Ab ovum ad malum: an #atozchallenge review

Now I’ve said my Alpha-Bravo-Charlie’s,
Tell me what you think of me…

This is the first time I’ve participated in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. It was the catalyst for me to start a blog, and I haven’t regretted it. I enjoyed writing the entries, I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and replying to them, and I enjoyed reading everyone else’s blog entries and leaving comments.

The NATO Spelling Alphabet proved to be a simple, yet challenging theme. Next year, my toughest challenge will be to come up with a theme that provides as much of a challenge. I’ll probably spend the next 48 weeks coming up with lists of words starting with each letter of the alphabet and based around a common theme. Maybe the trick to that is to pick a word that starts with “X” and base the list around that.

It wasn’t until close to the end of the challenge that I figured out how to pick five blogs at random to visit. That worked better for me than taking the next five blogs in the list. I have since learned that Linky would have done that for me. (It’s entirely possible that this was mentioned in one of the posts; but that I missed it.) I learned about the Ruby rand(x) command and about Random.org, though, and they did the trick for me. Still, I didn’t get around to as many blogs as I would have liked. Next year, I start sooner and read more blogs.

I think of myself as a fiction writer, but I had a blast writing the posts for this. (Judy at Raising The Curtain even dubbed me the “Fact King”; guess there’ll be no living with me now.) A few of the topics got away from me: the alpha post was originally about brain waves, while the x-ray post was originally about x-rays and how they’re part of the electromagnetic spectrum (ultimately, it would have morphed into a discussion of CONELRAD). Both posts ended up way too complicated to write, and I ended up approaching those topics from another angle.

I appreciate everyone who dropped in to visit. One of my more faithful visitors, Louise Behiel, wasn’t doing the Challenge herself, but visited regularly and always provided feedback. She’s a therapist, and her blog deals with issues such as codependency and emotionally barren families. It’s helped me on a personal level and gave me some ideas for how to add some emotional depth to my fiction writing. She’s also the author of Family Ties, a 4.7-star romance available at Amazon. Then there’s the aforementioned Judy from Raising the Curtain, who, like my mother, has three sons and seems to have figured them out. Arlee Bird also provided great feedback, and, as everyone knows, is one of the hosts of the Challenge, for which I thank him and the other hosts.

This has been a good way to meet new people and try a few new ideas. I have a whole new perspective on what writing is all about. Thanks, everyone!

8 thoughts on “Ab ovum ad malum: an #atozchallenge review

  1. thanks for mentioning my blog and my book, John,. I thoroughly enjoyed your blog. it was fun to see what you were going to come up with next. and yes, I’d dub you the king of facts. we’ve had some interesting conversations about a variety of topics. i’m looking forward to more posts in the future…I never would have guessed this was the push that got you blogging – you read like a superstar.


  2. Thanks for the acknowledgement, John. I only wish I could have been more attentive to everyone on the list. Loved your thematic approach. Glad to read this very positive review of the April Challenge. Your idea of starting with X is not a bad one at all, but still gave me a smile. X can be a tough one.


    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog


    1. I saw a lot of bloggers who just about gave up when it got to X. That might be one area that you’ll wwant to warn people about. I had a great time with this. I’m already looking forward to next year.


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