Monday, May 2, 2011

THE A-Z CHALLENGE REFLECTIONS MEGA POST!

Greetings fellow A-Zers and friends. I would first like to congratulate ALL who have MET the challenge. Lee @ Tossing It Out decided on a A-Z reflections post... We have  to TELL our feelings about the challenge. Don't forget to drop by his blog to visit other A-Zers to see what they got out of this challenge. 


My first thoughts ... It was a tough, but WELL worth it. Lee and his co-hosts did an AWESOME job organizing this event. They also made time to visit us and leave positive and caring comments. THAT was not an easy thing to do with 1300 different blogs involved.

When I first signed up for the challenge, I thought it was be a fun way to post my blogs as well as meet new friends. Little did I know it would turn out to be SO monumental. As we all tried to visit as many blogs as we could, we soon realized we didn't have our magic wands adjusted for this. But I must say that I did meet some FANTASTIC people and I am very grateful to the challenge for bringing these talented individuals to my blog. Hopping around gave us insight into imaginative and unusual ways to achieve our goals.

I, for instance choose a theme which really challenged me, though at the time I thought it would be a piece of cake. For those of you who didn't make it over to my blog, I decided to write Flash Fiction with a riddle or twist. The first few were about 200 words, but as the comments rolled in, I found I had to top the previous day. So then I went to 300, then 400, up to 500 plus words. I spent HOURS researching and writing at my highest level. I wanted to please you as best I could. So as you can well imagine, it took away from my editing, and querying time. I must admit toward the end, I really pushed myself. But all your kind words and genuine support got me through it. THANK YOU ALL! I never would have made it without you.

Something wonderful came out of this challenge for me. I learned so much about writing. Flash Fiction is a tough medium. Having to create a start, middle, and end in 200-500 takes a lot of thought and expertise. And as we all know in writing, practice DOES make perfect. Several bloggers commented I should create a book with these excepts, and I really like the idea. Many of you know that I illustrate and to create a book with these shorts with illustrations would be quite an interesting project. PLEASE let me know your thoughts on this. Do you think it's a good idea?

To wrap things up, this challenge was a blessing in disguise and I am very thankful I joined in this challenge. I appreciate and admire all of you!

Now I can visit your blogs more often and get back to my edits. After a month of HIGH alert it's nice to fall back into the comfort zone. 

Many of my posts were mystical, so here's a beautiful reflection to enjoy. 


HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERYONE...

52 comments:

  1. Hi,

    Lovely image!

    I so admire all those who stuck with A-Z challenge. Moi, on the otherhand, finished a three-quarter written novel during month of April: hence chuffed for differing reason. ;)

    best
    F

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  2. Yes Michael I think it is a good idea as long as you choose one theme throughout. I would buy the book:) Congrats on making it through the challenge, yours was always on my list of blogs to read each day! I am so glad I found you as a creative blogger and friend.

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  3. Summer Ross will love that image!

    I loved the theme you took for the challenge and I'm only sorry I didn't have time to read every post. Do you think they could introduce a new 36-hour day next April?

    Ellie Garratt

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  4. Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read my A-Z review.

    I like your blog tag line, tis true creativity is a terrible thing to waste !

    RJRdaydreamer

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  5. Like you, I think the benefits of this challenge far outweighed the cons. Lack of time is my one real complaint. I would've loved to do more, visit more blogs.

    Congrats on surviving and meeting the A-Z Challenge!

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  6. Congrats on completing the challenge! And that is a gorgeous picture.

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  7. Your did a wonderful job during this challenge, Michael. I went back and read the ones I missed and thoroughly enjoyed them. Life got away with me this last week and I missed your birthday. ;( Happy belated Birthday! Here's hoping your new decade is a great one! :D

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  8. It may have been a challenge, but wasn't writing to a theme easier? Glad you enjoyed it - so many benefits to the Challenge!

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  9. HI Michael,
    I found your blog early in the challenge, but I am sorry I didn't make it back again because i was trying so hard to get to all of them.This reflection is beautiful. I'm sure I missed some wonderful posts. HOpefully, by adding you to my blogroll, we'll stay connected.
    Karen

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  10. I learned about the A-Z challenge midway through, so I didn't get to do it this year. Hopefully they'll do something similar again. And I think a book of these short pieces of fiction with illustrations is a fabulous idea.

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  11. I came in toward the end of your challenge but I loved the ones I saw! Such a fun excuse to be extra creative.

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  12. Love that mystical image. Congrats on achieving completion w/ the A-Z challenge. It looked pretty tough, all right, but you did a great job.

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  13. That is a beautiful reflection. And I enjoyed reading your A-Z posts :) Maybe I'll have to give in and participate next year. It seems like a lot of work but work almost always leads to greater things...or people.

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  14. Thanks Michael for the beautiful reflection and such lyrical posts~
    Keep at it! Congrats on crossing the finish line; it truly was a challenge!

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  15. You're so right on how much work it is to create a full story in so little space. I bet it was fabulous for you as a writer. On the book--I have no clue how that would sell--I think full artwork is expensive to produce, so while I LOVE the idea, you may have trouble on the publishing end... UNLESS you designed it sort of 'coffee table book' style, which means you'd want to limit stories probably to 150 words or less.

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  16. Glad you had a great time, challenge and all! Sounds like it was a great month!!

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  17. Michael! How could I forget about your awesome flash fiction pieces?? I wrote my post really fast today and I should've mentioned how much I liked your A-Z posts. You really went above and beyond and I know it was tough, but you're right, it makes you a tougher writer.

    Awesome work! Now we can all get back to writing!! :)

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  18. Go with your instincts on the book, Michael. They seldom will let you down. I believe it would have to be self-published though. Agents and publishers are not open to "novel" ideas in this harsh economic environment. Have a great week, Roland

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  19. Congratulations on making it through. I cheated because it was all too overwhelming for me.

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  20. Many thanks for your comment, much appreciated,
    It was a great challenge and it was even better than last year.

    Yvonne.

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  21. Flash fiction is hard, so true! Forcing myself to do it weekly on my own blog has been a huge help and has taught me the value of it. You're right, great things can come of it. :)

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  22. Flash fiction is very difficult, every word must count in the right way in order for it to work. I think a book with illustration is a neat idea. I didn't do a reflection page, sorry- didn't get that memo in time :) But I'm happy you were able to challenge yourself and meet that challenge! Great job Michael!

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  23. I was impressed by your posts. Not only did you research everything but then you composed it. I liked trying to figure out what it was before you told us. It was really fun.

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  24. Another blogger who also wrote flash fiction each day said she's planning to put them all together into e-book format. And it would be even better if you put one of your illustrations with each story (I love your black and white sketches).

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  25. Wow Michael- that's awesome you were able to do all that. I'm glad you had fun and learned a lot.

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  26. Wonderful reflection post!

    It sounds like a great project--I love the idea of flash fiction with illustrations.

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  27. you guys were awesome, and I loved reading your mystical posts. I also love that reflection! beautiful~ :o)

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  28. You totally OWNED the A-Z challenge!! Your flash fic was awesome. Congrats! What a fun idea to compile it AND illustrate it. How could you market it, I wonder? Short stories, maybe? Definitely worth looking into! :)

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  29. haven't read them all yet but I'd say go for it - well done for finishing - it was fun - I'm still trying to get around them all one day I will be able to hang up my A-Z shoes for a while - keep smiling

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  30. I thought you did an amazing job Michael. My daughter has informed me that she thinks she can add art to the e-format menu. That is exciting since I have a map of Gil-Lael. So I say, go for it. Don't forget an editor though. But that said too, I am helping two online indie writers and you are way better than either of them. I have a couple others I'm helping who are also blogger friends and I'm not talking about you. Just in case they stop by.

    I have a blog award for you tomorrow.
    Cheers,
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

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  31. That's a lovely image. Congratulations on completing the challenge Michael! I can't believe there were that many bloggers participating, you guys are awesome! I'm going to go back and read some of your stories - how did you come up with a new one each day? I'd love to take some time off work and devote time to simply being creative (can you tell I miss first-draft-land?).

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  32. you definitely picked a challenging challenge for yourself! and you accomplished it beautifully. congrats, michael! enjoy may! christy

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  33. Michael, your posts were beautiful and wonderfully written. Sure, a book is a great idea, especially with your wonderful illustrations!!!! I say go for it!

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  34. Congratulations on finishing the challenge. So glad I found your blog, thanks for stopping by Mercys World.

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  35. Wow Michael. I'm sorry I didn't make it over during the challenge. Your work is absolutely incredible. I look forward to continuing to follow your work.

    Lisa
    InspiredbyLisa

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  36. You really took the challenge to a "hoe nuddah levahl", man. You were a rockstar.

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  37. Holy mo - a flash fiction piece per DAY??? (excluding Sundays) I already know that would have drained me!

    Congrats on getting through all the letters!!

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  38. Many congrats on completing the challenge, especially with a new piece of fiction each day - wow! Sorry I didn't find you before, but I'll be back!

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  39. Well done on completing the challenge, nice little picture at the bottom.

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  40. I really enjoyed reading your posts--so much imagination and description--LOVELY!

    Thanks for sharing your reflections on the A to Z challenge.

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  41. Oh Michael, you should definitely create an illustrated book with your flash fiction. I would buy it in a heartbeat. I love the way you write, and your illustrations are beautiful!!!

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  42. Glad I found your blog. You have fantastic voice in your writing and seem like a genuine human being. (=

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  43. I had such a blast with the challenge too. Didn't get to your blog but it sounds like I have to mark this and read through your posts.

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  44. A book of flash is a marvelous idea! Have you considered writing for the #fridayflash group? Here is the link if you don't know about them. http://fridayflash.org/press/about-fridayflash/

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  45. As a woman of the water I appreciated the image which ends your 'reflection' post - it is beautiful; the movement of the water she is gazing into is quite hypnotic.

    A lovely ending to a well planned out Challenge.

    I look forward to following...

    Magical Thoughts,
    Jenny

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  46. I find your writing lyrical and filled with beautiful images of nature.

    Getting back in the swing of things as the normal stuff takes over.

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  47. I'm glad you enjoyed the challenge. I think it was even better than last year. Roll on next April hehe eek!

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  48. I thought I'd already left a comment here, but I've been hitting so many that it's getting difficult to keep track.
    You certainly have amassed a loyal base of commenters and that is great. You stepped it up a few notches in your approach to A to Z. What you did really involved some creative thought and you succeeded. Congratulations!
    Thank you for joining us in the wild ride through the alphabet.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  49. A picture indeed speaks a thousand words. I've always thought reflections images give inspiration to countless tories, new ones each day depending on mood and events of the day.

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  50. So FAB for you for completing the A to Z and with such a great theme. I did not find your blog until today (as I continue to work my way through the reflections) but I am so glad to have done so.

    Good luck to you in all your endeavors and YES, love the book idea, with illustrations, of course :)

    Cheers :)

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  51. I love that image Michael.

    Wow sounds like you truly rose to the challenge. Posting work for thousands of readers to scrutinize is always nerve-wracking. The rewards are great for those, like you, who face the challenge. Bravo!

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  52. Hi Michael,
    I see that you did the A to Z in April Challenge.
    I did it too; but I did not write fiction. I made theme pages with images of Etsy-sellers.
    I'll try to read your flash fiction texts. The A to Z challenge was so enormous, and I really did not have the time to do it.
    I am also curious about your illustrations. I used to do illustrations for advertising in Sweden. But I have always wanted to write and illustrate my own stories.
    Fun to find someone else in the middle of a similar struggle.

    All the best to you, Michael!
    Anna of Anna's Adornments

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