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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Tuesday Two Fer: Kristine Asselin and Loralie Hall

         Today we have two short posts from 2011 participants in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

My Photo
  Kristine Carlson Asselin

          First a short endorsement from KRISTINE ASSELIN who writes contemporary young adult and middle grade fiction and middle grade nonfiction as well as the occasional picture book.  And she still made some time to blog from A to Z in April of 2011.

Reflecting on A-Z

I'm so glad I participated in this challenge! I'm happy to say I successfully completed--even being on vacation away from my computer for a week. And to think I signed up only a couple of days before it started. And didn't realize at first that the posts had to actually be in A-Z order (true, my first few scheduled posts had to be retitled to reflect the appropriate letter. duh.)

I'll admit that I didn't comment as heartily on others blogs as the month progressed, but I did "meet" some great bloggers through this event.

Welcome to all my new followers!

Thanks to Elizabeth Mueller for creating this award.
          Up next we hear from Loralie Hall who assessed the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge on her blog Apathy's Hero.  Loralie is a writer who has several things going these days.

A to Z Challenge Reflections

For anyone who is mourning the passing of the A-Z blogging challenge, or wondered what kind of inanities I'd come up with now that I don't have letters to motivate me, fear not. The wonderful folks who started the whole thing are hosting a reflections blog hop.

It's been an interesting month. Like with a lot of things, when I signed up I didn't pour too much thought into how I would get the task done. I blog five days a week anyway, and even though Saturday is the one day I never blog, I figured it wouldn't be a big deal for four weeks.

And the kind folks I used to work for laid me off a week before the challenge started. So that meant even more free time to blog. As long as I could slog my way through the more negative repercussions of unemployment.

And then I found out that thinking up words that start with each letter is easy. Relating them to writing...took a bit of a stretch of the imagination on my part. I'm pretty sure on most days I didn't quite follow my own themes. 

It was all worth it though. The challenge was nice, but for me the best part was all the new people I met. I have more followers now *waves*. But even better, I discovered some amazing new bloggers and talent out there. I didn't comment on every site, but I visited each and every one and I was amazed with what I discovered. The diversity in theme, blogging style, thought process, all of it, was wonderful. 

In the end, I'm super happy I signed up, and thrilled I got to meet you all. I'd do it again without hesitation, and I can't thank the organizers and participants enough.

          Writers like the A to Z Challenge because it adds another dimension to the writing experience and it allows them do stretch a bit while having a good time writing.  It's also a great way to network.  If you're blogging anyway, you might as well blog from A to Z with us in April.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Duncan in Kuantan

My Photo       All the way from Kuantan Pahang, Malaysia Duncan Horne kept up with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge on his blog Our Home Called Kuantan.    In his Reflections post he talks about some of the bloggers he met in the Challenge and offers some statistics concerning his blog's performance in April 2011.

A-Z April blogging challenge overview

The A-Z April blogging challenge was an ambitious project which I thoroughly enjoyed. Though blogging each day was tough at times, I enjoyed the challenge of posting through the alphabet. I struggled the most with an 'x' post, which I had been worrying over from the start. But it turns out that I came across a great 'x' word just in the knick of time with "xenodocheionology" meaning 'love of hotels.'

I lost count of how many times I hit the 'Next blog' button or the 'Surprise me' button but I'm sure I got through a lot of blogs! It was sad to see that some of the blogs I visited had either not started the challenge or quit mid-way through. But I can totally understand the difficulty of keeping up from day to day.

I did however, come across some great blogs, most of them writing blogs, and made a few friends in the process. I have to mention Paul Joseph. I came across his blog and immediately connected with his style of writing. I made numerous re-visits to his blog, often leaving comments, to which he replied. It helped that I met him on Facebook too.

Rosalind Adam is another person I have got to know better through this challenge. I have also become re-acquainted with my hometown of Leicester, England, where Rosalind lives and blogged about.

I found myself returning to Bish Denham's blog each day of the challenge, for her thoughtful posts about a variety of topics. The fact that she introduced a vocabulary word at the start of each post, like me, was another draw.

Reading Melissa Kline's blog each day was a little delight as she covered five new words beginning with each letter of the alphabet and then proceeded to make sentences with those words. Finally, she combined all of her sentences using words from A-Z to make a story!

A. B. Keuser conducted a fascinating blog writing a paragraph of words, the vast majority beginning with the letter of the day. Such a fascinating read and quite a mouthful too!

English Speaking Zone hosted by Barbara was another one I visited every day. The grammar terms were good for me as I'm an English teacher.

Holly Jones documented an A-Z of London, reminding me of England very nicely indeed!

Finally, Denise wrote a very informative A-Z of places in the world with piles of information about each one.

There were so many other blogs which I loved and commented on, but which I can't mention here in this overview. I'm sure there are yet many blogs which I haven't got round to visiting.

I hope you all enjoyed my A-Z from *Our home called Kuantan* because I certainly had a fun time composing it. Whether or not I'll continue to post on 26 out of 30 or 31 days per month is still unknown. I had to be extremely disciplined in preparing posts and also taking some time to visit others.

I'll finish with a few facts and statistics regarding my blog during the month of April, 2011:

During the month of April, 2011, I :

· gained 69 followers

· received 2,244 visits to *Our home called Kuantan*

· had 9,321 page views

· had 284 comments to my posts

So It has been an overwhelmingly successful month for me and my blog. Thank you to all of those who contributed to those statistics, but more importantly, for allowing me to get to know you and your passions, and for me to show you my life in Kuantan.

           There you have it.  Last April worked for Duncan and he's looking forward to this year's Challenge.  Duncan plans to be back.   How about you?

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Zee Is Not the End---Happy New Year! a message from KC Kendricks

Happy new yearImage by bupowski via Flickr

Happy New Year!!!   2012 Is Here!

          Today's special New Year's greeting--or shall I say Reflection of 2011 and rallying call to 2012-- comes from KC Kendricks of Between the Keys.

Zee End

April 30, 2011
A to Z Blogging Challenge
Day 26 - Z

We’re finally to ‘Z’ in the A to Z Blogging marathon. I wasn’t sure I could pull it off – don’t go there – but here I am, at Zee. One thing is for sure - Zee is not final. It’s not an end in and of itself. It’s a stepping-stone to another level, one that I feel challenged to attain. Zee is having kept the commitment to complete the challenge and looking forward to next year.

The 2011 A-Z Blogging Challenge brought bloggers from all over the Internet together. I stopped by the blogs of writers, gardeners, movie lovers, chefs, moms, music lovers - you name it, the bloggers were there. How wonderful to have a glimpse into the lives of so many and see how the things I love are shared by others.

Sadly, the A-Z 2011 Blogging Challenge has to end. Zee must be met for this year and I must get back to zee writing. Thanks to everyone who stopped by Between the Keys, especially those who decided to click the follow button. I hope you’ve gotten a smile or two, or at least been entertained in some fashion.

Will I do the A to Z Challenge in 2012? It depends on where I am in my life to some extent, but I plan to regardless of those unexpected things the future may bring. I'm already plotting and planning, on the lookout for interesting topics for all the letters. Perhaps I'll even blog on one central theme. Check back and see.

I need to keep going toward my goal of a better me, to remember that no matter how hard I work or how much I learn, it’s likely my best will always be out there ahead of me, in the undiscovered country. I’ll make it there, someday. Rest assured I travel a path that allows me to enjoy the journey.

KC Kendricks
website at:
mailing list at:

        I like the way you put that KC.  I hope many will choose to enjoy the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge journey this year.

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