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Sunday, May 06, 2018

A to Z Challenge 2018 - Some reflections

Well, I have survived another A to Z Challenge!

My choice of topic for this year was Aussie children's writers. It's a subject I know something about, after my many years as a teacher-librarian. It was fun trying to work out whether I could get through all the letters of the alphabet, and remembering all those wonderful writers whose books I've enjoyed over the years. Some of their books were out of print, alas! Fortunately, you can still get most of them on AbeBooks. But I had to share my enjoyment.

I am pleased that so many were of interest to my visitors, some of whom had never heard of them, and decided to check the books out in their local libraries or buy them. Australia has produced some wonderful writers and artists and others, who come from elsewhere, have made us proud of them. Some are international bestsellers, others are published only in this country - but all are writers to brag about.

I've had some delightful visitors this year, and discovered their web sites in my turn. I'm following several more blogs now, and have at least three new followers, myself(there may be some who are following by email). There were some I started following last year - those were easy!

There haven't been as many visitors as last year, when my theme was "Spies and Spying". That's a bit disappointing, and it may be a less fascinating theme, but it was a bit harder to find anything to read this year. The decision was made to stick all the participants' posts together into a spreadsheet. You could still use the comments section to supply a link to your posts, and I did a few times, but most people didn't, unless I was missing something. I probably was, but I have no idea what. I did go to the spreadsheet and faithfully insert my posts every day. And I scrolled down to see which blogs were posting about stuff that interested me. It was a matter of guessing and choosing at random.

Some of those randoms were wonderful! Others turned out to be not what I had had in mind. I commented on those who had visited me, and some of their visitors' blogs. Most had the courtesy to visit in their turn, others didn't; I stopped commenting on those posts after two or three visits. There just wasn't time to keep visiting folk who didn't bother to return the visit.

A lot of people I visited seemed to have Wordpress sites this year. I hate Wordpress, which is complicated and often refuses to let me comment on someone else's site. Most of the sites let me through, this time, but one of them kept refusing me the chance to comment. It was days before I was able to comment on that blog!

It's good to be able to challenge myself to writing something every day. I have been working on stories that needed finishing, and I currently have a piece of slush to read for Andromeda Spaceways. I'm behind in those, so it's good to have that bit of self-discipline.

If you've been visiting me the last month, why not follow and see what else I write about? I'll follow you back, if I haven't already. Chances are that I have.

Time now to go back to my regular posts - and my fiction!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue - Australian authors was a great idea for your Challenge - and opened the door to new writers and illustrators - I loved reading them up - and hope that I'll get a few from the library to read.

I suspect it might be quality over quantity ... and I often pick up new contacts once the Challenge is over ... as people kindly list out blogs they've enjoyed reading. Commenting is so frustrating if it's not reciprocated ... I hate G+, I hate just ticking saying you've been, and as for WP - I have a site (which I don't use) but does allow me to comment - that I find is the easiest thing to do ... so many others such as Squarespace, can't now think of the others ... but I found the easiest is to have a site ...

Good luck with your writing and retirement time .. cheers Hilary

Sue Bursztynski said...

Hi Hilary! See, I do have a WP site which I gave up on long ago, but I find I have to log into my Twitter account to be able to comment or I co,e up as Raventracks(my WP login) and this year, even that didn’t always work.

Thanks for returning to comment time after time. I hope you do find some writers I’ve mentioned and enjoy them!

AJ Blythe said...

I enjoyed your posts, Sue, and learnt about authors I probably should have already known about!

I left my link on the daily letter sign up but stopped that after a few days. I wasn't using it and found the spreadsheet the easiest way to find blogs.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Thanks for that! Glad you enjoyed, and with two boys, why should you have heard about writers for girls? 🙂 I only knew half of them because I’m a teacher librarian.

I’m afraid I found the spreadsheet confusing. I did email to ask about it, in case there was something I’d missed, but got no reply. I inquired on the comments section. No reply there either. In fact, they may even have deleted it - and my inquiry was polite. I looked at the video two or three times. Nothing there that answered my question. Finally, I just scrolled down basic themes - books, travel, myths and legends, etc - and clicked into blogs that were on themes I liked, including yours. But it was all random. I much preferred looking at the comments last year, with detailed info, instead of having to guess and click into something. So, not my cup,of tea, alas!

Still, I’m following your blog now! Nice!

JEN Garrett said...

I hate Wordpress too! I see that I'm following you by email, so I have a feeling I've visited you sometime during April. But if I didn't, sorry! I love your theme this year, so even if I haven't visited all of your post yet, I hope to soon!

Sue Bursztynski said...

Hi Jen! I think you did visit at least once, but I couldn’t find your blog to return the visit. Welcome to my blog, anyway, hope you enjoy it! My theme was based on what this blog is about anyway, do you should see more of the same.