Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Reflections post #atozchallenge. I survived 2013

Over 4500 views... Congratulations the crowds go wild. I am thrilled with the results of the A to Z challenge and the outcome of my theme 'Healing with words', from a deck of Magic Spirit Cards I have loved for (almost) decades. The list of words is here, and includes ones that aren't in the deck because not every letter was represented. Other people have added words to the list too. When I am stuck for blog inspiration I will choose one of them to write about.  You too can go to the link and add a word or two if you like.

Now to the the organisers, co-hosts, assistants and helpers of the A to Z Challenge - Thank You.  I also enjoyed being one of L.Diane Wolfe's Spunky soldiers Here's the badge to prove it. 

This challenge is more than just social interaction, it has changed a very important part of my life, and no doubt created dreams for many hundreds of people.  

Would I change anything about this challenge?  No

Ok maybe one suggestion. I noticed a few drop outs because of 'too many rules'  I don't agree that there are too many, it really can't get much looser - but I loved  Klahanie's (aka Gary's) C.B.A approach of doing a post every few days, which included more than one letter. It might be easier for people that have full time lives that drag them away from the home, or stop participating because they feel like they've failed if they miss a post or two. Even though Gary is a grumbler about 'not participating' and is the most active anarchic participant - it might be worth taking note of.

Would I recommend new and/or experienced bloggers to join in?  I did and I will.

Would I suggest creating a new email account to keep up to date with posts, comments and replies?  Yes 

As a novice here's a summary of what happened along the way, as well as the links to all my A to Z 2013 posts - they should open in new windows so click, click away.  

A-  A is for Abundance  

Thrilling, first contact with new bloggers, up early - down late...  - I read a lot, fast and have dozens of tabs open waiting to be read. I know I can't keep up the pace of today's enthusiasm.

B - B is for Balance

I feel like I'm the first person in the world to post, and need to work out how to sort out comments and replies.  Today I received 100's of birthday wishes in my email, for  Joanne and Kate, my birthday is next year.  Wow Benevolent Bradley at Pass the sour cream did a special post just to teach me how to do links in comments.  

C - C is for Clarity

Night owls become early birds, scheduling posts to publish after midnight means I get to wake up to new comments.  Fun

D - D is for Dreams

So many many blogs to read...  Still trying to work out how to keep track. I want to go back and don't know how to get there - I've offered to be a Spunky Soldier - that's 20 more pages to check

E - E is for Embrace

Felt a warm embrace - It's a great idea to get ahead with posts but try not to accidentally post G instead of E!

F - F is for Freedom

We meet my first character - It's easier to talk about myself  - writing about someone else means I have to learn character description building -  and for some reason I keep trying to write poems.

G - G is for Grateful

I'm starting to find a few favourite blogs.  Greta the grouch grape, and Ermie and his GPS made me smile.

H. H is for Humility

Humbled when people share their thoughts - every comment is appreciated but special mentions to,   Susan at The Garden of EdenSusan at Siouxsies musingsZoe at re-written, and Mel at the Drafty Garret - ok too many mention and link too...

I - I is for Intuition - Healing with words

J - J is for Joy

So sleep deprived, one more post to publish, one more blog to read, one more comment to make, one more reply to answer, 4 hours later... forgot to eat - and do I sleep in late - I'm up at the crack of dawn to continue.

K - K is for Knowledge

At this point I stopped writing a daily reflection.

L - L is for Laughter

I changed to the title of the theme from words of change to healing with words.

M M is for Magic

The first post that was determined to be written despite it being nothing like what I had planned.

N - N is for Nothing

A sigh of relief - this poem has wanted attention for a long time.

The first letter that wasn't in my deck of cards - Ok seemed an obvious choice and turned out to be a lot of fun.

The most nerve wracking, a piece of my novel presented for the first time.

Another choice word. Who doesn't love a good quote?

What a perfect day to receive the first of two Leibster and an Inspiring blogger award, from Me at Scribblings and Brandy at Brandy's bustlings

No not snakes, just so many S words to choose from that includes a sweet and sexy story.

I had no doubt this word would provide some of it's own magic.

Nominated for my 3rd Leibster blog award by the lovely Mary Hill

Away for a few days, this was the last of my ahead of schedule posts.

The last three letters were like the last 3 km's of a marathon. End in sight, not sure how I was going to make it.  I knew I could do it, but the energy levels were depleting fast.  Through this subconcious haze a miracle happened.  

A letter to a friend, this one was so personal it almost never made it to screen, the most heart felt post.

A contronym that had me confused and a fun word game...

You think by the time you get to the end of something you have it all figured out, this post was one of those "I feel so stupid but so much smarter now" moments.  :)

I have one more blog I have to mention - Miss Bates at Embrace yourself alliterated her way through the whole alphabet.  Joining her in this journey has been rewarding.  You will need a dictionary for many of her posts, her efforts are even more amazing when you know that English is not her first language... the power of the mind is ineffably incredible.

I'll be keeping my 2014 calendar as free as possible so that I can take on this challenge again. I'm thinking of doing Australian slang for the next one... 

In the meantime - I'll be giving myself a pat on the back for a job well done, sorting out the inbox mess I have created, following my inspirations (which could be this May Challenge), checking out yours and Sailing through Spring and Summer. Literally because a friend just lent us his yacht, you should see The Captain's smile...

Lots of love always



Add a word to my healing with words of change list here.


  1. I'm not understanding what the blog hop linky is? I didn't know you were one of the soldiers. Congrats on finishing, and thanks for helping out. There are quite a few things I would change. Don't understand anyone thinking there were too many rules, it was wide open. I also don't see how a post that combines multiple letters as a time saver. You're still writing the same amount. In general I thought there weren't enough rules. People are told not to use captcha's but they do anyway, they're told not to make visitng and commenting hard, but they do anyway..with needing to join somethng to comment. I didn't join anything; but sadly you don't know that until you've taken the time to read, and type your comment so you feel like you're wasting your time.

    1. I guess it depends on your content - you wouldn't be writing as much if for example your D,E,F posts was something simple like - Doing Everything Fast - or your three favourite authors or whatever your theme is. I know what you mean about captcha's etc... but there isn't really anything I would change in the rules.

  2. Hi Ida .. fun post - particularly about Gary - who has his own take on life ... but has a huge amount of fun going along with him ..

    I love the Challenge - cheers Hilary

  3. Thanks Masked Mom. I think scheduling posts is a great idea, I hope to be well prepared next year too. It was certainly a huge commitment.

  4. Ida, a stellar wrap up as always! Especially the part about me (HA!). Gary is quite a character I agree. I have yet to comment there but must at some point. I will say again how much I enjoyed following with you the past month and it is an addiction I can now not disreguard. Peace...Z~

    1. Thanks Zoe, I hear addiction I think withdrawals and side effects... seeing as I'm not a drug, designer, prescription, synthetic or grass roots, I hope this e-addiction is one that fosters ecstasy without the come down :D

  5. Someone else asked about combining because her followers that subscribe by email were overwhelmed by daily emails. While the spirit of the Challenge is the daily posting, I really don't have a problem with it.
    And we enjoy our Anti-Challenge Unofficial Mascot Gary!

  6. Greetings Ida,

    Upon um reflection, I truly appreciate your making note of my shy, humble and oh so unassuming self. Of course, the irony is that my good natured, mostly satirical take on the A to Z, was actually promoting it for those who may have considered participating.

    However and this is partly cynical, there are aspects of the challenge that have nothing to do with sharing, caring interaction. There are those who do it to use it as tool to blatantly self-promote and accumulate followers. That aspect, I find disturbing.

    In balance, there are a lot of positive aspects that I embrace in my own alternative way. I just think a month long challenge is not conducive to my blog. I'd much rather do my own thing. Which, in my weird way, I certainly did. My aim was to give some light relief to those who may or may not have been struggling with the A to Z.

    Dear friend, you epitomise the ethos of the positive interaction. This have been thoughtfully conveyed in your daily postings. And yes, a positive aspect to all of this is that through this, I've had the great honour of getting to know you.
    You Spunky Soldier you! :) "Anti-Challenge Unofficial Mascot Gary!" Yikes!

    In peace and goodwill,

    Gary :)

    1. Well it's not very often a man puts the type of smilie on my face that might make the captain jealous, but being a called a spunky soldier, by an anti challenge unofficial mascot, switched on my rebel gene a bit, and I'm still blushing. I wish I was a saintly as the positive person you describe, I try to make everyone feel good, forget their small worries, see the bigger picture, or the smaller one sometimes, but I also love seeing a new follower, or page views climbing too. I am glad you do your own thing - your perspective 'grumbles and all' is precious to me.

  7. Wonderful wrap-up, Ida. It was a pleasure to find you during the challenge. You really worked hard during April, I'm amazed you would consider the May challenge too. But go for it, I say!

    1. Honestly Sherilee, I think the clean up and sort from this challenge will take longer than a month, and i have seriously considered starting my own challenge, because May is just to close to April... it's funny all that pressure and effort, never once felt like hard work... xo

  8. Wonderful reflection post I enjoyed every last word.
    Congrats on the completion of the challenge.


  9. Thank you again for helping me with the list!

    Too many rules? I didn't think we had too many. Combining letters is one to think about though.

  10. Making rounds from the reflection linky today, I did find the linky thing and am on board with the other challenge.

    1. Lovely Sandy, It will be interesting to see what you and Flat Stanley get up too :)

  11. This is a great wrap up! Good job on the A-Z Challenge.

  12. Great reflection post, Ida. As a new participant, I found nothing I'd change, but I'm sure it looks slightly different if you've been around for some time. And I have to learn about the blog hop. So many new fun things to learn. :)
    Loved coming in here and will follow you going forward.

    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

  13. Hi Ida, thanks for your many visits to my series, that's much appreciated. Love your theme and will need to come back and read some of your posts. Was too busy flying around the list to do it in April.
    Love what you said about Gary - yes, he deserves mention and praise for his humble and unassuming way of encouraging us along the way.
    Great reflections post, great summary.

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

    1. Hi Tina. I found so many great blogs on my flying visits too. Hope to take a better look around on the road trip.

  14. You had a successful theme. Way to go, Ida! Really enjoyed your posts.

  15. I don't think I ever really would have got this blog off the ground with out it... Schools were in lock out mode here in Denmark for the whole month so I had a lot of spare time on my hands, it was perfect timing but I was exhausted by the end. They don't have to be long posts, a photo even and only loosely related to the alphabet. There were some simple and fun themes and it was a great way to connect into the blogosphere

  16. What a wonderful Reflection post!! I agree job WELL DONE!!
    Peanut Butter and Whine


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