Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A to Z Challenge 2019 Reflections - Past Present and Future #AtoZChallenge

Happy 10th anniversary to the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  How you have grown!  Thank you to all the men and women who make it possible.

I've completed my fifth Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  After ten years of blogging, including blogging daily since the end of April, 2011 (proof of my insanity?), I think I have a handle on how difficult these challenges can be.  No one should hang their head low if they didn't finish  If you did finish, congratulations!

So, how was the Challenge for me?

First, some music to set the mood.

The Past
My theme was Finding America Through Photos.  For example, take this picture of a snowball bush at Thomas Jefferson's home (Monticello) near Charlottesville, Virginia, taken on May 1, when I finally had time to breathe again.

This fifth challenge turned out to be a challenge in an unexpected way.  My desktop did die partway through March, and my monitor died right after I got a new desktop.  And then there was this - My "I" post, on Ithaca, New York, somehow was deemed by FB as being against their "community standards".  No further explanation.  As a result, I couldn't (and still can't) post blog links on Facebook. Nor could I "like" posts of others on Instagram until I took a link to my blog in my "about me" section off. 

My regular readers have read my complaints.  It's been educational (and you are welcome to visit my I post from April - I just don't dare post a link to it.) I am not going to let this hurt me.  But it annoys me because it makes it harder for you, my dear readers, to connect with me. And, there is no appeal (I tried). They basically tell you that's the way it's going to be.

It did teach me a lesson - don't depend on social media. 

The Present

Don't beat yourself up if you can't keep up with reading of other blogs. I failed miserably this year.  I think this has become the weak spot of this Challenge, with so many people participating.  The moderators just didn't have the man/woman power to delete inactive blogs from their master list.

What I ended up doing, after some frustration with the list, is going to blogs I was already familiar with and seeing if they had other A to Zers on their blogrolls. And, I was fortunate - I found a couple of new favorite blogs from bloggers who left comments on my blog.

 I think I may have not visited one or two and if yours was one of those, I'm truly sorry.

What didn't I like about the Challenge? The same thing as in previous years:  Finding a blog that interests me, and then finding, after May 1, it morphs into something completely different. Or, worse, it sits, neglected. 

And, The Future

The older I get (and I am now officially a senior citizen), the more I realize how precious life is.  I understand, more and more that I shouldn't "sweat the small stuff".  But, on the other hand, I know that our lives are finite. Most of us don't know when the ending whistle will blow.  Today? Next week? Thirty years from now? That knowledge isn't granted to us.

I have lots of the beauty of the world to share with you.  I hope you will continue to read my blog, which is a lot more than my April theme of "Finding America Through Photos". 
Columbine, Monticello, May 1, 2019
I hope to brighten your day (well, most days) just a little.

I want to thank everyone who read my blog during the month of April, both long time readers, and new.

And thank you, again, for visiting me today.


  1. Mike,

    I'm with you on not sweating the small stuff. The A2Z Challenge should be about the fun, not the how many visits/comments you get or who's in your category, etc. I just went with the flow. I did manage to stop by some at your place this year but not nearly enough, so I'm going to work my way backward in the alphabet to catch up with ya but I may go ahead with checking out the dreaded 'I' post that caused you so much trouble. Congrats on crossing the finish line with me another year, my friend!

    April 2019 Reflections - a look at the #atozchallenge and what I learned

  2. Alana,

    Excuse me...I don't know what's wrong me this morning. I submitted a comment and called you Mike. *smack forehead* Darn it, this coffee isn't working! Feel free to correct my mistake or leave it for others to question or get a chuckle. :) Again, I'm sorry!

  3. Wow, that was some challenge.

    Love your flowerphotos.

  4. I'm glad you joined us! Sounds like you had a good time. I liked your blog entries, even if I didn't comment all the time.

  5. Congratulations on another challenge successfully completed!

    Sorry about your I post - I must go read it, I have so much fun in that area doing kayak support for Women Swimmin' for Hospicare.

  6. Glad you made it through.

    Would it make sense to just start a new blog with a new URL and all that? Use something else besides blogspot? Set it up, add a page that is just links to AtoZ (maybe), and continue on writing daily on your main page?

    It's beyond me why they blocked you so. I just think there has to be better options for you.

    Anyways, congrats on finishing esp due to all these silly hassles.

  7. I just don't get Facebook anymore. It's gotten to the point where I post happy birthday greetings to, like, three people, and I might read an advice column or two. It's way beyond screwed up. So, banning a post that was innocuous? Totally in their wheelhouse.

  8. Sounds like your month was quite like mine. One thing after another. I didn't get a new desktop, but I may as well have. Had to replace a lot of components and the monitor as well. And to top it off my battery charger died the same day my batteries in my mouse died. Blogging and all that goes with it by phone is really not fun. Glad that you are back in in working order again :) Sorry to have missed your posts.

  9. Amazing accomplishments, not just doing 5 A - Z but also posting daily all the other months. And yes, your pictures always brighten the day.

  10. I used to post daily to my blog but now I only post four times a week. This challenge pushes me out of that comfort zone and I love the chaos haha

  11. I enjoyed your posts but can't remember if I commented or not. My life has been spinning out of control lately with medical stuff (multiple family members). I will keep you on my blog reader list though and check out your posts when time allows.

    As a writer, I follow a lot of author/writing blogs all year long. When A-Z comes along, if they say they are going to participate, I move them to another category in my blog reader along with new blogs I pick up from A-Z (multiple topics). Then as May/June progress, I can decide to keep them in A-Z (they stop posting) or move them to another category. Only way I stay sane (somewhat). LOL!

    DB McNicol, author
    A to Z Reflections
    My Author Page
    My Personal Blog


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