Sunday, January 24, 2016

Signing up for A to Z


2016 Challenge


I believe in magic. This sentence was written to jog my memory of a great blog topic. Unfortunately it has reminded me of zilch.

A schedule is good for me. Following it is the problem. Today is the sign-up for Blogging A to Z in April. I did the challenge last April and had a blast. I have tentatively worked on my blog posts so I can spend time every day visiting other blogs. There are always too many to check out.

This year, I will be a minion of Alex Cavanaugh. He is one of the hosts of the challenge. Last year I helped Susan Gourley.

Essentially, I read blog posts and report if there is a problem. The biggest problem are people who are eager to do the challenge but fail to make posts. Sort of like when you buy tickets for an event or say you will go to some party and when it happens, you wish you hadn't. You got other things to do or it would be great to just watch television.

There are spam blogs which the A to Z make quick work of deleting. Crazy sales blogs which make no sense to English speakers or porn. One blog last year opened into something weird. I can't remember exactly what it did. However, two days later it opened with a normal blog post.

Looking at different blogs, I learned what I don't want to do with my blog. I also found some great blogs. I am listing a few of the great blogs I visit below. Some I came across in the challenge, some I discovered when I read someone's comment on another blog and decided to check them out.

One thing that I do is comment on blogs. If it is a blog which gets a million hits a week, I comment if I have something to say. Otherwise, I always try to say something. I think we are all curious who comes a calling.

Writing comments has helped my responses be more conversational. It is true, the more you create, the more creative you become. The same is true for expressing yourself. The A to Z challenge is all about making friends. Surprisingly, all of the big wigs will visit you and comment on your blog. Many times before you make it to their blog.

Eight great blogs - not in order of how I like them. I visit many more than this on a regular basis. So I can make this Eight great blog list many times again. This is just the tip of the iceberg. However this will keep you busy unless you dive right in reading bloggers who sign up for A to Z. If you are interested in signing up, this is a link for A to Z challenge.

1.  Bouncing Barb in Florida    Barb is a memoirist who has quite an interesting life. Her blog is friendly and you feel like you have known her your whole life.

2. Arlee Bird   Wrote by Rote by Arlee Bird is full of personal stories about Arlee's life as a professional in the entertainment world and his family who were professional jugglers. Arlee has another much larger blog called Tossing it out. Arlee is the founder and host of the A to Z challenge.

3. Writing in the Crosshairs is a writer's blog that gives great tips on writing and blogging. Roland Yeoman makes reference to so many ideas and quotes, his blog is incredible.  Roland Yeoman writes historical fiction in a sci-fi format. I have purchased several of his books but only read "Her Bones are in the Badlands". He states he is not well known but his writing is brilliant. If you like Kurt Vonnegut, you will really like Yeoman.

4. Rhyme Time by Pat Hatt was the first blogger I met through A to Z. Pat writes books for adults and children. He posts a humorous poem everyday. I don't know how he does it but he does. Supposedly the blog is written by two cats, Orlin and Cassie. I enjoy his blog in that my dad could speak in rhymes. It just has a joy to it.

5. Romance and Mystery writer, Maris Soule gives incredibly useful and straightforward tips for any writer. The last blog post discussed how you format a manuscript to submit to agents or publishers. I did not know that either will automatically reject your manuscript if it is not formatted properly. They have much to choose from. I've read one of Maris' romantic thrillers called "A Murder of Crows" and it was a great read.

6. Pastimes, Passions, Paraphernalia is a terrific blog by Carolyn von Poppel from Australia. Her posts are a mix of memoir and everyday life which is fascinating for this American.

7. Donetta's world  Donetta's blog is a very creative mix of fiction and personal observations. Donetta is a very talented writer who I met when I participated in Trifecta challenges.

8. TMW Hickman's Not Just Another Mother Blogger is filled with personal observations. Hickman is currently a cancer survivor and was bold enough to share the hell which is chemo and radiation. I first met her with Trifecta and a few other bloglist sites.


20 comments:

  1. And already, I have some new blogs to check out, even before the Challenge begins!
    Sign ups start late tonight. Get on the list early.
    Thanks again for being a Ninja Minion! Since Susan isn't a co-host this year, she's also helping me. I have a really awesome team.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being a minion gives me some structure. It is hard to know where to start with so much available. You are truly on top of the blog world. Thanks for visiting Alex.

      Delete
  2. Yeah, getting rid of the stupid spammers on the list can be a pain. Some don't know the undertaking it will be. There are a ton of blogs indeed. Fun to hop around. The cat is glad to be the first, even if you got his name wrong lmao Orlin and Cassie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fixed it. I knew I should check those names. Truth be told, I don't think those cats really write the blog.

      Delete
  3. Hi Ann...I'm very humbled to be on your list of blogs!! Thank you so very much. I have not done the A-Z challenge because I know I won't complete it so why start it. I just blog away when the mood hits..LOL. Thanks again for the shout out!! You're pretty awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is why when I read a good comment, I backtrack to read the person's blog if they have one. It is a good way of finding what is out there. Last year when I got to UXYZ, I was a little sorry. They were difficult to do.

      Delete
  4. And you were a terrific minion last year! I backed off from being an administrator this year to helping Alex as a minion also. I have more time to enjoy the other blogs if I'm not doing as much behind the scenes work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fun. With as many irons in the fire you have, I can understand why you chose to not be an administrator. I love visiting the blogs; but, I am glad we have Sunday's off. It is good to take a break.

      Delete
  5. Hi, fellow minion! It's going to be a fun month. I was part of a helper group last year...now I'm not sure if it was called a minion in the group I was in. But I was surprised how many people drop out of the challenge along the way. Some don't even make it past B! It was fun keeping the list clean.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does channel some energy. Plus, it is annoying to come on the spammer blogs. Nice to know you can get them off quickly. I helped Susan last year.

      Delete
  6. I wish you best of luck with the A-Z. Not sure if I will be throwing my hat into the ring or not. A lot depends on whether I have my internet issues cleared up by then. I didn't participate last year. I enjoyed the break, but in the same vein, I am not sure I have the stamina to post everyday anymore even with internet. We will see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand internet issues. I periodically get knocked off the grid and it always takes awhile to get back on. My goal was to have my posts written before the end of this month. I haven't settled on a theme. So - I may be sorry or busy.
      I certainly hope you get your energy back. It does take a bit. I'll be praying for you.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. It will be fun. I enjoyed the challenge last year.

      Delete
  8. So glad to connect, Ann. Thanks for dropping over at Life In Dogs — loved your comment :) And so cool you'll be helping out with the A-to-Z! Yep, it's a lot of work (I've helped out before, probably will again this year), but the idea of keeping the list (HUGE already, and it's only the 2nd day of sign-ups!) clean and spam-free for other bloggers, so they can make the best of the month, is such a great satisfaction. Will be seeing you on the rounds!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I saw your blog title, I knew we were kindred spirits. I have 8 dogs. They are working dogs in addition to wonderful friends.
      The list is huge. Last year, I really was going to visit every blog. I stopped at the end of the month. No use trying, there were so many.

      Delete
  9. I saw your name on the minions list! Very cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am truly a small time blogger. It makes my hobby a lot more fun having a helper job plus I have met some great people.

      Delete
  10. I am so looking forward to A-Z April. I don't currently have any plans or a schedule or anything set up for it, but it is definitely one of my favorite times of the year. I feel like thinking in the A-Z format encourages me to be more creative. :)

    Hoping you have as much fun reading through and discovering new blogs during A-Z as a minion as I do … as a not. :) Kudos to you for making the time to do that. You and all of the moderators of A-Z are truly what make it an enjoyable experience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is very kind of you to write. Being a minion gives me a little structure and motivation to make the most of the challenge. Last May, my intention to look at all the blogs I did not get to just fell to the wayside.

      Delete

Your thoughts.