Wednesday, 9 May 2018

A - Z Reflections post 2018 ... Aspects from a British 'gal' in Canada ...




Once again being part of a group of Bloggers who participated in the A-Z Challenge ... I started in 2011, as I was unable to participate in the first one - and have always enjoyed them - participating in 7 out of 9 ...



A big thanks to Lee who started us off on this yearly challenge and to all the co-hosts over the years who have kept us A-Z zinging happily along since 2010 ... 


My thoughts from last year apply (don't like: G+, just ticking seen comment) - and I won't go into them ... there seemed to be fewer participants this year ... but still with excellent subjects/ themes ...


Tide out - Cowichan Bay estuary


I probably got as many comments as last year ... page views about 100+, comments 30 - 40+, - interestingly in 2015 - page views were about 1,000 ... anyway last year comments were in the 50s range, but with 450+ page views = fascinating ...... but I'm very satisfied and it hasn't seemed so frenetic.


Buttery cups


I've always complied to the basics ... being there, commenting, replying to comments on my blog ... adjusting to others' way of doing things - each platform is slightly different, as too everyone's approach ... and I accept there'll be differences = we are all unique.




A handful of daisies



The original listings with the request that each day we visit five new people - those above us in the list ... opened my door to so many wonderful people, with their blogs - some still do the A-Z, others visit and say hi ... but all have remained friends ...  and to me that seems the most satisfying way to participate.  It is way too complicated now ...




Taddly poles!! - actually we got a tiny
embryonic frog ... sadly he passed away


Also tying in to one genre - to me defeats the exercise - we're here to meet new bloggers, and to learn about different subjects - even if we're hooked in our own worlds ... gosh have I expanded my knowledge since I started blogging.


I just got on with posting ... this year I was writing as the Challenge progressed ... and after thinking that I'd chosen  a dull theme - too schoolish - I managed to teach myself loads of interesting things about Canada, and thus (thankfully!) engaged you ...




As requested there will be follow up posts ... almost certainly in the A-Z format ... six letters (perhaps 4/5) to a post ... so each one will be relatively long, but tied in to A-Z challenge posts ...



There will be individual posts about different subjects - eg totems, and Emily Carr, the artist and writer ... and I expect others I come across ... so it looks like Canada is going to feature for a while.




My aim each year has been the same ... give everyone who visits interesting and educative content ... which leads to connecting and becoming friends across the blogosphere.



Dogwood

The advantage is - blogging friends offer so much to learn about - I love the various range of subjects we get to see and appreciate ... I find FB and Twitter too ephemeral ...





Having changed continents I had something different to write up about ... and if things are equal I'll do a more local section next year ... as I learn about this part of Canada and the farming life.


Bloggers with interesting (very summarised) themes ... linked to their 'A' post ...


Nila of Madly in Verse - and her Africana ... brilliant posts about an area of the world I love to learn about ... music, poetry, literature - all excellently put together ...

Bob Scotney - rivers of England ... so English ... so home!  He does stamps too ... 

Deborah Weber - abecedarium manifesto of wonders, curiosities, and delights - which she summarised in her Reflections post ... so have linked to that ..


Kim Blades - is going into hibernation ... so she's asked I leave her link off ... (it was poetry, Africa, flora and fauna)

Sarah Zama - Weimar Republic ... excellent exposition on the changes occurring in Germany from the late 1800s to WW2




Denise on Pablo Picasso ... wonderful reads about his life ... 

Susan - Garden of Eden blog ... about Lilith (Adam's first wife) and Eve ... 


Claire Noland - maps in literature ... fascinating!

Sue Bursztynski - on Australian children's authors ... an introduction for many of us ... 

JZ - A Reluctant Bitch ... as she says: There will still be rambles, rants, and anecdotes but instead of being purely random, the words that anchor the posts will all, somehow, some way..., have something to do with food.

Sherry - did gardens around the world ... as well as writing books, playing the violin and probably teaching too ... 

Suzanne Blazier did mood movies ... wonderful choices ...

Lynda Deitz - Short and Sweet Reasons Why You Need an Editor ... 'A'  is for all the best books have been edited!



Wisteria




Apologies ... I'm sure I've missed out a few bloggers whose posts I enjoyed ...




... but I will definitely be back for the 10th anniversary year ... to make it eight of ten ...

Thanks for all your visits and comments - lovely to have them ... and see you around ... thanks again organisers ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

48 comments:

M. Denise C. said...

Hilary, you need a special award for best commenter and supporter and cheerleader! Thank you for being so motivating to so many. I appreciate the link, but especially I appreciate you! xoxo, Denise PS: I learned a lot about Canada thanks to you.

Botanist said...

7 out of 9, that is an impressive record Hilary. I did two a few years ago and enjoyed the experience, but it is a lot of work. Most years I decided I couldn't devote the effort needed to properly participate, and if I can't do it properly I'm not doing it at all. There are some years though when I do miss the community.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Thanks for the mention, Hilary! And for visiting. I certainly learned a lot I hadn’t known about Canada from your posts - and amazing how you managed to get all the letters! I’m following you, so will be able to read your posts all year round.

Elephant's Child said...

You most certainly achieved your goal. Except that I found much of what I learnt fascinating rather than just interesting. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

You did brilliantly Hilary. I can't imagine the amount of time you put into researching your daily doses of information. So, there is to be more! I for one am really looking forward to it.

Reflecting on My Friend Rosey!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Golly, congrats on so many participations! Interesting how you observe about the 'way things were done' to how it was carried out this year... two weeks before April began I got a request from a regular reader of my blogs to do an A-Z based upon the style of a post I had done on ahimsaa. It is ironic that she was the one blogger who didn't comment. In retrospect, I ought to have investigated a little more thoroughly what it was I was crashing into!!! My own 'reflections' post happened by natural progression in the "Z". Writing those posts on my 'magazine' blog rather than the teaching one was the main challenge for me - to see how it might be received in the wider world. The conversations which arose proved it was worth the effort and I am grateful for the few new additions to my own blogroll (including your own!), but the chances are this was my first and last participation. I have great admiration for the stamina of those who stick to it! YAM xx

Nilanjana Bose said...

Such a thoughtful reflections post, Hilary. Congratulations on your 7th -wow! A serious achievement! And thanks so much for the shout out!

I quite liked those old rules about visiting 5 new blogs each day and reciprocation and courtesy, but all that has somehow fallen by the wayside now. The whole tone of the A-Z has changed over the years. This year I feel was quite low on reciprocation from what I saw. Many people were just not willing to engage, for whatever reason, I suspect it's just rudeness, though I hope/wish otherwise. And I agree with you on the complexity factor.

Susan Scott said...

Hilary, firstly, thank you for including me in those blogs you mentioned. If I could make a 'heart' emoji I would. I'll pop by the ones whose links you've provided. So kind and thank you for your support in this A-Z! I enjoyed your posts immensely written in your inimitable style of being engaging and informative at the same time! I hope Spring is sprung in your neck of the woods and that your words keep on coming by ... My reflections post is still to go up, maybe later today ... xx

Jz said...

There were some terrific subjects tackled this year, weren't there?
I grinned to myself when I read you'd worried that you'd chosen something too dry. You always handle these challenges with such aplomb, it's reassuring to realize you might chew your fingernails a little bit, too!
(Plus, you impress the pants off of me with how well you do getting around to visit and comment on others.)

Another year well done! Here's to many more.

(oh, and thanks for the mention!) :-)

RO said...

I have no clue how I even found you, but it's been a fun ride of great posts and even more interesting topics that taught me something new. That's what I adore about meeting new bloggers. My wish is that we could have one big world blogfest, so I could meet all the wonderful people I've seen in print. Thanks for being you and Happy Wednesday! Hugs...RO

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

There were a lot less participants this year - my Feedly was not overrun - but that probably made it much better.

Joanne said...

Cheers to you for truly putting in a lot of effort and enjoying it. You are the epitome of goodness in blog world - thoughtful and caring about words. Your presentations are lovely and I always learn something. Your humor shines through too. Excellent views of Canada. I'll stay a loyal reader. Thanks!

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Hilary,

WOW seven years! That is quite an accomplishment. I did three and I was done. I LOVED it, but I just couldn't keep up the way I would like to.

I've always enjoyed your A-Z posts and of course your others. Always a fountain of fascinating facts. Thanks for sharing all your insights with us, they are greatly appreciated!

Kim Blades said...

Hi Hilary. Thank you so much for mentioning me in your list of interesting alphabet posts. Yours weren't at all boring or schoolish, they were fascinating and I learnt a lot of interesting info about a beauutiful country, which often does not occur at school. I am not going to be posting a lot now as I want to concentrate on my short stories, poems and novel that I hope to get published in hard copy when I have finished them. But I will be looking at other peoples posts and commenting on my favourites sometimes. I will always read even if I don't comment. Take care. Kim

Anonymous said...

Well done, Hilary. Your blog is always interesting, but as I said in my reflections post, I still have to catch up with it this year. https://suestrifles.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/reflections-on-the-a-to-z-challenge-2018/
Sue

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Denise - so many thanks I do spend a lot of time endeavouring to keep up ... but am delighted Canada resonated with you ...

@ Ian - if I was working and had a family ... I'm not sure I'd be taking part every year; however your comment re 'missing the community' certainly applied when I missed out two years ago ...

@ Sue - thanks so much for following ... I work the letters out first and then write the posts. Glad Canada features for you now!

@ EC - really appreciate the comment ... and that's what I'm trying to do - really engage with you all = so excellent to know.

@ Keith - thanks so much ... it all came together quite easily ... one or two letters I had to put more time into - because there was so much and I'd have rambled on. Delighted you'll be happy to read more ...

@ Yamini - I'm sorry I didn't mention you ... but I never quite got to grips with your subject, though many readers did: as I mentioned I'll be back to read and try to understand. Interesting about your 'requester' that you join in and then she never showed up ...

You certainly engaged with me at this blog and I saw you around with others ... I can't imagine how much work you have with two blogs and keeping the other going. Thanks for the continuing link up ...

@ Nila - yes I liked the A-Z as it started ... check in with 5 new blogs every day, learn something new ... keeping it simple.

Interesting - I feel like you about the tone ... I've been frustrated that 'new' hosts don't seem to recognise that some of us have been around for a while - and weren't able to adapt their welcome and their comments accordingly .... I know when I helped I took cognisance of who I was 'talking' to in the comment ...

Interesting about your thoughts on reciprocation ... I so agree ...

@ Susan - thanks so much ... love interaction from Africa!! Lilith I need to fully understand ... and so will be back to read through ... I really appreciate your thoughts here.

Spring has sprung ... and my words will keep on flowing along ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jz - yes I was amazed at how people tackled the A-Z ... fascinating subjects to say the least - many I need to re-engage with.

I seem to have managed to 'settle' into my style ... ie find my theme and then link the letters to slightly different, but interesting articles to write up - it suits me well!! But one or two I got a little anxious about - then battled on! So thanks very much ...

@ RO - these things sort of happen don't they - probably via a comment elsewhere or recommendation and then we link up. Delighted you'll be around ...

Oh boy - am I glad we don't have one huge blogfest!! I'm very happy meeting all the wonderful people here, where I can cope and enjoy the 'feast of subjects, and happy interaction'.

@ Alex - yes there were fewer participants ... but I preferred how you started it all off ...

@ Joanne - thanks ... that's an amazing comment: appreciate your thoughts so much. Delighted you enjoyed the Canadian posts ... and I'll be seeing you around ...

@ Michael - good to see you ... I miss the community - and it is a commitment ... while you've had lots going on. Thanks so much for your thoughts ...

@ Kim - it's a pleasure ... I love your take on life and it's great seeing African flora and fauna. Just glad my take on Canada met with approval ... they were fun to write up - especially as I thought I might find it difficult.

I've emailed you re my query ... but note that you're going to be concentrating getting your short stories and poems published, and then your novel too - you'll be busy ... but very good luck.

@ Sue - thanks for coming over ... I'm way behind in some areas - but thank you re the blog's content ...

Cheers to you all ... and thanks so much for your valid thoughts and ideas; I'm just so glad Canada proved an ideal subject to write up about ... I've learnt a lot too ... enjoy Spring or your delve into winter ... glad mine is Spring springing into early summer! Take care - Hilary

Kali Delamagente said...

Your posts were exactly as I have come to expect from your blog--fascinating tidbits that allowed me to each day say I learned something new. Your theme was perfect, Hilary.

Chatty Crone said...

I have to say you did do a lot of work on it and I too learned quite a bit. I think you learning something is good too. We always want to be learning and growing.

John Holton said...

Hilary, you're the best. Picked a great topic and your visiting and commenting was superior.

Mark Noce said...

Beautiful shots of nature! It looks like a great place to be:)

bazza said...

Your A-Z was brilliant. Although I didn't have time to comment every time, I did read them all! Congratulations on keeping us interested all the way!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s friable Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Rhodesia said...

I so enjoyed your A to Z this year and I learnt so much about Canada. I only follow you and Kim. Just not enough time in my life to follow all the people I would like to...... Keep well and I will be following when you write more about Canada. Take care, Cheers Diane

Out on the prairie said...

I always look forward to both your posts and comments. Like your getting the pool ready.One year trying to get a siphon workingmy brother and I both kept getting mouthfuls of water. When if got down, there was a squirrel who had slipped under the cover. YUCK

Deborah Weber said...

I so enjoyed your series this year Hilary. Year 7 - amazing! You are the queen of interesting, well-researched facts. and I'm always learning something from your posts. But I celebrated even a bit more this round, thinking perhaps how you've embraced your Canadian adventure has proven such a gift to us, and I hope brought a measure of excitement to yourself as well. I'll certainly be looking forward to the additional posts.

Thank you for the kind mention of my blog. You are always the epitome of graciousness, and your kind support is much appreciated.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jacqui - thanks so much ... I do enjoy yours and always learn more about techie things and know where to visit for some supportive help, and expert advice ...

@ Sandie - appreciate that ... me I learnt loads!

@ John - gosh ... thank you - I really struggle with music: just not my forte - though I love it ...

@ Mark - it is a beautiful part of the world ...

@ Bazza - another 'gosh'!! So glad you enjoyed them and felt you wanted to read each one ... so good to know ...

@ Diane - it's a funny old life isn't it ... I honestly didn't think I'd have the gall to write about Canada - but my rather 'odd approach' seemed to fit the bill. I'm honoured to be on your regular list to be followed ...

@ Steve - thanks ... lovely to know. I love life on the prairie. Oh don't ... someone else is going to siphon the water out ... I'm doing a bit of leaf clearing out = soggy work!! Well we could have a squirrel, a raccoon, a few mice or rats and no doubt a few other critters down there - I hope not though!!

@ Deborah - amazing and thank you ... 'graciousness' doesn't really become me - but I am very grateful!!

I just enjoy doing what I do - and writing what I manage to put down ... so it's always great getting comments of approval. I was somewhat amazed at how the A-Z came together for this year's Canadian theme ...

Thanks everyone for your extremely kind comments ... I feel very honoured to receive them ... cheers Hilary

Liz A. said...

We do blog primarily for ourselves, so it's good you learned something from your posts. You got around...

Debby Gies said...

You did a fabulous job on the A to Z challenge Hilary. You dun Canada proud. :)

Lynda Dietz said...

Hilary, you're such an encourager in the blogging world, I'm glad to know you. Thank you for mentioning my blog! I so appreciated your daily visits and good cheer, and I learned so much from your theme.

Patsy said...

I think if the blogger picks a topic they find interesting, then they're more likely to engage readers than if they post about something they guess will be popular, but don't care about personally.

I agree with you about G+. I find it next to impossible to read and comment on interesting posts there.

Elsie Amata said...

I'm so glad you had another successful A to Z Challenge! That's awesome. Your posts are always so educational. I learn so much when I visit you. :)

Elsie

Christine Rains said...

So glad to hear you had a good A-Z experience. I enjoyed your theme, and the few others I was lucky to follow all the way through were just as interesting. I can't wait to read more of your Canada posts. :) Have a lovely weekend.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Liz - yes we do ... yet from early on I was encouraged with the comments, so knew my concept matched both my desire to write interesting articles, and would in the main engage readers.

@ Debby - thanks Mrs Eastern Canada!! I'm just glad I passed muster from Canadians as well as other members of the planet!

@ Lynda - pleasure ... it sounds like you've got the editing bug wrapped up professionally ... I enjoyed the posts and understanding a bit more of the process.

@ Patsy - I know one can feel that the post is loved by the author ... and definitely feel 'shrugged off' if it's just been quickly put up where necessity is the guide.

Glad you agree with me re G+

@ Elsie - thanks so much ... it's lovely seeing you enjoy the posts and topic I choose ...

@ Christine - I did enjoy my Canadian theme ... I was anxious as I set out on this year's 26 postings ... and how lovely you look forward to more Canadian posts ...

Thanks so much to you all - I'm looking forward to writing more about Canada or aspects of ... I'm off to Victoria to see a few other interesting places ... despite the damp! Cheers Hilary

Anabel Marsh said...

Wow, 7 out of 9, that’s impressive! And you do lots of visiting and commenting: brilliant job done.

Amanda said...

What a lovely reflective post, Hilary, and well done on the A - Z challenge.

Arlee Bird said...

Congratulations on another successful year of educating and fascinating readers with your in depth research and interesting bits of information.

I agree that this year was much more laid back than previous years. I think we're getting the hang of this A to Z thing.

Looking forward to a big tenth annual A to Z in 2018.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I'm so glad to hear the A-Z was such a pleasure for you this year. And congratulations for being a part of it for so many years! Considering how much work goes into it, that's quite an achievement.

I know what you mean about G+ sometimes being a pain in the posterior. Some of the G+ bloggers have their accounts set up so that only other G+ members can access their blogs to read and/or leave comments. Makes me feel bad when they leave nice comments on my blog and I can't reciprocate.

Take care, and have a super weekend. Cheers!

diedre Knight said...

Lovely reflections, Hilary! I never once thought a single post was 'schoolish' - I loved them all and learned so much. But I enjoyed your posts well before this year's A to Z Challenge and now have all the more reason to keep visiting ;-)

sage said...

I only caught up with a couple of your posts this year (and didn’t do the challenge this year(, but I always learned from your posts and like how you use it to learn more about a subject. Rivers of England, got to go check those out.

I’m now mostly posting at www.thepulpitandthepen.com

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Anabel - I actually enjoy them ... and they do stretch me to learn about the subject ... and yes I do get about commenting etc - thankfully don't really have ties, so can spend the time ...

@ Amanda - many thanks ... it makes me check out so many other bloggers and I love that learning ...

@ Lee - thanks so much ... I think it's only laid back as I only blog and really do not want to do the frenetic FB and Tweeting ... and I don't want to be tied into a section ... as I enjoy meeting others ...
Yes - the 10th year will be a wonderful achievement ...

@ Susan - I think the original organisers deserve lots of thanks for setting it up - it's a great research tool for me at least - I take the opportunity to 'grab a subject' and post some different ideas ...

Oh! glad you think similarly re G+ and I hate not being able to reciprocate ... but if I can't find them - that's it really ...

@ Diedre - I thought it might be schoolish when I was wondering how to approach the subject - but with some useful sites to look at I was able to extract information that was somewhat different for each letter ... and thanks so pleased you'll keep on visiting ...

@ Sage - I know you were busy - and yes that's the approach I take with the Challenge ... I now seem to live to learn. Bob's site is great for his rivers ... enjoy them -

Thanks so much for coming by one and all - summer's day here today ... so I'm off to the big outdoors - and will catch up with each of you anon ... cheers Hilary

Shirley Corder said...

Great sum-up, Hilary. I agree, it's become complicated, but I was blaming my own lack of organization! Thankful Thursday Week 19 and how to draw more people to your post

mail4rosey said...

How sweet that you did the shoutouts!! I'm glad you made it through. It does sound fun. I haven't time to write once a week these days, so I know I couldn't commit, but I do think they're fun to catch up on when the weekends roll around!

David Gascoigne said...

Whatever your topic, Hilary, it is always well done and you write in pleasing grammatical English - an increasing rarity these days!

Jo said...

I personally find the A to Z far too unweildy these days but I do enjoy the blogs I read and their A to Z. Yours included of course. One always learns a lot from you Hilary. Thanks.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Shirley - thanks ... I agree it's got too complicated ... it's 26 days of keeping things simple and getting out and about blogging ...is the way I think it should be ...

@ Rosey - well everyone deserves the shout outs ... especially if they've made the effort to write brilliant posts - some are amazing ... but glad to see you enjoy the read ups - thanks ...

@ David - gosh that's a wonderful compliment ... if only my school teachers could read that!! I really appreciate your thought ...

@ Jo - the new idea of more social media has stretched it too far I think ...but I enjoy the ability to write 26 posts on a subject of my choosing ... that I've found very useful. Thanks for letting me know you learn something when you come here ...

Thanks everyone - so good to see and get your ideas about the A-Z in general ... just delighted you're happy to be here! Cheers Hilary

DMS said...

Glad you enjoyed doing the A-Z again. Wow! You have participated in so many of them. Bravo. Sounds like you got to meet a lot of bloggers. :)
~Jess

JEN Garrett said...

Google+ sometimes makes it hard to find peeps, doesn't it?
Wonderful reflections... I, too, found it too hard to do the "comment on the 5 above me" method, so I changed my commenting tactics. Luckily, it worked for me!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jess - well once the first A-Z challenge established the pattern - it was easier to progress utilising the same sort of theme. It's good to write up 26 posts about a subject ... one I enjoy and others seem to have fun reading ... thankfully! I learn so much ...

@ Jen - yes ... I've been struggling with your blog etc ... hopefully you'll comment again without G+. The early years set an early goal of meeting 5 new people starting five ahead ... that worked - now I just do what I can ... hope to see you around. But am glad you worked out the A-Z this year ..

Cheers to you both - and here's to next year!! Hilary