Friday, May 10, 2019

A to Z Reflections & Beyond

It was a busy Spring for me with lots of requests for custom fabric vessels. I still found time to participate in the April A to Z Challenge and crossed the finish line. 

This was my 4th year participating in the A to Z April challenge. It felt a bit easier this time 
in some ways, not in others. I am a very organized person 
(ask anyone who knows me) so getting the posts done,
many ahead of the date which takes a lot of the pressure off,  was not too tough. 

All during the year I make notes of blog ideas as they pop into my head or present themselves in other ways. A conversation, a link I've followed , an artist I admire, a process that intrigues me.
 I created a word document with ideas for each letter I can refer to when April rolls around from my jotted ideas. It's good to have paper & a writing utensil with you at all times! 

Jeremy, your graphics are great! Thank you for the hard work on these. 

As the month unfolds I find creating posts gets easier with the repetition. 
That alone is worth the effort. The trick now is to carry it on through the rest of the year.
 I think many of us who participate struggle with that.

One thing I find interesting, and a frustration to me, is that there are very few visual artists who participate in the challenge. I wonder why that is & why it continues to be that way. Any ideas folks?

The hard part this year for me was finding the time to look at other blogs, make comments, & reply to the comments on my posts. Creating a post for each day is time consuming. As an artist (or a writer) we need to carve out time for our own creative process, let alone getting involved with so many others. Is it because my art requires lots of hands on time away from a computer, where as writers are creating as well as following & responding at their computers? Dunno.


This year the main list (which I was part of) was not monitored to remove those who signed up for the challenge but did not follow through. Not a huge deal for me but I was disappointed every time I went somewhere that didn't amount to anything. Some one else mentioned to have a list by category would be helpful. I agree. Also lots of participants did not have links back to their blogs 
when they commented.  This was encouraged in the past.
 I would love to see people make it part of their commenting routine.


A few of my favorite finds this year:

Wendy's Waffle
During the month Wendy had an alter ego, Alice, who I found delightful.

The Versesmith
A fun poem every day.

Trudy at Reel Focus was a regular visitor & commented often.
Thanks Trudy!   Plus she mentioned me in her reflection, I'm honored!

Rob from England visited. 
That is one of the things I love about the challenge.
You make cyber friends all over the world.
His random posts are fun to read.

Mandy, an intrepid world traveler dropped by
from With Love about the travels of she & her husband.
Visually a lovely blog.  

One more. I think Donna & I have been following each other since a couple challenges back.
She is a great writer. Her posts this year were so interesting.
Her images she used as a jumping off point were thought provoking.
Donna B McNicol, Author
Thanks Donna for being one of my regulars. 

I apologize for not mentioning everyone, but you all understand I'm sure.

I think I only got a comment from one Moderator. Maybe 2.

Overall I did not get as many comments as I had hoped. Maybe my comments here will encourage more visual artists to jump on board. Overall views appeared to be down this year.
We may all be suffering from too much screen time.
 The jury is out on my participation next year.


  1. *raises hand* Guilty of not including link back to blog. (I got lazy this year.)

    It is hard to keep up with all of it. Congrats on making it through.

  2. Oh, did I forget to comment? Oops. I DID subscribe!
    I was doing two art-related A-Zs, but I was in non-Art categories (Fashion and Automotive).
    I've volunteered to be "active blog cop" next year... we'll see.
    I have tried to make a linkable "signature" but just can't crack the code. So I paste the whole darn URL. In WP, it'll show as a clickable link, not so in Blogger.
    Here they are:

    I enjoyed your posts, when I had the time to browse.
    I belong to an enthusiastic sketching group on FB, and will promote A-Z as a worthy challenge for 2020.

  3. I thought there was a way to make the list show by category. I'm sure I did. I would like to do linocuts, but I would have to work all year to get them done. And that within a to z.

  4. Thank you so much for the mention. I think I was living in Ecuador or had just returned when I followed your A-Z and shared it with a friend there who makes her own paper. I am so non-creative when it comes to hand-crafts (even though my daughters are) but I so enjoy seeing what others can do. Thanks so much for all the reading and commenting on my blogs. As you know, it's much appreciated!

    Like you, I found it harder to branch out this year to follow others on the master list. I should have downloaded and sorted it. But I did note many of the blogs I did follow and comment on, didn't bother returning the favor. I try to at least post a note that I was dropping in from A-Z for those blogs I checked out but didn't continue to follow.

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

  5. Great Reflection post, and I love your way to plan the Challenge so ahead! As the master list is an Excel file, you can sort by categories.

  6. Ditto Frederique above. I'm in awe of the diligence through the year. The challenge is hectic and life goes on making it is difficult to get around as many blogs as we'd all like. Nevermind, there is the Road Trip for those of us with a little extra time. Visiting from the Reflection List. Linda

  7. "The trick now is to carry it on through the rest of the year." Ain't it the truth... ain't it the truth. I'm determined to do better at posting with some consistency this year (as compared to years past).

    I feel like I'm so far behind on everything. (I'm just NOW seeing your reflection post!)


I would love to hear from you. Please give me your feed back or questions about anything you find here.