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Showing posts with label The 2015 A to Z Challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The 2015 A to Z Challenge. Show all posts

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The A-Z Blogger's Mantra for Victory Lane

V is for Victorious!
Victory Lane is where the magic happens. It's that last stretch of road where you start to realize you have what it takes to master the art of blogging everyday....and through the alphabet, no less. It's where you begin to feel proud for signing up for such a huge undertaking, in the first place. It's where you realize that most other things on your to-do list and other people in your life that were neglected, just to keep up with everyone else in this April blogathon, are what helped you get this far.

You’re not alone.

More than 1,500 people are in victory lane, including some who are managing to rock this year's A-to-Z challenge with two, three or four blogs. We're all in this 24-hour cycle together, trying to make it through blogging, visiting and commenting without going nuts. Be proud that you’ve been able to get to this point and remember, there's nowhere to go but upward and onward from here, until it's time to grab that 2015 A-Z Survivors Badge!

If for some reason you feel like you're at your wits end, just read the following mantra:

The "Survivors" Mantra for Victory Lane

You're a survivor.
You're not gonna give up.
You're not gonna stop.
You're gonna work harder...because you're a survivor.
You're gonna make it.
You will survive and keep on surviving.

If these famous words helped Destiny's Child reign on the Billboard Charts, then they can get you through the remaining days left to blog April. So, pat yourself on the back because making it to victory lane is an indication that you're strong enough to be in this for the long haul. It's a sign that the blogging muscles you've been building up so far are what will help you continue on to the very end of the alphabet.

How well are YOU flexing your blogging muscles this month?

Are YOU starting to feel Victorious yet?

 The Madlab Post

#AtoZChallenge Co-Host Nicole Ayers is blogging 
at The Madlab Post on a mixed bag of subjects including 
superheroes, card games, documentaries, human trafficking, 
road rage, drinking games, film festivals and making the world 
a better place. Connect with her @MadlabPost on Twitter.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Meet Your Co-Hosts! Fifty Shades of Nicole…
Dear Blogging from A to Z Challenge Participants, 

I am Nicole Ayers, a freelance writer, illustrator and media producer, who completed the April challenge four times and am embarking on my third year as one of your Co-Hosts. My tendency to write lengthy blog posts comes from a preference for painting the full picture of observations and thoughts on certain subjects, rather than an overview. It isn't unusual to find me making notes of some kind -- be that for ideas, to-do lists, troubleshooting problems, etc. on a daily basis. If I won 2 plane tickets, I would go to Italy with my grandmother because it's where many of the arts and cultural scenes that mesmerized me growing up are concentrated, and she deserves a vacation. 

The perpetual calendar in my room is a source of wisdom with reminders for approaching life with a positive and/or productive mindset, one step at a time. I enjoy watching The Walking Dead because its storylines contain lessons about developing multipurpose skills, conquering fear, being a team player, staying fit and identifying the reasons behind your actions. I’m far from a nature lover but would like to be more active outdoors and improve my agricultural knowledge. I care more about Twitter than Facebook. To this day, I dislike my inability to make an edible batch of pancakes. 

It would be great to make life a little better for someone dealing with adversity, before I die. The custom made dress I wore to the prom was based on a design I drew specifically for the occasion. I carry L'Oréal Paris lip gloss in my bag and aspire to find peace on earth but in the meantime, I’ll have BBQ sauce with my French fries, thank you! Although drawing The Gates of Hell at the Rodin Museum for my Art History class was an intimidating experience, the results were surprisingly better than I expected. Over the next 365 days, I plan to get back into the habit of creating artwork on paper.  

Connect with @madlabpost on Twitter
One thing I wish I could change in this world is the high cost of education for those who need it most. A computer is among the things I want to save up to get. Since I’m struggling with finding purpose, I think I can help it by just doing a bunch of different things that interest me and seeing what sticks. My favorite TV shows include Flashpoint and Parenthood. I seldomly favor any Holidays. At the time of this writing, the Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominated drama “Pariah” - about a Brooklyn teenager juggling an identity crisis while risking friendship, family & heartbreak while coming to terms with her sexuality - was the last movie I watched. 

I prefer gummy bears and nachos over popcorn. I don’t remember much about kindergarten but I do miss my friend Melissa from 1st Grade. We’ve crossed paths a few times over the years but don’t keep in touch. Still, I would have lunch with her today if the opportunity presented itself because she is one of the smartest, coolest, most ambitious people I’ve ever known from grade school. I’ve handled more guns than I’ve fired. 

The last book I read was A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson and loved it! Add in A.M. Holmes’ Jack and Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning and you have some of my favorite books. The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete is one of the saddest movies I ever watched. At this time, a Cabbage Patch Kid and a plush frog are the first childhood toys I remember having.
Posing with a stranger in my prom photos is one of the stupidest things I ever did. Looking back, I should have posed with my high school friend because now I have these pictures with a person I don’t talk to and it was a great opportunity to create memories with the person I actually knew, whom I continued to stay in touch with after graduation. That was a bad call on my part. Although I rarely celebrate Halloween, I would want to dress up in a rag doll costume. Nightmare on Elm Street is my favorite horror movie. An initiative I participated in for the American Red Cross had the biggest impact on my views about giving to charity.

I like to draw more than paint but if I must do the latter, then I’d prefer tempura over watercolor and acrylics. My favorite actors include Denzel Washington, Vincent D’Onofrio, Matt Damon, Bruce Willis and Leonardo DiCaprio. My favorite actresses include Kate Winslett, Angela Bassett, Hilary Swank, Eva Mendes, and Dakota Fanning. The martial arts adventure Falcon Rising is the last live action film (I think) I saw in theaters, while Marilyn Myller is the last cartoon/animation film I watched at a laundromat during Couch Fest Film Festival. A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School teacher Scot Pankey’s “Uptown Funk” dance is one of my favorite YouTube videos.

I believe that many of our traditions and practices in Western culture are the result of social constructs that limit our potential for unity. If I achieved my dreams, I would be a happier person who got more sleep. An anonymous postcard (the image over on the left) sent to Frank Warren’s PostSerect project contains what has become one of my favorite quotes. “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” by Lauryn Hill is a song that usually makes me cry. My pair of socks from The Crayola Factory hasn’t been worn in at least nine months because I’m afraid about them getting raggedy. Traveling by plane is an experience I dislike since airport security measures that passengers go through have become more intrusive and downright ridiculous. Garfield, Charlie Brown and Bart Simpson are some of my favorite cartoon characters. 

Nicole who Blogs at The Madlab Post
What you wanted to know...
The Madlab Post TV - YouTube
Do we have anything in common?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Meet Your Co-Host - J.L. Campbell

My name is Joy and I’ve been blogging since 2008. Since that time, blogging has become an important part of my online presence. The year 2011 was the first time I did the A-Z Challenge and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This year, I'll be a co-host during the Challenge, which is a first for me.

Somehow, I’ve never been able to write all of my posts prior to the start of the Challenge, but that hasn’t prevented me from participating fully each April. If I would take the time to collate my Challenge themes over the years, I’d have several books worth reading.

So a little about me …

I live in Jamaica and have been reading novels and writing stories since childhood. My books are published under the name/s J.L. Campbell and Jayda McTyson. I was lucky enough to get three publishing contracts in a short time span. Since then, I’ve self-published a number of romantic suspense, women’s fiction, new and young adult books. Needless to say, I love writing!

Some extras about me:
J.L. Campbell, A-Z Co-host

I can't stand seeing animals or children suffer

Documentaries that cover strange subjects fascinate me *don't ask*

I never go out without lipstick

Etymology fascinates me

I never go to bed early unless I'm ill, which is rarely

I’ve always enjoyed the Challenge and look forward to participating again this year. Have you settled on a theme yet? Written up all your posts?

I’m still looking for helpers, so if you’re reliable and can help with visiting blogs, do leave me a comment and I'll come stalk contact you.

For visits and such, my website is at and my Amazon author page is here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lessons from the LEGO Girl on Blogging from A to Z

K is for Knight | Courtney Pearson's Sketch Blog | Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2012
Your Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge experience can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. Having a theme for the month can be helpful; yet, there is no rule that says you need to have one. So how can you get the most bang for your blogging buck while figuring out what to post every day in April and visiting hundreds of other blogs in the process? Do something that will grab your readers’ attention and get people talking about (and linking to) your blog posts.

Vancouver based artist Courtney Pearson used Legos to depict various subjects such as dancing and tributes to Sherlock Holmes, when she participated in the 2012 Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge. To date, her cute alphabet inspired displays are one of the most memorable blog posts in the history of the challenge. 

What makes Courtney’s theme so interesting is that she bucks the writing trend that packs the A-to-Z Challenge year after year. Most of her blog posts contain one-liners while others are no longer than a single paragraph. Although this former A-to-Z Challenge participant fell short of completing all 26 days of blogging, here are two useful lessons that can be gleaned from her efforts of showing more, writing less and adding a much appreciated touch of whimsy to our alphabet blogathon.

Making Arrangements Says it All

Use food, knickknacks or other items around the house to illustrate a theme related to a letter of the alphabet. For example, try creating a smiley face for the Letter S, using fruit, vegetables or cereal. You could also do a collage depicting what your ideal vacation looks like. New Years may have passed but there is still time to create a vision board for your bucket list, yearly resolutions or general life goals. The A-to-Z Challenge is a good opportunity to share the process of making a collage, showing readers how they can make one on their own using similar materials. This would be PERFECT for those of you who are into scrapbooking.

A Photo a Day Keeps the Writer’s Block at Bay

Take Wordless Wednesdays to another level by posting one image of a person, place or object representing a letter of the alphabet, every day in April. Of course, this means you have to take photos yourself (which is easy since the camera on your cell phone has probably already been taken for a spin many times over). If 26 photos sound daunting to you, consider using images as a backup for days when you don’t have the time or interest in writing yet another 500-word (give or take) blog post to keep up with the letter of the day.

These two lessons can help to make your Blogging from A to Z Challenge fun because they involve less work and more play. So, if at any point you find yourself short on words in April, take these lessons into consideration and you just might survive the A-to-Z Challenge.

What is YOUR plan to ace the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge this year?

A-to-Z Challenge Co-Host Nicole Ayers writes about magic, theaters and women in the U.S. Navy at The Madlab Post. Chat with her @MadlabPost on Twitter. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

The 2015 A to Z Challenge List is Open!

Please read and follow the sign-up instructions outlined below so you sign onto the list correctly!

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends. For more details and its history, go HERE

We recommend short posts, turn off Word Verification, and visit five blogs (or more) a day beginning with the one after yours on the list.

Blogs must be on an open platform – no Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. – and comments enabled.

To streamline legitimate blogs from advertisement blogs, the Co-Hosts will be visiting each blog on this list throughout the Challenge. Blogs on the list showing no activity once the Challenge starts or miss five days in a row will be removed.

Please note your blog name and number in all correspondences. Remember that as blogs are removed, your number will change.

There are categories for those looking for like-minded blogs. Select ONE category code and enter it after your blog’s title/name. The code applies to your blog, not your theme for the Challenge and is purely optional. See the first few blogs on the list for examples. However, if your blog has adult content, you MUST mark it (AC) or it will be removed from the list. Codes are as follows:


Be sure to grab the badge and display it in your sidebar so we know you are participating and link to the A to Z Challenge Blog.

For more information we recommend you follow the A to Z Challenge Blog and the hosts:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jeremy @ Hollywood Nuts
Nicole Ayers @ The Madlab Post
Author Stephen Tremp
Heather M. Gardner
AJ @ Naturally Sweet
Pam @ An Unconventional Librarian
Matthew MacNish @ The QQQE
Zalka Csenge Virág @ The Multicolored Diary
S. L. Hennessy @ Pensuasion
C. Lee McKenzie @ The Write Game
Joy Campbell @ The Character Depot
Susan Gourley @ Susan Says
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing
Lisa Buie-Collard, Author

We also have a Facebook Page
Email address is
Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z

Sign up below and join us for a month of alphabet fun!