Showing posts with label Alex J Cavanaugh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alex J Cavanaugh. Show all posts

Thursday, April 14, 2022

#AtoZChallenge L IS FOR LAST

#AtoZChallenge 2022 tribute badge #AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

The team's theme of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year is:

Welcome to L in the A to Z Challenge! Former Challenge co-host Alex here to tell you why L is for LAST.
#atozchallenge Alex

Last sounds for final, so ending. And we might feel like we’ve reached the last.

Maybe you feel like this is the last Challenge you can handle. Maybe today is the last letter and you’re tossing it in.
But what if it’s not the last? What if you just think this is the last? After all, humans are rather stubborn creatures. We don’t like to lose, either. We might say this is the last, but then the mind goes to work telling us why we just can’t quit now, why this isn’t the last time. We let those natural instincts to succeed take over and guess what—this isn’t the last.
My last full length novel came out in 2015, and outside of some short stories and published articles, I thought that would be the last one. I held on to that belief for a long time, content with it. Until an idea came to me, and I realized I wasn’t satisfied with the word last. I knew I could write another one. And I did—CassaDark, my fifth novel, was published earlier this month.

So, if you’re thinking this might be the end, the last post you do for the Challenge, think again! If I can write an entire novel, you can manage another blog post. You can write another two weeks of blog posts! Make that your goal—Z will be the last.

Alex J. Cavanaugh works in web design and graphics, and he plays guitar in a Christian band. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is known as Ninja Captain Alex and he’s the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. 

By Alex J. Cavanaugh

His world is unraveling…

Bassan’s father is stepping down from command. His best friend almost dies when Bassan freezes. Now, he’s being sent across the galaxy to speak at an important conference. Despite saving the eleven races years ago, he’s paralyzed by fear and doubt. Could things get any worse?

Once there, new acquaintance Zendar convinces Bassan to visit his planet for a humanitarian mission. Bassan’s special connection to ancient technology is the key to saving Zendar’s people. One problem though—it’s a prisoner planet.

On Ugar, he discovers things aren’t so straightforward. As each secret reveals itself, the situation grows more desperate. If he can’t find the right answers, he might die along with Zendar’s people. Can Bassan summon the courage to be a hero again?

Trade paperback, 226 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, LLC
Science fiction - Adventure (FIC028010) / Space Opera (FIC028030) / Space Exploration (FIC028130)
Print ISBN 9781939844842 $16.95 / eBook ISBN 9781939844859 $4.99


Alex made a dream come true when he published another book. What dream of yours are you making come true this year?

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Navigating the Challenge with Clones and Ninjas! #atozchallenge

Just how does one visit over a hundred blogs a day? Either through the use of a time machine or a band of stealthy Ninja Clones!

Teleportation is also an option.

As much as I enjoyed writing about teleportation on my books, I decided that the Ninja Captain needed clones instead. And of course, a clone machine. Which does have its drawbacks. Everyone wants to borrow it. Plus there was the time I cloned way too many versions of Kate Beckinsale…

All kidding aside, I really don’t have any of those things. I’ve just made it a point to visit all of my blogger buddies, whether it’s during the Challenge or IWSG post Wednesday or just another day.

Yes, I do have a lot of blogger buddies! Where did they all come from?

I’ll give you a hint – it has to do with the alphabet.

In 2010, Arlee Bird challenged others to join him as he posted almost every day throughout April in alphabet order. At the last minute, I made the commitment and joined a hundred others in the very first A to Z Challenge.

My blog has never been the same!

I’ve been a co-host since 2011, managing the Linky List and helping in other areas. Of course, that’s not all I do.

I started this whole blogging nonsense as an up-and-coming author. Since that time, I’ve had four books published (CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars), one boxed set published, and been in numerous anthologies and magazines.

I also started this little group for writers. You may have heard of it – the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We started as a monthly blog hop, and then grew into a website, two Facebook groups, and a newsletter. We even put out a free book for writers and last year partnered with a publisher for an annual IWSG Anthology Contest. (First anthology due out this spring.)

Offline, I maintain a full time job in web design and technical editing. I’m also a guitarist in a Christian rock band, as God and music both play very important roles in my life. I’m happily married, live in the Carolinas, and like to drive my sports car really fast.

Because darn it, teleportation machines don’t really exist!

Find me here: Blog, Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Twitter, What Are The Kargrandes, Goodreads, and Google+

Monday, March 9, 2015

Getting to Know Your Co-Hosts – Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh

This marks my sixth year participating in the Challenge and my fifth year as a co-host. The very first year, it changed my blog forever, and I have been a big supporter ever since.

My followers nicknamed me the Ninja Captain, and those who follow my blog are part of the Ninja Army.

By day, I work in web design, graphics, and technical editing.

By night, I am a musician and play guitar in a Christian band. I’m also an author, and my genre is science fiction-space opera. My first three books, CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm, were all Amazon best-sellers in the US and UK.

My next (and possibly last) book, Dragon of the Stars, comes out April 7. (Yes, right in the middle of the Challenge! My hope is to just survive until the end of April.) I have a special site set up for the book – What Are the Kargrandes? – with new clues every Monday until its release.

I’m also the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. In addition to the monthly blog posts every first Wednesday, we have a website, a Facebook group. and the IWSG Critique Circle.

Other random facts:
I’m a big movie buff and feature reviews on my blog. My goal is to reach the end of NetFlix one day.
I can be bribed with Hot Tamales.
I’m a fan of all things science fiction, fantasy, and geek-related.
I’m a die-hard fan of RiffTrax and Mystery Science Theater 3000. (And even got to interview my idols HERE!)
I visit a lot of blogs in a day because yes, I do have clones.
Music has always been a part of my life and I’ve played many instruments. Wanted to be a rock star…
I’m a man of mystery, although Mini-Alex likes the camera.
I’m married, no kids, and a born-again Christian.
And ironically, I never even wanted to be an author…

From the questions asked: 

Barbara from Life and Faith in Caneyhead: What would you do if your pc died in the middle of the AtoZChallenge?

Implode? Actually, we have several computers and iPads, so I’d be all right.

Beth from A Bench With a View: How do you manage your time during the A/Z challenge? Other than having all written before the challenge begins, any other tips you can share?

Pace yourself. Don’t come out of the gates too fast or you’ll burn out. I also recommend clones…

LuAnn fromBack Porchervations: After you successfully complete the 2015 A to Z, and they stick television cameras in your face and ask "So, what are you going to do now", what will you answer?

Sleep for a week!

Everyone have a great time with the Challenge!

Find me here –
Blog, Twitter, Google+,Goodreads, What Are the Kargrandes? and at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Monday, March 3, 2014

Meet Your Co-Hosts – Mini-Alex Introduces Ninja Captain Alex #atozchallenge

Mini-Alex here!

I’m to give you the inside scoop on A to Z Challenge Co-Host, Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Why me? Because I’m not afraid of the spotlight. Alex likes his privacy and stays in the shadows. I guess Ninjas aren’t supposed to be seen, right?

So it’s up to me to tell you about him!

Alex started blogging over four years ago when his publisher told him to get his butt online. He participated in the very first Challenge in 2010 and has been a co-host ever since. Says that first Challenge changing his blog forever.

Alex is also the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. IWSG for short. Writers with blogs post the first Wednesday of every month. They can also join the Facebook IWSG. There’s also a IWSG Website - a database of sites and information for insecure writers. About a thousand people participate one way or another. (Writers are an insecure, squirrely bunch, aren’t they?)

I mentioned his publisher earlier. Yeah, Alex is an author. He has a space opera trilogy - CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm. They’re all Amazon Best Sellers. (Not sure how when I’m not in any of the stories, but we’ll let that slide.) He’s working on another book now. And to think he didn’t even want to be an author!

That’s probably because he’s also a musician. Alex plays guitar in a Christian rock band. He has a lot of guitars, but none are as cool as mine.

If you visit his blog, you’ll discover he likes to talk about movies, music, games, and other geek stuff. Alex also has a feature called the Ninja News where he highlights the achievements of his blogger buddies. He’d rather put the spotlight on others than himself.

And sorry Ninja SAM, he’s also married.

There you have it!

Now, where’s that Mini-Kate you promised?

You can find Alex: Blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Taking the World by Storm


By Alex J. Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

“CassaStorM is a touching and mesmerizing space opera full of action and emotion with strong characters and a cosmic mystery.” – Edi’s Book Lighhouse

“…mesmerizing story of survival, personal sacrifice, tolerance, and compassion. It’s a rare jewel that successfully utilizes both character and plot to tell a story of such immense scope and intimate passion…” - Nancy S. Thompson, author of The Mistaken

"Cavanaugh makes world building on the galactic scale look easy. The stakes affect the entire known universe and yet Cavanaugh makes it intensely personal for our hero. The final installment of this series will break your heart and put it back together." - Charity Bradford, science fantasy author of The Magic Wakes

“With a talent for worldbuilding and a compelling cast of characters, Alex J. Cavanaugh combines high powered space battles and the challenges of family dynamics to provide readers a space opera with heart.” - Elizabeth S. Craig, author of the Southern Quilting and Myrtle Clover mysteries

“I thought the revelation was going to be one thing and I was completely wrong … CassaStorm pushes the limits…” - Tyson Mauermann, Speculative Reviews

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Amazon Kindle, and Goodreads.

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.
Find Alex - Blog, Twitter, and Goodreads

Visit Alex's blog for your chance to win some awesome prizes - books, mouse pads, mugs, magnets, posters, swag, and more!

Monday, April 22, 2013


That's right. The ones out there in space. That's where you've been aiming the past few weeks, right? You set your goal of completing the Challenge and aimed for the stars.

Well, guess what? Only seven more letters to go. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. That's not just faint twinkling anymore. That's the bright glow of the Challenge's end.

And when we reach it, we'll be stars. Super stars!

Now, let's get it done.

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of CassaStar and CassaFire and his blog can be found HERE

Monday, April 1, 2013


As the A to Z Challenge kicks off, prepare for adventure!

You will be challenged to write a daily blog post corresponding with that day’s letter.

You will find new bloggers and make friends.

You will stretch your blogging skills.

You will learn new things.

You will emerge on the other side a different person.

Most of all, you will have fun on this adventure. Go and enjoy.

You are now free to move about the A to Z Challenge list!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of CassaStar and CassaFire and his blog can be found HERE

Monday, March 11, 2013

Getting to Know Your Hosts - Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh

I’m Alex J. Cavanaugh
Founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Author of Amazon Best Sellers CassaStar and CassaFire
Guitar player extraordinaire
Clones may or may not be involved

And these are my goofy answers!

“Would you ever join a team that was headed off to colonize Mars?”

Would I still have access to the Internet and NetFlix?

“You're house in on fire, assuming your kids, pets, and other living things are safe, what do you grab as you head out the door?”

My guitars. Dear Lord man, you don’t let a Gibson Les Paul burn!

"What rock star would you be?"

John Petrucci from Dream Theater – the man can shred.

"Where do you hail from?"

Well, if I’m hailing a taxi, it would be from the curb. I don’t want to get run over.

"Where do you go to "Get away from it all"?"

My office/man-cave. I have a big screen TV, music, computer, and I’m surrounded by guitars. Add a fridge and a bathroom and I’d never leave.

"Would you rather have your own personal sailing ship or spaceship? What would you name your ship?"

If I had my own spaceship, it would need stealth so I’d have the element of surprise. Therefore, I’d name it the Spanish Inquisition – because nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.
(And bonus points if you can name the show!)

“Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse? Why do you think so? Exactly how prepared are you?”

I’ve watched every zombie movie ever made, I’m all about the cardio, and I’ve mastered the double-tap. Game players and movie buffs are the only ones equipped to handle it.

"Name an item that you have too much of."

It’s either movies, music, or guitars. No wait, can never have too many of any of those!

And one serious answer…

"How do you comment - if someone posts 5,6,7 times a week .. once - or 3 times .. then each time or once or twice .. then each time I can't keep up .. but hate not supporting everyone ..."

I suggest clones – they really help.
If someone posts daily, they won’t hate you for skipping one now and then. Even I can’t visit every blogger buddy every single day. (The clones need days off as well, you know!) Those who post more than seven times a week know that some will skip their posts. If you miss a few, it will be all right. That’s why I only post three times a week except during the Challenge. I don’t want to overtax my followers.
Or my poor clones!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of CassaStar and CassaFire and his blog can be found HERE

Friday, March 1, 2013

A to Z Tips - The Advantage of a Theme

If you’re participating in the Challenge, you are probably already planning your posts. That is good – plan and write as many as possible before the Challenge begins so you have more time to visit other bloggers in April. And it’s easier to do that if you have a theme for the month.

If you intend to wing it, nothing wrong with that. The first year of the Challenge, I didn’t have a theme. Of course this meant some days I was scrounging for something that matched the letter. (For Q, I blogged about Q*Bert and the crappy 1983 movie, Q – not good!)

A theme will give you direction. If you select movies, you can go with the movie titles. With music - band or song titles. With sports - players or teams. By narrowing the focus, it’s actually easier, because then you won’t be overwhelmed.

A theme also lets visitors know what to expect. They will be more apt to return, especially if they like your theme. If you can, include a line or two at the beginning of each post that states your theme for the month.

It’s good research. Select a topic you want to know more about – you’ll learn something as you search. Perhaps it’s something you need to research for your next book or for school. Kill two birds with one stone.

Does the theme have to match your blog exactly? No, it can be anything you want. If it’s something that interests you, chances are you’ve already talked about it on your blog. Brainstorm some different themes and pick one. If it fits your style, then do it.

If you need some ideas to get you started, I recently listed some fun, geeky themes at Allison’s blog, Geek Banter.

Have fun with it. Just think - your blog is a theme park for one whole month. Make it fun!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of CassaStar and CassaFire and his blog can be found HERE

Friday, March 23, 2012

Getting to Know Your Hosts - Alex


Name: Alex J. Cavanaugh
Blog: Alex J. Cavanaugh
Other Online Info: Twitter and Goodreads
Publications: CassaStar and CassaFire


1. What is the most daring thing you've ever done?
Starting a blog! And launching the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Really, I'm not much of a thrill seeker.

2. What is your favorite article of clothing?
T-shirts and lounge pants. Although I do look sharp in a suit!

3. What is your favorite monster?

4. If you had to dress up as your favorite literary character, who would it be?
Agent Pendergast – black suit, black shirt, black tie, and black shoes in a black Rolls Royce!

5. What is your favorite fairy tale, urban legend or nursery rhyme?
Crop circles – so fascinating.

6. What is a cause near and dear to your heart?
PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids (Don’t squish – catch and release!)

7. What's the strangest item you've used as a bookmark?
Do Sticky Notes count?

8. Do you have any nicknames? What are they and how did you earn them?
Ninja Captain Alex – and that was given to me by my blogger buddies!

9. Name one habit you want to change in yourself:
Is perfectionism a habit? Because sometimes I wish I could scale that back a bit.

10. Tell us something interesting or shocking about yourself:
Believe it or not, I never wanted to be an author!


1. What was your favorite A-to-Z post from 2011?
Probably the first one of the Challenge, the Letter A Last year my theme was to feature blogger buddies and for A it was Chuck’s Apocalypse Now and RaShelle’s A No. 2 Pencil Stat.

2. What brought you to the A-to-Z originally? Tell us about your first A-to-Z:
I found the Challenge a few days before the first one began in 2010. I was struggling as a blogger and decided what the heck, I’d give it a try. I made fifty new blogger buddies that month and my blog was off and running!

3. Are you doing a theme?
Oh yes! Big surprise…

4. Are you writing & scheduling posts in advance?
Of course!

5. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet, and why? What letter do you like least?
Well, C is rather easy for me. (I wonder why?) X is probably the biggest challenge.

I hope you've enjoyed these questions and answers. Don't forget, you are welcome, even encouraged, to ask any additional questions you might have in the comments section. Or feel free to answer the questions yourself! We won't tell.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Encouraging Comments – Make it Easy

Preparing for the Challenge is a lot of work. We have twenty-six posts to compose for April. We’ll put great effort into making each one count. Be a shame if we didn’t receive many comments though. That’s why we need to make it easy for visitors to leave comments!

Here are some of the stumbling blocks:

Word Verification

Most people don’t even realize they have it on. The new word verification is difficult, though. There are those who won’t even bother with blogs that have this feature. During the Challenge, be sure your blog is word verification free. Both blogger and Wordpress have excellent spam filters. If you’re still concerned, you can set up no anonymous comments or blog owner approval. For details on how to remove word verification, see J A Bennett’s very easy directions.

Embedded Comment Boxes

Blogger has improved this feature, but often the page has to load twice. If your blog contains many gadgets or images, this slows the process. Check your comment box to be sure it reloads quickly after a comment is made. Some bloggers report challenges with embedded comment boxes. If your page is slow reloading after a comment is made, consider switching to a pop up comment box instead.

Miscellaneous Hurdles

Some blogs require the answering of a math equation, the re-typing of a long code, or a comment of a certain length. Considering removing these things before the Challenge begins.

Eliminating these challenges is in your best interest. You’re participating in the A to Z Challenge not only to discipline yourself but to make new friends as well. Make it easy for visitors to leave a comment. Not only will you receive more comments, but those people will return to comment again!

Ninja Captain Alex is one of the A to Z Challenge co hosts and can be found HERE

Don't forget to vote for your favorite A to Z video.  Click tab above that says "Vote for your favorite video".


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Catch Fire!! Cassafire Release Today

          Did you know that Alex J. Cavanaugh, ninja captain and blogger extraordinaire, is one of the co-hosts of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge?  

          Did you know that Alex J. Cavanaugh is one heck of a nice guy and so humble that he refers to himself as "just Alex"?

          More importantly in regard to today's post, did you know that Alex J. Cavanaugh is a sci-fi superstar?

          His last book, CassaStar, was an Amazon best-seller last year.   This year I believe he is about to outdo himself with his new book, released today, CassaFire.

         Today is the Catch Fire Blog Party, celebrating the release of CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh! The goal is to help CassaFire “catch fire” on the best seller charts and achieve the success of the first book, CassaStar

There’s also a special package of prizes being given away at the author’s blog (copies of CassaFire, CassaStar, tote bag, mug, and bookmarks) as well as book giveaways during his two-week blog tour. See Alex’s site for details:

by Alex J. Cavanaugh

CassaStar was just the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities. 

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

Available today!
Science fiction - space opera/adventure
Print ISBN 978-0-9827139-4-5, $15.95, 6x9 Trade paperback, 240 pages
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9, $4.99, available in all formats

CassaFire is the sequel to Cavanaugh’s first book, CassaStar, an Amazon Top Ten Best Seller:
“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

You can visit the author’s site at
Book trailer available at

The following is the official book trailer for CassaFire and not an entry in the A to Z Video Contest.

Now--I'm going to attempt to transmit my thoughts telepathically to you.  Are you ready?  "Buy the book now, buy the book now, buy the book now."  Did you hear my thoughts?  Oh, you're good.  So now what are you going to do?

Good luck, Alex, on the success of CassaFire.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Meet the A to Z Team for 2012

          Anyone who follows this blog is probably aware that the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is just a few months away.   If you don't know about what the Challenge is all about, please click on the "What is Blogging from A to Z?" tab above for an explanation.

          Today we want to provide you with the list of A to Z Team members for 2012.  Please stop by to visit these wonderful bloggers and say hello to them.  If you are not following them already then we encourage you to click the "Friend Connect" to join their sites.  Then be sure to visit each of them often to keep up with news about the upcoming Challenge.   

           Some cool things are coming up and we don't want you to miss a thing!

Here is the A to Z Team for 2012:

Tossing It Out (Arlee Bird)
Amlokiblogs (Damyanti Biswas)
Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh)
Life is Good (Tina Downey)
Cruising Altitude 2.0 (DL Hammons)
Retro-Zombie (Jeremy Hawkins)
The Warrior Muse (Shannon Lawrence)
The QQQE (Matthew MacNish)
Author Elizabeth Mueller (Elizabeth Mueller)
Pearson Report (Jenny Pearson)
No Thought 2 Small (Konstanz Silverbow)
Breakthrough Blogs (Stephen Tremp)

           Please get to know each of us.  If there are questions or comments about the Challenge, let any of us know and we'll give you the answers you need or address your comments.   Since a big part of the A to Z Challenge has to do with networking you should start your networking with all of us now.

          If you haven't joined this A to Z Challenge blog we encourage you to do that as well.  The Blogging from A to Z Challenge Blog is the official Challenge site.  We don't want you to miss any Challenge updates.

           Sign ups for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge will begin on January 30, 2012.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Favorite Blogger Speaks: Reflections from Alex J. Cavanaugh

A to Z Challenge Reflections...

Lee at Tossing It Out has asked us to do a reflection post regarding the A to Z Challenge. 

And Elizabeth Mueller made this really cool award badge for those who survived. Thanks, Elizabeth! 

I was amazed at the variety of posts for each letter. You guys were really creative! I was also surprised by the variety of blogs participating, many of which had nothing to do with writing. Thanks again to Lee for asking me to be one of the co-hosts!

I just have two things I want to say about the Challenge. 

Last year, there were only one hundred of us. We were able to visit everyone and it felt more intimate. I made some really awesome friends as well.

This year, visiting every blog was almost impossible. (This Ninja failed!) And in trying to do so, I realized it was more difficult to foster friendships. I’m sure a lot of people lost steam after the first week or so. Those using the special widget started at the beginning, although I think many switched to the ‘surprise me’ feature. I think a lot of blogs were overlooked.

Hart had an excellent suggestion, one I think we should adopt for next year. We start with the blog immediately following ours on the list. We go as far as we can, and if that’s only one hundred blogs, that’s fine. But that way, everyone receives visitors and no one feels overwhelmed.

Last year, my goal was to survive the month and gain some new followers. I made it to the end and almost tripled my following.

This year, I didn’t worry about gaining a ton of new followers. Yes, I could’ve followed everyone I visited and gained a ton of new followers. But that wasn’t my goal. I wanted to be a good co-host and spend the Challenge featuring my current blogger buddies. This community is so awesome and I wanted to give back.

As a side note, if you are following me but I’m not following you, please leave a comment! The Google Friends Connect sometimes doesn’t link a blog to your icon, but if you leave a comment, I can find your profile – and your blog to follow!

You guys are awesome and I hope everyone had a blast. It was really cool to hear how many were enjoying the Challenge and meeting new bloggers. That made it all worthwhile - to know there were bloggers in the same position that I was last year reaping the benefits. That is who this Challenge is for, and what keeps it fresh. Let’s make the 2012 Challenge even better!

         Thank you Alex!  Alex went all out the past two Challenges and played a huge role in the success of both.  Hope you follow his lead and become a part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge in 2012.  Be sure to tell him thank you.

         The Challenge sign ups will begin on January 30th, 2012.