Monday, 4 May 2015

Reflecting on the A-Z



I did it! I completed the whole month! I put up 26 vignettes, some of which I wasn't completely happy with, but I got wonderful comments anyway, so...

Thank you for visiting my blog this April!!

I decided on taking part in February, because I'd started to stagnate with my blog - I wasn't sure what I was doing with it or whether I was enjoying it any more. I chose to write vignettes because I'd spent the previous few months writing them for a competition entry and really enjoyed them - capturing scenes and moments in time without explanation or back story really suits me.

And, best of all, I've come away from the month teeming with ideas - not only for more vignettes and short pieces, but another novella (possibly just flipping over into novel-length territory).

The Good
  • I met some brand new bloggers that I'm really looking forward to getting to know better
  • I reconnected with some bloggers I've lost touch with
  • I was organised enough to visit and comment on other blogs - although I still have replies to write to the people who visited me
  • I didn't eat as much chocolate as I thought I would
  • The dog wasn't neglected
  • My kids still recognise me!
The Not-So Good
  • I started with the intention of visiting a lot of new blogs, working my way down the linky list, but as the month went on, I just didn't have time for as many new blogs as I hoped for.
  • I managed to completely ignore some of the blogs I've followed for years, in some cases not even realising they were taking part! I am so sorry if that was you.
  • I got so tired, and when I get tired I get grumpy... So I got grumpy too... oops!

And now, I'm looking forward to getting back to normal, to pulling out my WIP and having a few computer-free, coffee shop writing sessions.

How about you? How was your month?
Did you take part in the challenge, or sit back and read other people's efforts?


61 comments:

  1. Haha, except for the dog (we don't have one) and the chocolate (I'm not a fan) you could have picked those bullet points from my head.

    (You didn't did you? Oh, that would be scary ... and possibly a good vignette :)

    I'm not sure I'd ever do A-Z again, but it was a good boost for my literary system :)

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    1. I think the kids one is the important one :-) I never say never, but it'll probably take a couple of years before I feel strong enough again.

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  2. I looked forward to your vignettes - all so good. Each day had a different twist, a different feel. Well done. I never read as many blogs as I should have - work interferes with fun, but I'm always impressed and inspired by the creativity of so many people. The energy level was high for April. Go have an extra piece of chocolate - you deserve it.

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    1. Thanks Joanne - definitely going to take your advice about the chocolate :-)

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  3. Congratulations! I didn't take part this year as I knew I wouldn't be able to fit it all in. I'm really impressed that you did it and with such wonderful stories too. :-)

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    1. Thanks Kirsten. It's so scary putting up fiction every day (I did non-fiction the last time I did it, and that wasn't half so bad).

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  4. Congratulations on completing the A-Z Challenge! It sounds like it was a positive experience overall. :)

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    1. It was a lot of fun, despite the exhaustion, Madeline :-)

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  5. It was good to see you taking up this challenge again, and you did a great job. I know it's a pain to try and keep up with all the blogs and all the comments... The way I look at it, you have pretty much until next year to catch up and visit blogs that you didn't get a chance to during April. That's what I'm going with. :)

    John Holton
    The Sound of One Hand Typing
    The Sound of One Hand Typing FM

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    1. That's a good way of looking at it, John. Hoping to stay in touch with your blog more often :-)

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  6. Glad you got a lot of new ideas from doing the challenge! I didn't get to visit as many new blogs as I had hoped, either.

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  7. Congrats for completing the challenge and pleased to hear you have been inspired with some new ideas for longer pieces. Think you deserve a few computer free days now.

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    1. Had my computer free time, back on it now. I don't think it was long enough though :-)

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  8. I never entered, but I can see you were inspired by the challenge. Look forward to reading through more of your vignette posts when I have more time, and I look forward to reading longer pieces in future that came from what you have already written. Glad you got something from it. You write well. Have a nice week.

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  9. Nice reflection post. Unfortunately neither of my dogs or any of my kids recognized me on May 1. Not true and they were glad that tey grumpy me was gone. I didn't have the opportunity visit as many blogs and I would have liked to either , but that is my own fault for not writing all of my entries in advance . Glad you had a good experience . So did I

    Melissa Sugar
    @msugar13
    Sugarlaw13@live.com
    Http://fictiontoolbox.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Melissa. I left a couple of posts to nearer the day of posting, but I didn't like it.

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  10. Congratulations on finishing the challenge! That's impressive that you were able to write that many vignettes; I can barely churn out three or four blog posts a month. I think the challenge is a good exercise in developing a writing routine; it gets you into the habit of writing regularly.

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    1. The key for me was a new notebook, my fountain pen, some music and endless cups of tea. I managed the first draft of most of them in a couple of days by doing that! :-)

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  11. There were a few blogs that I had no idea were participating that I follow because they weren't showing up. Yay for not neglecting your dog or kids! :)

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    1. I'm glad I wasn't the only one. My blog feed really let me down this year! The dog was happy to sleep at my feet as long as he'd had a really long walk in the morning. If only kids were that easy!

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  12. I thoroughly enjoyed your vignettes, and I also appreciated your visits to my blog. I had written some vignettes with the WEP group for a while 'til it became too much for the originator. I missed writing like that, so your vignettes reminded me how much fun it to write short fiction. Thanks. I think I re-discovered your blog this year. . .

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    1. It's funny how writing can go in phases. I sometimes stick to short stories, other times novellas. These vignettes are a relatively recent thing, but I enjoy them so much. I'd love to read some of yours, if you start writing them again :-)

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  13. Glad you are brimming with new ideas!
    I didn't visit many new blogs either. There just wasn't time.

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    1. I guess that's why it's called a 'challenge' :-)

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  14. Hey there, new follower here! Bummed I am finding you so late in the game, I really enjoy your writing voice. I'm definitely going to be going back and catch up as well as stick around for the future ;)

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  15. Your vigs were wonderfully written. Kudos to you! You made it!

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  16. I really enjoyed your stories and I'm glad to hear you were motivated by the challenge to write more. Awesome!

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  17. Yes to all of this. I totally had way less time than I thought I would for visiting other blogs. I did get to a bunch of new blogs, but not nearly as many as I had planned. Your vignettes were awesome, by the way. I love how you really tap into a person.

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    1. Aw thanks Rena. It's so scary putting something like that out into the world. I would usually redraft for another couple of weeks - even something that short!

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  18. i liked your stories, hope we can remain in touch

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  19. I love your beautifully written vignettes. I like the way a challenge like this can get the creative juices going. If I do the challenge next year (number six!) I might try something creative. ~Miriam

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    1. Thanks Miriam. Well done for completing 5 challenges. It would be cool to read some fiction next year :-)

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  20. Congratulations on completing the A to Z Challenge!

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  21. I loved your vignettes! So glad that you got some inspiration from the challenge too - I feel more motivated to start my newest WIP outline than I did before! Congrats on finishing :)!

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  22. Hi Annalisa,

    I think you did your best to maintain some sort of a balance. That's one of the issues I have with the A to Z is that can put unfair pressure on those participating. It shouldn't be that way. Still, the interaction and the meeting of new folks is a positive aspect.

    I've tried to avoid the A to Z. Problem is, so many of you were doing it. Sigh....

    Hearty congrats, regardless, dear Annalisa.

    Gary :)

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    1. Lots of people just duck out of blogging for the month, it's not a bad thing. I made a decision that I was strong enough to take part again this year. I know my limits, and I don't try to visit everyone or catch up with comments every day, so that I don't actually burn out. I've still got several posts to reply on.

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  23. Congrats on getting through! I wish you all the best with your WIP. You are the only one who ventured guesses at my Jane Austen giveaway so I feel the need to reward you somehow, but I am just not sure how yet. I'll think on it and be in touch :) Lovely to have met you!
    Brandy from Brandy's Bustlings

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    1. Like I said in my comment on your blog, mention Jane Austen and I'm there! Nice to meet such a fellow enthusiast :-)

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  24. Congratulations on getting through, Annalisa -- glad your kids still recognize you and that you didn't neglect the dog. As you noted regarding yourself, in taking up the A-Z Challenge, I have ignored other great blogs, non-A-Z participants, that I normally follow.

    I came to your blog late, so wish to return to read your earlier A-Z posts. I like your idea of "capturing scenes and moments in time without explanation or back story." I think in pictures, so I'd like to try that.

    Thanks for coming by my blog and commenting. I'm so glad to have met you, a great writer, on the A-Zs.

    Samantha Mozart
    http:/thescheherazadechronicles.org

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    1. I'm still trying to work out how to write a full length novel in the same vein. So far, I am not doing so well, but I will. Anything is possible :-)

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  25. Hi Annalisa - it's a tough time April .. but I loved the stories you gave us with their twists so often. Glad the family are pleased to have Mrs Oh So Less Grumpy back as their wife, or mother! I think John's idea is good ... I did start off reasonably well intentioned and followed it through .. but as I'd written far fewer posts than I'd intended to - life got stuck ... but we seem to spread each other's word around the blogosphere ...

    Good luck .. and see you shortly .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I think that's the key, Hilary, making sure you've got enough posts pre-written. I think you did a fantastic job :-)

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  26. I've been lurking here at your place... backtracking to read the A to Z vignettes I missed... wonderful writing!

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  27. Finding you just now through your reflection and sorry I missed you. I was working my way through the (WR) category visiting other writers. I'm going to follow you and enjoy your company as I too am thinking what's next for my blog. I published a book in April to coincide with my theme/posts, which worked well. For now, catching my breath, back in the garden, reading reflections. Sounds like you had a good time too. I'll be watching for your posts.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Stepheny. I must admit, I'm slacking on the reflection post visiting too - I moved straight into working on a blurb, and it's hard. I'm looking forward to have nice weather to enjoy my garden too :-)

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  28. Can't find a follow you by e-mail kind of box to sign up. Are you not having followers? Hope you have a minute to break the code for me. Thank you.

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    1. I've added a 'follow by email' box, just for you Stepheny :-)

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  29. Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year! See you on the Road Trip!

    Mary @ Jingle Jangle Jungle

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  30. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed my visits to your place. You kept me thoroughly entertained. I went away on my hols straight after the challenge finished, but I'm back now and so you'll have to put up me stalking you again! I got writing again today. Thanks so much for supporting me during the challenge. Your comments were inspirational. See you around.
    Keith's Ramblings

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    1. Thanks for being so supportive, Keith. I'm so glad I met you early on - I loved your posts too. And I'm really looking forward to getting to know you better, and to see your amazing Turkey photos :-)

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  31. Hello there.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge! Just meandering through today from the Road Trip.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

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