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Monday, May 7, 2018

Blogging From A to Z - 2018 - Reflections

I want to thank everyone who came by my blog and commented or liked my showcase of things found at a Michaels Arts and Crafts store last month.  I was pleased to be able to finish the challenge on time this year and it was a lot of fun.  I was also a little afraid that it would be boring but it seems to have sparked some inspiration in a few people to check their local Michaels for things they would not have done before.  Now if I can just get Michaels to give me a kickback, it would be perfect, right?

In case you missed an installment or want to see something again, here is a recap of my Blogging from A to Z  of Michaels Arts and Crafts store:

A - App
B - Baking
C - Candles and Clearance
D - Drawing
E - Events and Classes
F - Floral
G - Glitter and Glue
H - Home Decor
I - Iron On
J - Jewelry
K - Kids
L - Lighting and Liquitex
M - Miniatures and Missions
N - Necklace holders and needlework
O - Organization
P - Picture frames
Q - Q-Line
R - Ribbons and Rocks
S - Scrapbooking
T - T-shirts
U - Unique and Unusual
V - Velcro and Vases
W - Wedding and Washi tape
X - X-treme, X-acto and X-tras
Y - Yarn
Z - Zentangle, Zippers and Zots

In addition to my recap, I have to put a shout out to several new people I met along the A to Z this year:

Leanne from Cresting the Hill - She blogs about midlife and the empty nest.
Wendy at Wendy's Waffle - She wrote about sports, the usual and the unusual.
Trudy at Reel Focus - She had a great movie game where you were to guess the title from the tagline.
Deena at Deena's Days - She was great with Elvis as her theme.
Sue at Sue's Trifles - Her A to Z was about occupations.
Jeanne Bryan Insalaco at Everyone Has a Story - I thought I knew a thing or two about Nancy Drew until I started reading her A to Z.

My friends from previous years:

Jacqui Murray at WordDreams who talked about the different genres in writing.  Jacqui, in addition to being the inspiration for my A to Z theme, was also the 100th follower of my blog!  Thanks Jacqui!

Patti at Scarlett 79 who shared great movie quotes.
Erika at Dorky Mom Doodles who doodled her way through her past.
Cathy at Curious as a Cathy who used her iPad to create some really neat sketches.
Iain Kelly at Iain Kelly Writing who took us on a trip through Europe.
Deborah Weber who gave us wonderful new words to learn in her manifesto.
Joe Owens at Fiction Playground who wrote a great detective story.

and we can't forget the founder of the A to Z and his wonderful assistants:

Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out who talked about cleaning the clutter.
John Holton at The Sound of One Hand Typing who played his word games again.
J. Lenni Dorner at Blog of Author J Lenni Dorner who once again gave us a thrilling tale of speculative fiction story of life on another planet.

If I've left anyone off my list, it was not intentional.  There were hundreds of participants again this year and while there were a few minor glitches with linking some of the days, all in all I thought things went very smoothly.  Of course you can't visit everyone every day and there are probably many more blogs I would have enjoyed reading so I'm thankful the lists are still available.  There is also the Road Trip starting on May 23 which should be fun.

Just a couple of things I tried this year and felt that they really helped was to get a draft post started for each letter, even if I didn't have the pictures or even the writing done.  There are a few paragraphs at the beginning and the end of every post that were the same so by having those things in place at the start made it much easier when I got down to putting the pictures in and writing the story.  The next thing was to start this recap post at the beginning of the challenge as well and then each day after I officially posted my letter, I would link it here that way once the challenge was done, all my links would be ready and I would just need to add the fluff.  It was also nice to see the number of draft posts I had start to decrease as the days went on.  When I was down to 3 to 4 drafts left I knew I was gonna make it!

Did you have a good time with the A to Z?  Do you have your theme for next year yet?  Any bloggers out there I should immediately go check out?  Any tips you want to share?  Let me know.


  1. Nice reflections post Janet - and thanks for the mention. And thanks also for heading me off to visit some people I managed to miss. I love how the goodness keeps unfolding!

    Your blogging process tips are helpful - I can see how those things would make a difference. We learn more each year don't we?!

    I certainly intend to play again next year, assuming the challenge is still offered, but I have no clue about a topic. Do you?

    It would be fabulous if Michaels compensated you for your efforts somehow - wouldn't that be a nice surprise?

    1. I don't have a theme yet but I have seen a couple of interesting ones I'd like to think about. One was picking words from a list and then finding a picture to go with them and writing a story. Of course, I would love to showcase my crafting again so maybe making cards with different techniques or something like that. Maybe I'll get a clue from the Road Trip.

  2. Hey Janet, even though I am far from crafty, I enjoyed your posts and I know how much effort went into finding something for every letter. I look forward to continuing to follow you throughout the year and seeing what theme you choose in 2019. I'm sure I will be doing flash fiction again. LOL!

    1. Thanks Donna! You were one of the ones I should have added to the above list of new people I found. I knew I wouldn't remember everyone.

    2. LOL! No worries...I didn't even think to mention the several new blogs & friends personally. ya dun good!

  3. Janet it has been lovely meeting you through the challenge -and now I have Michaels envy -living in Australia has it's downfalls at times! You picked a fun topic that was easy to read and comment on and I'll be back for little visits now I know where you are. Thanks for the shout out to Cresting the Hill - it's been a great month (and now I'm ready for a nap!)

    Leanne |
    AtoZ Reflections and Farewell

    1. Thanks Leanne. I'm happy we found each other. Definitely not as much posting for a while here as well!

  4. You did really well, and thanks for joining us again this year! And yes, more word games are planned for nxt year...

    1. Thanks John. It was much less stressful this year.

  5. I thought this year went very well and from all indications most participants seemed happy with the event. Thank you for joining in the April fun once again. Your thematic idea was brilliant in my opinion--a vast store like Michael's offers a lot for A to Z inspiration.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


I'd love to hear your thoughts!