#atozchallenge Reflections, 2019

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Well, the 10th Annual Blogging From A To Z April Challenge (hereinafter referred to as “the A to Z Challenge” or simply “the Challenge”) is done and dusted, in the can, finished &c. As is the tradition around here, both in Challenge Land and here on The Sound of One Hand Typing, it’s now time for John Holton’s Address to the Nation about The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of this year’s Challenge. Maestro, if you please:

  1. To Arlee, J, JR, Csenge, and Jeremy: it was an honor and a pleasure to work with you again, and I look forward to the next 11 months during which we come up with a way to outdo ourselves.
  2. Thank you to every who commented on my A to Z entries, whether or not you were participating yourself. As usual, I did a so-so job of returning the favor. I will visit all of you eventually, read all your entries, and leave lots of comments, I promise.
  3. I enjoyed my theme, “words that contain an X,” and I hope you did, too. I like choosing themes that are word-based, where the words have a common thread (e.g. portmanteaus, words that start and end with the same letter, &c.) as opposed to subject-based, where all the words are related to a single topic. It works the best for me. And yes, I practice what I preach: as I suggested here, I already have a theme for next year.
  4. I was really happy with the level of participation this year. My first year on the committee, we had a couple of thousand bloggers sign up, but only about 40% completed the Challenge. This year we had around 600 and it seemed like most of them (i.e. you) were involved from A to Z. I know there were some complaints that every time a blogger went to a blog on the list, the person wasn’t participating. We make no attempt at “sanitizing” the list like we did in previous years, simply because we don’t have the resources to do it. If you’d like to volunteer to monitor the master list and clean it up, there’s a place on this year’s after-challenge survey to volunteer.
  5. It’s always good to see old friends participating in the Challenge, and it’s also good to see new participants. I know a few people who decided to take the year off, for reasons that made perfectly good sense. We hope we see you next year.
  6. To that end, maybe we can hold a contest to see who can get the most other bloggers to do the challenge. Logistics are always a “TBD” type thing for that, but if you like the idea and want to see it come to life, leave me a comment.
  7. I know we should try to get a list of ten things, but I just have one more thing to say:

Stay thirsty, my friends…

A to Z ’17: Reflections



How did the A to Z Challenge go for me? Very smoothly. It should by now: this was my fifth year doing it, and I’ve learned from my mistakes in previous years.

  • I got everything written and scheduled before April 1.
  • I responded to most of my comments, at least giving the comments a “like.”
  • I tried to visit everyone that visited me, and the people who had visited them.
  • I found a lot of blogs by going through the list from the Theme Reveal. I’d visit a blog and its visitors, and added all that were participating in the challenge to a Feedly list so I’d remember where I’d found them. I think I added about a hundred blogs to that list.
  • You’ll find a list of my entries for the Challenge here. It’s the first entry in the list under “Special Pages” in the sidebar.

Now, hate me all you want: I suggested going without a list this year. We’ll talk about the reasons why we chose to go that way at a later date, probably on the Challenge blog. We’re all busy reading your reflection posts and tallying the results of the survey (which is here; you have until the 20th, a week from Saturday). From my perspective, I’ve always found that visiting my visitors and their visitors works much better than picking them at random off a list. Last year, by the way, Jacob had a project whre he went looking for new blogs to read, and documented the whole process. It’s a good read.

Great job, everyone! I’ll try to get to as many of you as I can over the next few months.

One other thing: Some WordPress users are having trouble leaving commnents on Blogger blogs. It was the reason I set up the simulcast blog for the main Challenge blog. If you’re in that position, here is a suggestion:

  • If you have a Google account, use it to comment on Blogger.
  • If you don’t have a Google account, open one, then use it to comment on Blogger.

Google hasn’t changed Blogger much since they got it, apart from finding new ways to force ads onto people’s pages and making it almost impossible to comment with anything other than a Google account. It’s a pain in the backside, just like almost everything else Google touches, but it’s best to play along.

Monday’s Music Moves Me AND A Reminder About the A to Z Challenge Reflections post

A lot of you (me included) who did the A to Z Challenge have already written your Reflections post about all that was good, bad, or indifferent about the Challenge and posted it to your blog. If you have, or if you plan on writing one, you have until the end of day on Friday to add it to the Linky you can find here. Read the instructions that accompany the Linky carefully and follow them. Then, spend some time visiting the posts that are linked there and find out what everyone else is thinking. Thanks!

It’s a freebie day for the A to Z Challenge, and I’m going to make life easy for myself and just post one video. I’d post more, but as you’ll see if you watch it, there are several songs in it. It’s from the Tennessee Ernie Ford Show from April 13, 1961, when Ernie’s guests were the Everly Brothers. Don and Phil do a couple of numbers together, “Lucille” and “Walk Right Back,” then Ernie joins them for a little joking around and two numbers, “Rattlesnake Blues” and “Bird Dog.”

I love this video. Tennessee Ernie Ford was a great country and gospel singer and he clearly was quite fond of the Everlys, and this was just one of many apearances they made on his show.

Anyway, that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for this week.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Stacy, and Naila Moon, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.