April is gone and the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2015 is over...or is it? (I envision a Dr. Sheldon Cooper Spock-like raised eyebrow above un-Spock-like twinkly eyes, and a sly, all-knowing smile. Yeah, I'm a nerd. Actually, I haven't made it up the Outcast Chain to Nerddom yet. I'm still a Dweeb. But that's a different blog post.)
It would seem there is one final blog post associated with the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2015: a Reflections post. Due anytime during the week after the challenge concluded. I missed the May 8th deadline so I'm posting late.
I stumbled into the challenge the day before it started thinking, Oh this will be fun--I'll have a reason to blog daily (my goal this year is to resurrect my non-existent personal blog and get in the habit of blogging 2-3 times a week).
For the most part I wrote and posted daily during the challenge--I almost always write something daily, it's the posting thing I don't always do. My iPhone is full of unfinished notes (100+) and email drafts (500+) many of which started out as blog post ideas, but never matured to fruition. But, for the most part during the challenge, I wrote AND posted something daily. I say "for the most part," because two posts were late. Considering I posted more times in one month than I have in several years total, I consider myself a Challenge Winner, so I get to wear the Winner T-shirt.
But more than getting to wear the t-shirt, this is what I got out of the challenge:
I learned blogging is hard work.
It was more difficult than I thought it would be to come up with a topic each day, carve out the time to craft a poem or narrative, organize my scattered-ness and edit my typos, and finally post it--only to read it later and find problems and typos glaring back at me! I learned I really need to prewrite, in order to have time to walk away, then come back to it with fresh editor-eyes, so I can fix the glares before I publish, all by the daily deadline.
During the month I visited all kinds of blogs: food blogs, travel blogs, animal/pet blogs, writing blogs, poetry blogs, personal blogs--and the list goes on. I saw many different styles of writing, content, voice, and style. I saw things I liked and wanted to try or imitate, and I saw things I didn't care for or wanted to avoid on my own blog. I FaceBook friended or followed blogs or tweets of several bloggers. I saw more traffic to my own blog and someone even started following my blog. [I've got a couple of Twitter followers (even though I think I've only tweeted once or twice) and I have several (still less than 100) people who follow all my Pinterest Boards; however, until this challenge I had never had anyone follow my blog. Partly because I never promote it and partly because it's a personal blog with inconsistently timed posts of my un-themed written drivel.]
I'm still floundering with voice, style, and theme for my blog, but I think I've also grown a little--if only to be bolder--I normally lurk in the shadows of the blogs I follow. But during the challenge I *gasp* interacted with other bloggers.
And I survived.
In fact, I actually enjoyed the interactions. Total strangers read my posts and encouraged me. And when I saw how empowering that was, I in turn left comments on other blogs.
I still have lots of techy-stuff I need to figure out. Things like:
1) I never got the hang of linking my blog to anyone else's
2) I never figured out how to grab a badge (maybe my iPhone doesn't support that?).
3) Next year I need to remember to declare my blog content (I forgot and couldn't edit once I had registered).
And I need to set aside more Blog Reading Time each day.
One of the things I found frustrating--enough so I contacted the Challenge Administrator--was the inability to easily find my own blog each day because the number changed as blogs were culled. (I never found the search box mentioned in the FAQs--perhaps due to the limitations of my iPhone). This difficulty also meant I had a difficult time finding the 5 blogs before and after me (some of which were blocked when I attempted using my work computer during my lunch break). And it made finding random blogs I had enjoyed reading the day before, unless I followed them, difficult to refind. I also suggested it would be nice if we could pull up other blogs by name or by category. It was way too time consuming to hunt for blogs specific to my interests because I had to scroll through 1,500-1,700 blog titles each time.
I also expressed my gratitude for all the Admins and work they had put into the challenge. Even through my frustrations with the limitations of my iPhone, as well as the limitations of the challenge site, I LOVED this experience and I was learning a lot about blogging through my own trial and error--but also by visiting other blogs, and interacting. I really didn't expect a response from the Admin during the challenge, but she graciously responded.
Overall, the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2015 was AWESOME and I look forward to next year. Maybe I'll have figured out some things by then--badge grabbing, challenge theme, linking and following... just a few of the basics.
Until next year, Happy Blogging! Of course, you're always welcome to stop by before the challenge...
Welcome to the BOMB.
The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
Bandit is my Hairless Chinese Crested--he's the "normal" one. I, on the other hand, am unrepentantly "pet-crazy." You know the type--the spinster who lives in the haunted house three blocks over with 72 cats...okay, so I don't have 72 cats, and my house isn't haunted--but my dogs wardrobe is better than mine! Need I say more? :~)
I've never been consistant at journaling, so the timing of my blogs will be sporadic at best. I just hope they are as entertaining to you as they are to me; however, be forewarned: Most of my blogs will be about The BaldOne. In spite of his Don King "do," I think he's just as cute as any of the Brothers B!
Now, if I can just remember not to get him wet--or feed him after midnight...
- My bags are packed and I'm always ready to seek out an adventure with Bandit and Moggy in tow. Bandit is my ten year old Chinese Crested, who I frequently call The Bald One or The BaldOne Boy (like he was one of the Baldwin Brothers). Moggy’s full name is Pip-Moggy. He’s my gansta-resuce kitty. I couldn’t decide between Pip (which are the spots on die and domino tiles) and Moggy (or Moggie when I mistakenly thought he was a she), so I combined the two. Moggy refers to the British term for "cat of unknown parentage .” So in essence, I have an almost bald dog, and I’ve named my cat “Spot.”
Fun Stuff (I'm doing now or have done)
- Artistic Attempts weekly (alternating between Painting With A Twist, That Art Place, and Peniot's Palette).
- Bunko with the Belton Bunko Babes monthly.
- Participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
- Spades and Liverpool Rummy with the Spadetts weekly.
- The Mighty Texas Dog Walk, Austin (fund raiser for Service Dogs, Inc--they train shelter dogs to be Service Dogs, then give them free of charge to people with disabilities.)