you. Is there anything you'd change? Anything you'd advocate keeping? How can our team keep you coming back for more and get you to invite friends to this blogging community? Please, give us your thoughts as part of your A to Z Reflections Post.  You can use the badge below to adorn that post.

       >>> Drop the direct link to your Reflections Post here and hop to the responses here. <<<

        Thank you to all!

#AtoZChallenge 2023 Reflections

Graphics #AtoZChallenge

The Road-Trip kicks off next week. And there will be a post on this blog every month for the rest of the year. 

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

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


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Twitter @AprilA2Z @AprilA2Z Our hashtag is #AtoZChallenge
Please follow us on social media.

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?

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! :)

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.

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?

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

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!