Bonjour, Dear A to Z people! According to the website, it’s time to reflect on the A to Z experience, and I think it’s a great idea. Being a “new blogger,” I wasn’t sure if this was the “blog event” for me. It seemed like a big challenge, and it was! But in the end, it turned out that it wasn’t too much after all. I “survived.”
I think I will keep a little bit of my A to Z format for this “reflection” post, just to tie it all up in a neat little bundle.
Did I post every day? Est-ce que j’ai écrit chaque jour ?
Oui! I did my posts every day, and managed to get most of them done at least the night before. I learned a lot! J’ai beaucoup appris !
I took to heart all the wonderful blogging tips and tricks that I found on the host(ess)’s sites, which I immediately began following, not to mention the “official” A to Z site. From the “Great A to Z Theme Reveal” I learned the value of planning out blog posts. In fact, the picture at the top of the post here is my very own “planning chart.” I started with nothing but the letters on the days, and then slowly began to fill in the “must-see” things, and for the others, I began searching the ginormous INTERNET for ideas. Eventually, I had all the letters filled in, except W, X, and Z, which were much harder. I admit to sort of “cheating” on W and X, and Z was truly a last-minute discovery!
I did not pre-write all the posts, although I did get better at doing so as the month went on. I took the idea from one of the many blogs that I visited early on (sorry, I don’t remember exactly which one or I would link to it!) to make a “format.” This was the best thing I could have done, I think. Since I did not pre-write the posts, at least if I had my word of the day, it was a matter of sort of “filling out a form.” Without this format, I may not have survived the challenge, so thank you, whoever gave me this idea!
I also got much better at doing Creative Commons attributions, as I used many images grâce à (thanks to ) photographers and artists who are much more talented and/or well-traveled than myself and who are extremely generous in sharing their work with tout le monde (everyone). Also maps. I love maps. I love that WikiCommons and Flickr and a few others have cut-and-paste html attributions. Very slick.
Did I make new friends? Est-ce que j’ai trouvé des nouveaux amis ?
Encore oui! During this incredible month, I won a place in a new (to me) community: the A to Z-ers! I now have this incredible list of blogs that I have yet to finish exploring. There are over 2000 bloggers on the 2014 A to Z list and I have visited a lot of them, but there are still many others begging to be discovered. So “visiting the list” will be on my agenda for a good while yet.
I won some faithful followers, and became a faithful follower of some awesome blogs! I found that my amateur research and writing somehow captured the attention of some truly great writers, travelers, chefs…it’s amazing. I am humbled by my my readers. There are some who have (bless their hearts) seemed to visit each of my posts during April, and made comments, travel suggestions, and just general encouragement. Merci mille fois. c’est très gentil de votre part. (Thanks a million, it’s so nice of y’all) Being Texan by birth I do get to say “y’all”. Interesting language point: the French have an actual word for the plural “you” (which also serves as a formal version of “you”) whereas in the American English language only Texans and other forms of Southerners seem to possess this form! Thanks, mom and dad 🙂 If you are one of my readers, you may notice that I love putting links in my text. I often link to blogs/posts that particularly inspire me. Please, please, please click on these when you see them because they are likely to lead you to some wonderful places!
And in the A-to-Z world over the last month, which blogs inspired me the most? Well, I would like to mention 5 blogs here. I’m by no means saying that these were the only 5, and I will very likely be putting links to many A to Z people in my future posts because there are so many amazing people in this group. 5 is just a nice round number, and I want to list a few before this post becomes dreadfully long and I lose y’all!
HalleyGentil – Want to learn about Switzerland? Halley is your girl! She is a great writer with a great blog. From the sounds of it, she has many many more intriguing adventures that she plans to share!
Sammy D at Bemuzin – When she says “Musings and Amusings” she means it! Eclectic and fun, this writer has it all 🙂
Celine Jeanjean – French girl in Hong Kong. Does it get more fantastique than that? She’s an awesome writer with many interesting viewpoints and experiences. She has so much passion for writing and it really shows in her blog.
Linda G Hill – This amazing lady did A to Z on not just one but TWO BLOGS! She writes extremely helpful insights into the writing process, but also has a Fiction Blog where she wrote a marvelous serialized story for A to Z to illustrate her writing tips/techniques/helps. I have to say, I could hardly wait for each new installment of the story. Now that it’s finished, you can read the whole thing in one sitting. Kind of like binge-watching a tv series on Netflix. You lucky dogs, not having to wait for “what happens next” 🙂
Anntogether – Want to see some photography? Beautiful, thoughtful, interesting photography from a lady with a great eye for seeing the extraordinary in everyday things? Anntogether is your lady. Her photos are some of the best ones I’ve seen, and her writing is whimsical and fun and complements her photos beautifully. Just go look 🙂
*** Special Mention – Tnkerr ***
Yeah, I said 5, but I had to do this one. Tnkrr is possibly the “Writing Prompt” champion of the world. He writes for so many writing prompts I don’t think I can count them. His work is quality stuff. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, sometimes…bizarre…but always top-notch. Every day I’m intrigued to find out what new take Tnkrr has on a prompt. It’s never what “one might expect.” Never. Tnkerr has been loyally reading my A to Z and I am quite honored by that.
There are so many other A to Z-ers who visited, followed, read, commented, I am sorry not to list them all here but I have to end this somewhere 😦 I found the challenge au hasard (by chance) because I was fortunate enough to find myself reading the blog of A to Z co-host and author Damyanti of Amlokiblogs and Daily Write. (I think it was because of the “Trifecta writing challenge” actually, which sadly has ended) Naturally, she had some nice links and mentions of the A to Z Challenge.
Did I enjoy the Challenge? Est-ce que j’ai aimé ce “défi” ?
I had started my blog as a challenge to myself, using the WordPress “Zero-to-Hero” tutorial. As I was just about to finish that 30-day course in blogging, I found A to Z. And I thought, pourquoi pas? Trying to blog every day will definitely teach me more about doing this. So here I am at the end of April, a “survivor”, and I can not thank Damyanti enough.
I gained a great list of things to try and see when my husband and I go to France. I read a lot of history and informational websites to help me with my travel plans, which are shaping up nicely.
Alors, C’est tout pour aujourd’hui, et pour avril. (That’s all for today, and for April)
A bientôt, j’espère (see you soon I hope !!) Alors je vous laisse comme une “survivante” (So I leave you now as a “survivor” !)