A to Z Reflections

So the sponsors of the A to Z Challenge have asked us to reflect upon our experiences participating in this year’s challenge and to post our reflections. But before I begin, I want to thank those of you who ran the show. You put a lot of time and effort into it, and I’m sure those of us who participated in this year’s challenge appreciated your work.

Anyway, here are my reflections.

For my challenge, I posted each day in April — except Sundays — about mostly vintage or classic TV shows in alphabetical order, from “All in the Family” to “Zorro.” I had a lot of fun doing it and the response I got from readers was mostly positive. Many remembered watching the shows and appreciated the trip down Memory Lane.

Is that true? Did you like reading about those old TV shows? Do tell!

One aspect that surprised me a little was that my blog’s traffic didn’t pick up this April as it had in April in past years. In 2019, I had 12.4% more views in April than I had in March, even though March has one more day than April. In 2020, I had 10% more views in April than in March. But this year, I actually had 1.6% fewer views in April than in March. Well, it’s no biggie. I’m not about to start bawling over it.

I certainly can’t blame the drop in traffic to people spending more time at the mall because, due to the pandemic, haven’t most malls closed? In fact, even though restrictions have eased up a bit since last year, my guess is that most of us are, like me, still spending more time inside of our own houses than we are being out and about. Right?

I did get a glimpse at a lot of other bloggers’ A to Z posts, but most of those bloggers whose A to Z posts I read were bloggers that I’m already following. Hey, there are only so many hours in a day. Right?

That said, I did enjoy this year’s challenge and this makes it four years in a row that I’ve participated. I enjoyed being a part of the A to Z Challenge and encourage others to do so in the future.

See you back here next April.

Written for the A to Z Reflections post and for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aspect), Word of the Day Challenge (traffic), Your Daily Word Prompt (bawl), The Daily Spur (mall), MMA Storytime (house), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (glimpse).

Six Minutes — Give or Take

Christine Bialczak has this thing that she calls Simply 6 Minutes. She asks us to spend six minutes writing a post in response to her word or photo prompt. She suggests setting up a timer or sitting near a clock so we can keep track of the six minutes we will be writing.

I write my posts on my iPhone and I estimate that it takes about 50% longer to tap out a post on an iPhone’s tiny virtual keypad than it does to type one on a laptop or desktop keyboard. So I’m going to give myself nine minutes — Six minutes plus 50% — to complete this post.

This is my first attempt at Christine’s six minute writing prompt, but when I saw this picture, I couldn’t resist. So here we go.This little guy looks cute, doesn’t he? But that’s because he’s just a kit, which is what a baby raccoon is called. And aren’t all baby creatures cute?

My experience with raccoons is primarily from walking my dog at night. I used to walk her at a small park/recreation center and because it was dark, I would wear a campers headlamp so I could see where we were walking. Whenever we walked around the rec center, I would see up to half a dozen pairs of beady eyes reflected back at me from the tree branches when my headlamp would find them. It was spooky.My dog would go crazy when she saw or sensed the raccoons and I would struggle to hold her leash so she didn’t go after them.

I never thought that these raccoons were particularly dangerous, but I had heard that these trash bin scavengers, which can get as big as 28 inches long and close to 60 pounds, are common carriers of rabies and other serious diseases. I also heard from other dog owners that raccoons can sometime be aggressive and have occasionally attacked smaller dogs.

Fortunately for me and my dog, we never ran across any aggressive raccoons. But there was that one night….

Oops, sorry, my six nine minutes are up.

Weekend Challenge — Reflections

For this week’s Weekend Challenge, GC, at themainaisle.com, and SueW, at nansfarm.net, have given us the word “reflections.” As soon as I saw that word, I knew I would showcase a work by graphic artist, M.C. Escher.

I’ve been an Escher fan for many years. I have several coffee table books of his drawings in my home as well as a handful of his prints hanging on my walls. I thought this Escher graphic perfectly illustrates the notion of reflections.

The image, Hand with Reflecting Sphere, also known as Self-Portrait in Spherical Mirror, is a lithograph print by Dutch artist M.C. Escher. First printed in January 1935, the piece depicts the artist’s hand holding a reflective sphere. In the reflection, most of the room around Escher can be seen.

2020 A to Z Challenge Reflections

D6F1F62B-0CE3-48FE-8548-5743E62D2BDAWhen I first signed up for this year’s A to Z Challenge, I said that my theme was going to be “Other and Miscellaneous,” which meant that my A to Z Challenge posts would be whatever struck my fancy on a particular day. But at some point before April began, I decided to do something different.

For the whole month of February, I posted a daily common expression or saying that most people are likely familiar with. I called that series Fandango’s February Expressions. People seemed to enjoy that series, so I thought, Let me post a daily old adage every day in April, but do it in alphabetical order through the whole month — every day but Sundays.

Mission Accomplished

I figured it would be a challenge, particularly for some letters, like Q, X, and Z, but I managed to zen my way through the month and I do hope everyone enjoyed seeing those old adages throughout April. Thanks so much for reading them.D73C3896-B359-424D-980B-BC6267712B1ABy the way, if you’re really bored and have absolutely nothing better to do, you can go to the sidebar on the right (on a laptop) or scroll to the bottom (on a smartphone or tablet) and, under “Topics of Interest,” click on “A to Z Challenge 2020” to view all of my posts for this year’s challenge.0B8DF25A-0603-428C-A799-521B3DD95639

A to Z Challenge Reflections

img_4815Those of us who participated in the 2019 A to Z Blogging Challenge last month have been asked by the promoters to write a post reflecting back on our experience. Okay, fair enough. Here are my thoughts.

During the month of April, I had 15,438 views, of which 1,586 were of my 26 A to Z posts, so the A to Z posts accounted for just over 10% of my total views for the month. And I probably gained some followers in April through my A to Z Challenge participation.

My top five A to Z posts viewed in April were:

  1. B is for Blogger (120 views)
  2. G is for Gender (95 views)
  3. X is for Xenophobe (93 views)
  4. A is for Acronym (92 Views)
  5. C is for Chronological Order (68 views)

Interestingly, 57% of my A to Z posts were viewed in the first half of the month and only 43% in the second half, so readership dropped off significantly as the month progressed.

One of the goals of the A to Z Challenge is to encourage bloggers to post every day during the month of April. But I already post multiple times a day anyway, so I’m not sure that having to come up with a challenge post each day wasn’t more of a burden than it was worth.

And yes, it was a bit of a burden. Unlike many others who participated in the challenge, I didn’t have a theme. So I had to come up each day with some rather random “alpha-post” in addition to my other prompt-response posts and my political rants. And yes, some of my A to Z Challenge posts were political rants.

I met a few other bloggers who were new to me as a result of their participation in the challenge, but not that many. A few hundred bloggers participated and ain’t nobody got time to read a few hundred posts each day from other bloggers.

Aint Nobody Got Time For That GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Will I do this again next April? I honestly don’t know. I’ll have to see how I’m feeling then, assuming that I’m still alive and blogging.