Sunday, May 6, 2012

A to Z Reflections and Ninja News!

Today is the A to Z Challenge Reflections Post! We invite everyone who took part in the Challenge to share your thoughts and concerns. Once your post is live, add the direct link to the list below. DO NOT ADD YOUR BLOG'S GENERAL ADDRESS - ONLY THE LINK TO YOUR ACTUAL POST.




NINJA NEWS!

But first, I have a special feature at Falling For Fiction. I hope it’s special, because I’m not sure what Cassie has in store for me. I think it involves what others say about me, and that could be scary!

On Tuesday, May 8, I also have a feature/interview with Callie Leuck. And it's up NOW! Yes, a guest post Monday AND Tuesday this week!

A couple sites were hit with malware this weekend, and blogs such as mine, Sia's, and Tracy's had warnings because we were linked to these sites. We have removed the links. We are not the ones infected with malware!

My good blogger buddy M. Pax’s new book, Backworlds, comes out today! I’ve enjoyed everything she’s written so far and looking forward to this book. Full information HERE and later this week I’ll give you more details. (Too much for one Monday!)

Glynis Smy’s new book, Ripper, My Love, comes out today – congratulations, Glynis!

And - The Avengers rocked! Saw the first showing Friday at lunch and can't wait to go see it again. AWESOME!

MY CHALLENGE THOUGHTS

This was my third Challenge and my second time as a co-host. I am still a big believer in the Challenge, as it stretches you and connects you to other bloggers. There were only a hundred of us for that first Challenge, but it made a huge impact on me.

I wish I’d had more time to visit new blogs. Many of my blogger buddies also signed up for the Challenge, and I soon discovered that a hundred and fifty blogs a day was the most I could visit on a regular basis. So I have a lot of new followers I need to visit!

Only Stephen Tremp and I were returning co-hosts, and several of the new co-hosts really jumped in with some good ideas. I feel we were much more organized this year with the blog, Twitter hashtag and newsletter, Facebook page, and Triberr.

The suggestion to break up the list into several smaller lists has come up, but I hope it never comes to that. My followers, and those I follow, are an eclectic bunch, reflecting many interests, and I like that. I’ve enjoyed finding bloggers who are neither authors nor writers.

Several people commented that they followed a lot of new blogs but the follow wasn’t returned. Some of the blogs I followed that didn’t return the follow were newer bloggers, so I wonder if they didn’t understand the concept. Of course, I know some were just following to build their own followers without ever commenting or interacting, and that wasn’t in the spirit of the Challenge either. Just one of those things no one can control. (Except go back and do some unfollowing.)

Finally, I was pleased with the response to my theme for this year, which was a variation on last year’s theme. I’m happy it gave me a chance to give back to the community and that you guys enjoyed it. And the amount of comments rocked! I usually post every other day and average 140+ comments, but even with daily posting I was still getting 110+ comments per post. Wow!

Lee, thanks again for creating this Challenge. It continues to be the most awesome thing in the blogging world, beyond any campaign or blogfest, and I was honored to be a part of it for the third straight year. Count me in as a co-host for next year!

What did YOU think about the Challenge? (Whether you participated or not.) What can we do better next year? What can I do better next year? Ready to visit Cassie on Monday and Callie on Tuesday? I aim to amuse…

Remember, enter the LINK to your Reflections post once it is live:

185 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Well said Alex, I too have thought about next year theme wise.It;s never too early.
I too had many new followers, but only a handful commented.
Thanks for your help throughout the challenge.....here's to next year.

Yvonne.

Jeremy Bates said...

Hey, Alex. I enjoyed the A to Z challenge. I did run across some bloggers were promoting themselves much too much, leaving links and what not.

By the way, my book comes out on May 7.

Cheers!

mooderino said...

I also noticed quite a few people I followed didn't follow back, although maybe they visted my blog and ran away screaming.


mood
Moody Writing
@mooderino
The Funnily Enough

Jamie Gibbs said...

This year was another triumph! I pm sad tht I didn't get to participate all that much with other blogs, but I'm glad that I managed to get every post done on schedule :)

Lady Gwen said...

I didn't participate in the challenge (next year!) but had fun visiting those who did. The different themes were fun and I met new bloggers through your recommendations! I know at least one person who is doing a novela from her daily blog opera's. I think a good time was had by all:)

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of posts. I really enjoyed being a visitor/non-participant this year. The Challenge team did an amazing job too. Thanks to Lee, you and the others.

xoRobyn

Martha said...

Alex, thank you for everything! It was a great time once again. My reflection post is up and you are in it - cheers!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

It was a big slice of Awesome Pie, Mr. Cavanaugh, and boysohboys am I impressed with YOU. There should be an award for most faithful A to Z'er and I think it should go to YOU.

Avengers was good, huh? My boys are dying to see it.

Marta Szemik said...

I'm working on the reflections post tonight. Many Thanks to all of your comments:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yvonne, we will rock our fourth Challenge!

Jeremy, there were a few of those. And will mention your book and guest spot in my next post - ran out of room!

Moody, no!

Jamie, your theme rocked! Literally.

Gwen, hope you do join us next year.

Martha, thanks!!

Cathy, thank you so much. Yes, Avengers was THAT good!

michelle said...

This was my 2nd A to Z challenge and I had a blast!
Thanks for popping in at my place during the challenge - one or two of your comments provided a good chuckle!
... I still don't know how you do it? You're in 100 places at the same time... amazing!
Thanks for all the "behind the scenes" hard work you put into the challenge to ensure its success!

Robyn Campbell said...

Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm still sleeping. I just woke up to post my Reflections post. You said everything I wanted to say, but only better. *waving* This was my 2nd time doing A to Z. Thanks for everything, Captain!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I didn't join and I don't plan to because it doesn't fit with our blog. But I did enjoy following the blogs I follow and seeing their themes.

I think with so many blogs following, it would be impossible to follow them all. And I think it's okay and it hopefully gives a little time for our blogger friends to continue to follow those of us who don't participate in the A-Z challenge. Because I do think that's important too.

The Golden Eagle said...

Great Reflections post!

I really enjoyed participating in the Challenge; I think I got more out of it in 2012 than I did in 2011 as well, since I knew what to expect this time around.

Tonja said...

Thanks for co-hosting.

Monti said...

Thanks, Alex, for being and co-host. Amazing how much you keep up with. Good reflections post. I'll try to put something up tomorrow.

Monti
Mary Montague Sikes

Suze said...

Congratulations to you and all of the people who organized the Challenge -- and thank you! I think for the most part it was a terrific experience for everyone who participated.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I have a theme: Month of the Living Dead! Wow, this last month was rough!

Mina Burrows said...

Loved the challenge, Alex. I'm actually working on the post now. I loved networking with other writers and I definetely had to stretch myself. Thanks so much for everything:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Michelle, thank you for mentioning some of my comments! Ninja skills - that's all I can tell you.

Robyn, hope you'll be back for next year.

Natalie, that's why I didn't visit a lot of new blogs. I wanted to remain faithful to my army.

Golden, that's great!

Thank you, Tonja.

Monti, thanks and looking forward to your post.

Suze, it was!

Roland, but you did it.

Mina, glad you had such an awesome experience.

shelly said...

All I can say is schwoo!

J.L. Campbell said...

I do agree that the A-Z is the most awesome challenge in the blogging world.

On my reflections post, I suggested listing the blogs according to topics, but not only with a view to finding the things of interest to us, but also as a means of being able to find the gems we come across more easily during the month.

As always, I admire your energy. Dunno how you do what you do.

Tina said...

Alex, it was an honor and a pleasure to be working side-by-side with you during this challenge, my first as a co-host. The quality of bloggers out there is way impressive, and I'm so glad to have met so many. One of my ideas, which I'll of course share with the team, is that we need some sort of boot-camp or orientation. I think we need two tracks: one for new BLOGGERS, and one for new CHALLENGE participants. Those who were both, wow, they worked hard to fit in and overcome hurdles and they deserve huge rah-rahs from the blogging community. It's the off-season, but I'm still on the job. For those of you reading this comment: the A-Z blog is going to be up all year, we're welcoming guest posters, and the info@ email is open as well. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the reflections, and don't forget to get back to the main A-Z blog on 5/14 for the announcement of the Post-Challenge Challenge.
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

SharleneT said...

I'm workin on my follow-up tonight. There were so many to visit, this year, that I've had to give them coming up weeks to visit. I've kept a diary of all who have chosen to follow me and will be adding them (if I haven't already) and then go to all who visited to check them out, as well. But, I'm not going to follow some sites that are on the list simply because they took part in the Challenge. I don't want to be updated on gaming and way out science fiction. I doubt if my followers are in that genre, anyway. Thanks for all your hard work.

SharleneT said...

Don't know what happened with that first comment. I messed up the URL. Loved the challenge. Still getting through the list FOLLOWING my name, much less getting to the beginning. This is a full year's project. But, I am keeping track of my new followers and visitors, so I will get to you. Thanks for all your hard work, Alex.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Alex, will there be a badge like last year's "I survived the A to Z Challange"? That was fun. :)

The Avengers rocked my world. It was pretty much flawless in every aspect. Can't wait to see it again either.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks JL!

Tina, we definitely need to help the new bloggers figure out what they are doing. And it was so cool to have you on the team this year!

Sharlene, both comments appeared! I didn't follow everyone. And don't feel obligated to follow back those who don't interest you. If science fiction isn't one of your interests, then I am honored you follow ME.

Yes, there is! George, it's the third badge down on my right sidebar. Sorry, ran out of room on this post.

Morgan said...

Oh, smart to have a reflection post, Alex! I'm going to look forward to those. I verrrry much enjoyed reading all of the A-Z posts... so many clever themes. :D

DeniseCovey _L_Aussie said...

Hi Alex. I can't wait to see the Avengers. Sounds great. Thanks again for devoting so much time to the A-Z. I found most of the 'rules' you guys tried to impose didn't work and I think that's fine. People just want to do their own thing. I was religiously commenting on my 'five' but I never saw those guys.

It does really take up too much time. No way to help that. You've got to do an awful lot of commenting to get much back. I can't understand people who 'follow' but don't comment.

Denise

Jemi Fraser said...

Yay for Mary and Glynis!!!

I've got my reflection posting in a bit - I'll jump aboard the linky then! :)

SharleneT said...

I love your SciFi, Alex. Cut my reading teeth on Science Fiction and can't imagine life without it. BUT, there are some that get toooooo way out for me, now, that might have been different when I was much younger. Even my movie interests have changed... Will probably need a cane to type, before long. lol

~Sia McKye~ said...

I can't wait to see the Avengers either. Did you watch through the credits? I heard there were some fun stuff after them--much like there were with Captain America.

I didn't actually sign up for the A-Z, like Natalie said, it doesn't fit with my blog, but where I could, I did post articles for the letter. Even a couple of my authors were willing to write something to correspond with the letters.

I also met up with some great new to me bloggers. I was going to do my reflections tomorrow. But with all the flags, I've been dithering on posting.

~Sia McKye~

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Denise, people will do what they want to do...

Sharlene, still honored you think I'm cool.

Sia, post anyway!

P V Ariel said...

Hi Alex and other team members.
Congrats.
I posted my reflections.
Sad to note that i stumpled upon half way.
Glad to note that it was altogether a great success
Waiting for the next to come :-)
Best Regards
Philip

Donna K. Weaver said...

I love having the chance to meet new people, and I did that though not as many this time as last. I think perhaps some of it had to to do with the sheer number of people. Even if you visited 50 blogs a day, it was just a drop in the bucket. One of the things I loved was being able to keep visiting the new people while visiting the old. The cumulative was overwhelming, and I had to just stick with the ones I'd reached to that point. Still fun.

Cassie Mae said...

I had WAY too much fun with this challenge! Definitely doing it next year and I met some awesomesausage people!!!!

Is it bad I didn't notice if people followed me back or not? Lol. I was just happy for everyone who stopped by!

Nancy Thompson said...

You brought up a few of the issues I had with the challenge. I'm glad. I feared I was being obtuse or something. Anyway, I just posted my reflections so you can read it if you want. I do want to thank you again personally for being so supportive of me and my blog, both in mentioning me during the challenge and visiting me every day and commenting. You're the best!

BTW - your blog is still getting that malware warning when I sign in.

Chuck said...

Alex, This was another great adventure and a huge participation. I don't want to rehash what I wrote in my post but I do want to thank you for getting me interested in having the blast of a time in April! Take care my friend.

Misha Gericke said...

I've found that the lack of reciprocity stretches beyond the challenge, but that it doesn't matter, since hardly any of those blogs survive for long.

Michael Pierce said...

Thanks Alex! The challenge was a blast. I really need a theme for next year, so I'm going to start planning now. Here's to next year!

Carrie Butler said...

Two things I must do:
1) Get my Whedon fix (see The Avengers)
2) Participate in A-Z next year :)

Clarissa Draper said...

Really fun time in April. Still debating whether I'll do it next year. But you never know.

Melissa Bradley said...

I have to do my reflections post tomorrow as I have a guest author today. I loved the challenge and was happy I finished in spite of moving and being off line. I will definitely do it again next year, but plan on visiting more blogs over the course of the year and hopefully hit every one I did not get to.

Avengers rocked and I wrote a review over at 1:37 Exactly. I'm going again next weekend with my mom, who has a secret Iron Man thing LOL Who knew?

Medeia Sharif said...

I kept getting those malware messages all weekend visiting this and other blogs.

You had a great theme.

I experienced a bit of the reciprocity (or lack thereof) issue myself.

Donna Hole said...

I got some malware errors too; didn't really know what they were about. I just shut down the computer and did something else for a while, then the blog I wanted to comment on came back. I find that a lot with blogger/google.

I'm hoping to joing A-Z next year, but I probably need to start planning my posts now, as I'm a horrible plotter :)

I've read a few suggestions for compartmentalizing A-Z, and the concept would probably work for ISWG too; but I like just randomly clicking on unknown blogs and seeing what's there. I don't always appreciate the content, but its fun to at least see something new/different once in a while. I've met some awesome people with the random selections; people I would not have met if they were listed in only certain categories.

......dhole

Kyra Lennon said...

Great post! I don't like the idea of putting the A-Z list into smaller lists - it's more fun to click on a link and not know what you'll get!

RaveAir said...

The idea of the A to Z challange was awesome. Maybe I'll participate at the next one, but visiting 50+ blogs daily basis looks a very cumbersome task.

So, you watched The Avengers... I don't know yet when I will have oportunity to do the same. :(

Rekha said...

Hi, sorry, but your site still shows a malaware alert from a link siamcyke.blogspot.com, took a chance before chrome shuts access.
I enjoyed posting my pics and visiting those possible, but April being the hottest month in India, not sure if I can hang around next year unless the team sends me an Igloo or ice cave. I gave up visiting halfway through, checking out only those that commented which makes participating pointless.
I did accumulate a dozen followers so my photos skills can't be that bad. ;)
Good luck and congrats to those with books out. And now time to come up with my reflections postcard and bowl MPax over with my video skills.
And thanks for the shoutout during A-Z, sure feels nice to be in the spotlight now and then.

Siv Maria said...

The challenge can not get much better so next year should be interesting! You did a great job hosting so I hope you will be doing it again next year. On my way over to see whats up at Cassies'

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

PV, you gave it a good effort. After reading your post, think you had a good excuse.

Donna, I understand! It was all I could do to keep up with my blogger buddies.

Nancy, thank you! And sorry, the warning will go away eventually.

Chuck, glad you enjoyed it!

Misha, very true!

Michael, a theme is best.

Carrie, yes!!

Melissa, I'm definitely seeing it again.

Medeia, it will just take time for them to go away.

Donna, yeah - stupid Google.
And at least with the IWSG, we are all writers.

RaveAir, that's why we told people just five a day.

Rekha, thanks for letting me know. No idea where I still have a link to her site...

Thanks, Siv!

Empty Nest Insider said...

Thanks again for your continued support throughout the challenge! Congrats to Mary, and I'll head over to Cassie's place! Julie

C.M.Brown said...

The A-Z was just awesome and being my first I didn't find any flaws! Of course there were lots of different types of interests out there, but that was the fun and writer's need to remember that those people are their customers and should be made to feel welcome!

Matthew MacNish said...

I think you did more work than anyone, Alex! Thanks so much.

Louise Bates said...

I didn't participate, but I enjoyed reading some of the very different posts - it's always fascinating to see how many different ways people can interpret the same theme (probably one reason why I like ballroom dancing). Such a fun idea - maybe one of these years I'll be able to post regularly enough to participate.

Ciara said...

Congratulations to Marta!!

I did notice that the challenge was well organized this year.

I, too, had difficulty visiting all the blogs. I ALWAYS went to any blog and followed back that visited mine.

Happy Monday!

Brinda said...

I don't regret doing the challenge but I'm exhausted! I did try to visit/follow everyone who did me. I didn't make it through the entire list.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I had fun this year!

Creepy Query Girl said...

The first A-Z was going on in the weeks I first started blogging and I remember thinking 'I can't wait to participate in that next year'. It really made an impression on me. Im sad to say I didn't discover as many new blogs this year as I did last year. Looking at a list of over one thousand bloggers was a little daunting so I checked out newbies that came to say 'hi' or newbies I saw commenting on friend A-Zers. To each their own method. You were a fabulous co host!

Candylynn Fite said...

I still am getting over the fact that your awesome self reads over 150 blogs a day...you definitely rock!

Jen Chandler said...

Excellent post, Alex! This was my first year participating and while I don't feel I did the most I could do, I enjoyed every minute I was able to spend with so many wonderful bloggers!

Such a wonderful community event! I look forward to next year's challenge!!

Oh, and congrats to Glynis on the publication of her book!!

Cheers,
Jen

Karen Lange said...

I didn't participate in the Challenge, but enjoyed the posts I was able to get to. I actually picked up a handful of followers through just visiting Challenge bloggers, and did my best to follow back. :) Heading over to Falling for Fiction. Happy Monday!

Ella said...

I found the challenge lived up to its potential. Yes, it was a challenge, but I enjoyed the new bloggers I met. I found it an insightful and fun month!
You deserve an award for your Ninja skills...wow! ;D

Son loved The Avengers. I so hope to go next week.

I loved your theme... Thank you!

Rusty Webb said...

Avengers was great! Saw it twice this weekend. I haven't done that in many years.

I've had all sorts of problems connecting over the weekend. I think my cable company is having a meltdown. I'll try to do the linky this evening.

Journaling Woman said...

The A-Z was a blast. I enjoyed it--mostly.

I joined many blogs that did not reciprocate, but I didn't do it for that purpose. So, that's ok. I did enjoy meeting the new bloggers.

I'm planning on finishing the "list" this year. I want to see the other blogs on the list.

T

Laura Eno said...

I know that some people mention catagories, thinking it would help, but I don't want to see that either. It takes away the adventure of meeting new people you'd otherwise never run across.

I'm already planning for next year!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

CM, exactly! That's what I enjoyed about the first Challenge. The variety led me to a lot of potential readers.

Louise, hope you can join us next year.

Ciara, good to know we were more organized.

Thanks, Katie!

Candylynn, I did my best.

Ella, thanks! And go see Avengers. Don't pass go, just go straight to the theater.

Rusty, sorry about the connections. I'll probably hit Avengers again in two weeks.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Alex! Stopped by Cassie's blog to check out the spotlight.

I haven't seen the Avengers, but my son and his buddies did. The time they wanted to see it at was sold out, so they had to get tickets for the next showing. My son said the place was packed. They all really liked it.

Enjoyed reading all of the comments to your reflections of the A to Z challenge. Thanks for being such a great co-host!

Trisha said...

I was guilty of not following most bloggers this year, only because I visited hardly any. I did follow those who followed me, but I was kind of out of control for the rest of the month ;)

baygirl32 said...

I need to stay in an avengers bubble until I make it to town (who knows when that might be) I am soo looking forward to it!

Jay Noel said...

Getting to "meet" new bloggers was the BEST part. So worth it.

Liz Fichera said...

I thought the Challenge was very well organized this year. I liked the idea too of an A-Z Challenge blog where you could go for specific information about the Challenge. Very well organized on Twitter and FB too. I probably followed more than I got followed, which is okay. I don't have time, unfortunately, to go back and unfollow.

Alex, I think you did a fantastic job! I appreciate all the time that you all put into this Challenge.

P.S. And I didn't know you lived in Arizona?? How did I NOT know that? :)

Cindy said...

I'm glad to hear A to Z went so well for you. Perhaps next year I will have time to give it a go.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Nice reflection Alex. I'm afraid mine is a bit short, and focused on my own failings and the favorite posts I read . . .but I am thankful we all had a day to reflect on the challenge. It felt different this year for me. Different but good. I focused on a smaller group of bloggers to visit, and it was more meaningful.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I have no idea who followed me back - don't have time to try and figure it out or worry about it. I loved participating this year - only frustration was people who signed up but then didn't participate, and that was just because I felt bad that I was there with a non-active blog when I could have been somewhere else.

Thanks for hosting!

Susan Roebuck said...

Thanks so much for being part of the A-Z organization, Alex. You certainly are the Ninja king, visiting over a hundred blogs a day. I managed about twenty on average!

Julie Dao said...

You did a great job with the A to Z challenge along with all the other organizers! And sorry your blog got hit with malware... that happened to mine a while back because my blogroll included a site that got hacked. Glad you were able to clear it up!

Amy said...

Thank you for sharing Alex - I had a blast reading your posts! I also saw The Avengers this weekend and it totally rocked! :)

Bossy Betty said...

Such a great challenge and congrats to all those who completed it! Thanks again. Alex for your support and the shout out you gave me! It meant a lot to me!

Tamara Narayan said...

Hey Alex, I'm having trouble getting the link to the correct page on my blog. If you can delete 197 and 199 Get Your Giggle On, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Heather M. Gardner said...

No complaints here just lots of thanks to you and all the hosts for putting on another great Blog Party!

I'm in for next year too!


Heather

Susan Oloier said...

I wasn't in the Challenge to have people follow me, but to find blogs I truly enjoyed. But I did notice that many did not even bother to visit when I read and commented on their blogs. I figured they were likely novice bloggers, too.
I gained some wonderful cyber friendships through the Challenge. Thanks for that!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Teresa, you had a really fun theme this year.

Laura, I don't want categories either.

Thanks, Susanne. And did you see how much Avengers made this weekend? Whoa...

Baygirl, I won't do any spoilers.

Liz, I used to live in Arizona, when I was a kid. And glad you enjoyed the Challenge!

Tyrean, I focused mostly on my regular blogger buddies, so it felt different for me in that respect.

Susan, it's not a pace I could maintain though!

Julie, took a few link removals, but I think it's good now.

Amy, yes it did!

Betty, you are welcome.

Tamara, I'm on it!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm glad you'll be back as a co-host next year, Alex. I know it's a lot of work, but you do such a great job that the challenge wouldn't be the same without you.

Jennifer Lane said...

You only visited 150 blogs a day? *shakes head* What a slacker! :-D Thank you for organizing this tour!

Jennifer Lane said...

And by "tour" I mean challenge of course!

Hart Johnson said...

As usual, this slipped off todays radar, but I will get it written and posted--probably Wednesday. You guys did a fantastic job! My only real suggestion for the future is maybe making separate lists so people with common interests can find each other more easily. I don't know what those lists might be, though I notice a lot of blogs are crafty or gamey, or parenty--the MAJORITY are writing oriented, but there is usually either a subtext or potentially a genre.

Leovi said...

Finally I can log in to your blog. For me the challenge to Z has been a good opportunity to meet new bloggers. At the same time has given me an incentive to focus on one subject, in all I liked the experience but I have had to devote more time to blog.

Sue H said...

So many blogs to read - so little time.....!

The A-Z challenge seems to have established itself now, with the great numbers of bloggers joining up.

Alex - hats off to you and your co-hosting buddies for attempting to keep us all together and moving in more or less the right direction!

There are pro's and con's for categorising the list - personally, I think that would be the opportunity to only stick what I know.

The 'surprise me' button was my ticket to a magical mystery tour which took me to many varied/wonderful/quirky/exciting blogs - like Forrest Gump's 'box-a-chok-lits' I never knew what I was gonna get! ;-)

Roll on 2013! (if your nerves can stand it, Alex!)


SueH I refuse to go quietly!
Twitter - @Librarymaid

Nicole Ducleroir said...

I'm so impressed with how huge the A-Z Challenge has become. When I did the challenge last year, I had a blast. But I experienced what I'll call the "Nano-effect" afterwards. When I do Nano, I get so burned out from the effort that I don't write a word of fiction for a month or two afterwards. That happened to me after the A-Z too. I needed a serious break from blogging in May. Both events were fun to experience, and both reminded me I need a more even-paced schedule to go the distance. I much enjoy the A-Z from the sidelines now, reading participant posts and feeding off their awesome energies. Thanks again for hosting!!

M Pax said...

Wow on 150 a day, Alex. Cool on the Avengers. I look forward to seeing that one. Thanks for the mention. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

We never have enough time to visit as many blogs as we'd like, do we? We do the best we can.

As for the following, I almost always follow, but I don't check if they follow back. What can I do?

Gossip_Grl said...

I had a hard time keeping up to all the posts and comments, so hoping for a game plan for next years challenge. I hated hearing that your blog was one that was affected and hoping it was nothing malicious or anything like that. Can't wait for Monday's post.

Chris Fries said...

Excellent job hosting the A-to-Z, Alex!!! Thank you for all your hard work!

This was my first A-to-Z and in some ways it was a bit overwhelming. I really liked it, but man -- was it a HUGE time sink, lol! I tried to hit as many blogs as I could, but I know that I only touched a miniscule sampling.

Southpaw said...

So far everything I've been reading has been positive. I remember last year there were lots of pros and cons - this year mostly pros. Congrats to all.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patricia, I will be back!

Jennifer, yeah, I'm lame. Thanks!

Hart, I don't like the idea of different lists, but if we could make just a couple general ones it might work.

Leovi, sorry it took you so long to get in!

Sue, I can do it!

Nicole, it does zap the creative energy.

Mary, I'll do a better mention later this week.

Theresa, you can look at their profiles to see if they are following you.

Gossip Girl, links are gone so warning is gone.

Chris, it was huge epic!

Holly, that's good to know!

Annalisa Crawford said...

You did an awesome job Alex, both with your theme and the number of visits you made. I regret my visits to new blogs slowed down as I collected new blogs to follow and had all their posts to visit daily. I learned a lot, and I'm sure I'll be better organised on that front next year.

Alexandra Heep said...

Hey Super Ninja,

it was a blast seeing your comments and reading your posts.

At first, I felt kind of lost with authors as I am not one, but now I am good.

Besides, one can't go wrong with a name like Alex.

LD Masterson said...

As a reader only, the challenge is a bit overwhelming. I can't image what it's like for the blogger.

I did find a few new blogs I enjoyed and followed but it was a little disheartening knowing I'd could never get to them all.

nutschell said...

You rocked the challenge as usual, Alex. There was never any doubt! My limit was 150 blogs a day too.:)

Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

alexia said...

Yes, Avengers was so awesome!! Loved it.

OMG, I can't imagine visiting 150 blogs a day. Holy cow. I agree your theme was super cool and nice!

Nate Wilson said...

I must learn your methods, O sci-fi ninja, that I too might visit hundreds of blogs at the speed of light. That was my main disappointment with the Challenge, though it was expected: not enough time to visit random sites off the linky list.

Oh, although I'm not much of a comic hero guy, I'm looking forward to The Avengers. Everything Whedon touches is gold.

Nicole said...

Wow, I'll admit I didn't even know about all the other promotional stuff you guys did with Twitter, etc. I did have a great time discovering new blogs, though!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Annalisa, at least you know what to expect.

Alexandra, that's right! And don't worry about not being an author. You rock anyway!

LD, I couldn't ever get to all of them!

Nutschell, we have to sleep sometime

Alexia, it was!

Nate, I shall teach you little grasshopper.

Andrew Leon said...

I thought your theme was really great. I didn't have time to check out all the blogs you posted about, though, so I really do hope you post a complete list at some point. I really just didn't have the time to check out as many blogs as I'd have liked to have, so I'll be spending some time this month doing that. I hope.

And my Avengers review should be up today.

Lydia Kang said...

Hooray for Mary and Glynis!

Claire Hennessy said...

Excellent challenge and I am very proud that I managed to finish without missing a single day. Loved that you were so generous to other bloggers. A great example for us all to follow. Thanks for co-hosting. Great job :)

Tracy Jo said...

Glad we are both back up and running! So many great things happening and book launches. So happy for Glynis! I LOVED The Avengers! T and I waited in a long line on Friday for the early show and it was so worth it. Have a great day!

LynnRush said...

I didn't do a post for a recap--but will say it here. "I'll do that A-Z challenge again!" That was fun! So many participants I didn't get to them all, but it sure was fun!!!

Christine Rains said...

The Challenge was fantastic! My Reflections post is due to be posted on Wednesday, but I said many of the same things that you've already mentioned here about time and possibly separating the links into groups.

My husband saw The Avengers last night. He loved it. I have no babysitter or people to go with, so I must wait until DVD. :( I did at least watch The Descendants on Saturday night and liked it.

Konstanz Silverbow said...

It was a pleasure getting to Co-host with you and the rest of the team, Alex!

Konstanz Silverbow
nothoughts2small.blogspot.com

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Andrew, read your review - awesome flick! And good suggestion about putting up a complete list.

Thanks, Claire!

Tracy, the Avengers just rocked.

Lynn, glad you'll do it again!

Christine, you had a great theme. And sorry you have to wait!

You as well, Konstanz!

Kelly Polark said...

Congrats on another successful A to Z! And I like how you said you could ONLY visit 150 blogs a day. Yow! ONLY? :) You are one of the friendliest bloggers out there, Alex!

EvalinaMaria said...

Thank you for co-hosting the challenge and sharing your reflections. I’m following you now and hopefully, next year, we will do it again!

Nicki Elson said...

The expectation of a follow back sort of annoys me. I follow people because I find them interesting, not because I expect them to follow me.

You hosts did a GREAT job on A to Z 2012. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Juliana Haygert said...

Yeah, I tried coming earlier but couldn't because of the malware ... anyway, great that you guys finished the A-Z challenge with such success!

And I'm jealous you saw The Avengers! I guess I'll have to wait for it to come out in DVD =(

Emily R. King said...

I read your interview at Falling Fiction. AWESOME! I agree with everything that was said. :)

Patsy said...

I missed doing the challenge myself as I was away most of April, but I have managed to read a lot of interesting posts by other bloggers so haven't missed out entirely.

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats to Mary and Glynis!

The Avengers movie looks so cool, but I haven't had a chance to see it yet.

And you're awesome to get to so many blogs--not that we didn't already know that you were awesome. *grins* I hope to plan less for April next year, so I can visit more blogs.

J.C. Martin said...

Oh, to have 100+ comments. :) Definitely joining in again next year! Already scheming a theme...

Lauren said...

I got the malware warning on here on Friday (and on a couple different blogs as well) but it was gone on Saturday. Sorry it happened!

150 blogs a day? That's really incredible. I averaged about 5-20 and didn't comment on them all....

Copyboy said...

Saw the Avengers trailer!!! Rocked!!!

Tara Tyler said...

look at you! this was awesome!
we need more alex's in the world!

thanks again!

Li said...

I saw Avengers in 3D!!! IMAX!!! It WAS awesome, and I don't usually care for comic book heroes and such.
My apologies, I bailed on the reflections post and took a week off of blogging to recover - I was seriously overwhelmed. One thing I'd like to hit on yet again - A few new people who followed me did NOT leave links, nor do they have their blogs linked to their profiles. That's frustrating, because I don't have time to track them down in other ways. (I don't think they were A to Z' ers, but I don't know.)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Kelly!

Eva, I hope you do it again.

Nicki, thank YOU.

Juliana, don't wait!!!

Emily, thank you.

Cherie, thanks.

Thanks, Tara.

Lisa, IMAX - lucky you!

tfwalsh said...

What an awesome blogfest... well done to everyone:)

Donna B. McNicol said...

My top two - new writing friends and growing my writing skills. I can't thank the co-hosts enough for all they have done to make this a success.

Jarm Del Boccio said...

Thanks for your participation...wow...did I read that right? 150 blogs a day? That's amazing, Alex! Sometimes I wasn't sure if a commenter was one I had visited, or a new one. It would help to know the difference. I've learned so much from the Challenge...a definite highlight of my year!

Leigh Covington said...

Ah! I loved the interview on Falling for Fiction and I thought the other comments were spot on! So much fun. Loved the interview as well. Great answers.

And now I need to think of a reflections post for the A-Z! Being out of the blogosphere for a week has set me back! I really loved being a part of the challenge though. I'm glad I did it. Lots of fun and a great way to grow!

Enid Wilson said...

Congratulations! It's a huge list, heaps of people.

The Spinster’s Vow

Kela McClelland said...

I have no idea how I missed commenting on your post. I know I read it last night...maybe it was in my reader.

Anyway, your theme was awesome and you did a great job with the challenge.

I don't like the idea of breaking up the list into several lists either. I've seen it in many reflection posts. I liked finding random blogs that may or may not remain on my blog list.

You are a really great person, Alex. And your so awesome to all your followers. I think you did a great job, and I can't think of anything you could have done better. :)

Helena said...

I really admire your blogging, visiting, and writing skills, Alex. I keep telling myself that I should rise to the challenge of being a better, serious blogger myself, but unlike you I get distracted and down about the art, or maybe just feel overwhelmed in this digital world. Damn, now my writing neurosis is showing! On the other hand, I'm focusing more on putting my next novel through its final polishes, and the support of blog-visiting friends like you has really helped. Thank you, darlin'.

Rick said...

Here's what I learned, Alex- that if you guys can do it, I'll give it a try next time. Everyone put so much effort into it that I felt like a slacker. So I'm going to start training my blogging muscles to get in shape.

Glynis said...

Loved the post! Well done, Alex.

Thanks for mentioning my book launch.

A-Z was fun.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - First - that's great to hear there was a more co-ordinated organisation in the background ... not doing social media I didn't see that side - but from the blogging perspective then I definitely did.

I agree please do not break the list up - I'd rather skip some blogs that don't interest .. to find many that do in an eclectic range of postings.

Following v subscribing ... I do follow as I think it's polite. I'll only comment if I'm interested (sometimes politeness will intervene!). I subscribe and will keep contact when I relate to the blogger.

I saw you had masses of comments - so pleased for you .. Lee with 4 blogs going .. how he copes I have no idea!

Great - totally enjoyed it .. more than last year - just relaxed, posted, commented and did what I could and now can catch up (I hope).

Cheers Alex - brilliant co-host to Lee .. thanks so much - Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Donna, glad you enjoyed it.

Jarm, wish there was a way to keep track. Glad it was a success for you though.

Leigh, thanks again!

Kela, thank you so much. Not crazy about breaking up the list either.

Thanks, Helena - I try!

Rick, you can do it!!

Glynis, hope Monday was great for you.

Hilary I like one big list. And don't know how Lee did it either.

Kittie Howard said...

Thank you for co-hosting, Alex. You're amazing. I really enjoyed the Challenge. The timing kicked because of the many tourist attractions in the D.C. area and the many family and friends who visit. Some of them have a challenge processing the word 'hotel,' LOL!

Talli Roland said...

You and all the other hosts did a fab job. Thanks for popping by my blog even though I wasn't a participant - I appreciated you taking the time!

Christopher Hudson said...

150 blogs a day? Alex, you wear me out.

Jamie Burch said...

You rock, Alex!

Stephen Tremp said...

I agree we were much more organized as well. And I'm already looking ahead to next year and have some really good ideas pinging around inside my head.

And I'll be seeing the Avengers today. Looking forward to this as I was a huge Marvel fan as a kid.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kittie, I have no problem processing the word hotel!

Talli, I wasn't about to forget my buddies.

Christopher, I wore myself out.

Jamie, you rock!

Stephen, you will dig it.

Joshua said...

I finally added my link to the list above. Yesterday was a crazy day and I'm just making it around.

Also, this reminds me that I still have some people to follow back. I got almost everyone the day of, but a double check doesn't hurt. So, thanks!

kmckendry said...

I had a great time with the challenge!

Awesome interview over at Cassie's!

I can't wait to see Avengers.

Arlee Bird said...

Thanks again for being part of this best A to Z Team ever and for being a part of this event from the very beginning. You do an amazing job.


Lee
A Faraway View
An A to Z Co-host blog

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Oh I'm with you Alex. I love challenges, they have helped my writing mature so much.

I didn't do A-Z this year, but enjoyed it last year.
What a shame that malware has to spoil everyone's fun!

Congrats to Mary Pax. I did a review over at mine for her.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

You guys did an outstanding job with the challenge, far as I could tell. I think I did the right decision by sitting this one out, as time constraints have increased for me. But I'm happy everyone who put something into the A-Z got something golden out of it. That's not the kind of thing to scoff at.

Julie said...

I totally agree with you about breaking the challenge up into smaller lists. I really love getting to meet bloggers with different interests.
You did an amazing job on the Challenge!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Joshua, I have many new followers I need to visit!

Thanks, K!

Thank you, Lee.

Jeffrey, it did suck a lot of time.

Elana Johnson said...

I'm glad the challenge was successful! You certainly are uber-busy getting around to everyone's blog.

Leovi said...

Yes, I liked your theme this year, I have even left me ... Ha Ha Ha, Thank you Alex.

EvalinaMaria said...

I didn't visit all blogs during the challenge but I'm visiting every single one with a reflection post. They're the winners! Congratulations on finishing the challenge, hopefully we will do it again next April!

Cate Masters said...

Congrats on finishing the challenge - quite a feat.
I'm hearing good things about the Avengers. Looking forward to it.

Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

I think it was a lot of work, but worth it and fun. :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elana, I think I scared myself.

Eva, we will!

Cate, go see it.

Jessica L. Foster said...

It was a fun challenge! Thanks for co-hosting. It was nice to meet you.

Rebecca Kiel said...

The challenge did stretch my ability to think more about my theme: Show Don't Tell. And it brought one thing into focus: I am glad to be back to my MS.

Libby said...

The only post I skipped for A-Z was reflections, but that was because I wanted to feature MPax on Monday. I'm sure you can forgive me. :)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

You visit 150 blogs a day? Seriously? WOW! Kudos.

Looking forward to seeing The Avengers!

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

You were a super Ninja blogger. You've earned the title. I have no idea how you could read so many blogs in one day. I think my max is 30. I need a plan for reading blogs to get to all of them at least once a week. I loved the challenge. I felt surrounded by a huge creative community.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm headed over to the interview...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rebecca, I'm ready to tackle mine again!

Libby, of course!

Caroline, scaling back now...

Milo James Fowler said...

Another job well done, Alex! The sheer volume of AtoZ posts this year was overwhelming -- holy cow.

Maurice Mitchell said...

The Avengers is like Lay's potato chips. You can't watch it just once.

Rachel Morgan said...

I also wish I'd had more time to visit other blogs. I can't believe you managed 150 PER DAY!!
I don't think I'm going to do flash fiction every day in next year's challenge. That really took it out of me!
Oh, and I'm REALLY looking forward to watching The Avengers! (We got to the queue quite late this past weekend, and we'd also left our 3D glasses at home and didn't want to buy more!)

Rachna Chhabria said...

150 blogs a day, I am shocked. The number by itself would have me sighing with fatigue. You are awesome, Alex.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Milo, you're telling me!

Maurice, exactly.

Rachel, bummer!

Thanks, Rachna.

E.J. Wesley said...

I'd normally say something on this scale is completely superficial, but my lone A-Z last year taught me otherwise. Some of my favorite followers and best comment folks are people I met during A-Z. Had no idea who they were or what they were about before hand. Now we're buds! :)

If I could get to 25 blogs a day, A-Z or no, I'd call it a success! lol

Cat Lavoie said...

I had a great time participating in the Challenge but I wish I had more time. So. Many. Blogs! I discovered some really great ones that I'll be revisiting often... so it was definitely a success for me! :)

Adrianne said...

Thanks so much for hosting! It was a great first experience for me.

Spacerguy said...

Great challenge as usual Alex. I kept my comments and posts short, punchy and logical in order to entice everyones cosmic thought pathways, hehe!

Miranda Hardy said...

It was great, but, like you, I didn't get to the amount of blogs I'd like to have. I did find some great new blogs.

Copyboy said...

The most thing I'm impressed about the challenge is craze you create from it. Blogs love it. Or love to talk about it. It's amazing.

Leovi said...

A unique and fantastic beings such Backworlds.

Helen Ginger said...

Great evaluation of the experience, Alex. I'm totally in awe of all of you that participated.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

EJ, some of my best buddies came from the very first Challenge!

Cat - too many!

Adrianne, hope you'll be back next year.

Spacerguy, you did good.

Jesse, it's wild, isn't it?

Thanks, Helen!

cleemckenzie said...

I hear The Avengers is an all time high earner for Disney. More money in shorter time than any. That's amazing.

Mark Noce said...

Neat challenge, but man, I can see how it can stretch a person thin:)

lbdiamond said...

GREAT job with the A to Z challenge!

The Red Angel said...

Alas, I didn't participate in the A-Z Challenge but it sounded like a blast. Oh well, there is always next year...it is definitely something I would like to do in the future. Congrats on finishing! :D

~Wendy Lu

The Red Angel Blog

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

CLee - it shattered so many records!

Mark, you have no idea...

Thanks, LB!

Wendy, join us next year!

klahanie said...

Hi Alex,
After a whole lot of scrolling down, I've gotten to the part where I can leave one of my 'cherished' comments.
As you may well be aware, I was the alternative to the challenge via my good natured, sometimes satirical, sometimes serious postings in regards to the alphabet challenge.
You good sir, I firmly believe embrace the ethos of a sharing, caring blogging community. Within your articles was proof positive that you brought further awareness of other bloggers in an alphabetical order.
I've always struggled with this 'followers' bit. The follow me, follow you mentality that some use, can be artificial indication of the actual popularity of the blog.
If I follow a blog, I do my utmost to interact with them. That is something something you attempt to aspire too.
I think some bloggers were too fixated with the challenge and that meant some of the usual interaction I have noted in the past, went missing.
I just hope that folks will participate in next year's challenge for positive and interactive reasons. Those who just used it to promote themselves and didn't embrace the true meaning behind it should maybe have a rethink.
All the best to you, my friend and continued happy writing.
With respect, Gary

mshatch said...

Susan over at I think therefore I yam (#189) said it best. It was fun, but even with pre-scheduled post I didn't get anywhere near as much as done as I hoped. Part of me says no to next year except this really cool theme popped into my head...

Leslie Rose said...

Best thing about The Avengers is that the audience stays until the end of the credits to see the bonus scene. I loved it. It was also a blast participating in the A to Z. Challenge is right, but well worth the effort.

i'm erin. said...

Alex, I am so jealous you know M. Pax. I was just reading about the new book. So exciting. I think you're a ninja when it comes to blogging. I think you should be at the next conference I go to and you can teach your wisdom!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Gary, very well said!

MsHatch, now you know you'll do it.

Erin, thank you! Known Mary for almost two years now. She's awesome.