Monday, 4 May 2015

All done & Zonked out : A-Z Reflections







It's been heaps of fun and a bit exhausting, but most fun things are also tiring. I am glad I survived, and have the big, beautiful survivor badge up. Feather in cap, pat on back.  If you have completed the A-Z too, congrats to you!



This was my second year, and as before, what I loved about the A-Z is the challenge bit, the work involved, the research, the writing, the rigorous discipline of it all. That grows me in unexpected spurts and in unexpected directions.  I am more of a lurker than a commenter, except for people/blogs I know really well, the A-Z helps me overcome that diffidence for a month :) I am also more inclined to be a pantser - scheduling posts goes somewhat against the grain.  I overcame that by keeping a paragraph or two to add on the night before.


Like last year, I visited and commented on way more blogs than I got returns.  I saw many 'likes' on my comments, some of them returned mine, many didn't.  Mostly WP bloggers didn't. Made me wonder if WP bloggers have an equally hard time commenting on Blogger blogs as the other way around? :) But no big deal - commenting should be fun-driven as well as courtesy-driven.  Returning comments on a poetry blog that you wouldn't be seen dead at otherwise makes no sense. 



I tried and returned every comment, but some were untraceable after all my attempts.  That blog signature bit should be mandatory for the duration of the A-Z. I did end up gravitating towards those who commented here more often, I couldn't find a way to avoid that, don't think I want to either.


However, finding blogs which were not related to books/writing was a mini-challenge within a challenge. I wish assigning those codes was mandatory also. And I wish too that poetry had a separate code, so that people knew before visiting what this blog's about. That way, no-one clicks on expecting some punny take on maths or something and ends up getting in-your-face poetry and a sinking feeling.  



The number of non-participators/drop-outs I encountered this year was less, the monitoring felt tighter. Kudos to all the co-hosts and minions, a special vote of thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh, Michelle Wallace, A Tarkabarka Holgy, and Susan Brody among them for being supportive throughout.  I read some amazingly creative A-Z posts from them and from Hilary at Positive Letters...Inspirational Stories.



An apparently random, unrelated thing happened during the A-Z  - this blog got chosen on a list of top Indian poetry blogs! Whoop!!  Wait. Maybe not so unrelated.  I have a sneaky suspicion that this happened somehow because of the A-Z, because of the extra activity on the blog or the extra poetry. You never can tell when and how karma will choose to pay you back, and for what. So now I have two badges put up instead of one. How supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is that? :)


Bottomline:  I had a great time, A-Z adds the zing to my spring here. Smug as a bug in a rug, due apos to PGW again. No reason not to come back for more.





Linked to the Reflections Post at the A-Z Challenge

A long round of applause for the creator and the co-hosts. Thank you all.



28 comments:

  1. Congratulations!
    Poetry category - we can add that for next year.
    There were a lot of bloggers who didn't return comments, but no big deal. We still managed to make some new friends.

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    1. Thank you!
      And yeah, no big deal. The rest did pretty okay...A poetry category would be awesome to sign up to!!

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  2. I'm one of the worst offenders as far as adding a tag at the end of posts. Sorry about that. I like the idea for being sure to add what kind of a blog you're running to your entry in the Linky. You did an excellent job!

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

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    1. Blogger profiles aren't too bad, they're easily navigated, especially if there is only one blog listed. G+ is terrible!

      I do feel that a few extra details in the sign up list would make for better navigation as well - the subject codes, and the theme too, or a keyword - makes it clear to the reader what s/he is getting into.

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  3. I'm glad you had a good time, and congratulations on being on the list of top poetry blogs! I really loved your poems in A to Z :) And you are right about the commenting part. I think the signature use should get more publicity next year before the challenge starts!

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary
    MopDog

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    1. Thank you. Signature use definitely makes the reading and return visits smoother.

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  4. Congratulations on completing the Challenge! Very interesting comments!

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    1. Thank you, and to you too. The challenge experience gets progressively better - I have it on good authority :)

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  5. Nila, throughout this Challenge you introduced me to some incredible poets I had never heard of - and one of them was you. I didn't do that well this year on initiating visits to other blogs, so I'm extremely grateful that you visited me first. Thank you also for the shout-out. I feel like I now have a friend in India, and a super-talented one at that! Looking forward very much to your future posts.

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    1. Choosing one poet per letter was the most difficult thing of all! I went reading randomly this year, just clicked from the top and bottom by turns :) happy we connected. Thoroughly enjoyed your theme/posts, Susan. Look fwd to keeping in touch.

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  6. Hi Nila! You little mover and shaker, you! Yep, one of my peeves is that people often don't return comments which is sort of mandatory to me, but that's just my opinion. There are a lot of other good results, like in your case, getting your blog upped in google activity which may have helped your receiving the best Indian poetry blog award. So pleased for you!!! I didn't get around as often as I'd planned, but I will come back from time to time and read the posts I didn't get time for. (My writing went really well -- over 30,000 words on my Paris novel!)

    I'm glad the A-Z is over though!

    Denise :-)

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    1. Hi Denise,

      Good to see you here! I am too lazy for that mover and shaker label to ever apply to me haha. Very pleased to hear the Paris novel's going well!

      Yes, I agree with your opinion on the returning comments bit. But, I also understand that it can be a little bewildering for a first timer at the A-Z, or a newbie blogger as a whole. If someone leaves a comment on your blog, okay not yours, mine, and then I click over and find the blogger has like 50K followers and a string of comments 5 miles long, then it would take me enormous amounts of courage to come up with a comment to post there :) That gets better with time and experience of course. Everybody grows into blogging at their own pace, and I don't think all non-comment-returnees are being rude, sometimes it's feeling intimidated, at others it may be a lack of know-how re commenting across platforms. Anyways, being a small blog/blogger means that I have had lots of practice at being clueless and fearful and also getting no return comments :) no big deal. Some people of course have no intention of reading at a blogfest at all, only there to dump their links. :) It takes all kinds...

      Thank you Denise, for your unstinting support, here and elsewhere, throughout. Can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

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  7. That is so cool that the challenge may have helped your blog get recognized. You shared lots of positive feedback. More complaints this year of the interacting between blogging platforms. Congrats on finishing.

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    1. The challenge, all piffling complaints notwithstanding, is huge amounts of fun. Thanks for all you folks do to keep it that way. For me personally, A-Z has had lots of positive spin-offs, not all of them as visibly prominent as the recognition this time. Even without that the benefits outweigh everything else.

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  8. Congrats on reaching the A to Z finishing line, Nila!
    I love your writing voice... and your poetry was AMAZING (I know I've probably said it a million times before... LOL)
    Thank you for the shout out!
    A second congrats on the Top Poetry Blog Award!
    It's well deserved!
    See you April 2016 for another month of blogging madness!

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    1. You'll probably see me a lot sooner than that :) but yeah, see you for the A-Z next year! Thank youse for everything

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  9. There seems to be so many ups and downs to those who sign up and those who finish the challenge. If it were easy it wouldn't be called a challenge.. so to you and those who made it!

    We made it...Hope you had a great time, thank you for your Reflection!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

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    1. I love the challenge part of the A-Z! I had a great time indeed. Thank you for the hosting, the visits and the encouragement.

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  10. "Zing to my Spring"... I like that!! Looking forward now to reading your other 26 articles!!

    --Mee (The Chinese Quest)

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    1. Glad you liked it, hope you enjoyed some of the others too.

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  11. 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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    1. Thanks, and thanks for the visit. See you around.

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  12. Hi Nila - that's brilliant that your poetry got recognised in the Indian Poetry blogs .. what good news. Commenting is a good thing, and I know I don't always get back to people .. this year I was bad - as I was doing two major projects ... so I flunked it! But I'm on my way back over my posts to check in with everyone ..

    Well done on finishing and that's great you'll be there next year .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Well, I don't agree you flunked it! I encountered your comments several times out on the trail...apart from here... great that you managed to do so much offline and also aced the A-Z! Kudos..

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  13. Hello there.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge! This was my second year taking part as well. Much of what you said I agree with. I griped about the commenting or lack of it too. If/when I received a comment, I always made sure to comment back, even if the topic was too way out there for me. Sometimes, one never knows just what to say so rather than waffle on, I just thanked the blogger for sharing and taking the time to visit me. In my humble opinion that was fair. Thanks for sharing. Just meandering through from the Road Trip.

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

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    1. Thank you for stopping here, and many congrats to you too! The balance in commenting is always hard to master, but you seem to have got it right. I learn something new at the A-Z about blogging and bloggers and also a whole bunch of other stuff.
      All the best for the road trip!

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  14. Congratulations on completing the challenge. I was very happy to see one of my favourite poets (Seamus Heaney) featured. I eagerly awaiting "P" sure it would be Sylvia Plath - I think she is a bit of an acquired taste. Maybe a bit too heavy for a fun blogpost?
    Popping by on the A to Z Road Trip
    Debbie
    www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you. Plath and Paz both great poets and great favourites of mine :-) on this occasion chose Paz because I've responded to Plath's poetry in a non-A-Z post earlier. Glad you enjoyed the Heaney poem. All the best for the rest of the road trip!

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Nonymous comments prized more than rubies :) Anonymous comments shall be deleted as soon as spotted. Just so you know.