Monday, May 4, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron Review! Plus A to Z Challenge Reflections and Ninja News

Today I am visiting Teresa at Journaling Woman and discussing a writing schedule that works. Need help with your schedule? Then check it out!
Plus, Mini-Alex is also stalking Pat Hatt's cats today...


Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

Tony Stark uses Loki’s scepter to create a higher level of artificial intelligence to protect the planet. The result is Ultron, an unbeatable villain determined to bring peace by purifying the Earth.
In a nutshell – the movie is chalk full of geeky goodness!
There are many great action scenes and the story moves at a rapid pace.
It contains a huge cast, even bigger than the first Avengers. There are several new characters and few returning from other films.
There is a bit more character development as past issues and current situations are revealed and relationships develop.
The banter between the characters is awesome. There were so many funny lines, it will take multiple viewings just to remember half of them.
The film continues to expand the Avengers and the Marvel universe.
(Slight spoiler! It sets up the Infinity Wars and the inclusion of the Guardians of the Galaxy next time.)
And to address a few of the reviewer’s complaints – the plot does make sense in a comic book universe, Thor is not left out of the story, and Hawkeye doesn’t take over.
Ultimately – it’s a lot of fun and a worthy follow-up to the first Avengers film. Highly recommended!

Ninja News 

Don’t forget Wednesday is Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day!


The Blood, Boobs, and Carnage Blogfest is May18 - movie/show/book that exemplifies the theme. (Or part of theme.) Hosted by me and Heather Gardner.

And Next Monday – the You Rock Awards!


A to Z Challenge Reflections

Between May 4 and May 8, post your thoughts on the Challenge – what you liked, didn’t like, your experience, etc. AFTER you have posted, go add the direct link to the Linky list at the A to Z Blog.

My theme this year was Movies-Music-Science Fiction Book-Bloggers-Dragon of the Stars Term. As always, it was a lot to research and put together, plus gathering of links and images. Choosing blogger buddies to feature was tough, as I know so many awesome bloggers, but I did my best to feature those I knew well and hadn’t featured in the past. Most of them found their feature, which was cool.

I’d like to thank all of my fellow co-hosts - Jeremy Hawkins, Nicole Ayers, Stephen Tremp, Heather M. Gardner, AJ, Pam, Matthew MacNish, Zalka Csenge Virág, S. L. Hennessy, C. Lee McKenzie, Joy Campbell, Susan Gourley, Lisa Buie-Collard, and John Holton. Special thanks to Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out for starting this back in 2010. And thanks to all of you for allowing me to skip a section of the List to monitor this year. I might’ve imploded otherwise.

And a big thanks to my Insecure Writer’s Support Group admins who kept the site rocking with inspiration throughout the Challenge.

As always, the main issue is time. The Challenge opened on Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day, which meant double-duty for me. Plus my book, Dragon of the Stars, came out on April 7. Add to the fact that I average over a hundred comments per post, and you can imagine I was really strapped for time to get it all done.

The only thing that saved me was switching tactics at the end of the second week. I started focusing on those who were leaving comments. I realized there were a lot of blogs I was visiting, blogger buddies even, who were not returning my visit. That was a sad realization, but it helped to lighten the load by sticking to those who did visit me.

Of course, this meant I didn’t get to visit a lot of new blogs. The past few years, that has really frustrated me. Fortunately, several new followers found me, and I did make some new friends. So, I welcome you, and hope I can continue to entertain you!

We always suggest posts of three hundred words or less. And of course, there are those who ignore that and write these long tomes. I did my best, but I’m a slow reader, and could only visit a few with long posts.

Some people never returned comments. Or follows. It’s easy to just drop a feed into Feedly or Bloglovin’, but unless there is a follow through Google Friends Connect or Google+, I have no way of knowing. (So if you are following but haven’t hit one of those two, please do, so I’ll know!)

There were some amazing themes this year. I’ve already started scheduling Themes That Rocked the Challenge posts for the A to Z Blog.

Ultimately, I’m beat. And I still have the IWSG post this Wednesday. Plus my tour continues every Monday through June. So Lord, just give me the strength to keep going…


And if you survived this year’s Challenge, be sure to pick up your survivor t-shirt, courtesy of Jeremy Hawkins, at the Neatoshop.


Did you see the new Avengers movie this weekend? What are your thoughts on the Challenge? Did you make a lot of new friends? Who had the coolest theme? Did you feel overwhelmed? (Or left out if you didn’t participate?) What was your favorite part of the Challenge?

Don’t forget to visit Teresa at Journaling Woman and Pat Hatt!

165 comments:

nashvillecats2 said...

Good day Alex. Good post, look forward to the You Rock Awards, also hoping to get a T-Shirt,
A good post to start the month of May,

Yvonne.

Lynda R Young said...

I saw Avengers: Age of Ultron last Friday (apparently Australia got it before you guys! gasp!! I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was more of the same, but so enjoyable.

Murees Dupé said...

I can't even begin to imagine how tired you feel. I think you need a long nap today:) My family still want to watch Avengers, as it is all they can talk about. Have a great week, Alex. I hope you get some much needed rest.

Michael Abayomi said...

Avengers: Age of Ultron was all that, plus a bag of chips. :D

I admire the fact that you were able to combine so many different things into your theme. I especially enjoyed your cult classic music picks. There were a few I loved, and plenty I definitely need to check out. :)

Ash-Matic said...

I really enjoyed Age of Ultron too, although I felt there were just a few too many characters fighting for screen time.

I didn't do the A-Z, because I know my limits, man. I can't keep up with eating at regular times, let alone blogging! But big congrats to everyone who made it through.

Elephant's Child said...

I saw your guest post about scheduling. I was awed, impressed and unsurprised. I so admire your discipline. And your heart.
I was diligently visiting A to Z blogs until life got in the way. Visiting was sometimes overwhelming. I really am in awe of the participants.

jo said...

Blood, Boobs and Carnage event sounds fun! I'll have to come up with something I can post about. The A to Z challenge looks too hard. xD I've yet to see The Avengers, I'll wait until it comes out on DVD so I can rewatch it as you wisely advised. :)

Melissa said...

I think AtoZ is great for those who can manage it, but I can't, at least not during this season of my life. I'm glad you survived. :)

Sandra Almazan said...

I wasn't as good about visiting other blogs or returning visits as I should have been. A-Z and book releases aren't a good mix. But I did visit a few new blogs, so that's good. The main point of the challenge for me was to showcase how many talented women SF/fantasy authors are out there, and I think I succeeded with that.

kaykuala said...

Been to Teresa. Agreed, scheduling time is such a headache. It gets emotionally distracting and leads to time wasting. Great tips Alex!

Hank

Natalie Aguirre said...

I bet you're super tired. You're amazing how you follow so many people's blogs. I think your strategy of following those who are commenting is a good one. I never get how people don't follow back, especially if they are a really small blog. I do hope you get some rest time in. I'm looking forward to slowing down with my blogging in July and August.

Truedessa said...

Good Morning Alex,

I thought of joining in on the A to Z, but decided it would be too much for me right now. I did do some reading and followed a few new friends. I imagine you must be very tired as you do so much out there in the blog-sphere. Plus doing all this while your book was released can be hectic.

Having read Dragon of the Stars I can honestly say I enjoyed the adventure.

Have a good day!

Donna K. Weaver said...

You're amazing, Alex. Truly. I don't know how you do it.

We've got tickets for Avengers tonight.

Jennifer Hawes said...

So my boys and hubs got to see it. I stayed home with the 5yo princess. Sacrifice for the good of the fam. I WILL SEE IT!!
I do agree with you about some of those long posts. Sheesh! Make 'em shorter or break them up a bit:) But the challenge was fun. Always nice to meet new bloggers.

Rhonda Albom said...

Both my girls loved Avengers, I haven't seen it. I am so tired from the challenge, I can't imagine how you must feel. I did make several new blogging friends, and did my best to keep up with commenting. I agree, some bloggers were disappointing, but others were amazing. Congrats on finishing. My reflections will be tomorrow.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lynda, those guys could just sit around and talk and it would be awesome.

Murees, I did get some rest.

Thanks, Michael!

Ash, it was almost overload with so many characters.

Thanks, Elephant! And I find the visiting part more challenging than posting.

Jo, come up with something good!

Sandra, yes you did!

Natalie, I don't get that either.

Truedessa, so glad you enjoyed it.

Donna, thanks and go enjoy!

ediFanoB said...

My wife and I want to see Avengers: Age of Ultron tonight.

Fingers crossed that nothing unexpected will happen at work.

I must say that struggle to visit to the blogs I follow. There is nearly no time to discover new blogs.

mshatch said...

I was away for a lot of the challenge but I sure enjoyed the blogs I visited before heading for the sun and sand. Glad you enjoyed The Avengers :)

Jay Noel said...

I saw The Avengers on Saturday, and I enjoyed it as well. As always, the Marvel movies strike a good balance between the action, seriousness, and the lightheartedness of the comics.

With A-Z, I have a lot of the same frustrations. But we just try to do what we can.

Stephen Tremp said...

Did not see Avengers. We say Mall Cop II as we wanted to avoid the crowds. We're not into packed theatres and like our elbow room.

A to Z was great and I met a lot of new blogging friends. I had to bypass reading long tomes as I was going for volume. Yeah, there were some really loooooong posts this year.

A Beer For The Shower said...

I'm very, very jealous of you having seen Avengers already. I'm hoping to go catch it this week.

As for the challenge, I'm exhausted just thinking about it, but you tackled it like a pro. We made a couple new friends, but more than that, we kept all of the old ones, so I still call that a win.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I still don't know how you do all that you do, Alex. :)

I'm ready for IWSG on Wednesday!

Chrys Fey said...

I ordered my A to Z Survivor's T-shirt on the 1st. It's on the way. :D

I can't wait to see the new Avengers movie.

I am stopping by your guests posts now. :)

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

Did you sleep the entire weekend! :) that was a lot going on. I did peak in on some site, but I tried to stay away and really get some work done. And it worked this time!

I love films that you can watch over and over and see and hear new things each time.

If you join Bloglovin' you can see who follows, at least now you can. I don't think they always had that feature.

Nilanjana Bose said...

I watched the Avengers, dragged to it by family of course :)

Your energy levels and time management skills are beyond amazing!

I enjoyed the A-Z even more this year. Thank you, and thanks to all who made it possible.

Jo said...

I think you did an incredible job Alex. Congratulations.

I have ordered The Avengers and the new one from my library - you know I rarely go to the movies.

Hope you rested over the weekend.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Thanks for visiting my place today. Your article rocks big time.

I can't wait to see Avengers.

Maaaaybeeeee you need to rest a bit. You do expect a lot from yourself, Ninja Man. :)

Christine Rains said...

Great review! I can't wait to see the film. I was struck by an icky case of sinusitis and slept most of the weekend away. I visited five new bloggers every day last month and I was lucky if one a day returned a comment. It was a fun month, though. :)

Bish Denham said...

You did awesome this year, Alex. Despite your hectic schedule you managed visit my blog almost every day!

This is my first year doing Reflections... just a few quick thoughts.

Haven't seen either of the Avenger movies, but I keep hearing good things about them so I guess it's time to look for them on Netflix!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Edi, hope you get to see it. Time for new blogs is a challenge.

Jay, they balance it perfectly.

Stephen, yes there were...

Brandon and Bryan, definitely a win!

Holly, I am on Bloglovin', so thanks for the tip.

Nilanjana, thanks!

Teresa, thanks again. And I do expect a lot.

Christine, sorry you were sick.

mail4rosey said...

I liked the A-Z. It's fun to read those posts. I didn't have time to get to everyone every day, but I did the best I could. :)

Wanted to see the new Avengers movie this weekend, but we had company. Soon! Glad to hear it's a good one!!

Have a great Monday!

Beth Ellyn Summer said...

you guys all slayed that challenge! I loved reading everyone's themed posts. I didn't see Avengers but my friend in NC had plans to see it and his friend fell asleep and forgot their plans! By the time he got inside the theater by himself it was jam packed. He was so upset. if I lived closer I'd have gone with him!

Karen Lange said...

Looks like A to Z was a huge success! Hopping over to your guest posts now.

Sandy said...

I never saw the suggestion for 300 or less the first couple of years I joined. I actually don't know how to count my words, so never do. Some of mine were shorter, some longer. I did manage to visit back everyone who visited, except a handful that you had to join or register to leave comments, and or sign in with your facebook account which I will not do. All in all, it was better this year for me. Captcha's seemed to be a bigger problem this year.

Sandy at Bridge and Beyond

Congrats and Thanks for your efforts.

shelly said...

Hi Alex! I'm pooped from the crazy Salon schedule. I'll be 8 days in when tomorrow arrives. And I will check our your blog.

Pat Hatt said...

That is one thing I found too, after a while there were just too many to hop around to to visit anyone new.

Avengers 2 was awesome indeed. Only nitpick I found was there were so many characters that sometimes one would disappear for a while, like Hulk at the end, running through forest and then poof, nothing until he had to guard the thingy maggigy there lol

Leovi - La Fotografía Efectista Abstracta said...

Thank you for this wonderful journey from A to Z, you and all your fellow co-hosts!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Avengers was awesome. Thor. Sigh.

I don't know what the answer for the A-Z is. There are only so many hours in a day. Maybe, since you visit friends so diligently all year long- during the A-Z, maybe visit the newbies, show them the ropes and welcome them to the bloggy world. New bloggers probably don't realize a follow back or comment back is blog courtesy. You could be their induction to the blogosphere. And your old friends will still be here in May.



Dianne K. Salerni said...

I took (most of) April off, and that was a nice break, but I did miss all my blogging friends. I look forward to visiting blogs again. And the commitment to write two posts a week is good discipline for me. Enough slacking off! :)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I've never done the challenge as April is already a busy month for me. But I think the people who do it are amazing! Not sure I could come up with a post every day.
And thanks for the IWSG reminder! How is it that time again already?

Angela Brown said...

I look forward to watching Age of Unltron as soon as I get a chance :-)

April, or rather, this year thus far has been one moment of reflection after another, especially regarding my writing.

Spacerguy said...

A to Z was a challenge like the name says but totally fun. So many diversified alphabet topics, reading, commenting, friending! I must have an internal nuclear furnace like Ultron. Who needs sleep?

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

The hardest part about the Challenge for me was responding to everyone's comments and visiting others' blogs before the next letter.

I think it stinks that, even during the challenge, a bunch of people don't return follows. They don't get it, like the ole group of bloggers did and still does. Otherwise, I had a blast.

cleemckenzie said...

I hear your plea for strength. I'm making it through May and then pulling the plug in June. Breaks are essential.

Tamara Narayan said...

The A to Z challenge was a blast. Plenty of new followers, great comments, and lots of new books to read. I am looking forward to getting back to writing though.

Holy Ghost Writer said...

Age of ultron was a great movie. I may have to try a to z next year

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Beth, bummer!

Sandy, some had weird ways to leave comments.

Shelly, I bet you're beat!

Pat, there were a lot to keep up with. Be ready for the next two - that number will double.

Elizabeth, that might be a plan for next year. But I still have to return comments.

Rachel, it sneaks up on us...

Robyn, maybe they'll learn one day.

Holy Ghost, please join us. You already post daily.

Robin said...

As you know, I didn't participate in the A to Z this year. I knew I wouldn't have time. I was right. I tried to visit everyone I follow who was doing the challenge, and I quickly realized... not possible. I know I didn't read all of your posts, but checked in as I could.

Cherie Reich said...

I wish I could have seen the second Avengers movie, but I couldn't persuade anyone to go with me.

It's much easier to participate in A-Z as a group (Untethered Realms). And I don't blame you for visiting those who comment first and then seeing what you have time for.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Age of Ultron was a really good movie. I saw it in Portland, and boy was the crowed friendly. I loved it when Hulk jumped into the airplane that Ultron was piloting (near the end) and tossed him out. James Spader had great delivery on his lines.

Charles Gramlich said...

My wife had to explain to me who Ultron was. I had no idea. I guess any claim I ever tried to make to comic book cred is out the window.

S. L. Hennessy said...

My best friend and Avengers buddy had surgery this weekend, and I promised to wait for her to see it, so sadly I am Avengers deprived. Can't wait though!

And I think you did a wonderful job as a host! You did more than anyone could have asked for and STILL managed to visit as many blogs as possible, all while publishing a book. You rock Alex!

Ray Rousell said...

I was trying to pursued the mrs to go see this on Saturday?? looks like I'll be waiting for the DVD :0(

Ray Rousell said...

I was trying to pursued the mrs to go see this on Saturday?? looks like I'll be waiting for the DVD :0(

Arlee Bird said...

As always you did an exceptional job, Alex. I thought this year went more smoothly than any before, but that partly had to do with having my newer computer that worked much faster. That made a huge difference.

Thanks for everything!

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Intangible Hearts said...

Please come visit my reflections. You'd be the first. I'm losing followers faster than a roadrunner leaving the desert.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I did see the movie this weekend. It was super fun, moved fast and the character interaction was great.
I was overwhelmed early on in the challenge but it eased after the first two weeks.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Robyn, keeping up with everyone who was posting was almost impossible.

Charles, turn in your comic book geek card now.

Thanks, Lauren! And nice of you to wait for your friend.

Ray, bummer!

Lee, thanks for starting it.

Intangible, I'm sorry!

Susan, everyone is so gun-ho in the beginning...

Emily R. King said...

I'm impressed with everyone who finishes the A to Z. Too cool.

And thanks for your movie review! I can't wait to see it!

John Wiswell said...

Longer posts always make it tougher on people who are trying to cruise many dozens of writers per day. The year I participated, I tried never to run too long, barring the Friday fiction days.

I thought you did well on movies! They're a natural topic for you, especially since you blog about them every month of every year. :)

Lidy Wilks said...

Watched Age of Ultron last week Friday and loved it! Downey as Tony Stark/Iron Man was great (as usual). I loved the comedic moments just as much as the action scenes.

Birgit said...

One thing you can say Ninja Alex is that you had a very productive April and it seems all went wonderfully. I have learned some things to do(like saying something besides my name in the list). I only have one computer, no tablet etc... so I felt like I was attached to the computer for hours and my butt got sore:) I loved every minute though and found some great blogs that I found funny (Penwasser) and others just so informative that I already follow (Sharon Himsl-women inventors). I have not seen the new Avengers film but it looks good and glad to hear they will be with Guardians of the Galaxy next time

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Alex, I can't imagine that you are a slow reader. That's impossible with as many posts as you follow! Have no idea how you manage to keep up with so much!

ediFanoB said...

Hi Alex,

no Avengers: Age of Ultron for me and my wife!

It is really sad. My wife got toothache :-( and had to go to dentist.

Better now than on 10th May when we will go on holiday.

Sarah Foster said...

I'll bet you could use a nap!
I'm a bit of a slow reader too, so those really long posts can be hard to get through. Although I know none of my posts were under 300 words, either (most were around 400).

ilima said...

I was pleasantly surprised by the Avengers. It was better than I thought it would be and a worthy follow up to the first one.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'd decided two years ago the A to Z was more than I could handle.

The Avengers had lots of Captain America which was fine by me.

Joanne said...

Avengers is on my list. I am running behind - too much work and then too much yardwork at home. We try to take advantage of this time of year for projects - not sweltering in TX. I loved your theme and I am always impressed - you are everywhere. I was remiss in comments and visits, but tried to stay true to some core blogs. A to Z Challenge is tough but fun. Thanks to all of the hard workers

Heather Musk said...

I saw Age of Ultron yesterday and it was totally awesome, I may just have to see it again.
What's doubly cool is that the new secret Avengers base, you know in New York, was actually filmed about 5 minutes walk from where I work! Unfortunately I didn't hear about it until after they'd been and left :-(

Annalisa Crawford said...

I saw Age of Ultron last week, and I really enjoyed it. The one liners were so funny. I was in an audience of cheerers and clappers (which is unusual in the British cinema), and one poor guy who couldn't keep his shocked gasps quiet :-)

Well done on your A-Z posts, while maintaining your blog tour and everything else. Mini Alex must have been working his socks off!

Patricia Lynne said...

In an hour, hubby and I are going to see the movie, so I skipped your review until after that.

This year, I noticed not as many visit backs on my blog too. Others have said so as well. Maybe on the A to Z Blog you should ask people if they visited back and if not what they reasons why. Maybe it's an issue that can be addressed. (I feel like this should have gone in my reflections post but I put it up Friday and didn't think about it at the time. Oops.)

Andrew Leon said...

My favorite part of the challenge was not doing it!

And you might want to check the meaning of the word "predecessor."

My review should be up this week. I was going to do it Wednesday, but I just realized that's IWSG day, and I have a post for that if I can get it finished in time.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

My favorite part of the challenge was meeting new friends.
Haven't seen the movie.
Neat t-shirts.
Congratulations on your accomplishments.

Carrie-Anne said...

I never could've done the Challenge successfully, even with my pre-written posts, if I'd also been working on my fourth Russian historical during Camp NaNo. Changing it to two revisions vs. creating all-new words made things so much easier on all fronts.

Suzanne Furness said...

I think you and all the A-Z participants deserve a few days off and a lovely t-shirt of course!

farawayeyes said...

Awesome review of the Avengers movie. I thought I had absolutely no interest in it until I read this. You have really piqued my interest and I just might let somebody drag me to see it. Much more willingly than I had originally anticipated. Thanks.

I have learned that I enjoy the Challenge much more from the sidelines. The year I participated, I was completely frazzeled by the end. This year, I followed a few bloggers through every letter and some others at least on a weekly basis. I agree that there were some fantastic themes. As usual you warm the hearts of your followers by featuring them. It was fun, BUT for me much more so as an observer.

Best of luck to you on your new book and please take some time to rest up.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, John! I am a movie nut.

Lidy, there were so many of those moments.

Birgit, I know I was attached to my computer last month.

Mary, I am! That's why it takes me forever to read a book.

Sarah, yours were fine.

Joanne, gla dyou enjoyed it. And I'm everywhere thanks to the clones.

Heather, bummer!!

Annalisa, he was!

Patricia, that's a good idea. We send email reminders and tell people to visit, but they probably need to hear it many times before it sinks in.

Andrew, crap - I wrote that late. That's my excuse.

Faraway, thank you!

The Happy Whisk said...

Loved the movie, so fun. Didn't love the rash, but the movie was great.

PS: Bonus points to YOU, if you have a picture of Miss Piggy dressed as Wonder Woman.

Stay tuned, picture soon to show on my post.

Have a great week and happy everything.

Cindy said...

I can only imagine that everyone is annoyed with Tony Stark.

My favorite part of the challenge was finishing it for the first time.

Karen M. Peterson said...

I definitely enjoyed Ultron. It's not as good as the first movie, but it was a worthy successor.

J E Oneil said...

I thought Ultron was way better than the review in the newspaper said. They're always more dismissive of anything comic book related.

Glad you got through April. It's time to take a breather. Have a nice spring.

Carol Kilgore said...

I heard this huge sigh from the Universe on May 1 :)

Heading to Teresa's!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

I haven't seen Avengers yet. We were going to Friday but my hubby was too tired. :P

Geeky goodness? lol, you're cute.

You know, it's great how "they" are putting lotsa fun stuff into movies, but it's like Dudley's birthday parties (Harry Potter). Each passing year, they strive to outdo themselves and that is a bit tacky, no? I mean, when will they draw the line? Is it possible to *always* outdo the previous? When is it not? And what will happen then?

People can be harsh and the day that "they" don't outdo, will hurt them!

What do you think? ;)

♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥

Jenni Enzor said...

Congrats on making it through! I'm in awe of all that you've accomplished this month. Will definitely check out your post about writing schedules!

Michael G D'Agostino said...

You're the hardest-working blogger I know. I feel guilty because I could only ever get to some of your posts. They were always really awesome though.

Avengers was really great, I just worry that it'll eventually get too convoluted :P

Sandra Cox said...

Honestly, I don't see how you keep up, Alex. Many kudos to you.

Shell Flower said...

You should definitely take a break, Alex. It's okay to not comment on every blog on your list, especially when folks aren't commenting back. You did the right thing. I made few new friends and also had some folks never comment back, but not too bad this year.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

As Sandra wrote: I don't see how you keep up! I saw AGE OF ULTRON and loved James Spader's voice acting. It is a Marvel Movie and those who carp because it is not HAMLET are comparing apples and hand grenades! :-)

Stephen Hayes said...

I went to buy tickets for the Avengers movie on Sunday but it was sold out. Maybe next weekend.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I haven't seen the new Avengers yet, but am considering going right after the kids get out of school one day this week. (I'm not big on crowds, and the more people at a movie, the greater likelihood someone will be on their cell phone.)

I don't know how you do it, Alex. Congratulations on another successful A-to-Z Challenge! I hope you schedule some sort of break for yourself after June.

dolorah said...

I am hoping to get to see Ultron in the theater. Must sweet talk the ex hubs :)

Glad you made it through the month. I flaked and remained off-line - until the last couple days due to prior committment. Still, nice to see you still have your sanity.

Later Dude.

Liz A. said...

Agreed about comments back. At a certain point I stopped commenting on those who weren't returning the favor. Kinda mean, I know, but I just didn't have the time.

There was one great blog. She did cross stitch of characters from Once Upon a Time and Veronica Mars (2 of my favorite shows). I enjoyed several of her posts, but ultimately stopped reading due to time constraints.

D.G. Hudson said...

I want to see Age of Ultron! We have watched a few reruns of Avengers the last couple of days. We like the Comic Book Hero universe - my fave is Ironman. Wishing you best of sales with the 'Dragon'!
I don't think I could pick the coolest theme, but I enjoyed Chrys Fey's Disasters theme! Made me realize I've been close to a few of those disasters, too.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Gotta prioritize Alex! Avengers review soon!

T. Drecker said...

Avengers - I'm coming this weekend! I ended up playing mommy taxi for my kids to see it with their friends this last weekend, which is fine with me. I try to avoid opening weekends and love having the theater basically to myself :) (small town benefits) Congrats on a successful April! You made it! And IWSG is this week -almost forgot!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ivy, you are sharp!

Carol, part of that sigh came from me.

Michael, thanks, and no worries.

Shell, you always did though. Thank you.

Roland, exactly!

Shannon, I will!

Donna, smart move.

DG, her theme was awesome.

T, don't forget!

M.R. R. said...

I saw the film opening day, and I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I love the action sequences, the banter, and the teamwork. Not to mention James Spader was perfect as Ultron.
On the other hand, many characters were neglected or just poorly done, and the romance makes me want to hit something.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

I haven't seen Avengers yet, but I will eventually. I enjoyed the first one. With A to Z this year, I did feel overwhelmed at times, mostly because I didn't get many posts done in advance and so didn't have time to visit all the blogs I would have liked to. I'll be doing the A to Z road trip, though, to see what I missed. I'll get my Reflections post out Tuesday. Hope you had a relaxing weekend!

Fundy Blue said...

Congratulations on surviving April, Alex! I don't know how you did it. I can't seem to stay on top of things, and I had about 1/100 of what you had to do! And I still have my IWSG post to do! LOL! Pat's post with the ninja wannabe, Orin, and Cassie was fabulous! I laughed so hard! I wasn't able to follow all the ABC posts, but I did catch Pat's and yours all the way through. Maybe I'll try it next year, and maybe not! You are an inspiration. Thanks for all you do!

V.L. Jennings said...

Saw the new Avengers on Free Comic Book Day with the kids and hubby- it was AWESOME- TOTAL GEEKERY! It also had me laughing out loud on many occasions!

As for the AtoZ Challenge- Congrats for getting to the ending. And OH MY GOSH! I really wasn't aware there was a suggested word count! I was doing sci-fi stories that pretty much all topped out around 500 O.o SO SORRY! O.o

I agree with you on the G+ and Google friend connect- I also use networked blogs. But if a reader is not subscribed through one of those places I have no way of knowing :(

over 100 comments- EGADS! How do you do it! I'm pleased to see, at least, that blogger can handle your traffic :)

KAT Writer said...

I had to ruin he perfect 100 comments and make it 101. There is so much going on. Keep the momentum going from A to Z.

Amazing that Marvel is pulling in all it's characters and having them work together. Good way to get a mediocre franchise into the mainstream by attaching it to a popular money making franchise.

SweetBraveHeart said...

Agree with you. Completing the A to Z Challenge entailed a really good deal of discipline and time management! I am just happy i made it! More power to you!

And btw, thanks for the movie review on the new Avengers! I am looking forward to watch it!!!!

Helena said...

Like you and the rest of the world, I'll be seeing the latest Avengers movie. Sounds like fun.

As you know, Alex dear, I have been severely time challenged and have to now take a break. How you can do all you do and so well is a mystery to me.

Lisa said...

thank you Alex for the challenge, it helped me to blog again, and you are so able and capable and efficient and talented

Empty Nest Insider said...

You really went the extra mile for A to Z, Alex! Thanks for another fabulous challenge!

Julie

Vanessa Morgan said...

I so love the idea of a Blood, Boobs, and Carnage blog fest. Highly original and fun.

mbarkersimpson said...

I'm a huge fan of the Marvel Universe, and loved Age of Ultron. It is indeed packed full of geeky goodness! I absolutely loved the challenge and the fun keeps on coming. I'm currently exploring the blogs I missed! Looking forward to the Blogfest :-)

Zoltán Gecse said...

I intend to watch the new Avengers movie this weekend. After your review it's sound very promising.

TBM said...

I don't know how all you A-Zers did it. I wish I could have kept up reading the posts, and I wasn't even part of the challenge. So a huge congrats to all who completed.

It's kinda sad when bloggers don't visit back. But I know I'm always strapped for time, so I try to remember that when bloggers don't stop by to say hello. And of course, some just don't care to.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lori, I did! I'll be taking the road trip as well.

Fundy, thanks for following all of mine. Join us next year!

VL, total geekery! And the suggested word count was in the email we sent out, but that's all right.

KAT, you ruined it! And they needed to include Spiderman.

Sweet, go and enjoy!

Helena, this past month it was a mystery to me...

Lisa, thank you!

Vanessa, join us!

Mbarker, awesome!

TBM, their loss!

Tonja said...

I can't wait to see the movie. Love Avengers.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I'm wondering how could there be so many comments when it's so early in the morning, but it finally hit me...I've missed a day since I'd been traveling. It's Tuesday morning, not Monday!!! Geez, I need to set my calendar brain on the right day. I did hear the Avengers hit a new box office first over the weekend. Looking forward to seeing it!!!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hey, Alex,

Congrats on finishing another challenge!

Definitely want to check out the Avengers movie WHEN I get a chance.

I always enjoy reading the Reflections posts and hope to get to them tonight...

Another IWSG post... Thanks for the reminder! I almost forgot! My post today is sort of a IWSG post, but doesn't really have anything to do with writing... just life.

Congrats to all the Survivors!

Liesel K. Hill said...

Thanks for the review. I figured the Avengers film would be awesome, but glad to have it confirmed. Can't wait to see it. :D

Like you, my biggest issue with the A to Z Challenge was time. I only got to visit a handful of new blogs. Those I did connect with feel like new friends, which is great, but I wish I'd had more time. Oh well. There's always next year. :D

Jeffrey Scott said...

Wow, you've really done a lot here and I have to commend you for that. I only get a few comments to my blog and it can be harrowing to get to everyone. Doing my leg-work for my upcoming reflections post, I sadly noted there were some comments left from bloggers I failed to visit. I feel bad about that because I tried hard. Something to work on for next year I guess. I also went to make sure all comments received a personal response for me. I even found a few this morning that I had missed. And though I did try to keep my daily rants short, there were a few days they got away from me. I apologize to all my readers for that. Diarrhoea of the typing fingers, I guess.

Thanks for all the hard work you've put into your blog and writings. I'm not familiar with feedly or Bloglovin' so I'll have to look into those.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I am yet to see Avengers. Just by reading your A to Z Challenge posts, I was overwhelmed. The number of blogs you must have visited each day was mind boggling.

Alex Hurst said...

I need to check and see if the Avengers has come out in Kyoto theatres yet.... I want to see it so bad!!

Your energy astounds me, Alex. :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

I also hope you have the strength to keep going, Alex. We don't want anything to happen to you!

Yes, I felt a little left out. This was the first year I didn't participate in the A to Z...hopefully next year I won't have any "lame" excuses and can be right in the middle of the action.

Al Penwasser said...

While, after seeing a connection between Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers in GOTG, I wonder just how it will go. Both movies have different "feels." One is slightly irreverent (talking raccoon and tree?) and the other has a huge green guy with anger management issues.
Ok, maybe not sooo different.
In any case, I'm excited to see where this all is going.

Stephanie Faris said...

It was a fun month. I'm surrounded by boxes right now and only have Internet access through my phone (I could write a book about how much Comcast sucks!!!), so there's no way I can work out adding a linky right now! My reflections post is going live Friday, though. I read a LOT of blogs during the challenge and gained a lot of new followers--but mostly through commenting their blogs first! So I'm just going to click through your linky list and start reading blogs there, since that seems to be more effective than adding my name to the list anyway. I think a lot of people post their links and just wait for the world to come to them...I'm the opposite. I know to get followers, you have to go to them first.

Chemist Ken said...

My daughter was so wound up during the Avengers movie, we had to limit her chocolate and caffeine intake. :) We saw it in 2D this weekend, but in a week or two we'll be returning to see it in 3D to spot all the stuff we missed the first time through.

Tara Tyler R said...

answering your question at my place, my visiting strategy was I started at my minion assignment and went thru alphabetically, and I kept letters in for about 5 days each (so 5 or more letters a day as I went through) you should see my notebook!

thanks again for all your visits - to make sure i balanced visits to new blogs i only visited my regulars after they commented 3-4 days in a row. i hated leaving them hanging! it went by so fast!

and glad to hear your review of new avengers - we will wait til theaters are less crowded but we must see on big screen! yay!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cathrina, welcome to Tuesday!

Michael, you don't want to forget.

Liesel, next year or the road trip...

Jeffrey, I know I missed return visits on a few, especially if they commented late in the evening.

Rachna, between one hundred and one hundred and fifty. Depended on the day.

Alex, energy drinks and lots of them.

Patricia, you were probably wise to sit it out though.

Al, it will be a unique mix. Just imagine Stark's response to a talking raccoon?

Stephanie, you are so right!

Ken, the 3D was awesome.

Tara, thanks for letting me know. And of course I would continue to visit you.

Jennifer Lane said...

Hi, Alex! Congratulations on surviving another A to Z Challenge. You do an amazing job of visiting blogs and I thank you.

I want to see The Avengers! I'm visiting my nephews in Chicago this weekend, so maybe we'll see it.

Leovi - La Fotografía Efectista Abstracta said...

Yes, I like that nice shirt for survivors from A to Z!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Thanks for the review of the new Avengers movie. I'm looking forward to seeing it--I won't miss any movie that has Thor in it.

I was so impressed with how you managed to comment on everyone's blog posts. It never ceases to amaze me how you fit it all in.

May I suggest a blog post on time management, as you have a day job to squeeze in as well? I know I could learn a lot from you.

Lisa said...

My daughter is making me wait till I get to North Caroline this weekend to see the new Avengers. Maybe I'll get to see it with both my kids, who knows?! Loved the challenge this year, more than I usually do because I felt tied in to it more as a co-host. So many great blogs and people out there!

Michelle Wallace said...

I popped in at Journaling Woman & Pat's blog!
The challenge was a blast but I didn't get around as much as I wanted to...

Michelle Wallace said...

... and I hope to get a T-shirt...
However, the last book parcel posted from USA in January 2014 only reached my end of the globe in January 2015.
So if I buy it now, maybe I'll get the T-shirt in time for the 2016 A to Z Challenge. LOL
Gives a new meaning to snail mail...

J.L. Campbell said...

You absolutely amaze me, Alex, to cover all of what you did during the challenge and not have a meltdown. You gotta send me some of those clones.

J.L. Campbell said...

You absolutely amaze me, Alex, to cover all of what you did during the challenge and not have a meltdown. You gotta send me some of those clones.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Can't believe how fast April went. I didn't get to near as many blogs as I wanted. Internet was horrible. We lost power due to high winds and had nothing, not even a phone. Weird weather systems went through. I don't know how you do it, Alex. How can you possible visit 100+ a day. Wow. On another note, finally got to watch the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes remake. I liked it. Andy Serkis was riveting.

Sandra Cox said...

One of my favorites on the A-Z, and there were a lot of good ones, was Birgit's movie star theme. It was well done and informative.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Alex, you're A-Mazing! I can't even do half of the blogging, writing, commenting, ect., in a week of what you do on a daily basis!!!

Thanks for the Avengers review. We can't wait to see it. :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jennifer, go see it!

JH, visit my guest post at Teresa's! It's all on time management.

Lisa, making you wait... so wrong.

Michelle, that is scary slow...

Joy, I came close to a meltdown...

Joylene, I'm dedicated. And amazing film, wasn't it?

Sandra, her theme was awesome.

Thanks, Jenn!

Jemi Fraser said...

Congrats on finishing the challenge with style! You do an amazing job with visiting blogs. My only reason for not doing the challenge is time. I love the idea and loved doing it one year, but I couldn't do the challenge justice and my writing definitely suffered. I admire those of you who complete the challenge year after year. Well done! :)

Mary Aalgaard said...

My kids loved the Avengers movie. They saw it on Sunday. You did great, Alex. I'm still recovering. I'll have my reflections post up with my IWSG tomorrow.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Alex. If blogger friends weren't returning your comments, imagine how hard it was for newbies. I did the rounds of some struggling bloggers and was sad to see nil - 2 comments on several and they were madly commenting. After all the hard work people put in it's disappointing for them. I guess that's one of the reasons I lost my oomph for the challenge. It just takes too much time to do it properly! And that means visiting tons of blogs to me and at this time in my life, and I imagine several others', it is just impractical.

Nevertheless, I congratulate all those who participated. Go you! (I got 30,000 words of my new novel written instead!)

Denise :-)

jamieayres.com said...

I loved the Avengers movie even better than the first . . . can't wait for the next one!!

Jennifer Chandler said...

Whew! You should be tired! Your theme was amazing!! Sorry I didn't get a chance to visit as often as I would have liked. One of the downsides to not having a job that puts me in front of a computer all day is that I am not able to read and participate in as many blogs as I used to. :( I really enjoyed the few blogs I did get to read through the challenge and I was happy to participate again!

Haven't seen the Avengers...honestly, if Loki isn't in it, I'm probably not into it ;)

Get some rest and enjoy the rest of your tour! Congrats again on the new book :D

Jen

afriendofjesus2013.com said...

Hi Alex, I visit and not comment (smile) Blessings!

Kelly Polark said...

Just saw Avengers last night with two of my kiddos. My youngest son caught that Guardians Galaxy tie in at the end. I missed it! Looks like there will be an Avengers 3.

Susan Kane said...

We saw Ultron with our son in Chicago. Will have to watch it again. Loved the banter and James Spader's voice. Will Paul Bettany be in the next movie?
I missed roaming with W, X, Y, and Z...was in Chicago.
Hitting Letter N (mid-way) was great. Read many interesting blogs.

Belle Wong said...

I don't see a lot of movies on the big screen, but Avengers: Age of Ultron is definitely on my to-watch list. So glad to hear you enjoyed it, Alex. And a big congrats to everyone who completed the A-Z challenge!

Medeia Sharif said...

I'd love to see this Avengers and the last one.

I believe in comment reciprocation. If I comment and comment and don't get one back, I stop.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'd love to see this Avengers and the last one.

I believe in comment reciprocation. If I comment and comment and don't get one back, I stop.

Mary Burris said...

Thanks for co-hosting the challenge this year! Stopping by from the Reflections linky. Looking forward to next year :)

Heather M. Gardner said...

You are a machine!
I really don't know how you do it all. I would binge on a few blogs and that seemed to take all day! Thank you for taking such great care of that massive tedious list!

A2:AoU was freakin' awesome. You're right, multiple viewings will be necessary to memorize the snark and to figure out what all was going on! SO MUCH! I've heard all the complaints about Thor. About Hawkeye. About Black Widow. It's getting ridiculous. You can't please everyone, but its so easy to piss them off.

I've been jotting down contenders for the BBC blogfest! I might have TOO many to choose from!
:)

HI ALEX!

Heather

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

It was a fun year! Being a co-host motivated me to visit more blogs than usual, and I found some amazing things. I know I am one of those people guilty of writing longer posts, but to my defense, I was doing my A to Z as part of my grant work on epic telling, so I wanted the posts to stand even after the challenge ended, for future visitors. I still got enough comments, so I'm not complaining :)
Age of Ultron was fun! I think it was supposed to be longer, so I can't wait to see the director's cut. But it was still fun this way, even if a bit crowded :)

@TarkabarkaHolgy from
Multicolored Diary
MopDog

The Happy Whisk said...

Alex: Sometimes, I am. Other times, I need a nap. Happy New Day.

Nick Wilford said...

You did a great job keeping things going throughout the Challenge alongside your tour posts! Some days I only managed to return visits to commenters, so I can imagine what it was like. But I'm also glad to have made a decent number of great new friends.

I need to catch up on the first Avengers movie first but this sounds good!

Anna Nordeman said...

Wednesday 6th May 2015
Dear Alex,
This challenge has been a learning experience for me. My posts did not follow a consisitent theme because I was trying different things, writing long and then writing short posts. Towards the end I started cutting things out and making my posts shorter.
I don't understand how you get it all done. You must have developed a system.
More about time on my reflections post.
Best wishes,
Anna

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Journaling Woman was great! Loved Pat's too. I don't know if my A-Z link was right... can't find me on this list. Must have done something off.

DiscConnected said...

I was in Gettysburg PA for the Fites of Spring Festival (progressive rock) and found myself with little to do Friday having already toured the battlefield a few times. I went and saw the Avengers film, and while I liked some of what you highlight (the banter especially) the end of the film simply felt like a retread of the second iron Man film(smashing a million robots one at a time) and even the first Avengers film (they smashed aliens one at at time in that one).

I would have rather seen combat scenes that were a little more choreographed and with adversaries focused on each Avenger's unique skills.

But it was still pretty good escape fare. Not sure what has feminists up in arms about the Black Widow character.

Larry

~Brandy~ said...

Someday I hope to average 100 comments per post! A girl can dream! I think all of the hosts did an incredible job and deserve some much needed blog-free time. One of the highlights for me was your Mini-Alex scavenger hunt/book launch tour! Don't forget to add the coordination of that to your long list of to-dos during A-Z.

On a non-AtoZ note: I did see the Avengers and despite the fact that I am not a comic book movie fan, I did enjoy the film for the most part. A film that knows it's cheesy and can admit that by making fun of itself is worth a watch!

Brandy from Brandy's Bustlings

Debra McKellan said...

My friends and I wanted to see Age of Ultron, but one had to go see it with his son first. Grr. lol

I did get bummed that I didn't get around to as many bloggers as I wanted this year, but I'm glad I got around at least. lol The tomes were frustrating as well, but hopefully there are less people who ignore the 300 words next year.

I'm reading Cassafire right now. This is the first series I've read out of order since The Last Vampire when I was a teenager. lol I feel like when I get to Cassastar, it will seem like a prequel. XD

DMS said...

I have not seen the new Avengers movie yet. I need to get to the movies soon.

As always I really enjoyed reading all the A-Z posts I could get to each day. I learned a lot and each theme was fun for me. I like that you spotlighted different bloggers for each letter. It was fun to see some favorites and learn about others. :) Awesome job!
~Jess

Barbara In Caneyhead said...


Great recap, Alex! I had a blast this year! I found a camaraderie this year unlike any other year! You, my friend, are an inspiration to us all! I don't know when or it Avengers will come to my local theater, but if it does I will be trying to go see it there. If not, I'll probably wait and see it on DVD.
~ We made it!!! ~
Stopping in from Life & Faith in Caneyhead.

worddreams said...

I don't get 100 comments per post, but even my couple score keeps me busy. I've adopted the same approach as you--comment on those who return my comments. I like to have a conversation and a one-sided monologue isn't so I seek out those people. So far, it's worked well.

Jeremy Hawkins said...

Avengers II was good, I had my concerns and they will pass when I see it again...

Reflection... we made it, it was another good year. I miss Tina and hopefully she is watching down on us with a smile.

Thank you my friend for everything, may the future be bright.

Jeremy

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - I'm not surprised you opted to only comment to those who came over .. it's a big dilemma - and I only have a quarter of your commenters or blogs to read.

I just admire your tenacity for hanging on in there .. and achieving so much ... loved the Challenge and meeting a few new people .. and catching up with old friends .. cheers Hilary

Haneen I. Adam said...

Greetings! Ah you have so many comments I'm surprised you manage to visit all of them first let alone knew blogs! Congrats on yet another successful challenge, thank you for the great info you gave, especially books and congrats again on the release of your new book.
P.S. thanks for stopping by on my blog too during the challenge.

Richard Hughes said...

To be even considered for an award is an honor. Don't be so sure you won't win. Even if you don't, it shows how good your book is.

Random Musings said...

I really enjoyed the challenge, but am certainly guilt of exceeding 300 words - it isn't anywhere near enough! Some of my comments are probably longer than that lol
Popping by as part of the A to Z Road Trip
Debbie
www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com

Entrepreneurial Goddess said...

Hello there.
Congratulations on completing the challenge! Thank for all your help "behind the scenes" too. I didn't get to visit your blog during the crazy month of April, but I'm popping over today from the Road Trip.

Entrepreneurial Goddess