Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Recap of Tips and My A to Z Topic

Two more days and the A to Z Challenge begins! Everybody ready for some fun?

That’s right – fun. The Challenge is many things, but bottom line, it should be fun. We’ll all visit new blogs, make new friends, stretch ourselves to post according to the alphabet, discipline ourselves with daily blogging – fun!

To get the most out of the Challenge:

Post daily (except for Sundays) on a topic that matches that day’s letter. We kick off April 1 with A.

Have the A to Z Challenge button in your sidebar.

Check your link on the list – make sure it goes to your blog! If not, let Jen know so she can correct it.

Pre-schedule as many posts as possible to save time.

A theme is good, but not necessary! I didn’t have one last year.

SHORT POSTS!!! This is for YOUR benefit - most won’t have time to read longer posts. How short? If you’re over 500 words, it’s way too long. Just a suggested guideline.

DROP WORD VERIFICATION! Switch to blog owner approval or let the excellent spam filter catch crap. Again, this is for your benefit – word verification will discourage comments and visitors. Also, imbedded comment boxes can be a challenge. Make sure you have the Google Friends Connect widget so others can follow you as well.

Visit other participants. Overwhelmed? Select a starting point on the list (please, let’s not all start with #1) and visit twenty a day. Can you do that? Visit the host sites for list access or send me an email and I’ll send you the code for your own blog.

Follow blogs that interest you. As you go through the list, you’ll find some cool blogs, and once the Challenge ends, you’ll have a batch of new friends.

Don’t stress. Make every effort to post and comment, but don’t let it overwhelm you.

I decided to approach this year’s A to Z Challenge with a theme in mind. My blogging buddies have been so awesome this past year, commenting, supporting, and promoting my book, I wanted to give back to awesome people. So, during the month of April (and in addition to snippets about movies, music, tech, and book stuff, and I will keep it short!) I will feature two special blogging buddies each day! I wish I could feature all of you, but I limited it to two special bloggers who might not get the attention they deserve. So, be watching to see who I selected as the letters roll past. Remember, Captain Ninja Alex’s Army rocks!

Anyone else going with a theme? Followed all the tips? Feel like quivering Jello?

Monday, March 28, 2011

April Movies!

We’ve got movie sign!
All plot descriptions courtesy of the IMDB

1 -

Source Code
Director: Duncan Jones
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga
The Plot: An experimental government program sends soldier Colter Stevens (Gyllenhaal) back in time, where he wakes up in the body of a commuter who witnesses a train bombing. Presented with just 8 minutes to figure out who is responsible, his mission is further complicated by his feelings for a fellow passenger (Monaghan).
Looks interesting…

Director: Tim Hill
Stars: Russell Brand, James Marsden, Elizabeth Perkins
The Plot: A slacker (Marsden) who accidentally hits the Easter Bunny (Brand) with his car is forced to care for his victim, who turns out to be the world's worst houseguest
Something about this movie seems odd, but not sure what.

5 -

DVD - Tron: Legacy - boxed set is MINE!

8 -

Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana
The Plot: A 16-year-old (Ronan) who was raised by her father (Bana) is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent (Blanchett) and her operatives.
Looks gritty and intense.

Your Highness
Director: David Gordon Green
Stars: Danny McBride, Zooey Deschanel, James Franco
The Plot: A fantasy-comedy about an arrogant, lazy prince (McBride) who must complete a quest in order to save his father's kingdom.
Potentially stupid, but we’ll see.

DVD - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - buying this one as well.

15 -

Director: Carlos Saldanha
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez
The Plot: When Blu, a domesticated macaw from small-town Minnesota, meets the fiercely independent Jewel, he takes off on an adventure to Rio de Janeiro with this bird of his dreams.
Another fun animated flick.

DVD - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - like I need to tell you this!

19 -

DVD - The King’s Speech - still want to see this movie!

22 -

Apollo 18
Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Stars: Unknown
The Plot: Decades-old found footage from an abandoned NASA mission to the moon reveals the existence of alien life.
Sources say this movie is being rushed. Notice the lack of a cast? Not a good sign!

29 -

Fast Five
Director: Justin Lin
Stars: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson
The Plot: A federal agent (Johnson) is dispatched to Rio de Janeiro, where former cop Brian O'Conner (Walker) an ex-con Dom Toretto (Diesel) are assembling a final race as a desperate chance to gain their freedom.
I confess – I dig these films!

Any look good to you?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Using Language - FFW

Thanks everyone for your input on critique partners - and for so many offers to be my critique partner! I appreciate everyone's generosity. Between a new critique partner or two and my test readers, CassaStar's sequel has a chance!

Today is another edition of Fantastic Friday Writers! I invite your to check out my Fantastic Friday Writers partners, as we have some new members - Elizabeth Mueller, Anastasia V. Pergakis, J. D. Brown, Deirdra Eden Coppel, M. Pax at Wistful Nebulae, Jeffrey Beesler at World of the Scribe, Charlene A. Wilson, and Andrew Cooper. I’m sure their take on this subject is better than mine!


I decided not to create a new language for the world in CassaStar. I didn’t feel it was necessary.

I did have to create alien names, though. Science fiction names can be complicated and a challenge to pronounce, so I tried to keep them simple: Bassa, Trindel, Hanner, Ernx – bonus points to anyone who knows how to pronounce that last one. Sound it out – it’s easy!

I also had to make a decision on ‘colorful language.’ I’ve been around fighter pilots – they know how to cuss! Should I use earth terms or make up words? (Like Battlestar Galactica’s frack.) I don’t like to cuss (much) so I settled on one, low-offensive word: damn.

If any of you are creating a new language, let me know how you’re doing it!

And I am taking an extended weekend away with my wife (so she doesn’t disown me next month during the A to Z Challenge) so I may be scarce for a couple days. I'll try to check in - after all, I never go anywhere without my iPad!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Little Help Please?

I have a question about critique partners.

The sequel to CassaStar is currently with my test readers (and likely being torn apart even as I write this) but they are not writers. They are science fiction readers. Now, they’re really good at spotting little grammar things – and really good at spotting things like crappy dialogue! But a writer would see the bigger grammar and plot point issues.

Do you guys have a critique partner? Is it scary letting that person read your crappy rough draft?

I’d like to find a critique partner. I didn’t have one for CassaStar, just test readers. Think I need one for this book, though. It didn’t come together as easily as the first. In my attempts to amp up the world building and tension, I threw in every idea plus the kitchen sink. (Yes, Byron blasts sinks out of the sky – it’s rather cool!)

So, if anyone’s interested, let me know. Probably would help if it’s someone who read CassaStar. Not because you need it to understand the story, but you’ll understand my writing style better. Those of you who’ve read it know that while it’s science fiction, it is not high tech, and the aspects that everyone seemed to enjoy are in this story as well. And the other main character is a woman! Did I mention that? A WOMAN!

All right, anyone interested? Want to tell me about your critique partner? Care to throw Hot Tamales?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Too Many Blogfests? Room for One More?

There’s been numerous blogfests as of late. Last week I saw four writing ones alone. Was that too many? Are there too many blogfests happening right now? The A to Z Challenge starts next week and the Crusade is still going. Is it too much?

I’m just asking – feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

Because yes – I am planning my next blogfest! May or June. Not sure yet.

“Damn, Alex! Movies, TV, music – what’s left?”

I have two ideas and want you guys help me decide. Without giving away the gritty details (don’t want to spoil the surprise), which one interests you more:

Blogfest for writers, but not a writing blogfest. (That make sense? As in, no 500 word short story or anything.)

Another top ten type of blogfest on a fairly universal subject, something everyone could do.

Let me know which one intrigues you the most!

Oh, and for those on Twitter, the hashtag for the Challenge is #atozchallenge

Friday, March 18, 2011

Double Tipping Naked

Double tips again today! No, not double dips. Remember kids, double dipping is gross. And sorry, not naked. Thought Hart would appreciate the sentiment though.

A couple quick tips for those participating in the A to Z Challenge (we’re over 500 now) and possibly some help for all bloggers.

Post length

We always hear shorter is better, but during the month of April with over 500 participants, it’s imperative we keep those posts short. Part of the reason for the Challenge is to meet new blogger buddies. Everyone will be trying to visit as many blogs as possible during that time, and longer posts will be a deterrent. We want to encourage people to stop and chat with us. So, scale back those words next month.

Following Participants

We have over 500 participants - are you following all of them? God, I hope not! (And if you are, pass on your Ninja secret.) How do you keep up then? Couple ideas here.

Have access to the list. Hosts all have the lists posted on our site - notice the page above titled A to Z Challenge Signup? You can jump to one of our sites to access the list. Or, you can copy the Linky Tools code and post the list on your own site. (I recommend a separate page like mine, as a list that big takes a moment to pull up.) Send me an email and I'll send you the code. (Wow, Raiders of the Lost Ark moment there!)

How do I visit everyone? You can’t in one day! (Again, if you can, share your secret.) Visit twelve to fifteen a day. I recommend that on April 1, you pick a number and start working your way through the list. By the end of April, you will have visited all of them! Along the way, you’ll find cool ones to follow. Start checking out the list now in preparation and follow a few bloggers you like.

Now remember, don’t try to visit everyone in one day! You might mess up the time-space continuum trying that trick.

Any other tips or ideas?

And I’m about to hit 600 followers - when did this happen?! As Bill & Ted would say, "Whoa."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Movie Review and Play-by-Play

For those of you who remember my Play-by-Play of Sharktopus, you are in for a treat!

We were unfortunate enough to have TWO Battle: LA movies this past weekend. I’m such a trooper, I decided to invest time into both flicks.

Battle: Los Angeles - in theaters now

Critics came down hard on this film and I’m not sure why. It’s not ID4, but it was worth the price of a movie ticket. It follows a platoon of marines during an alien invasion as they try to rescue civilians caught behind enemy lines in LA. It’s not terribly original, but the special effects and storyline are good. The action is rapid fire, gritty, and realistic. However, this is nearly its downfall, as there are few breathing moments, and filmed in shaky-cam, it’s exhausting. One aspect I particularly enjoyed was its respect for our servicemen and women. They are portrayed as smart. well-trained, heroic people who will die to defend our country. It won’t stay with you for long, but it’s far better than Skyline, and certainly better than this next film…

Battle of Los Angeles

A SyFy original! You know what that means – it’s time for a play-by-play:

9:01 Yes folks, that’s none other than 80’s star, Nia Peeples!

9:03 No character development or anything - LA is immediately attacked by a Juice Master. I wonder if that’s a hint for me to go make a mixed drink.

9:04 I think the F-16 pilot is talking to OnStar

9:08 Apparently the military base outside of LA is in worse shape than a third world country.

9:11 Could they have at least cleared the weeds and slapped on a coat of paint? At this point, they’re not even trying…

9:13 Apparently our military consists of eight guys. And the actors are creating their own sound effects.

9:14 It’s an alien invasion AND a time travel film. Two craptastic movies in one.

9:20 Someone references not being caught with their pants down. If only this WERE a porn film…

9:30 Apparently LA consists of seven houses in the desert. Who knew?

9:35 Is that an alien or a Hoover upright?

9:41 It’s painfully obvious the SyFy channel hates us.

9:43 Special effects courtesy of Atari Defender. (The original of course.)

9:49 Nia Peeples – Space Ninja.

That’s all I can take! Captain Ninja Alex must now become the night and make all of those responsible for this travesty suffer. Or at least apologize profusely…

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Origin of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

Everyone welcome the A to Z Master himself, Arlee Bird from Tossing It Out!

Alex asked if I would recount the story of how last year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge came about. So, I am here at Alex’s blog to tell the story of how it all began.

It took me nearly three and a half months to reach my first one hundred followers. As I neared that magic number toward the first week of January of 2010, I began to notice how other bloggers would tend to have giveaways or other events celebrating when they had reached a particular milestone number. I had nothing lined up for my first one hundred, but I began to announce that when I reached 200 I would do something. In early January I made it my goal to hit 200 followers by April 1st.

As the end of March neared, I realized that it was a certainty that I would reach 200 before April 1. Then on the morning of Friday March 26, 2010 I woke up to see that my goal had been reached a few days ahead of schedule. Now I had to think of some way to celebrate.

While I took my morning walk, I began to ponder what I might do. I had nothing to give away, so I decided to do some sort of event. I was still posting seven days a week. I decided that this was a factor that figured in somehow.

Continuing my walk I began to think about how April had thirty days, however since I had reserved Sundays as a day when I was posting a Bible Study, that left me with twenty-six days of posts. That thought did it for me: Twenty-six posts! --the number of letters in the alphabet. Why not do a blogging stunt of posting those twenty-six days with alphabetically themed topics? I went home and began to formulate a plan for blogging from A to Z in April.

The following day, Saturday March 27th, I posted my intentions and added a challenge for others to join me in blogging through the alphabet. Since I had never tried a blogfest or anything like it, I had no idea what kind of response I would get. I was pleasantly surprised by the reactions from that first announcement.

The first blogger to accept the Challenge was our dear friend Yvonne from Welcome to my World of Poetry. Then there were more maybes and some more acceptances like the following:

And we all know how that turned out! From that point on Alex and I were blog friends.

After I made my expanded announcement on the following Monday, the sign-ups took off faster than I had ever imagined. In less than a week nearly 100 bloggers had enthusiastically signed up to be part of the Challenge. Most of those who signed up made it to the end and the Blogging from A to Z Challenge ended up a huge success and a remarkable experience for all who participated.

I discovered that a Challenge of this nature gave all of us an opportunity to make new blogging friends and to improve ourselves as bloggers. This is what makes it so special—it’s a way to experience personal growth, and for some professional growth, while having a darn good time doing it.

Thank you, Alex, for allowing me to tell the A to Z story. I appreciate your efforts as well as the efforts of our teammates Jeffrey Beesler, Jennifer Daiker, Karen Gowen, Candace Ganger, Talli Roland, Stephen Tremp in making this year many times better than last. And finally, a huge thanks to the bloggers who have been signing up and spreading the word about the April Challenge. The real success will be credited to all of you!

Thanks, Lee! Visit the A to Z Master himself at Tossing It Out

So, what are you waiting for? You'll have fun. You'll expand your blogging world. You'll make awesome friends like Lee. Sign up HERE!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Achievements, News, and “Magic” with the FFW

(An 8.9 magnitude earthquake has hit Japan, causing a massive tsunami. Prayers for them.)

It’s been a busy week in the blogging world!

Yvonne at Welcome to my World of Poetry hit 300 followers this week. She’s an amazing poet and I’m thrilled 300 other people besides me think so as well.

Nebular at Cinemarvellous just celebrated his birthday! He runs an excellent movie review site (and does a far better job than me) so if you are a movie buff, you’d benefit from following Cinemarvellous.

Talli Roland’s new book came out in paperback this week! Go show her some love. And tell Talli she’s the cutest Canadian-Brit ever. (This has been verified.)

Don’t forget the A to Z Challenge! We’re over 400 participants and cruising toward 500. And Monday I have a treat – the A to Z master himself, Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out will be here to share how the Challenge began. (He’ll be hosting a gaming blogger that day – now that’s cool!) More Challenge tips to follow next week.

And Roland Yeomans of Writing in the Crosshairs has been touring this week for his new book, so hopefully you’ve caught some of the stops.

Today is another edition of Fantastic Friday Writers! I invite your to check out my Fantastic Friday Writers partners - Elizabeth Mueller, Anastasia V. Pergakis, J. D. Brown, and Deirdra Eden Coppel - for their take on this subject. I’m sure it’s better than mine!

Magic and Magic Rules

Nothing like asking the science fiction writer about magic! Here’s the short and sweet: The cool thing about magic is you can make up any rules. The sky’s the limit! But those rules must be consistent in your world’s setting.

If I were writing fantasy, these would be some of my rules:

Good and evil magic must be balanced

Objects can be imbued with magical powers but can’t be in of themselves magic.

Magic cannot be used to force people to do things against their will.

Magic is an innate ability to be trained - one can’t learn it just by studying magic

Real warlocks have three nipples. Just kidding! Wanted to see if you were still paying attention.

So, what are some of your magic rules?

Gotta run - I got a date at 5 o'clock with a new iPad 2!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Now About That Rumor…

Since I keep receiving comments and emails, I’m just going to put the rumor to rest. But just to uphold interest, I’m going to tantalize you with some morsels, as well.

The rumor? It’s about my book, CassaStar.

Yes, I am working on a sequel!

I’ve spent the past two months revising and now it’s ready for my test readers. And a critique partner if I can find one. I’ll save that for another post…

Want some details?

I recently read “Save the Cat” and decided to create a logline: Byron’s predictable life is disrupted when the talented pilot meets his match on an alien planet… (Yeah, I’m still working on that.)

It begins twenty years after CassaStar ends.

It involves relations between two races.

It involves alien technology.

And the main character opposite Byron is a woman. Yes, you read that correctly! For those of you who’ve wondered why there were no women in the first book, I give you a female lead and an explanation for the lack of women on Cassan spaceships. There is a good reason you know…

I just can’t tell you now!

(And for my new followers, a full description of CassaStar can be found by clicking on the button under the header.)

All right, rumor confirmed! Any questions? Again, Hot Tamales always welcome.

Monday, March 7, 2011

From the Challenge Veterans

Today’s post is a little different – and really special.

I’d like to welcome two bloggers from last year’s A to Z Challenge, Patricia and Yvonne. I met both of these amazing ladies last year during the Challenge (see – you’ll make some great friends this way!) and they’d like to share their thoughts with you.

From Patricia Stoltey:

The 2010 A to Z Challenge was such fun that I hope to do it every year. In addition to the usual things we say about making new blogger friends and sticking to a schedule, I found the challenge helped me think and plan ahead. I worked to create and stick to a theme for my 26 posts, and I wrote most of the posts in advance instead of the last minute. So come on, April challenge. I'm ready.
- Patricia Stoltey

And from Yvonne:


Last year I decided to take part
In the Blogfest called A to Z.
It was the brilliant brainwave of Arlee Bird,
And what a difference it's made to me.

You see I had been blogging for a few years,
And followers only a few.
When I had finished the Challenge
They had more than doubled, this I relate to you.

It was the best decision I had made
To get my poetry on a wider scale.
I've made some wonderful friends into the bargain
But that's another tale.

If you're still unsure whether to participate
Take a tip from me.
You'll be pleasantly surprised at the outcome,
This I can guarantee.

Yvonne Lewis

For those of you still on the fence. take the plunge! What have you got to lose? Nothing. But you’ve a wealth of friendship, experience, and knowledge to gain…

Oh, and there’s a rumor going around… I’ll address it on Wednesday.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rango Review and the iPad 2


The critics were right - it’s quirky as hell!
The animation is staggeringly beautiful. This is as close to real as it gets - very soon, you won’t be able to tell the difference. Yes, it’s that impressive. The hair, the feathers, the texture - just incredible!
The story is a mishmash of a dozen different westerns. The existential comedy gives nods to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, High Noon, and pretty much any Sergio Leone film.
It’s a little overlong, with a slower pace and a few stand out action set pieces. And again, it’s quirky. Small kids won’t get the humor. It’s more unusual funny than laugh out loud funny.
After over hyping Johnny Depp as the voice of Rango, he really blends. The character is inexperienced but not a bumbling idiot, and we see him grow over the course of the movie.
Overall, I enjoyed it! You should go for the visual feast - and stay for the quirkiness.

The iPad 2

First, it is NOT available for preorder. The iPad 2 goes on sale at 5 pm on March 11.

In the meantime, all first gen iPads are $100 off. Yes, until 5 pm this coming Friday, when they will all be removed from the marketplace, the iPad 1 is $100 cheaper. (That’s just how Apple rolls.)

What’s new? Let me give you a brief rundown.

It’s thinner (8.8mm) and lighter (1.3 pounds) and now available in white. It now has a dual core chip. It now has dual cameras and Facetime capability. It offers AirPlay, where you can view your iPad on your TV. In the area of software, it offers a revamped iMovie and GarageBand, Apple's two excellent programs for video and music editing. Prices will remain unchanged.

For more information:
Apple Store
iPad 1 vs. iPad 2
What’s Changed

And for those trying to decide which tablet to buy - a Comparison Keep in mind the gigantic platform that is iTunes - the iTunes/iBookstore/apps store has no equal.

Those are the specs!

Will I be buying an iPad 2 next Friday night?

Yeah, I’m a geek - I’ll be there before 5 pm!

Any other geeks? Rango opinions? More Hot Tamales you’d care to throw?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friends for the Journey

Last weekend, Michelle Gregory at Beautiful Chaos created a special badge for those who’s helped her on the journey. I was honored to receive the "Friends for the Journey" Blog Encouragement, and now it’s my turn to pass it along.

I’ve deliberated about this all week. Crap, who do I select? Even worse, who will I leave out? So many of you have encouraged me, sent emails, left comments, read and featured my book… I finally selected, but if you’re not one of the seven, please don’t feel left out. You’ve all helped me so much!

The Rules for Passing It On:
1. Pass it on to 7 other bloggers and tell how they've encouraged you.
2. Please let your recipients know that it started at Beautiful Chaos.
3. Leave a comment on this post when you've posted on your blog.

Kitty at Ten Lives and Second Chances
This woman never has a bad day – I don’t think it’s possible! She’s cheery and upbeat in her posts and comments. Kitty’s silly joy is infectious and her presence makes everyone’s day just a little brighter. You make me laugh, Kitty! And often when I need it the most.

Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out
Lee’s pushed me with blogfests and challenges. He’s pushed me with my writing. (Dude, CassaStar’s sequel takes place on a planet and there’s a RIVER – water issue solved!) Lee goes to great lengths for his blogging buddies and for the whole community, and I appreciate his efforts.

Yvonne at Welcome to my World of Poetry
We’ve faithfully visited each other’s blog since last year’s A to Z Challenge. Yvonne doesn’t listen to my type of music or watch my kind of movies and I have no idea how to write a poem. But our friendship is formed out of mutual respect and admiration, and Yvonne is the most devoted person I know. And the woman loves playground slides! How cool is that?

Edi at Edi’s Book Lighthouse
Edi was part of my blog tour last year with a review and feature. And he could’ve just left it at that. But he’s continued to support and encourage me, often inquiring of the sequel. Edi, I really, really appreciate that!

Jeffrey at World of the Scribe
He’s plugged my book, my trailer, my site – he’s the Dude! His commitment and enthusiasm keep me going and he always knows when a friend needs a boost. It will be an awesome honor when his first book comes out for me to return the favor!

Lynda at W.I.P. It and Fearfully and Wonderfully
Lynda is the type of person I’d call a quiet, stable presence. Both of her blogs are encouraging and her comments reflect that spirit. I always look forward to your positive words, Lynda!

Patrick Tillett Patrick is one of those individuals who doesn’t make a big splash and sometimes flies under the radar. But he’s consistent and steady, like a giant rock in a raging river. Dude, your support has not gone unnoticed and I appreciate it!

Who’s encouraged you on your journey?

And yes, the next gen iPad March 11 – I am so there!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How to Improve your A-Z Challenge (and Blogging) Experience

As we gear up for the A to Z Challenge in April, I and the other co-hosts are posting tips. Today I am tackling comment boxes and word verification, and how to speed up the process and encourage more comments. Remember, these are just suggestions. No one throw crap at Captain Ninja Alex! However, Hot Tamales are always welcome…

There are a dozen different ways to do the comment box, but here’s where it becomes challenging. Some blogger backgrounds load and scroll slow. Some blogs load slow due to graphics. (Yes, I am aware mine is one of them!) But what really cripples this process is an embedded comment box, because the page needs to reload again. (And if there’s word verification, three times!)

The solution? If you like your background or don’t want to remove all those images, change the comment box. Try using a pop-up box like mine or a separate page like Stephen’s.

Next is the issue of word verification.

If at all possible, drop it.

The solution? Blogger's spam filter works great. (I almost never receive spam comments.) If you’re still concerned, you adjust the settings to not allow anonymous comments like Hannah or require blog owner approval like Yvonne. You can also require blog owner approval on older post comments.

There are only so many hours in the day to visit blogs, and those two issues can really slow down the process. During the A to Z Challenge, time will be important as we try to visit as many blogs as possible. Make it easy for people to leave comments!

Any questions? Thoughts? Hot Tamales you’d care to throw?