To be a part of the group of Bloggers who participate in the A-Z Challenge has once again been a huge pleasure ...
First – Arlee Bird of Tossing It Out had the bright idea in the first place, all of four years ago ... participating in a group of 100 would have been wonderful, but life wasn’t with me then and I opted not to participate.
Now with 1700 of us for the last 2 years ... it is an amazing achievement. This is the link to Lee's Relfections Post ...
Second – for others to have jumped on the bandwagon as Helpers and Organisers through co-hosting is wonderful for us bloggers, who just participate.
Lots of ‘stuff’ is sorted out by these willing volunteers – and they deserve all the credit we can give them.
There’s been a few extra minions in the background and I certainly hope we helped clarify things – but then someone has to do the work we forward on ... co-hosts and Lee once again.
|What year this refers to - I've no idea!!|
Third – us lot: the participating bloggers – congratulations to all who finished and especially to all newcomers this year.
Fourth – to comprehend what is going on in the background defies me and I’m aware that I’m in no position to grump or groan or criticise (sorry I noted someone who wasn't being very positive about it all) – as I don’t fully understand how Blogger, Wordpress, Typepad, et al work and then the Browsers, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox to name a few ... and then how we set them up to work either ...
Five – we come from all around the world with many of you speaking English as your second language – I applaud you ... then many of us with differing educations and outlooks on life ... these we need to remember and consider.
I decided that I could not get round to everyone – but I have the rest of the year ... some bloggers were brilliant and gave us recommendations of bloggers who needed extra help or who fitted the letter of the day ... Arlee Bird and Amanda Trought being two I can think of ...
I’m lucky I develop a wonderful rapport with many bloggers and have had some fun email conversations ... this year C.Lee McKenzie even going so far as to make my Pond Pudding in my "P" post and posting about it ...
... then she mentions that in the summer she and a friend are having a Pond Pudding Competition ... to see how high they can go and which height makes the best pudding?! Health and Safety beware!!!!
I’ve met some brilliant new bloggers to whom I relate to enormously ... the thing I love about the Challenge – those relationships stick ... some haven’t participated this year ... but they’re there.
So often people need our support and having been through my own recent turmoils of the last 7 or 8 years I’ve learnt much, and endeavour to appreciate everyone where they’re at if they’re having problems.
I’ve learnt understanding and thus try and look at things from others perspectives ... ie their set up, their state of mind, their desires and dreams ... some I relate to more easily – as we all do.
|One of Amanda's beautiful paintings ...|
The categorising of the blogs this year certainly helped ... but we never know ... there may be hidden talents in another direction - so don't discard anyone!
I’ve had trouble with/I’ve noted:
- Disqus comment facility being put on Blogger blogs – I am unable to comment as the facility doesn’t appear .... I gather it does on other browsers
- Google+ - I sometimes can’t get access (I don’t participate in it)
- The GUI version of Blogger – especially where the gearwheels pop up as the blog is opened up ... I often can’t comment
- Some of us live in the ark, some are advanced and technically astute – but melding and being able to get on to some blogs can be troublesome ... I endeavour to work a way round ... if not ‘tough’ and I just get on.
- It’s the way of the world – enjoy what you can do ... meet like-minded bloggers – by luck as they drop in on you (that happened to me a few times this year), and by commenting as we go through the list ...
- Be positive – take the best outlook ... with 1700 individuals, ten or more genres ... it’s not going to satisfy everyone ... but you joined and if you let it, the experience will be truly gratifying and truly mind opening ...
- ... this is a learning experience par excellence and we are so lucky to have the wonderful people we have organising it for us – so enjoy the people you meet .... it’s a fun fun world!
I doubt there's another group as willing, as supportive as the people we find here putting this show on for us ... I am so thankful!
Amanda Trought - R for Relationships ... Amanda and I meeting ...
Amanda Trought - U for Update ... her brother has cancer, while her mother is suffering from Dementia ... we appreciated each other's situation, though my life is now my own after my mother's long life ...
... she asked me how I coped, and what I feel now ... questions we perhaps don't get to ask of others ... I expect we'll meet again to continue these thoughts - but she has other priorities right now.
... I could empathise with the amount Amanda has on her plate with her own family, her art therapy and two of her immediate relations needing a great deal of her time. Admiration is a word I'd apply here .... she deserves much.
The A - Z is one brilliant challenge ... but so many others in the world have much more pressing challenges affecting their day to day lives ...
and a PS -
a couple of things I forgot ... one is I wish people had their email on their sites, so we can make a personal contact, if necessary. I resisted this for the first year .. but once I'd made lots of friends .. the whole thing became ridiculous and I put up my email - I'm very grateful for the connections I make.
Re commenting .. I too wish people would leave just a little relevant note re the post .. it doesn't take much more effort (if any) - than say the generic "great post" - each time my blog and others are visited ... personalising things helps the connection ...
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
Glad you had a good experience overall.
I have trouble with the GUI blogs sometimes as well.
And we better get pictures of that Pond Pudding Competition from Lee!
What a grand tribute to the A-Z, to Arlee, the helpers and everyone. You highlighted the important spots and no doubt made those sitting on the side, wish they had entered. Always next year!!!!
I love your reflections post! Congrats to you as well.
A wonderfully written post! You have taken into account everything.
This year has been a blast (it was my first year). I hope to see everyone next April! :)
Wow, Such a rich post for reflections. I have not even started thinking what to write. Your post gave me an idea, well it gave me some kind of a format. First I will get my day's work out of the way, take a little nap ( I am really tired from hardships in breathing last night, then I will come up with a post to show my respects to every one.
Congratulations on a terrific theme. It has been very informative indeed. Cheers!
What a terrific write up, Hilary!
There are so many types of blogs. Like you, sometimes I can find a workaround, sometimes not. Discqus I don't think I've run into a GUI blog. *shudder* I'm not really techie-minded.
What a wonderful beginning to a friendship between you and Amanda! Her artwork is beautiful.
Lee cracked me up with her Pond Pudding post and photos. I can't wait for the height competition. :)
The one thing I had trouble with was bloggers who would comment on my posts - but then when I clicked to their profiles Google said "this profile is locked and you don't have permission" or something like that, so I couldn't reply :-(
I loved doing A to Z this year! It became even easier when I stopped stressing about replying as soon as possible, and I'm slowly getting around to catching up!
What a great post! You gave recognition as well as recommendations! I agree about the disqus thing. I also don't like the blogger blogs that are linked with google+ as my Google + account is in my real name and my blogger in a different one so it is hard for some people to figure out who is commenting!
It's a very supportive group. I couldn't keep up half the time, but I tried.
Hilary, What a meaningful post! Talk about covering the bases! I SO enjoyed meeting, conversing with you and hope to continue. The A to Z blog is one of the things I most look forward to every year. Looking forward to participating again next year...
A great tribute to Arlee and the hosts and minions. Glad you mentioned Google+, I can comment on some but not on others. What is a GUI blog? Could you please let me know next time you comment on my posts. I'm having so many issues with commenting, so this may be one, but I don't know. Thanks Hilary and Congrats on this post and all you accomplished on the A to Z.
Congratulations on completing the challenge again and on a wonderful reflection post. I can understand about the Google + it's something I will have to learn . I enjoyed reading your posts as I find them so interesting.
A TO Z AMBASSADOR.
Haha, took me a second to realize this wonderful tribute was for me in part. Yay. And thanks, Hilary. I had fun. It was great reading so many fabulous posts. Yes, I was one of the many minions who helped out.
Bravo to all of us!
Manzie's right. You did a great job highlighting the A-Z, and you DID make me feel a little sorry that I didn't participate this year. Sounds like your participation was a smashing success this year. Congrats!
Thank you so much for your answers to my questions. It upsets me when blogger friends whose blogs I have left comments on for years, decide to go with Google+ and I am then asked for my date of birth in order to be allowed to post a comment. I will write a post about this later. I miss old Blogger, that's for sure.
I'm happy to meet new bloggers through this Challenge. :)
What a wonderful Reflections Post. I still have to do mine, but you've inspired me, so I'll get on it first thing next week.
My friend and I are already planning our experiment with Pond Pudding, so stay tuned!
Here's to May and more fun.
I think you did an amazing job, Hilary. And I learned so much! Thank you!
Yes, that Google+ thing is hard to understand. I can never access the blog it's linked to (and I used Google Chrome as my explorer).
How wonderful that you and Amanda met up!
Enjoyed your theme again this year, Hilary. Have a great weekend. :)
Nice to meet you, Hilary, and I sure hope to see more of your posts in the future. Like you, I found some blogs hard to comment on (due to various settings, or just not immediate availability of the Z-Z posts), but like you, I choose not to spend to much time on that aspect. So, cheers ... we did it!
Silvia @ Silvia Writes
Great Reflections post!
I ran into trouble with Google+ as well. Someone had embedded Google+ into their comments page and since I'm not on G+ I couldn't comment.
It has been an interesting series. Glad that you also enjoyed it. Have a great weekend. Diane
Interesting post, Hilary. I like the idea of Art Therapy. Like the photos of Amanda and you with her!
Mary Montague Sikes
Congrats - you have started and finished the race! sandie
Great reflection, you covered all aspects of the Challenge. I can't get over it has been four years, I wonder how long I have blogged.
Hi everone - thanks for commenting .. I'm going to keep this inclusive - I'm sure you understand ...
I'm pleased to see many of you experienced similar problems to me .. that's a relief!
Many of you appreciate Amanda (Art Therapy) and my connection .. one huge benefit ..
And one or two of you have thrown up other technical aspects that I'd not realised or forgotten about.
.. also Lee McKenzie and her taking on the Pond Pudding description, making it - posting about it ... and then saying she's having a competition with a friend trying heights et al ... FUN!! for us all.
The comments say it all .. look at the advantages set out ...
Yes - there's always challenges: that's life .. even Alex had them!! Keeping up technically is quite difficult .. I hope to leap forward in leaps and bounds with this aspect this Spring and Summer ... but it's a learning curve all around ...
WELL DONE to everyone on participating and for being here with me .. I love the interaction we can share ..
I tried to keep my posts below 300 .. but it crept up - I think they were all under 400 (just!) .. length is a challenge to read ...
Cheers to you all - have a fun weekend .. Hilary
Hi Hilary, I'm really just commenting to say Hi, congratulations and thank you so much for visiting my blog several times, each comment from you felt like a blessing that I was doing something right. This is a lovely post, and now I have to learn more about this GUI thing, I have not idea what it is.
Since I am blogging (2006) I learned such a lot and met so many people which whom I also stay in contact in private and met some of them life. It's the best hobby I could find to fill in my retirement time !!
Well put. I'm glad your ending with a positive note.
Hi Hilary, I am really touched that you mentioned me in your reflection post. It was so lovely to meet you after connecting online, you have always been so supportive and encouraging. It has really been a pleasure to participate in the A-Z challenge and while life can often be a challenge that can make you shut yourself away it has been good to be able to share, interact and be part of all the warmth that the A-Z Community has. Blessings for the weekend.
@ Ida - it's a pleasure to see you here .. and I've enjoyed the Danish-Australian connection. You were definitely doing a lot of things right and it was great you were in the A-Z ... the GUI thing defeats me .. but I'll try and find out in the coming months about things.
@ Gattina - it is a great way of life isn't it .. and opens so many doors from visits here to England, and then your art work .. and your lovely photos of times around Belgium.
@ Francene - many thanks and yes - the A-Z is definitely a big positive .. so many wonderful people out there ..
@ Amanda - it's a pleasure .. you have so much going on and I do hope there are some easier outcomes for your brother and your mother. My thoughts.
Your Art Therapy has to be a wonderful asset to others ... the elderly so thoroughly enjoy their contact with others in life ... with the opportunity to be involved in a project or two - so I can imagine you give much pleasure and happiness. That ready smile of yours is a wonder to behold!!
I've loved the connections I've made in recent years and so many feel like friends in life - and you've proved that point ..
You too have a very happy weekend with your project and Art4Therapy time ..
Cheers to you all - Hilary
Not quite sure what you guys mean by GUI, but I did find quite a few blogs on which I couldn't leave a comment. I was never sure if I was being stupid not seeing where to do so, or the blog just didn't have that facility.
As for including your email, surely you are opening yourself to lots of spam and unwanted connections.
JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE
I want to say "great post" but you will not be happy with this comment. (I'm just joking, here). I really enjoyed your reflections, Hilary. You are right. The fact that there are many different people with different backgrounds makes this blogging experience interesting and unique. Thank you for leaving your thought-provoking comment on my blog today. It means a lot to me. I always enjoy reading your blog posts and your comments on my blog. Take care and have a beautiful weekend.
I too experienced the blog troubles you mentioned. In the scheme of things, I think we need to remember as you say, the real troubles of the world.
I enjoyed your posts very much.
Way to go on a successful finish! I'm not a fan of G+ either; don't see the purpose of it.
Well, you certainly seem to have enjoyed your AZing.
You have thrown up a few questions which might be iron-out-able on a future occasion.
I am not a participant, I found the whole thing daunting and having 1700 members doing it, don’t you all get lost in the rush?
And not all AZers provided interesting contributions.
BTW I fully agree that the ‘Great Post’ brigade really should either stay away altogether, be ignored by genuine commenters or learn to do better.
Congratulations on a job well done.
Hilary, I had no idea it was such a big online event! I honestly thought it was just a few bloggers who decided this was a good idea. I think this is amazing! Well done to you and all the others who have participated in this. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the posts in any event, and yes, it's lovely to read your reflections here. My thoughts are with Amanda.
Great job on your reflecting, but then again, you always do a good job, regardless of the task. Thanks for letting us know about Amanda - she'll be in my thoughts and prayers.
You were an amazing assistant, and I'm so glad you're staying "on staff"!
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
Wonderful summary of the Challenge. Such a great way to mingle and meet new people. Everyone I know was posting six days a week, which made it hard for me to get around (I was supposed to be on a break after all), but I couldn't help checking in on everyone and seeing what themes they came up with.
Well done and congrats on finishing yet another A to Z challenge. :)
Arlee Bird has a lot to answer for! The alphabet challenge that hijacks the blogging world for the month of April. Okay, in actuality, Arlee and I are good blogging friends.
As you know, I would never, ever participate. My alternatives were hopefully light relief for those who might be struggling or not struggling with the Challenge. Yes, ironically, I actually promoted the darned thing.
Seriously, I know that you entered into the spirit of the sharing, caring blogging community. A way to learn, to experience the thoughts of so many. That's a positive outcome.
Indeed, so many themes and joy mixed with moments of profound sadness. Yes, the power of empathy occurred.
What worries me and I noted this on a number of sites, was a number of bloggers who were overwhelmed and put too much pressure on themselves. I think that the A to Z should bear this in mind. It's not right to have people get stressed out like that.
I also find that when I get redirected to Google+ to try and find a blogger's site, it can be very difficult. I wont use that application.
In balance, I have a lot of admiration for you all the rest who got involved. Apologies for the lengthy comment, Hilary.
Once again, well done and wishing you a peaceful long weekend.
Your friend at the anarchic alternative alphabet adventure,
That's wonderful that you and Amanda can meet and you can support her.
It's great that you met up with Amanda, and I'm sure you'll continue to help her through this very difficult time. I also don't like Google Plus, and hope that I'm not accidentally on it. It was nice going through another A to Z with you Hilary!
Hi everyone .. back to a general reply:
Jo - emails - no because it has to be individually accessed. I haven't had problems there ..
Friko - love the word 'iron-outable' .. I'm sure they are .. otherwise my other word 'tough'!
We have the opportunity to visit who we wish to .. so can eliminate blogs that we don't relate to ..
the other comment type I dislike .. is 'I'm here - now come and visit me' ... stupid: but then I'm not very tolerant at times!!
The hosts (all of them) do an amazing job .. - yep I'm on staff with Tina for 2014 ...
It's worth doing the Challenge - because as Luanne says .. you want to know what's going on - so staying away is not an easy option!
Stress - I was stressed the first two years ... but at the end of the day I did what I could.
It is a volunteering Challenge .. but it's appreciated if you're in you participate as fully as you can - otherwise it spoils it for others. Don't get ill over it!!
Once you've struck your own balance .. it is a great Challenge.
Also re stress .. the organisers did say here's the list start checking people out ... and we can do it afterwards and on through the year ..
I think we just need to adapt the best way we can ... and I do think the organisers did warn us, and did do an excellent job .. considering this is only a volunteer helping their community to enjoy the blogging world and to keep the thing in check.
Thanks everyone - always useful to have so much feedback .. enjoy the weekend .. and let's hope Spring is really on its way ... Happy May - Hilary
Hello again, I just read your comment on my reflection post and wanted to let you know that I would be terribly sad if you signed up to Google+ and I no longer could comment on your posts. I feel that it is the commenting back and forth that creates the friendships I have with my blogger friends. And you have become such a dear friend. I would hate to lose that ability.
I am so glad that my A to Z posts caused you to reflect on life as well. Of course, I didn't include my hardships and the sadder parts of my life -- like everyone else I had my share. Cheers, my friend.
Congratulations on completing it!!
It's wonderful making friends over the net.
and your posts are always interesting :)
Wonderful, positive post. The blogging world is really wonderful, isn't it?
Great reflections post! Kudos to everyone who organized the A-Z challenge and completed it!
Hilary, you made some sound observations. I have to finish up my reflections and get it posted.
I really loved your food-themed posts this year. I am always intrigued to learn of food from other countries and well as other times.
Chuck at Apocalypse Now
Hi everyone .. Inger I'm not going away! as I replied to this on your blog.
That's a point well made - we look at things from another perspective, giving us a chance to reflect on life once again - yes, life is tinged with hardships and sad times too .. thankfully we can 'forget' them ..
Thanks so much for all your comments and thoughts .. I loved my theme this year ... not exactly cookery, but snippets on food, life and history ..
Cheers to you all - it is absolutely glorious down here today .. Hilary
This is a great reflections post Hilary and I think the essence of the A to Z Challenge that you hit on is how supportive it is.
This has been my first year as a participant and I was blown away by the diversity of blogs out there, the different walks of life bloggers come from and the different reasons people blog - and yet everyone came together in this challenge to support each other!
Thanks for being part of that :)
Hilary you've raised some valid points - I suppose we all have our levels of expertise and blind spots (and favourite bugbears!)when it comes to technology. EVerything changes so fast sometimes I just can't keep up. But the connections we make are great and long lasting, even if we aren't in touch every day! :)
Congratulations on another successful A-Z challenge!
I surfed in from C. Lee McKenzie's blog - most enjoyable, and good points about the A to Z blog.
diana wilder http://dianawilder.blogspot.com
Hi Kellie, Judy and Diana .. great to see you all - and thanks v much.
Very valid points you all make ... diversity of blogs, but staying in touch regardless of participating .. and meet new people, even after April is over ..
Delighted to see everyone - Cheers Hilary
Hilary, thanks for visiting my blog. *waving* It's great to meet you again. (I know that we've definitely crossed paths before...)
Congratulations on finishing the A to Z challenge, and writing such a wonderful and all-inclusive reflections post! It pays tribute to everybody who has contributed to the success of this challenge.
You made some important points about technology (amongst other things...) I'm on Google+ but not sure how to get maximum use out of it... as it is, Facebook and Twitter take up enough time...
Keep well! I will visit again. You have a fabulous place here... choc-full of different topics... very entertaining!
Writer In Transit
It was great to "meet" you and I'm glad to have found your awesome blog. You had one of the more interesting themes and I always learned something every time I dropped by :)
Looking forward to a lot more!
Sounds as if you got a lot out of the A to Z challenge :) Congrats on your achievement! And thanks for stopping by my blog.
@ Michelle .. good to re-meet you ... and @ Mark - appreciate your thoughts .. @ Trisha - there's always lots of positives - it's a great blog challenge.
Cheers ... from another lovely sunny day! Hilary
Well I think you put that very well. I wish I could help you with your signing in problem, I'm just not savvy enough, sorry. Personally I never have a problem anywhere but I think it's because I am signed into my chrome browser with my gmail email and it mostly does it automatically.Just a thought:)
I have to agree about having a contact email, I'm going to put mine on my site, silly not to, it's already on my google+, what am I scared of exactly, quite right. Cheers and see you soon
maggie at expat brazil
Lovely post. I certainly enjoyed visiting your blog during the A-Z and learning about wooden spoons and other fun things.
I also appreciate the time you took to visit me and understand what my 'intros" were all about. Your comments are always so welcoming and sweet. I honestly appreciate each and every one.
I know we will get to know each other better as the year rolls along.
As I had said in my reflections ... I have met only a few new friends, but they are keepers. I count you as one of them.
We do appreciate a positive force in our community and thankfully you fit the bill!
@ Maggie - appreciate that. G+ - if you don't join then you can't get access ... and that I think is what is 'flooring' those that don't wish to be part of G+, or similarly FB et al .. some like the very simple life!
Having a contact email .. is at our level of blogging .. only used by people who really want to connect - so I haven't had any problems. I did when the email wasn't there - and people wanted to be in touch.
And I loved your tour of Brazil .. wonderful to see and read about.
@ Michael - appreciate your thoughts and sentiments here - we do get to make new friends don't we .. and retain them.
I shall be around and get across to keep up with you - and I'll definitely be back to visit to read your introductions to the various author's books ... that was an amazing A-Z theme ... and so rewarding for all concerned - and us being introduced to new writers ..
The positive force is essential and makes the blogging world worth being here .. delighted to read I fit the bill.
Cheers to you both .. Hilary
The Disgus thing was a problem for me as was google+. I've tried to suggest to people they leave their blog url and not the google+ profile page, but many now are having issues from a default setting as well.
I'm fully gassed and on the road trip.
Oozing Out my Ears
Wow, it never occurred to me (for some stupid reason) that some people who aren't on Google+ can't get to profiles on there sometimes. I wonder if that's a privacy setting?? Can you get to MY Google+ page, just out of curiosity?
The A to Z is always a great time, but super exhausting!
@ Sandy - good to meet you here .. we just have to deal with the technicalities of 'progress' ...
I'll see you around on the road trip too .. commenting and no doubt meeting along the way ..
@ Trisha - as I replied to you on your blog:
Re the G+ thing .. I got through ok to the G+ page, but to comment on the blog I hit the post link in G+ and am here ..
I've just clicked the comment box in G+ - but don't want to use it .. as it'll precipitate Google to go its wondrous way!
I did join G+ but don't use it ...
Cheers to you both .. G+ is an anomaly some of us embrace, some don't .. Hilary
A lot to think about for next year. I didn't have many problems, but Google+ did give me trouble. Love the positive perspective on even the negatives.
I enjoyed reading Ebert's thoughts on blogging and writing. I've learned so much more about the man since his passing... impressive things.
Glad you enjoyed the challenge. It does have it's pluses and minuses.
I feel so happy to hear (and see) of your meeting with Amanda. I think it's through your blog that I discovered her wonderful blog about caring for her mother. I've quoted from it in my new book (with Amanda's permission), and now she's going to put an interview up on her book post. What fantastic connections we have through blogging!
Hi Bethie .. I didn't really have too many problems, been around doing this for the 3rd year, but G+ did hassle me a bit ...
Thanks re commenting on my positive take on life and things that don't quite work the way I'd like them to!
@ Mary - I enjoyed finding the Ebert posting - it was interesting .. and then the Challenge - it's all good essentially ... as it's up to us: and I know you enter into the scheme of things ...
@ Juliet - yes meeting up with Amanda was amazing - and she does incredible work with her mother and other Alzheimer groups ...
... I'm so pleased you've linked across from your book to Amanda - and she posting on her book blog ... I must check it out - the connections are quite extraordinary aren't they ... we are lucky!
Cheers to you and thanks for the comments - Hilary
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