Wednesday 8 May 2013

A-Z 2013 Reflections

Apologies for posting this late. 
I will be traveling all day as my vacation finally comes to an end. ): I'm sad to have to leave the States, but mostly dreading the trip back home. It starts at 4am, then a 12 hour drive back to Orlando, getting on a plane for 8 hours, waiting for a connection for 3 hours, getting on another plane for 1 hour, then driving another 4 hours to get home. Three cheers for traveling on the cheap. The only thing missing is the camel ride and a stiff drink. (; 

The Good

Visiting New Blogs: This really goes without saying. I read many interesting/pee-in-your-pants-funny/inspiring and all out fantastic posts. Wish I could name them all.

Ninja Minion: I enjoyed helping out as one of 
Alex J. Cavanaugh's  Ninja Minion. Being assigned to a small portion of the list allowed me to give back to the massive bloghop and still meet bloggers along the way.

Daily Posting: As opposed to last year, I came into this years challenge better prepared with short pre-written posts through the letter S. That took a lot of pressure off my shoulders for the first two and a half weeks of the challenge. After that, I was a complete stressed out mess trying to get posts written and published on time. (;

Most Popular Post: This year my theme was to write about the odd, obscure, fascinating, and bizarre things people study in this world by highlighting different 'ologies. With the exception of the A post, R for Rumpology was one of my most popular posts. And I have to admit, I got a kick out of writing it but the comments were by far what made it that much more hilarious!

Comments: Last year I averaged 9 comments per post. This year I averaged almost 40 comments per post. You all spoiled me and were on of the best parts of this challenge. I'm grateful for every single commenter and I did my best to visit and comment back.

Followers: I gained 30+ followers and followed back almost everyone. The only bloggers I didn't follow back were bloggers I had trouble finding their blog links in their profile.

Re-connecting with Bloggers: I didn't get the chance to visit as many blogs as I wanted this year. However, I did forge new connections with several bloggers already in my GFC list. THIS WAS AWESOME. Getting a chance to re-meet and learn more about these bloggers/writers was great and it added a new dimension to the challenge experience for me this year.

The List: I'm happy the list is available so I can continue to visit blogs for the next couple of months. 

The Not So Good

Time: The whole point of this challenge is to visit blogs, meet new people, and support each other during this crazy and difficult blogging challenge. Unfortunately, I had less time to visit blogs this year and that was damn frustrating. I know I missed out on many awesome blog.

Comments: I didn't have the time to reply individually to comments like I normally do. Again, this was a time issue on my part.

Blog Labels: I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of labeling blogs. However, I can see how in a bloghop with so many participants, category labels (codes) can be useful and a time-saver for many bloggers. Unfortunately, I saw some confusion with the codes, specifically concerning the Adult Content label. Though most labels were self-explanatory, the AC label could have benefited from a brief and clear definition set by the organizers before the challenge (maybe there was one set, but I missed it and it seemed I was not the only one). People have varying opinions as to what they consider to be Adult Content or Mature Content. It really bothered me, on many levels, to see so much anger unfold with regard to the AC label and who should or should not have had it attached to their blog. I hope a suitable solution can be found for everyone for next year.

Going on Vacation: Crazy I should put this under The Not So Good category but, here it is. For personal and financial reasons, I planned a family vacation at the end of April. Trying to keep up with a blogging challenge while catching two international flights and working on my beach tan is not easy. *read impossible* I have over 100 emails to sort through when I get back home. YIKES!


Overall, I had a good experience this year despite a few frustrating moments along the way and will most likely do it again next year. What can I say, I'm masochistic. :P 

A huge thank you to Arlee Bird, the hosts, and organizers for stepping up to the plate and making this another successful A-Z Challenge:

The Madlab Post (Nicole Ayers)

Tossing It Out (Arlee Bird)

Amlokiblogs (Damyanti Biswas)

Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh)

Life is Good (Tina Downey)

Cruising Altitude 2.0 (DL Hammons)

Retro-Zombie (Jeremy Hawkins)

The Warrior Muse (Shannon Lawrence)

The QQQE (Matthew MacNish)

Leave it to Livia (Livia Peterson)

No Thought 2 Small (Konstanz Silverbow)

Breakthrough Blogs (Stephen Tremp)

Spunk on a Stick (L. Diane Wolfe)


  1. Rumpology, eh? There's no end to the fascinating, and ridiculous, things one can study. Personally, I think that's a good thing!

  2. I read that Rumpology post. It was interesting, and I knew nothing about it prior to your post. Can I use it in polite conversation, maybe. . .why not Derrierology? It sounds a little less blatant.

  3. What a wonderful bunch of Ology posts. I'm sorry I didn't get over to read more of them earlier in the challenge, but it's fun catching up on many that I missed earlier while reading the reflections posts. I hope you had a good vacation!

  4. You had an awesome theme and, yes, Rumpology was one of my favorites :)

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed your A-Z theme this year. Have a safe and trouble free journey home.

  6. People who don't have some kind of a link back to their blog was my pet peeve this year.


  7. The rump definitely got a lot of attention as it should. You made some excellent points and yes time is never on your side during these things. Congrats on making it to the end El.

  8. Congratulations on taking part in the challenge and for a most detailed Reflection Post.

  9. Glad this year was even better for you. Preparing posts ahead of time makes a big difference.
    I didn't get to meet as many new bloggers as I would've liked, but like you, I reconnected with a few older ones. That was very cool.
    The AC label was automatic for anyone with a contents warning before entering the blog. But a few without used the label - and some were given the label. Believe me, we'll work on the definition for next year, because it was indeed an issue.
    Thanks again for being a Ninja Minion!

  10. I think everyone wishes they had more time for visiting the blogs. There's a few I discovered AFTER the challenge was over that I really wish I had found during. Ah, well, what can you do? You do your best and you keep living.

  11. Ah...Rumpology. Good times.

  12. I don't think any of us had enough time.

  13. I can certainly relate to the time factor being an issue. Just where does the time go? I never seem to have enough to do everything I want to do in a day!

    I have signed up for the road trip to visit the blogs I missed, looking forward to it!

    I also put my name to the WIP it blogfest at DL's site! Great idea!

  14. I so enjoyed meeting all the bloggers and discovering new blogs. And my comments and followers increased also, which was a lot of fun. I enjoyed your posts a lot and I'm glad I "followed" you. :)

    Hope you had a fun trip overall in my neck of the woods!

  15. Congratulations oncompleting the challenge.

  16. I have all the time in the world and I still didn't have enough time so don't feel bad. Now if we could all borrow Alex's cloning machine maybe it would help.


  17. Rumpology was a fun one indeed and yeah time was a huge factor. But the cat made it work.

  18. Yes, Rumpology was a great post!
    And I agree with the AC label and what gets umbrella'd under it.

  19. I agree with the time issue. It was a struggle for me, too. I loved your theme. So much fun.

  20. Sounds like you had an awesome time. I thought about you the other day as I heard insect people discussing what to do with the invasion of a noxious stink bug in America.

  21. GREAT wrap-up, Elise. Loved your series. Have a safe trip back home and rest up. There's blogging to do!

    M.L. Swift, Writer

  22. Loved your theme. It was so creative, I was just a little jealous.

  23. It's always fun to meet new people, but I discovered i really don't like blogging on weekends. If I do it again, I wouldn't blog on Saturdays again.

  24. Hi Elise,

    A nice, reflective post. And I'm glad that mostly, you considered the challenge to be a positive interaction exercise. Your theme was good fun.

    Enjoy the remainder of your holiday.

    Gary :)

  25. Happy travelling - and order a stiff drink (for the kids - they'll sleep 'til Paris... go on, I won't tell :)

  26. Great theme and overall a very positive experience for you! I'm seeing your name more and more on the blogosphere, so if that is your goal, you're kicking butt, girl. Does that make you a rumpologist?

  27. Glad you had such a great experience, Elise! I think I'll try my hand at it next year :)

  28. That Rumpology post rocked, but honestly all of your theme was great! I wish you a good trip back home. :)

  29. You did a great job across the board with A-to-Z, but that Rumpology post was priceless.

  30. Hi, found you via the reflections post :) Lovely blog - off to sign in as a follower and to go see the R is for Rumpology post :) Also, which part of France? My brother lives along Le Lot and Garonne:)
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe

  31. You had a great theme E!
    Ah... rumpology? Makes sense...
    I think lack of time was a problem for all of us! I didn't get to visit as many new blogs as I intended too... I did find a handful of new blogs which I'll be visiting...
    I struggled to keep up with existing bloggy buddies... and I was having way too much fun with my own theme!
    I hope you get home safely. You're probably gonna need some extra rest after jet-lag fatigue... LOL!

  32. Glad you enjoyed A to Z overall! Me, I had a heck of a time with Goggle shutting down my blogs. But I have a new one now. I see the link you have is one of the blogs that is no longer accessible by me. You can visit me here at

  33. Dude, that's a grueling itinerary! Hope it all goes (went?) well and better luck with getting a camel next time! :-)
    Some Dark Romantic

  34. It's good to know that hopefully by next year, it should be a bit easier, except the time issue. I guess that'll always be an issue in a bloghop this large. I surely wished I could have visited more. Writer’s Mark

  35. Hey Elise, There is a little something waiting for you at my site. Make sure you come and pick it up!

  36. I liked the Rumpology post, too! I thought your take on the A - Z Challenge was the most clever and original. ;)

  37. I think you did an awesome job despite the vacay! I loved all the posts I read of yours (honestly there were so many bloggers posting, I don't know how anyone could keep up with them). You did great! :-)

  38. Hey, Elise,

    Time always batters me during the Challenge. Didn't meet as many new folks this year, but I did make some new connections.

  39. Ok, so I had to go and read the rumpology post. Truly hilarious! I would never have guessed there was such a thing!

  40. Hi Elise .. and I see I'm no 41 commenter .. so cracking your average of 40 comments!

    Cheers - and so true what you wrote .. quite tricky keeping April free though! Hilary


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