4/30/2012

Zee End: This is the Palouse





So now April and the A-Z Challenge is over. 

I couldn't think of anything on the Palouse that began with "Z," so this will be my wrap-up post. It's time to put Zee Challenge to Bed. How did it go for me? Read about it, below: 

Of the 1900+ blogs that signed up for the challenge (a staggering number!), I at least peeked at all but a handful of them. If a blog warned of adult content, I didn't bother to look at it. If the blog title was obviously something I wouldn't be interested in, I didn't look at it. If someone signed up but didn't post during the challenge, or bailed after 2-3 posts, I didn't bother to look past the date of their last post. 

By the middle of the second week, I had peeked at almost everything.  

I was delighted to see so many interesting sites, on subjects varying from gardening to travel, music, movies, being boomers, visual artists, knitters, rural, people who had gastric bypass surgery, food, mommy blogs and of course, the writers--YA, romance, inspirational, memoir, fantasy. I'm sure I have forgotten plenty, but these are what stand out in my memory. 

A number of people with whom I had already made contact, either through last year's challenge or via some other avenue, also participated. I didn't stop by their blogs, as theirs are already part of my regular blogging routine, which got suspended during the A-Z challenge, but will be returned to, soon. 

Of the 1900+ blogs, I tagged about 250 for possible RSS-ing or following. Then the more painstaking process began. I went back to each of the blogs and decided if I really wanted to commit to following them. 

I don't read every blog I follow every day, but I do look at them at least every couple of weeks, at which time I "catch up" on posts. Of the 250, I'm not sure how many I actually decided to follow. Maybe 50? Fewer? 

The third week of the challenge, I lost all motivation to read and comment on blogs. I did no blogging whatsoever that week. 

Then the final week, on Monday, April 23, I looked at what was left of the long list I'd tagged for possible following and decided to follow a handful of them. 

I was mostly done with the challenge, and so ready to move on to something new. 

Like what? Like getting back to revising my YA manuscript. During April, I received an email from an editor who'd given me a "pass," on the manuscript, however she said she definitely wanted to look at anything else I had written, or might write. Encouraged, I emailed her back, telling her that I'd sent her the manuscript before my critique group had had a chance to revise it, and that I was now revising it based on their input, and would she be interested in looking at it again? She said yes, and now I'm motivated to make some more changes in that manuscript. 

The Inspirational Romance idea is now on hold. My vision for the YA manuscript has changed dramatically since the version read by my critique group and the editor. Besides having an editor willing to take a second look at it, I'm motivated to see how the story will play out, once my revised thematic argument--and all the other projected changes--have been put in place. 


As far as blogging, with the A-Z challenge over, I can now sit back and enjoy my lunch break again, instead of pouring over blogs.  ; )

Today I'm eating food from the Food Co-op. It's a burrito filled with sweet potato strips, black beans, cheese and cilantro. It comes with salsa and cream cheese, and it's yummy in a weird sort of way. As long as whomever makes it doesn't put too much cheddar cheese in it, but loads it down with yam slices, I enjoy it. 

Was participating in the A-Z challenge worth the time and effort? Yes and no. I'm now aware of many more people on the net. My life has been enriched, and will continue to be, because of new people I can visit via blogging. There are also a few new people following my blog. 

But after the blogging Marathon that was April, I think I'll be taking a week or two off. See y'all again around the middle of May. 

   

4 comments:

  1. I enjoyed all these recent posts and photos, Cathy! You did great!

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  2. That was a good post! I can't imagine reading more blogs than I did this month! And I barely scratched the surface of the long list of A-Z'ers. Just didn't have the time or inclination. But I did visit quite a few and found some gems. I've enjoyed 'meeting' you! Hoping to 'see' you on the blogs again. I, too, am going to kick back a little and focus on other things for a bit here. Until I get inspired to write another post.
    Congratulations of completing the A-Z Challenge!

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  3. Hope you're enjoying a bit of a break! April was incredibly busy and I can't believe how many posts you got through!!! I'm so impressed. I didn't get through nearly as many :)

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  4. Great retrospective. At this point, I can barely spell simple words correctly when I begin to blog. I have a lot of maintenance to do in the first couple of weeks of May, so I will be blogging more intermittently. I believe I echo your sentiments, yet I know I will return to the challenge next year. I just enjoyed the challenge of a daily timed writing exercise with some accountability. Oh, and the burrito? a burrito filled with sweet potato strips, black beans, cheese and cilantro? Sounds so deliciously yummy. I will now have to go and create such a concoction! Here's to your break!

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