IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The OFFICIAL MASTER LIST: https://tinyurl.com/AtoZ22 (sign-ups are closed)
Showing posts with label a to z challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label a to z challenge. Show all posts

Friday, April 30, 2021

Z is for... #atozchallenge


Z is for...Let's find out!

Let’s have some fun! Unscramble these words that start with the letter z:

  1. maoznib
  2. pepriz
  3. mnaiozoa
  4. cihnuczi
  5. tzengis
  6. grneiz
  7. ndoze
  8. imboz
  9. peplsnzei
  10. gzagzideg
  11. liloniearzi
  12. fictionaombiz

We hope you’ve had a great time with the A to Z Challenge! Get ready to write your Reflections about the month. Reflections will be open May 3rd-8th, and then the Road Trip will open on May 10th where you link up to your one favorite post of your own!

Looking forward to seeing you then!

And if you fill out our survey that opens tomorrow, the answer key to today’s puzzle is at the end!

Friday, April 20, 2018

R is for Ripples #AtoZChallenge




Today's guest post is by Jamie Dorner of the blog uniquelymaladjustedbutfun.blogspot.com. She's a four time participant in the challenge, cousin-in-law to A to Z captain J Lenni Dorner, and one of the biggest fans of my adult choose-your-adventure book, "Runaway." Welcome, Jamie!



Thanks, Jayden!


I'm writing this guest post because of two posts I saw on the Facebook wall of my nephew.

I'm not the person my parents raised me to be.
You have your whole life to be the best person you can be. Each day is a present, an opportunity to do one nice thing for someone else. It adds up. Or a chance to do the wrong thing. That adds up, too. Setting goals and planning for "someday" is great, but don't forget to make this day count. The tiniest thing can make a huge difference.
You can be who your parents raised you to be. You can be whatever sort of person you want to be. It isn't usually about the big choices in life, but the small ones—they're what makes ripples in a pond.

Photo by Olivier Fahrni on Unsplash

Even the most famous, richest, smartest, and prettiest people can still feel there is someone better than them, that they are replaceable. Self-confidence is a lifelong journey, not a destination. It's not about being better than someone ELSE; it's about always working toward being the best version of yourself. That's hard. That's the challenge that everyone faces every day with nearly every choice. The path to becoming whoever you want to be one day starts with those choices.
My blog is easily replaceable. Look at how many people are in the A to Z Challenge! We all have ideas and opinions to share. Maybe I've never thought a thought that's never been thought before. And if that's so, then maybe my blog and I aren't special.
On the other hand, maybe I'll offer something of value to my readers. Maybe I'll give someone a new idea, spark some inspiration, or start a conversation that will have a ripple effect beyond what I can see. Perhaps I'll inadvertently improve the world. It's possible someone will stumble on my blog and discover that we've thought the same thought, and that will give the person comfort because they'll feel a little less alone in the world.
And you know what one nice thing I could do today is? One small choice that could make a difference? I can hop over to another blog in this challenge and leave a compliment in the comments. I can choose to try to make a stranger smile. Acts of random kindness like that do make a difference, and that's a pretty special choice to make.
Have a happy A to Z challenge!

#AtoZchallenge 2018 friendly new badge logo 
  If you wish to include a direct link to your blog post of this day's letter, please click:
https://goo.gl/forms/uMLRUqb7gxMvKuTQ2

If you wish to visit other blogs in this bloghop challenge who have incorporated today's letter into their current post, please click:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Md9F6WzWIZauAYj2xqi3i97qJqEuOnX6SgsJic46ZC4/edit?usp=sharing
 
#AtoZchallenge 2018 traditional badge logo 

Click here for the MASTER LIST of all participants who signed up for the #AtoZchallenge 2018!
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nd9634nZWf1FmHFZ6ofKxBiIwGPWqkct9T9H5ugDQBA/edit?usp=sharing


Our life ripples out, and it has influence. That's why it's important that we're at our best and that we're influencing others for the good. - Victoria Osteen

Monday, April 9, 2018

H is for our very own Jeremy Hawkins! #AtoZChallenge


As most of the A to Z veterans among you already know, Jeremy Hawkins is the dedicated genius behind the graphics of the Challenge - badges, banners, t-shirts, you name it! Jeremy has been with us right from the start, putting work, energy, and enthusiasm into making A to Z a colorful and fun experience for everyone.

This year, Jeremy is not participating in the daily posting of A to Z, but he still made time to create our graphics. So today, for the letter H, we would like to encourage everyone to go to Jeremy's blog, and say hi! Let's make his day as fun as he made the challenge for us :)

You can also visit his Amazon author page here, and see his designs here. Because he is that versatile a guy!
You can read more about him from previous years here and here.

Have a great day, Jeremy! :)

#AtoZchallenge 2018 friendly new badge logo
If you wish to include a direct link to your blog post of this day's letter, please click:
 https://goo.gl/forms/GPdbv4dvaZeJbGMw1

If you wish to visit other blogs in this bloghop challenge who have incorporated today's letter into their current post, please click:
 https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1c1U6qFCCOgOlEYzNaQblBS00hNK5pCnb4F221fVNz-8/edit?usp=sharing

#AtoZchallenge 2018 traditional badge logo
Click here for the MASTER LIST of all participants who signed up for the #AtoZchallenge 2018!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

F is for Friday! #AtoZChallenge


F is for Friday!

TGIF!

Friday is probably my favorite day of the week. Working a Monday-Friday job, Friday marks the end of my work week. For the last ten years, I have celebrated almost every Friday with coworkers. It's a great way to wind down and prepare for an action packed weekend.

This particular Friday is extra special because we are SO close to the end of the first week of the A to Z Challenge! Just one more day and we can all breathe a great big sigh of relief and take a day off. Of course, many of us will likely use that day to catch up on our favorite blogs and find new ones, but at least the pressure of posting is relieved.

The end of the first week is in sight. Hang in there!

What is your favorite way to end your work week?
~Jayden R. Vincente 
jrvincente.wordpress.com (adult content)


#AtoZchallenge 2018 friendly new badge logo
If you wish to include a direct link to your blog post of this day's letter, please click:
https://goo.gl/forms/hZqznoRlxYZucnMq1

If you wish to visit other blogs in this bloghop challenge who have incorporated today's letter into their current post, please click:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jVM_cm9s-fXkDglxqjECqaLN7zL6_9KN18ynSGCAKOQ/edit?usp=sharing  
 

If you are having trouble scrolling in Google Drive, check out this forum for suggestions: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/docs/tjdKy4hl6W8


#AtoZchallenge 2018 traditional badge logo
Click here for the MASTER LIST of all participants who signed up for the #AtoZchallenge 2018!
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nd9634nZWf1FmHFZ6ofKxBiIwGPWqkct9T9H5ugDQBA/edit?usp=sharing


I see the light at the end of the tunnel, so I'm going hard. - Cam Newton

Sunday, April 1, 2018

B is for Beginnings #AtoZChallenge


The Challenge has officially begun! Yesterday, we posted our first posts, kicking off a month of exciting things to share and discover. So today, it is time to Begin the other fun part of the challenge: The discovery! Go and visit others. Read their beginnings! Catch the new themes right at the start, so that you can bookmark them, follow them, collect them, and keep coming back for more each day.

For me, personally, the the second day is always the one that feels like the Beginning of the challenge. On Day 1, a flood of visitors comes to my blog to check out the very first post - so the second day is the first one when I visit back all the visitors from the day before (this is how I do it, anyway, feel free to steal the system). On the second day, with post already scheduled, I wander from blog to blog all day, and drink in all the excitement of new beginnings. Some blogs will last all month; some won't. It doesn't matter. The kickoff is full of energy, and it makes my day to be a part of it.

Here is to Beginnings! Go visit each other today!

#AtoZchallenge 2018 friendly new badge logo
If you wish to include a direct link to your blog post of this day's letter, please click:
 https://goo.gl/forms/pGqdzMMVoARv6xjT2

This form will close in 48 hours.

The A to Z team recommends TimeAndDate or WorldTimeBuddy for your time zone calculation needs.
We post at Midnight GMT.
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the standard by which all time zones are based. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is the time zone used for UTC. That's why we use it.

If you wish to visit other blogs in this bloghop challenge who have incorporated today's letter into their current post, please click:
 https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1asaY3r3MqrVoqwIUJInZmXRi8H7u0pWRLmxXky7eL64/edit?usp=sharing

#AtoZchallenge 2018 traditional badge logo
Click here for the MASTER LIST of all participants who signed up for the #AtoZchallenge 2018!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Theme Reveal #AtoZChallenge #ThemeReveal

theme reveal #atozchallenge 2018 blogging



Welcome to the 2018 A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal! While the Theme Reveal is optional, we highly recommend using this opportunity to share with everyone your plans for April!

Click here for a reminder on what the A to Z Challenge Means by THEME


When you fill out the form, you should select the

category of your Theme,

which may or may not be the category of your blog or other posts.



Each posting day in April, you will see a post that looks something like this one. Scroll down to find the links you'll want to use! The first one is to the form where you can fill out the direct link of your Theme Reveal Post. In future posts, that's where you'll find the link for the form for each letter.

The second link takes you to the spreadsheet of participants who have filled out the form. This will only include participants who have completed this particular post's form. (This is a great option for those who have been frustrated by having links on the list that are no longer active.)

The last link is the Master List of all participants. While the Master List spreadsheet may include some links to participants who drop out, it is still the best way to ensure you see every participant's blog. 


#AtoZchallenge 2018 friendly new badge logo

To include a direct link to your blog post with your theme reveal, please click:
Here
This form will close at midnight UTC on 3/26. 
To visit other blogs in this bloghop challenge who have done a Theme Reveal, please click:
Here

#AtoZchallenge 2018 traditional badge logo

Click here for the MASTER LIST of all participants who signed up so far!


Sign ups for the Theme Reveal will close on: March 26 2018

Monday, May 9, 2016

2016 A to Z Challenge Reflections

The A to Z Reflections Post is a post presented on your own blog site giving the A to Z Team, the other Challenge participants, and any other readers your thoughts about this year's April Challenge.

We are looking for feedback about the Challenge. Tell us what you liked and didn't like, what worked and what didn't. If you have suggestions about making future A to Z Challenges better, this is a good time to let us know. You can highlight other bloggers who you felt did an outstanding job or direct us to specific posts that particularly impressed you or that you found to be very helpful.

In other words, we want to know how the A to Z Team did and how the Challenge worked for you. If you'd do it again, tell us why. If you would never consider A to Z again, let us know what would make you feel that way.

Please put up your Reflections post between now and Friday, May 13. AFTER your post has gone live, add the link to the Linky List below. Enter the link that goes DIRECTLY to your Reflections post and not your general blog address. The list will be accessible for the remainder of this year. Be sure to grab the badge.

The list is intended for A to Z Reflections posts only. Any links to advertising sites or non-relevant posts will be removed from the list. General links added before you actually post will be removed. And remember that these posts will be directed to a diverse audience of varying ages and sensibilities so please respect others by refraining from posting obscene materials or hurtful attacks upon others. We want a productive interchange of ideas that can lead to positive innovation.

Add your direct post link below AFTER you have posted your reflections! All non-direct links will be deleted.



Monday, April 18, 2016

Offline a Bit? #atozchallenge

Offline a Bit?

Not to be confused with off-sides or being off-kilter!

Have you been offline a day or two during the Challenge?

Don’t let the sheer amount of blog posts during that time scare you.

Just focus on those who visited you the day you were absent. Return those comments and just delete all the other posts from your blog reader. People will understand.

Use Sundays to catch up. Or, if you’re caught up, use Sundays as your day to be completely offline. Spend some time with your family, go see a movie, go read a book. Regroup and recharge.

We’re over halfway – don’t get burnout now!


Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars, and his blog can be found HERE

Monday, April 11, 2016

I'm Falling Behind! #atozchallenge

I’m Falling Behind!

Is that you right now? Don’t panic!

Falling behind on posts? Fortunately, they’re short. Set aside thirty minutes and write and schedule two or three. Then you’ll be ahead.

Falling behind visiting other blogs? Set aside Sundays to visit new ones. Just do what you can.

Falling behind on returning comments? If you’re commenting on blogs who are not returning yours, just skip those for now. Focus on your visitors.

Yes, it is a Challenge! But we are doing it to have fun as well. And make new friends. We might have to stretch a bit, but we can accomplish all that and enjoy ourselves in the process.


Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars, and his blog can be found HERE

Monday, April 4, 2016

Can I Do It? #atozchallenge

Can I Do It?

Yes you can!

You are capable, creative, and crafty.

You can conquer the A to Z Challenge.

You are in control.

Struggling to keep up with posting? Take an extra hour this week to get ahead.

Struggling with commenting? Again, set aside an extra hour to catch up.

Wondering if it will all be worth it? Yes, it will!

My very first Challenge in 2010, I signed up last minute. I had no idea what to post and scrambled every day to find something to fit the letter. By the end of that very first Challenge, I managed to post every day, my following had tripled, and I made some really good blogging buddies. It set me up for that fall when my first book came out, CassaStar.

So, whatever you are trying to accomplish with the Challenge, know this – you can do it. You can beat the Challenge!


Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars, and his blog can be found HERE

Friday, February 12, 2016

Why do I love the #atozchallenge so much?

 Today's post is from Vidya Sury, who is part of my team for this A to Z 2016.

Some of us co-hosts are still finalizing our teams, so if have participated in the challenge before, and want a turbo-charged AZ this time, email us at the contact address:  contactatozteam@gmail.com

---------Take it away, Vidya!

The A to Z Challenge is one of my favorite blogging activities.

Okay, okay, my favorite!

That I love to write, is a given. I do occasionally take part in other blogging/writing challenges. But why am I absolutely hooked to the A to Z Challenge?

I first learned about the A to Z Challenge in 2013 when Damyanti of Daily (W)rite tagged me on Twitter. I fell in love with the concept. Blogging daily with thousands of people in a specific pattern appealed to me tremendously. So many perspectives and so many genius themes and ideas to meet! The whole idea filled me with joy and I energetically jumped in. I could think of nothing but ideas for April - my kitchen shelf was full of my scribbling. My writing pad was filled with doodles and mind mapping for ideas. My friends and family got a bit tired of me trying to fit everything into the A to Z sequence. I suspect they loved it, though! So, in my first A to Z Challenge in 2013, I participated with one blog. In 2014, 2 blogs, in 2015, 3 blogs.

This year, 2016, I am participating with 4 blogs - I enjoy the challenge so much.

Why A to Z Challenge is my favorite :
  • It keeps my adrenaline pumping and my writing muscles flexed and ready
  • It cultivates a writing discipline I enjoy
  • I get back into the groove with posting regularly on two of my 5 blogs.
  • It encourages planning ahead - this is a major life lesson I follow in other areas of life, but not always with blogging. To truly enjoy blogging challenges, planning is critical.
  • It boosts my creativity, making me think of freaky ways to entertain my readers, rather than just give them info. Yes, I like to think they love me!
  • I get to meet new and wonderful bloggers via the challenge. I've met several who are fast friends now, location no bar!
  • I've been part of a co-host's team for two years and enjoy the team work behind the scenes, team spirit and fun. Sort of like a girl gang, only wiser! (You can join in the teams too-- write to the email on top!)
  • The A to Z is a great way to actually plan your book if you aspire to write one. I mean, write around a theme for 30 days and you have a pretty good premise for a book or an anthology!
  • If you believe that travel broadens the mind, youíve got to believe that blog-hopping also broadens the mind, and heart.
  • Talking of travel, I almost always travel in April, but that doesn't stop me from sailing through the challenge, thanks to the kicks encouragement of my supporters!
  • The learning. This is tremendous. Can you believe I actually converted from being a pantser to a scheming theming planner Yes I did! Go check out last year's letters to my son! I have to confess a theme feels good and keeps you focused.
  • I love getting in a couple of guest posts from my blogging friends and highlighting them as there are usually more visitors in April and that makes me feel good.
  • I enjoy doing the Reflections post - what activity is complete without a review and some learning points - and how to do it better next time, eh?
  • The A to Z encourages me to explore my own writing abilities and I am surprised to discover how much more I am capable of.
  • Consistent writing and online conversations are good for ranking- which means more paid opportunities for your blog.
So it is hardly surprising I am doing it this year - and will continue to do it for as long as I blog! To sum up, the April A to Z Challenge is, hands down, the best motivation for bloggers to write, connect and grow.

Let's just say, if you like blogging, if you need the motivation to get back in the groove, the A to Z Challenge is for you! So what are you waiting for? Grab a few of your blogging buddies and Go sign up NOW!
 -----------
 Vidya Sury is living her dream as a Writer | Editor | Blogger | Social media explorer, after a couple of decades in the corporate world in marketing and training (sales and soft skills).  She blogs at Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles, tweets as @vidyasury and flits around Facebook.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sign-Up List Now Open for the Seventh Annual A to Z Challenge!

Welcome to the seventh annual A to Z Blogging Challenge!

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 4 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. Please make it easy for visitors to comment on your blog.

To streamline legitimate blogs from advertisement blogs, the Co-Hosts will be visiting each blog on this list throughout the Challenge. Once the Challenge begins, blogs showing no activity or those that 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:

ANIMALS: (AN)
BOOKS/REVIEWS: (BO)
CRAFTS/ART: (CT)
CULINARY: (CU)
EDUCATION/SCIENCE: (ES)
ENTERTAINMENT: (ET)
GAMING: (GA)
HISTORY/MYTHOLOGY: (HM)
HUMOR: (HU)
LIFESTYLE/SOCIAL: (LS )
PERSONAL: (PR)
PHOTOGRAPHY: (PH)
POETRY: (PO)
TRAVEL: (TR)
WRITING/STORYTELLING/MEMOIR: (WR)
ADULT CONTENT: (AC)

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
Heather M. Gardner
Jeremy @ Hollywood Nuts
AJ Lauer
Pam @ An Unconventional Librarian
Damyanti Biswas @ Daily Write
Zalka Csenge Virág @ The Multicolored Diary
Joy Campbell @ The Character Depot
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing

We also have a Facebook Page and Pinterest Site
Email address is contactatozteam@gmail.com
Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z

Sign up below and join us for a month of alphabet fun!
(When you sign up, you agree to receive A to Z related emails.)



Monday, November 16, 2015

The A to Z of Harry Potter Names

If you're a book lover, you probably love Harry Potter as much as the next reader. Harry Potter blogs abound on the internet and it's easy to get your Harry Potter fix. Sometimes we even get Harry Potter themed posts for the A to Z Challenge.

Recently I hosted a Harry Potter Tea Party; it was an all ages affair and I was impressed at the level of knowledge the adults had! One of the games we played was a Harry Potter Who's Who where everyone had a note taped to their back with a character's name on it. The object was to give clues to your partner and they had to guess who their character was.

Harry Potter Party table display



This game made me wonder if it was possible to do an A to Z of  Harry Potter names?

Let's see:

A - Hanna Abbott (part of Dumbledore's Army)

B - Katie Bell,  Sirius Black, and Lavender Brown (that's who I was dressed as for the party).

C - Cho Chang, Vincent Crabbe, and Barty Crouch (Jr & Sr).

D - Fleur Delacour and Cedric Diggory (way before Twilight)

E - Marietta Edgecomb (I know, who?)

F - Nicholas Flamel, and Mundungus Fletcher (I love that name)

G - Hermione Granger (of course) and Godric Gryffindor

H - Rubeus Hagrid and Helga Hufflepuff

I - Ivanova. An obscure Bulgarian Quidditch player

J - Angelina Johnson

K - Viktor Krum

L - Bellatrix LeStrange (try explaining who that is to a 9 year old), Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, Remus Lupin

M - Malfoy (yuck) and Professor Minerva McGonagall

N - Theodore Nott (he sees Thestrals)

O - Garrick Ollivander

P - Harry Potter!

Q - Quirinus Quirrell

R - Helena Ravenclaw

S - Rita Skeeter (and her pen)

T - Nymphadora Tonks (Tonks!)

U - Dolores Jane Umbridge (kittens & pink do not make her a nice person)

V - Voldemort, duh.

W - Ron Weasley (or any of them really)



Y - Yaxley, a Death Eater

Z - Blase Zabini, friend of Malfoy




Well, how'd you do? Were you able to name that many?





Pam Margolis
A to Z co host and Unconventional Librarian



Many thanks to these websites for the odd bit of help: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Harry_Potter_characters, http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Bulgarian_National_Quidditch_team


Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for Willpower

The month of April has zoomed by at the speed of light, in my case anyway.

We're getting close to the finish line with only four W, X, Y and Z left before we can zone out and take a breather. So far, it's been a blast. I've come across many blogs with great topics. The only thing lacking seemed to be comments, which I can only assume is the result of two things, but I'll save those observations for my A-Z Reflections post.

Some of us will be zinging over the finish line come Thursday, others will be jogging over and some of us will be hanging on by a thread when we get there, but get there we will, because we can do it! Will-power to move forward is what has motivated many of us in this Challenge and another shot of will-power is what will keep us going until the 2015 Challenge comes to an end.

You may not have added 'writer' to your list of professional tags, but just in case you need a shot of energy or encouragement, here goes:

The life of the [professional] writer - like that of any freelance, whether she be a plumber or a podiatrist - is predicated on willpower. Without it there simply wouldn't be any remuneration, period.
                                                              
                                                                                     - Will Self

Have you written up all your posts yet? Ready to hit the visiting trail again this week? Scoping out any new blogs to visit?

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.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Peace, Bugs, and Understanding: An Adventure in Sibling Harmony


It's P Day


Which means P is for Pammy Pam,  
your fave unconventional librarian!

I have a book for you that I think you'll love:

Peace, Bugs, and Understanding: An Adventure in Sibling Harmony 
by Gail Silver, Illustrated by Youme Nguyen Ly


I know you're looking at the title and wondering what in the world the book is about. 
I also know you're loving the adorbs cover as much as I am!


So, here's a recap: Lily and her little sister Ruby are having a picnic when, in typical little sibling style Ruby ruins their checkers game. Lily is irritated at her sister, of course, but after reading a beautiful allegory about her grandfather who must come to terms with his angry feelings.
Lily learns to practice breathing techniques to calm herself and not feel so angry at her little sister too. The process of Metta is kind of like mindfulness, which includes breathing techniques and may help promote forgiveness.  

I love this sweet picture book for so many reasons! First the illustrations are breathtakingly simple watercolors that evoke the feeling of child like storytelling. Second the philosophies are Asian inspired and the people and the culture are beautifully authentic looking. And finally, I love the idea of teaching children (and the grown ups who are reading the book to them) how to channel their anger into positive feelings. 

As the book says;
May you be happy.
May you be strong.
May you be safe.
May you live with peace.  

We all could all benefit from a little more peace, bugs, and understanding, no? Do you have any suggestions for mindfulness for the little ones? Tell me!




Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A to Z Challenge - F - Go Farther!

We are one week into the Challenge!

It may seem like we still have a long way to go. But don’t give up now. Push yourself. You CAN go father then you think. Dare to dream big and keep pressing onward. You will amaze yourself at what you are able to accomplish if you just refuse to quit.

And when you aim for the moon, sometimes you do land among the stars.

I know, because I wrote one book and then decided to go a little bit farther. And today, my fourth book releases. I definitely went farther than I imagined!


By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military
Print ISBN 9781939844064, EBook ISBN 9781939844057

The ship of legends…
The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. Poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter, he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.
But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour?
One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?


Friday, March 27, 2015

Meet Your Co-Hosts! Fifty Shades of Nicole…

www.madlabpost.com
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. 

http://www.redcross.org/
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.

PostSecret
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. 

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

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Roadside Attraction with the Mighty A-to-Z Challenge Assets!

Thanks to all who have been doing the 4th annual Post-Challenge Road Trip. While we've racked up a lot of mileage visiting blogs between May and April, the last stretch of highway is a must-see before packing it in for this season. 

Speaking of the seasons changing, Stormy the Weather Gnome took Heather Gardner into their garage to unpack their road trip co-hosting activities. They will both be missed out here on the road; be sure to keep a lookout for them during the A-to-Z Challenge, as they embark on new adventures!

In the meantime, say hello to the assets of Nicole’s Mighty Minion Bureau! These ladies were in positions #53, #63 and #66, respectively, on last year’s signup list for the A-to-Z Challenge and are returning in 2015 for another year of blogging every day in April. As members of my Mighty Minion Bureau, they are also are a carefully selected team of dispatchers who keep the alphabet juice flowing through participants of the challenge.

“Special Agent” SydneyAaliyah Michelle blogs about tattoo stories, movie quotes and contemporary romance novels – including her own Hope series and Another New Life.

Vidya Sury is doing the A-to-Z Challenge with three blogs this year, including Collecting Smiles where she writes about positive messages on parenting, happiness, traveling and food.

Melanie Shultz blogs about life as an indie author and her five-year goal of building a world class publishing company; she’s already on her way, having released an alternative diction series about a private high school where students are trained to become rulers of tomorrow.

Want to know an easy way to speed through the road trip? Here's how...

If you visit every blog mentioned in this entire post today, you’ll have completed the five-blog minimum necessary for surviving the 2015 Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge. It’s a great way to develop and exercise those blog visiting muscles for April!

A-to-Z Challenge Co-Host Nicole Ayers writes about epic kissing scenes, gratitude and bathroom selfies in the workplace at The Madlab Post. Chat with her on Twitter @MadlabPost 

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.