April showers, here in upstate New York, have brought....May showers. But, despite the gloom, the flowers are coming out. Could our last frost date be far behind?
I completed my second annual Blogging for A to Z Challenge. It's a once a year challenge - on April first, your blog post must be about something beginning with "A". On the second day, "B", and so forth, excluding Sundays, which are an "off" day. Thank you, whoever kept the English alphabet to 26 letters.
My theme was Days of Our Lives, and I managed to keep the theme for almost every day of the challenge. Considering that I have blogged daily for over five years now (my 5th year daily blogaversary came during the Challenge, in fact), doing this A to Z is a challenge I relish. I'm already starting to plan for next April.
The staff and minions of A to Z work hard to police the challenge, making sure that only people serious about the challenge post their links on the website, and making sure that people who signed up are really participating. If they aren't, they are ejected. This makes it so much easier for us who are seriously trying to participate. NOT, mind you, compete. I love the vibes of this Challenge.
Reading the stories of those who completed the challenge is even better.
Especially after you read posts like this one: bloggers like Mary, who go on despite hard challenges, are what blogging (and life) are all about.
My A to Z experience was a little bit more common. I was gone from home for most of the first two weeks. I managed to work some of my experiences into a couple of the posts, such as the one for "Z".
For three days, I had no Internet access, staying at a cousin's house who has no WiFi, during a weather event that gave a nasty surprise to parts of the Northeast United States. For another three nights I was in a motel in Virginia whose Internet wasn't the best.
So I found myself unable to do what the Challenge is all about - reading new blogs, commenting, building relationships - during the first few days, the peak times when the majority of bloggers are active. After that, people drop out, people find favorites. Or just get overwhelmed. If I had one complaint about A to Z, it is that it has gotten too big. Trying to participate is like drinking from a fire hose, as we say here in the States.
Ah well. Life goes on, and I can tell you that Charlottesville, Virginia, has the most beautiful dogwoods you will ever see.
My favorite? This one on, of all topics, a cemetery in Brooklyn.
Despite my Internet woes, I found some blogs I am reading now, even after the challenge has ended. Such as this one, Mumbai on a High. And this one, Cresting the Hill.
And if I'm hungry, I will read a food blog. Tina participated with two blogs. It was hard enough with one, and Tina completed the challenge with two blogs.
This challenge has staying power. I still read a couple of blogs I found last year, and read them regularly. Laws of Gravity, a teacher in California and a fellow crocheter. CollectIn Texas Gal, who has quite a varied list of topics. And, My Life in Retirement, who has completed several of these challenges. There are other blogs, too, which I didn't mention.
In that respect, the Challenge was a success.
And for that I thank you, my readers.