Showing posts with label Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2020. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2020. Show all posts

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Zoomin' Outta Here ( #AtoZChallenge )

Zzwoosh!  Now it's time to zoom out of another round of The April A to Z Blogging Challenge and get back to the normalcy of life...

#AtoZChallenge 2020 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter Z 

Zoomin' Outta Here

      Did I just say "normalcy of life"?   Does anyone remember what that was?  Or maybe there was never any real normalcy.   This past few weeks of Covid lock down is starting to feel almost normal to me, but my life hasn't really been all that different either since I'm retired and stay at home most of the time anyway.

       The diversion of blogging has been nice even though I've felt like I haven't had time for doing much of it.  And now the daily blogging grind schedule is over for me for now.  I'll be blogging at my intermittent rate of posting and doing all the other life stuff that seems to consume my time these days.

        Jumping out of the fire and back to soaking in the safety of the pond is kind of way of looking at it I suppose.  Though safety is usually one step from a danger we didn't see or expect.   It's been a fun (?) April in some ways, but I'm looking forward to that comfortable place of less stressed blogging.

        Zoom I go!  Maybe now I can think about that next frantic April to come...

      How "normal" is your life these days?   Have your summer plans changed much or do you even know?    Did you have a good April Challenge?

  Don't forget to watch for the upcoming Challenge Survey, the A to Z Reflections Post, and the A to Z Road Trip.   Dates are listed in the sidebar of this blog.    Watch this site for more details!


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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Twenty Questions for J Lenni Dorner ( #AtoZChallenge )

Time to meet our A to Z Team captain, J Lenni  Dorner!   Here's what I want to know and maybe you might be interested as well.   Hello, J!

#AtoZChallenge 2020 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter T

Twenty Questions for J Lenni Dorner:

1)  Why did you start blogging in the first place?

The A to Z challenge! I found it while surfing around and knew I wanted to take place in the next one. It looked like a great way to connect with people online, and yup, it turned out that it totally is!

2)   How has blogging been helpful to you?

To give me a place to express myself. Also, as I learned more, it became a way to refine my "author brand." Blogging has also given me a reason to write more short stories.

3)   What brought you to the A to Z Challenge in the first place?

The sense of community online. 

4)   Why would you recommend A to Z to other bloggers?

To connect with other bloggers and to set a goal for yourself. Finishing something, even a month of posts, feels a lot better than quitting your own blog. The challenge gives you a reason to write, the optional theme aspect gives focus, and the timeline gives a deadline. Hopping around gets you a community, entertainment, and new knowledge. 

5)   Besides writing, what interests consume you the most?

There are several. Reading, obviously. Being out in the woods. I was really into Pinterest (until the number of ads quadrupled). I tried photographing inanimate objects for about a year. I like to try new activities and explore new interests.

If anyone wants to suggest a new possible hobby, activity, or interest in the comments, that'd be awesome!

6)   If you could choose one place in the world to visit at this time of your life, where would that be?

Armando al Pantheon- Screenshot from Google - March 2020
Armando al Pantheon- Screenshot from Google - March 2020
This is normally easy to answer. But... Armando al Pantheon in Rome is closed right now.

I've also always wanted to go to Mount Sinai, in Egypt. (Gebel Musa / Jabal Musa) See the sites, ride a camel, climb to the top, take the 3750 steps back down. It just seems like a really interesting experience.

But travel is restricted (as of the day I'm answering this), so right now I'd just like to go back into the woods. Actually, on any given day at any given time, I just want to go back into the woods. 

7)   How do you get to your happy place?  (What relaxes you or allows you to find the greatest calm or focus?)

The woods, going there is my happy place. Go beyond where the cars go by, past the well-worn trails, into the rare spaces where the trees outnumber the people. Where nature is still wild. A place where clocks and calendars don't matter much. πŸŒ²πŸŒ³πŸ‡πŸ¦πŸ»πŸ’πŸΊπŸ¦ƒπŸŒ³πŸŒ²

8)   If you could spend a few hours in conversation with any person, famous or not, who would it be and why?

The Grandfathers, the Lenni-Lenape from thousands of years ago. Our legends have been passed down. But there was a whole time period (the mid-1700's until the late-1900's at least) when our language, culture, history, and stories were outlawed. Many of my people died to keep the legends I grew up on alive. As much as I appreciate that incredible gift, I'd love to be able to go back in time and learn them first hand. So much was erased. I'd love to recover those stories.

9)   What would you consider to be the consummate form of artistic expression?

Truth, and anything that brings an unexpected truth to the audience (even if the audience is only the artist). This is why we sometimes remember creative expressions differently. (Apologies to every teacher who has had to make students remember anything creative with perfect accuracy.) I've written flash fiction where the main character was male, named after an ancient male deity; ask a dozen people who read it, ten will tell you the character was a woman. We see what we need to see to find a truth in the art, one to which we can relate. Any artist who helps their audience find that has given the world the ultimate gift. 

10)   What innovations of writing might you expect to see in the future?

The return to carving in stone. πŸ˜† I'm mostly kidding. But if you digest too many dystopian and apocalyptic stories, you might notice a trend where all the digital information is inaccessible. And then bad things happen to paper. Break out the chisel, kids! πŸ˜‰

Here are a few lightning round questions:

11)   Sweet or salty?

πŸ§‚ The majority of my favorite foods are salty.

12)   East or west?

Toward the sunrise (east). πŸŒ…

13)   Travel or home bound?

Travel πŸš…πŸš•

14)   New York City or New Mexico?

The original lands of the Lenni-Lenape include NYC! 

15)   Books or movies?

Text in print πŸ“š

16)   Fiction or non-fiction?

Tall-tales  of fiction. (Though I presently have published two works of fiction, the novel Fractions of Existence and the short story Lumber Of The Kuweakunks, and two works of non-fiction, Preparing to Write Settings That Feel Like Characters and Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier.)

17)   Plays or poetry?

Taylor, Edward - poetry

Almost done!   Here are a few more to enlighten us with:

18)    What do you see in your blogging future?

The new blog needs several years of posts. I see me writing them, perhaps with a bit more focus on certain topics this time.

19)     What are you currently working on in your writing life?

Too many projects. I know I need to pick one and focus. πŸ’Ž Oh look, something shiny! 🀣

20)    What do you see as your biggest project/achievement still waiting ahead of you?

To finish writing, and to publish, the rest of the Existence series. 

You can see the list of all Blogs on our Master List!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Here and Now ( #AtoZChallenge )

Thoughts on blogging in the present...

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

The team decided our theme for this month's posts here would be a take "2020 visions of blogging." This week posts focus on:
 Blogging in the Present

Here and Now

           Periodically we see the statement made that "Blogging is Dead (or dying).  I don't think so.  Since blogging is often a very personal and individualistic enterprise I think it is inevitable that some bloggers burn out, give up, or let their blogs languish on hold as a blogger waits for inspiration or ambition to rekindle. 

              What I've observed in my 10 1/2 years of blogging is that while bloggers may come and go or some seem to vanish and then reappear sometime later with their personal reason for doing so, the totality of the world of blogging remains consistent as bloggers either blog like they always have or their blogs transition and grow with the times.

              Perhaps there is an illusion of a death or diminishing of blogging on the whole because we as bloggers fall into communities where we have our circles of blogging friends that we try to visit as much as possible or who we see commenting on our blogs with a certain regularity.  The complacent blogger is limited to the world they know best and as they settle into their routine of blogging they may rarely if ever seek out new blogs.  As bloggers within a community fade away, there is a sense that the entire realm of blogging is disappearing.

            Those new blogs are out there I'm sure--I no longer dig up the new ones like I used to because I too have become a complacent lazy blogger.  If it were not for the annual A to Z Challenge, I as well as you might never encounter a blog that has been previously unknown to us.   Though I have no quantitative data to back up my claim, I think blogging remains strong in the here and now.  You might have to look outside the community in which you have become ensconced to find those new-to-you blogs.  Blogging after all involves some action on the part of you the blogger to keep finding more blogs.   As always, there are more than you will ever be able to read or explore.

         From your experience, what is the best way to find "new" bloggers?  How has your blogging community changed since you first started blogging?   Do you think blogging is dead or dying?

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Delightful! Jeremy Tribute Day ( #AtoZChallenge )

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

Celebrate Jeremy Day
         Today we want to take a pause to honor one of our long term behind the scenes members of the A to Z Team--Jeremy.

           If the name isn't familiar with you then his artwork surely is.  Jeremy Hawkins has been designing all of the badges and other graphics for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge since 2013.   All the way from the yearly badge to the daily letter badges as well as headers and even T-shirt designs, Jeremy has been the creative genius behind those ubiquitous graphics that appear on numerous blogs throughout April and beyond

           Where can you find more about Jeremy?  He has an extensive social media and internet presence that covers a wide range of his interests and endeavors.   I encourage you to visit his blog or his other sites to say thank you and hello to him and to get a better idea of exactly what his talents encompass. 

             And I want to say to Jeremy, "Thank you my friend for being there when we need you!"

             Here are some of the places where you can find out more about Jeremy and his work:

Jeremy Hawkins

For Hire:

Art Available:
Animal Art/Design
Cheap Movie Art/Design

Visit: Being Retro

Being Retro

For A to Z T-Shirts as well as a lot of other cool designs:

Music Label:
Howlin' Wolf Records
Executive Producer/PR

Six Strings: Magazine


Social Media:

Six Strings: Magazine @jmhdigital68
JMH Digital [2020]

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Blogging Beginnings ( #AtoZChallenge )

  My A to Z overview starts out with some of my past memories from blogging and my journey from that first post until now...

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

Blogging Beginnings

         Way back in September of 2009 I was at a sort of crossroads of life.  My job of 18 years had ended earlier that year and having difficulty finding another job I was pondering my next step.  It was at that time that I started running across ads about starting a blog to make lots of money.  Rather than send in the $99 to take the advertised blogging course, I instead researched the topic on my own which led me to Blogger.  Starting a blog was easy though it took some time to learn the ropes.  In fact I'm still learning.

          Having been interested in writing since I was a kid, blogging seemed like the ideal creative outlet for me.  And I started out with a lot of enthusiasm for my new found outlet of blogging.  Initially I spent the better part of every day researching and writing my blog posts, exploring other blogs, and trying to come up with ideas of how to promote my blog to gain readers.    Early on I discovered that to attract readers I needed to visit other blogs and leave comments.

           The principle of reciprocal commenting and establishing blogging communities was the spark that inspired the first Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April of 2010.  This event caught on in a bigger way than I had expected and in that first year an amazing community of bloggers was built around the A to Z Challenge.

              Over the succeeding years we've seen bloggers come and go.  A handful of dedicated bloggers have participated in the Challenge since the beginning while many more have followed along to support the efforts of the A to Z bloggers.  That support fuels those of us who take on this yearly Challenge--just the encouragement we bloggers hope for.  That is the purpose of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge:  To expand interest in our blogs and to become better bloggers while connecting to others who have a similar goal.

             Some of my enthusiasm for blogging has waned since the earlier days of my adopted "career" and I don't put the same efforts into the endeavor as I once did, but I don't see myself stopping blogging.  For now I'm coasting in a sense, but I still see an explosion of functionality waiting for my blog.

           How about you?   How does your blogging experience compare?    Do you think you've found the real potential in your blog?    What lies ahead for you in regard to blogging?


Grab your A to Z gear, and other cool goodies from our graphics guy, here:

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