So, it's over and now it's time for reflections on the wonderful madness that was the A-Z Challenge 2015. I'm going to keep this brief because just like the Challenge itself, there are many posts to get to.
First of all, from a creative writing point of view, this Challenge was really good for me. I really enjoyed my theme because it gave me the opportunity to create stories from a prompt without agonising and dwelling over them - really, I was just throwing them out there, and I was slightly worried about the response to them, but shouldn't have been. The response was really encouraging, so thank you. (Although I think I grossed some people out on a couple of occasions - sorry!) I now have a pick 'n' mix smorgasbord of ideas to come back to and take forward, and I am grateful to the visitors for guiding me in this - for one post in particular, a majority of commenters said it felt like part of a larger story. So that aspect was really positive.
There was also a really great mix of topics on offer this year, and although certain factors stopped me from getting to quite as many new blogs as I would have liked to - an unreliable connection, and putting our house on the market - I still made a good number of new friends and I'm looking forward to seeing what they all get up to when not A-Zing. I posted for the IWSG at the beginning of the month that I wouldn't get stressed about the Challenge, and I stuck to that. Some days I got to five new blogs on the list, some days just one, and a couple of times not at all. But it's cool, although on several occasions I did not get a response back from those I commented on - and also I did not see many new followers in my GFC, but I don't think many newer bloggers even know what GFC is as it was missing from many new blogs. Then I just paste their URL into my blog feed (which I have to do anyway as my reader doesn't have anything to do with Google. I just like GFC and then they know I'm following them). But those are minor quibbles. Here I want to do a shout out to some new friends I met who commented on many if not all of my posts. Some I met via the Theme Reveal before April started, another great feature.
- Keith @ Keith's Ramblings - posted quirky and entertaining flash fiction
- Tasha @ Tasha's Thinkings - posted on various gods from ancient mythology, often including their representation in contemporary culture
- Sophie @ Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - posted on how to use different emotions in writing
- Tamara Narayan - she made maths fun!
- A Tarkabarka Holgy @ MopDog - posted about the fascinating variety of ways to die in medieval Hungary
- Djinnia @ Djinnia and the English Language - posted about aspects of Paganism
- Liz @ Laws of Gravity - posted about the trials and tribulations of substitute teaching
- Jennifer @ The Writing Game - posted about her hometown of Hannibal, Missouri, also the hometown of a certain Mr Mark Twain
- Michael Abayomi - posted about some great bands and artists from A to Z, including some of my faves!
- Deidre @ Pensive Pens - posted about the wildlife and landscape of Arizona
- Patricia Lynne - kickass flashes with many a dark twist
- Betty @ A Bench with a View - Back to Arizona with various aspects of life in the state
- Sara C. Snider - More flash fiction with a magical edge
- Sua @ Doorway Between Worlds who posted about Rogue Words
And some of my regular blogging buddies whose themes I particularly enjoyed...
- Annalisa Crawford - excellent flash fiction
- Jaybird @ Bird's Nest who took us on a tour around her home state of New Jersey
- Hilary @ Positive Letters, Inspirational Stories who posted about the history, mythology and culture of Cornwall with her usual eloquence and nuggets of knowledge
- J.E. O'Neil @ Still Writing who posted about word etymologies with typical dry wit
- Jay Noel who posted about mythological characters
- Jean Davis @ Discarded Darlings who invited word contributions to write the beginnings of stories
- Elise Fallson who gave us a game of I Spy
- Chrys @ Write with Fey who posted about natural and manmade disasters
- Sarah @ The Faux Fountain Pen who posted about all the ways to go about naming our characters (useful for me!)
- Lee @ The Write Game who posted about her travels in Burma
- David Powers King who offered character profiles from his book Woven with sketches by Father Dragon
- Shell @ Tangent Shell who posted about her town of Bellingham, Washington
- Jenn @ Scribbles from Jenn who posted about episodes of The Twilight Zone
- Melissa @ Have You Heard who posted a crime mystery throughout the month
- Mina @ Mina Burrows who posted about the sensational stories to be found in Victorian Penny Dreadfuls
- Trisha @ Word + Stuff who posted beautiful pictures from her globetrotting adventures
- Although she sadly didn't get to complete the Challenge, I really enjoyed the posts on the Art of the American West by loverofwords @ Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax and Cabbages and Kings
Sorry if I missed anyone out!
Did you do the Challenge and did it go well? Would you consider it next year?