Monday, March 3, 2014

A to Z Challenge 2014


    Time has a way of getting away from us.  Before you know it, you're getting to bed before your kids, you've actually been heard saying "back in my day," and you get winded from farting.

    And another A To Z Challenge is upon us.

    The brainchild of Arlee Bird from Tossing It Out, the A to Z Challenge challenges (oh that explains the title) us to write a blog every day using a letter from the alphabet.  Since there's only 26 letters (I checked) that gives us a chance to take some time off.  Imagine if there were thirty letters in the alphabet.  Or we were using the Chinese alphabet.  Hoo boy!


Yeah, this ended in quite a surprise.

    Smart people start writing their posts now and set them on Delayed Post to pop on the appropriate day.  That way, they can spend the month just reading and commenting.  Many people also adopt a theme.  Last year, for example, I chose History, while I've seen some themes using cartoon characters.  Or sexy cartoon characters.  I won't judge.

  Or people are encouraged to "wing it."  This is pretty neat, too.

  I've participated in the challenge the past three years.  I've very much enjoyed the challenge (there's that word again) and gained some new followers in the process.  This is a big selling point to me, because navigating around Blogger can be daunting.  It's great to have a little assistance.  You comment on my blog, I comment on yours.  As I've said before, this is what I call the "literary reach-around."

  NOTE:  This is a ribald double entendre, if you didn't catch my drift.  If you want to find out what I'm talking about, feel free to Google it.  I won't take responsibility for what shows up on your computer, though.  But, it involves Woody from Toy Story.  I've said enough.

  I've had a great time with it.

  But, I've decided to not participate this year.  As I told you at the
Including a little soft-shoe from Rome
beginning of the year, I'm devoting more time writing my book, It's Not Just a Job.  My goal is to have the thing done by the end of the year.  Then, I'll see what I can do about publishing it.  Or I may go the self-publishing route.


  At some point, I'll probably stop serializing it (there's a long way to go, though) especially as I get closer to finishing the draft, but for now I want to go at it full strength (of course, some of you may be asking, "So why the hell aren't you working on it now?"  To that, I answer, "Well, I don't want to close Penwasser Place, you know.  You're welcome.")

  NOTE:  I've been serializing my book using my real name  (trust me, it's tough to keep track who the frik I am nowadays) one small chapter each Sunday.  Feel free to check it out.  Or not.

 
Maybe I'll repost the story about Vlad the Impaler.
I figure that would be pretty appropriate
 given what's happening in the world.
But, I don't have the time to devote to providing you with worthless pieces of drivel  wry, comedic commentary on the vagaries of day-to-day life.  I feel badly about this, but I feel it's best.  I'll probably be posting some of my alphabet soup entries from years past (so you have that going for you), though.



I may even post my favorite one about Xerxes.
He was a lot like Vlad.
With more body piercings.
  Please hold your applause.

  And sign up for the A to Z Challenge yourselves.  You'll be glad you did.

33 comments:

  1. I am also not doing the A-Z. And not like last year when I said I wasn't and then did it anyway. For reals this year... not doing it. And I don't even have a good reason other than I'm too lazy. On the plus side, it will leave me plenty of time to peruse the blogs that do and pick up a few new ones to follow. :)

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  2. This challenge requires planning, discipline, and an ability to conceive a theme that can carry you through to the end. In other words, not on your life!

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    1. My theme last year was pretty easy and I put pretty much every post on delay. This made it easier. Not to be confused with easy, though.

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  3. No A-Z for me. Never done it. Not interested. I think I'll take off that month to do other cool stuff, like edit.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. It really is fun and you "meet" a lot of new people. That being said, I really want to devote more time to the book.

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    2. And you should. Writers must write.

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  4. Well that is a good reason indeed, have to get that book done before someone comes along and decides to bite you on the head again lol

    It is a ton of work, especially all the blogs posting every friggin day, I get a break here and there as some days barely anybody's posts, but with the a to z they post each and every day. Oh well, done posts until almost July, I think I'm safe.

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    1. I found that, last year, it wasn't the posts that were the work (because I pre-wrote those). It was reading and commenting on all the blogs that were participating. Heck, I'll probably still do a lot of that again this year.

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  5. What the what? Please say that you'll still be posting at least weekly. I mean, I barely got to know you. Would be a shame if we parted ways without at least hurtling one insult at each other ;-)

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    1. My plan:
      Post every Thursday with a Captain Caption (those are pretty easy)
      Every Monday (or Sunday. Probably Monday), a "regular" post (similar to this).
      And I agree with you.
      Not completely gone.

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  6. OMG... I winged it last year and almost went insane. I don't think I could do it again!!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    Replies
    1. It's a tough slog and fun, but I want to conserve what little creative juice I have.

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  7. I've thought a lot about the A-Z Challenge and one of these years I just might sign up for it. Good luck with your book.

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    1. Thanks! You've done well and you haven't done the challenge. So...ladies and gentlemen...a success story.

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  8. I remember a lot of people doing it last year. Funny you mention the Chinese alphabet (hanzi characters). While studying Japanese (kanji characters were taken from China), there were a few examples I saw that nobody knows what the original meaning (or how to pronounce) of a certain character was.

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    1. I always remark that the English language is so tough to learn that Chinese students say, "No way!"

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  9. You are unique in having participated in multiple years and still being around. From what I've seen, participating in the A-Z Challenge is the death knell of many a blog. It creates burnout or just flat out murders bloggers. RIP Victims of the A-Z.
    Good luck to you in your novel pursuits.

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    1. I can certainly understand the burnout factor. By the time May comes around, I'm wiped slick.

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  10. We know where to find you, Al. Do whatcha gotta do. I'm still on the fence about the A-Z, more off the fence than on.
    Anyway, Al, we're not ever gonna let you leave us. We need your twisted sense of humor and photos of Gary Coleman in his undies.

    Good luck with your writing.
    xoRobyn

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  11. You mean you're not going to torture yourself with that A-Z marathon? That's a real disappointment for sadists like me. If anyone does it by making the title of each post a dirty word I promise to give them my support and encouragement.

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  12. Your A to Z posts were great! I'm also enjoying the excerpts from your new book! Looking forward to joining you on the "Best of A to Z" bandwagon, though yours were better. Thanks for giving me an idea for my next post, Al.

    Julie

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    1. My pleasure. The good news about posting "Best Of" (which sounds like an ego trip to me) is that I can put them on delay and forget about them. I'll still be doing Captain Captions, though.

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  13. Finish that book before someone else writes it!
    Sorry you won't be in the running. This will be my fifth Challenge, and despite the fact I'm also working on my next novel, I wouldn't miss it for anything. (And since I'm a co-host, might be a little, well, awkward if I didn't post for the Challenge.)

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    1. It would be pretty tacky if you demurred from the challenge. It really is fun and I'll be sad to not do it, but...
      Funny you mention finish before someone else does it. While the memories are mine, the concept could be co-opted so, yeah, that is a concern.

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  14. I did the A-Z challenge either last year, or the year before. I think it went kinda well. It's a nice thing to stretch your literary muscles. But if you don't have the time, you don't have the time. So don't feel bad about it. Go focus on your book.

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    1. It was a little easier when I wasn't working off a theme. I could come up with whatever struck my fancy. The only problem was that I usually ended up with a bruised fancy.

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  15. Every year I intend to participate and every year I don't. I love the concept of it, but I really don't have the time. I do check out a lot of people who do though.
    As to that double entendre, I think viewing the first 10 or 15 minutes of "Full Metal Jacket" will make it all perfectly clear....

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    1. One of my favorite movies! The first half, anyway. The second half when they were in Vietnam...not so much (still quite good, though).

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  16. Yeah I think I'm skipping this year too. I would only wing it anyways. I don't think it would be as much fun pre-planning. I also don't have the time to visit 60,000 blogs in a month nor do I want to. (selfish that way).
    Too much going on anyways. I have a book, a bath, a garden, a promotion and a couple of other things demanding my attention but only one will win and that is beer!

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    1. You're right. It's the visiting which takes most of the time. I'm with you on the beer.

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