Monday, January 27, 2014

The 2014 A to Z Challenge!! Plus Jamie Ayres on Failure and Darth Vader, Truths and Lies, and the Ninja News

The A to Z Challenge list opens today! 

But first…

Jamie Ayres on Failures and Darth Vader.

We all have, “Luke, I am your father,” moments. But when we’re hit with bad stuff, remember something beautiful can come out of it. I don’t claim to be an expert on much (okay, I do, but pretty much all writers are pathological liars), but I know how to fail. In 1984, my cousin dared me to jump in our ruptured septic tank on the farm, and I did. Can you say gold star? That’s why Mama’s always said I’m full of crap. HA! I could’ve died! But instead of ending up on Jay Leno’s stupid headlines (“5-year-old Girl Willingly Jumps Into A Pile of Poop and Suffocates to Death”), I got to use it as a funny anecdote in 18 Things instead, the first installment of my trilogy. You’re probably wondering why I did such a thing in the first place?

Pride. Many times our failures are rooted in pride, just like mine, just like my heroine, and just like Anakin. Spoiler Alert! Anakin was manipulated his whole life by the emperor, but somehow, he redeemed himself in the end. George Lucas said, “Even when Anakin became Darth Vader, he was still the chosen one.”

I’ve good news for you! Everyone loves good news, right? If you don’t, then slap yourself. Or drink coffee and eat chocolate! Trust me, I’m a doctor (not really, but I thought I’d say that just once while I have a captive audience. Thanks, Alex!) Okay, ready now for the most super BIG TRUTH ever? Our destinies aren’t thwarted by failures. We’re not bound to our mistakes. I don’t know most of you, but I can tell you no matter what happens in your life, the universe isn’t done with you yet. We’re all created equal (unless you’re a Jedi, then you’re more equal than the rest of us), and we all have a destiny to fulfill. I can’t deny the ugly stuff in life made me the person I am today, set me on the path I was meant to take. The same goes for my heroine in 18 Truths. She has many “EPIC FAIL” moments in the second book. But hey, everybody has a little Darth Vader and Anakin in them . . . we just have to remember our failures still serve our purpose in life.

Do you agree the “tough stuff” produces something shiny in the end we can chase?

With the lessons the 18 Things life list taught her engraved on her heart, Olga embarks on a new adventure as a spirit guide, but nothing prepares her for the chilling truths she’s learning along the way.
Add 18 Truths at Goodreads and watch the trailer on YouTube

Jamie Ayres writes young adult love stories by night and teaches young adults as a middle school teacher by day. She lives in southwest Florida with her husband and two daughters. Her books include 18 Things and 18 Truths. Visit her website HERE

Can You Handle the Truth – The Answers

Today I reveal the truth for Jamie Ayres’s blogfest.

1 – I saw Rush five times on one tour alone. Yes, I am a die-hard fan! I’ve seen them multiple times on several tours, including five times in one tour. Total truth.
2 – I partied with the band Night Ranger at a bar. After going to see Y&T perform, we turned around to discover that Night Ranger was also there enjoying the show. So we hung with them for a while and I got Jack Blade’s autograph. Big surprise, but this one is true! (And even then I really didn’t drink much.)
3 – I got to jam with Rik Emmett of Triumph once. The lie – but a good friend of mine did jam with Emmett before a performance. (Lucky bastard.)

Only a handful of you guessed right! And I do believe it was Mark Koopmans who said “you soooo didn't do #2 and if you did... I will find and post a picture of me in a grass skirt.” Time to scare the masses, oh Baldinator!

Ninja News

David Powers King and Michael Jensen signed a deal with Scholastic for Woven! Congratulations, guys.

My dear friend Roland Yeomans is facing expensive surgery for cancerous growths. He is in need of prayer and support, now more than ever.

The Marine's Heiress by Susan Kelley
Sequel to the bestselling The Marine's Queen, a science fiction romance.

A Recon Marine set on vengeance finds duty, honor and love instead, but it may be too late to stop the explosion of violence he has set in motion.

Find the Marine’s Heiress at New Concepts Publishing

And the Epic 2000 Follower Giveaway is still going!
Less than thirty GFC followers to go and someone will win books, iTunes cards, and a t-shirt.
BIG thanks to those special friends who have spread the word for me.

The 2014 A to Z Challenge List is Open!

Please read and follow the sign-up instructions outlined below so you sign onto the list correctly!

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

We recommend short posts, turn off Word Verification, and visit five blogs (or more) a day beginning with the one after yours on the list.

To streamline legitimate blogs from advertisement blogs, the Co-Hosts will be visiting each blog on this list throughout the Challenge. Blogs on the list showing no activity once the Challenge starts will be removed.

There are categories for those looking for like-minded blogs. Select ONE category code and enter it after your blog’s title/name. The code applies to your blog, not your theme for the Challenge and is purely optional. However, if your blog has adult content, you MUST mark it (AC) or it will be removed from the list. Codes are as follows:

2. BOOKS: (BO)
3. FILM: (FM)
6. CRAFT: (CR)
7. ART: (AR)
8. MUSIC: (MU)
14. GAMING: (GA)
19. HUMOR: (HU)
20. TRAVEL: (TR)

Be sure to grab the badge and display it in your sidebar so we know you are participating and link to the A to Z Challenge Blog.

For more information we recommend you follow the A to Z Challenge Blog and the hosts:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
Author Stephen Tremp
Tina @ Life is Good
Damyanti @ Amlokiblogs
Jeremy @ Being Retro
Nicole Ayers - The Madlab Post
M. J. Joachim's Writing Tips
Heather M. Gardner
AJ @ Naturally Sweet
Pam @ An Unconventional Librarian

We also have a Facebook Page
Email address is
Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge

I am also in need of five more Minions!!! If you are willing to be an A to Z Challenge Minion and can visit ten to twenty extra blogs a week, just let me know. Thanks to those who are already part of the Ninja Minion Army - Joy Campbell, Michelle Wallace, Susan Gourley/Kelley, S. L. Hennessy, and Rhonda Albom.

Sign up below and join us for a month of alphabet fun!

Do tough situations and failures result in good things for you? Were you surprised by my truths and lie? Did you enter the Epic 2000 Followers Giveaway? And who’s up to the 2014 A to Z Blog Challenge?!?!

Be sure to let me know if you want to be a Challenge Minion.

Sign up for the A to Z Challenge AFTER reading the instructions above!


L.G. Keltner said...

Yay A-Z! Since I'm making good progress on my posts for April, I'd be willing to dedicate the time to being a minion. I think it would be a lot of fun!

Heather M. Gardner said...

WOO HOO! said...

It seems like the A-Z Challenge just ended. Time flies.

I'm sorry to read about Roland. I'll go hop over there now. Thanks, Alex.


Empty Nest Insider said...

Great guest post from Jamie! I was pleasantly fooled by your web of deception, Alex! Sending good thoughts out to Roland. Congrats to the co- hosts, and the minions!


Kyra Lennon said...

No, it is entirely too early to be thinking about A-Z lol! :p

Sean McLachlan said...

Never signed up to A to Z this early before! Looking forward to it!

mooderino said...

Can't believe it's almost AZ time already. Still haven't decided if I'll do it again this year, but pretty sure it'll be a massive success even without me.

Moody Writing

Sheena-kay Graham said...

So excited for David and Mike. Scholastic is a top publisher, congrats. I made the top 30 for A-Z sign up this year, a big jump for my second year taking part. Yay. Glad the giveaway and follower stats are going well Alex. Mark made a big mistake but I hear grass skirts only add three pounds so he should be OK. Ha, I'm evil. Enjoy your day Alex and I've heard some bad stuff concerning I, Frankenstein so I'm not sure I'm going to see it at the movies again. What about you?

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Failures are the best way to learn... well, the best way to learn to never make that particular mistake again, anyway ;)

Creepy Query Girl said...

I really like Jamie's message! Congrats to David and Michael! That's great! And I can't believe it's that time of year to gear up for the A-Z again. Time flies!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great point from Jamie! Yes, it's the troubles, the tough stuff, that produces our successes...for our characters, too.

I clearly wouldn't do well on that old game show "To Tell the Truth!" You got me. :)

Ray Rousell said...

Jamie sounds like a fun kinda girl!

Huntress said...

Holy Cats. MK in a grass skirt! It's like watch a train wreck; you wanna watch but you know it'll be gruesome.

Signed up for A - Z :D

Brian Miller said...

a grass skirt eh? ha...

best of luck on AZ this year alex....and ack i missed the lie...oh well...

happy monday

Ellie Garratt said...

Yay for A to Z! I'm not taking part myself, as will be deep in my editing cave. However, I was wondering if there's a graphic I can use on my blog to promote it. I've put the participant one in my side bar for the time being.

Jamie - congratulations on 13 Truths. Your post really resonated with me.

Gossip_Grl said...

WOW on your truths! I thought you were going to say they were all truths. The hubby likes Rush, but has only been to one concert, but that is really cool that you partied with Night Ranger! So cool hearing that you only have 30 to go to make it to your 2,000 milestone. I can't believe it is time for A-Z again. I haven't made a decision yet. I have a cool theme I'd like to post about if I do decide.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So excited for David and Michael, especially after what they went through last year.

And congrats to Jamie on her book.

Hope you hit 2000 followers soon. You're almost there.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I'm sorry to hear about Roland.

Some of the greatest success stories encountered plenty of failure before succeeding.

Brinda said...

Jamie- You are a wild and crazy girl with that septic tank story. I won't dare you to do ANYTHING. lol

Rhonda Albom said...

Seems so early to be signing up for AtoZ but it will be here before we know it. I am honored to be one of your minions. I look forward to seeing the photo of Mark in a grass skirt.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

LG, thank you! I will send you the official badge.

Robyn, he'll appreciate it.

Sean, glad you caught the list early.

Sheena-kay, Mark is in trouble. And Jay just posted about I Frankenstein - said it was awful.

Elizabeth, I fooled almost everyone.

Carol, that made me laugh!

Ellie, as soon as Jeremy has one, I will send it.

Unknown said...

Congrats to David and Michael! Very sad news about Roland, my thoughts and prayers go to him at this time. I wish him well.

I have just signed up for the A-Z Challenge, would not miss it. I look forward to it every year.

I would also be happy to be a minion. I helped Jeremy last year. I will let the two of you make up your minds which one of you would like my help this time around.


Unknown said...

Hey, and I just noticed the new widget below of your friends and followers books. It looks great!

Thanks heaps for including mine.

Unknown said...

Hi Alex,

First year participating in A to Z challenge. I'm willing to be a minion and help you out if you still need people. :)

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU sooo much for letting me guest post on your blog, Head Ninja Captain :-) And thanks to everyone on the well wishes for 18 Truths . . . and yes, please don't dare me to do anything. I have an "I Can't Say No" sticker on my forehead, lol. So sorry to hear about Roland--I will visit him today. And yay for new widget < all the books look grreeeeaaaaat! <3

Bonnee Crawford said...

I guess we are meant to learn from our mistakes, so good things come out of our failures if we let them.

I've been hearing about the April A-Z challenge for a few years now and I am seriously considering participation this year, just to give it a shot. It sounds really good!

Thanks for sharing, Alex :)

Old Kitty said...

Hello Jamie, hello Cap'n, hellooooo Mini Ninja Alex! Now as for jumping into a septic tank and coming up smelling of crushed roses - I say BRAVO!!!! I am in AWE!

Take care

Patsy said...

I like the idea of the codes for A-Z it'll help me find interesting posts to read. Not that they won't all be interesting of course, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

Patsy said...

I like the idea of the codes for A-Z it'll help me find interesting posts to read. Not that they won't all be interesting of course, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

Unknown said...

Very happy for DAvid and Michael. They deserve it after so much trouble.
Sorry to hear about Roland, we'll be praying for him.
A to Z time already? It seems like yesterday that we worked for you and left with the cloning machine blueprints and your left socks. Without mentioning four times more dwarves than when we arrived.

Rusty Carl said...

I'm going to have a plan this year. For sure. I'm all signed up and ready to go.

And you partied with Night Ranger for reals! Wow. And got to see Y&T on top of it. What a time!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Jamie--I do believe that failure polishes success. At times it makes one feel like they've gone through a stone polisher but the shine is worth it. :-) I liked your truth bits. :-)

A-Z. My goodness, it IS just around the corner, isn't it.

I had heard David's great news. How cool!

Scary times for Roland. He's in my thoughts and prayers.

Hope you have a great week Alex.

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Tina said...

Love jaime's style!
Epic fail if I'd have taken the quiz. You don't seem like a party guy, but hey, Night Ranger, how often do those opportunities come along?
Can't wait to see Mark in the grass skirt. At least he's in the right place as far as good selection :-)
The minion call post is already scheduled for Wednesday at The Challenge blog.
And we're off! SO stinkin' excited.
Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

S.A. Larsenッ said...

WOOT, WOOT for the A to Z! Can't wait to see what everyone will present.

Jamie - Ruptured ST? Whoa... Now that's gutsy. :)

Sarah Foster said...

Can't wait for A to Z! I have no idea what I'm going to blog about yet but I guess there's still plenty of time to figure it out.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to David & Michael!
Praying for Roland!
So excited for A - Z 2014!
What a roller coaster of emotions on here today!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'd LOVE to be a Minion, Alex! As long as I don't have to wear those Minion coveralls…. :)

Jay Noel said...

Jamie - failure is the path to success for sure.

And I'm all signed up for A-Z. I know I say it every year, but wow, can't believe it's time to start planning for it already.

Unknown said...

It's that time already for the A-Z. I haven't decided if I'm gonna work this out or not. LOL

Have a great day.

Tony Laplume said...

Wish there had been a broad "entertainment" category, but I registered mine with Film. I talk about movies a lot.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rhonda, thank you for being a Minion!

Carolyn, thank you! I'll check with Jeremy. And of course I would include your book. I actually need to make another widget to catch up on the new releases.

Diane, glad you are on board! Thank you.

Jamie, you're welcome. Dare you to wear a grass skirt with Mark.

Bonnee, please join us.

You dwarves sure caused some trouble!

Rusty, I did!

Tina, I couldn't pass it up. And looks like I may have extra Minions.

Sarah, two months!

Madeline, thanks!

Karen Lange said...

It's nice to see Jamie here! The comment about destiny not thwarted by failure reminds me of something encouraging I heard a Christian speaker say. He said that setbacks (mistakes, failures, etc.) are merely stepping stones to succeeding at what we're called to do.

Happy Monday! :)

Heather M. Gardner said...

Hi Alex.

Apologies for my earlier exuberance. I woke up at 3am terrified that my post didn't post and had to come out and check. When I saw mine was up and yours was up I was quite happy. :) - Sad but true.

Jamie - We all have to go through the tough stuff to make us better peeps. Well said and great post, Doctor. :)

Your two truths are epic, Alex, but #3 would have been brilliant!

I would love to see Mr. Koopmans in a grass skirt!

Heading out to promote and cultivate gnomes!


Jack said...

Now I resally want to read 18 Truths. That guest post alone was enough to hook me. So much truth in it. "all writers are pathological liars" One of the things few writers will admit to.
Also, now I have to re-watch all the Star Wars because I've never seen them in order so still miss a lot of Anakin's story. Even though Luke is my favourite, I have always been interested in Anakin's story.

Ken Lynch said...

Jumping in a septic tank?
For me, it's a tie between waking up in a pillowcase and skinny-dipping in a mobile home swimming pool on a Sunday afternoon.

Ken Lynch said...

Jumping in a septic tank?
For me, it's a tie between waking up in a pillowcase and skinny-dipping in a mobile home swimming pool on a Sunday afternoon.

Martina Boone said...

It is DEFINITELY the tough stuff that produces success. It may not always come when you expect it, but at some point in the process, you have to go through a dark moment and dig really deep. Great post!

And thanks for sharing all the ninja news. I always love these posts!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

They are only failures if we quit trying.

That's terrible about Roland.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Lots of good news here. Signed up for the A-Z. Most of all, I'm praying for Roland.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I'm glad you lived to tell the tale after that dare Alex! That could have been a crappy situation!

A Beer for the Shower said...

That's awesome that you got to party with Night Ranger. I once kinda got hit on by Marina of Marina and the Diamonds... and shut her down without realizing it.

The local pizza joint here also doubles as a concert hall. I was getting pizza to-go and standing at the bar waiting for it, and this girl sitting at the bar beside me asks if I'm staying for the concert. I say I'm not. She asks if I want to stay and see the show, that she can get me in and we can hang out after, all smiley. I said, no thanks, gotta get this pizza home to my lady for dinner. Nice to meet you though. And as I walked away I saw that Marina and the Diamonds was listed as the night's act. Went home, googled the band name out of curiosity, and yep, that was definitely her. I shut her down right to her face. I wonder how often that happens?

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm one of those who should slap myself because when things are going well, I just assume something bad is about to happen. I know, dumb.

Hey, I once saw Roy Orbison perform 2x in one evening.

Laura S. said...

Woohoo, A to Z!! Can't believe it's that time already. I feel like it was just yesterday that we finished 2013's A to Z!

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Charles Gramlich said...

Jumping in a septic tank. That is very much of a show stopper.

Crystal Collier said...

Wahoo! It's that time of the year again! I love this time of the year. Can't wait to see all the awesome of the A-Z Challenge.

Leovi said...

Yes, I'll start planning the theme for the new AZ.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Ah I guessed #2, but at least I didn't put down a grass skirt wager ;-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tony, we should have one next year, as that would be my choice as well.

Karen, Amen.

Heather, don't worry - when I woke up around 3:30 this morning, I had to grab my iPad and check as well.

Jack, shame his story wasn't as interesting.

Ken, waking up in a pillowcase sounds like the winner to me.

Brandon and Bryan, that's terrible! But funny. Poor Marina.

Pat Hatt said...

Crap, I missed the lie. Oh well, at least I have the a to z all done, that makes up for it, right? lol

Anonymous said...

Thoughts and prayers with love & light to Roland... namesake and inspirational author. Have signed up for A-Z as will have moved house by then.

Stephen Tremp said...

Wow! Almost 100 sign ups already and I still haven't had breakfast. This is going to be the best A to Z so far!

Jo said...

I'm # 58 so that's relatively early bearing in mind the anticipated numbers. I got grabbed as a minion too.

Laura Clipson said...

I'm all signed up, can't wait until the challenge starts :)

Unknown said...

I've been so busy with work lately I don't think I could do the A to Z.
Jamie's book sounds great.

Maurice Mitchell said...

I never thought of Darth Vader as being aspiring, but it works! We'll b skipping the A-Z this year since people complained we had an unfair advantage as twins. LOL

Juliana Haygert said...

Wow, it's almost time for another A to Z! Time is flying ...

Michelle Wallace said...

Jamie's book sounds great!
The A to Z sign-ups are moving along quickly! Wow!
And it would be quite something to see M-Koop in a grass skirt... but he'd probably pull it off with panache! He! He!
I'm so sorry to hear about Roland...

Sherry Ellis said...

It's seriously A-Z challenge time? I'd like to do it, but I'm not sure that I can this year. I am so swamped with my other job!

I like the comment, "coffee and chocolate cures everything." Chocolate sure works for me! ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Annalisa, you were smart!

Pat, you are ahead of the game.

Stephen, we're on a roll!

Jo, glad you are helping Tina.

Maurice, I don't think it's an unfair advantage.

ilima said...

Hmm...the linky page isn't loading for me. I'll try again later.

I can't believe you saw Rush 5 times on one tour. I totally guessed that one wrong. One of my first dates with the hubs was a Rush laser light show thing. It was a blast.

So excited for David!

Bossy Betty said...

I always admire your concern and support for other bloggers, Alex!

Suze said...

Aw, Bossy Betty's comment was sweet.

I totally thought you were fibbing about partying with Night Ranger!

Cathrina Constantine said...

First, my prayers are with Roland! I should've known you partied with the band, and you don't have to drink to have a good time. Congrats to everyone, and I loved Jamie's post!

Robin said...

Drats! I guessed that #2 was the lie. I am so glad that I am NOT Mark. But, I can't wait to SEE that.

I am now interested in 18 Things. I will have to check out Jayme's blog.

As for A to Z... I think I am closing in on a theme!

Bish Denham said...

Oh boy... is it time for the A to Z Challenge already? I'm torn because I've been doing it from the beginning. But I think this year I have to beg out. Sigh...

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Jumping in a ruptured septic tank sounds so dangerous! How foolhardy you were. I'm glad you weren't killed

SK Anthony said...

So happy for David & Michael ;)

So cool to learn your Can You Handle the Truth answers…hey if your friend jammed with Emmet its almost like you did…almost… sorry lol

Hmm…thinking about the A-Z challenge… decisions, decisions...

Cherie Reich said...

Jamie, I had to laugh at that possible headline. I can see it on Jay Leno's headlines. LOL!

So sorry to hear about Roland. I hope he'll be okay.

With releasing my debut novel in May, I don't have time to participate in A-Z this year on my own blog, but the authors of Untethered Realms--me included--are participating, so it should be fun. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ilima, you guys are uber-cool.

Thanks, Betty.

Cathrina, that's right - don't have to drink to have fun.

Bish, we'll miss you.

SK, almost!

Cherie, that's cool! The IWSG signed up as well.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

i think all my Minions are going to jump ship, i know you will have extras... though i will feel like the fat kid who gets picked last.

kidding. it's going to be an awesome 2014... been working in the background this morning to update 2013 to 2014!

Sarah Ahiers said...

Woo! I totally guessed your truths and lie correctly!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Ermagherd, Jamie, you jumped in a SEPTIC TANK??????????????

Poor Roland. Hugs and prayers and best wishes to you. Get well soon!!!!!

Alex, I don't know what category my blog is. (*whines*) Where should I go? (Be nice...)

Anonymous said...

one time in a galaxy far far away called Pittsburgh, I stood in line for hours waiting to get in to see Star Wars. I have little idea who Anakin is but I know who said "Luke I am Your Fatha."

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Oh! And I can be a minion for you, Alex. I look fabulous in yellow.

Patricia Stoltey said...

A to Z signup time already? Where does the time go?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't worry, Jeremy. You will have Minions.

Cathy, either writer or comedy. I say go for comedy. And thank you! You've been Minionized.

Jessie Humphries said...

I love, love, love that we are not bound by our failures. I soo needed that. Feeling like an epic failure at the moment...and it's not even Insecure Writers Group day!

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm #118 and #120 on this year's list. I'm hoping I'll get some new followers for my new names blog from the Challenge, as well as new followers for my main blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm new to all of this and I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm Lee and my blog is at I hope to have fun during this year's challenge.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Jumping into a septic tank is certainly something! Glad she survived the act.

You know, there are some 3rd World nations that don't have the number of people signing up for the A to Z Challenge!

Thanks for mentioning me and thanks to the few who wished me well.

Nicki Elson said...

Oh yes, I totally believe that shiny things come from the bad. Like when my then two-year-old sone swallowed the penny - you've never seen anything so shiny when it finally reappeared!

I just signed up for A to Z at MJ Joachim's place...already my breath feels a little shallow...

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks for letting my appear on your blog. Very much appreciated.
I really thought I had the lie right at #2.
Happy to be a minion.

mshatch said...

I think everything we do leads us to who we are, just like Darth Vader, or Luke.

And I'm still thinking about A-Z, I know I haven't missed a year yet but my first book is coming out then so...I'm torn!

The Happy Whisk said...

Good luck.

Cate Masters said...

Thoughts and prayers to Roland.

Good luck and have with with the A-Z.

Carol Kilgore said...

Y'all have fun with A-Z this year. I'm going on a blog break in April :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jessie, hopefully that feeling is gone by next week though!

Lee, welcome, and glad you're on board!

Roland, a lot of people are pulling for you.

Nicki, that was more than I needed to know...

Susan, you're welcome, and glad you are a Ninja Minion!

Marcy, might be a good way to attract more readers.

Liza said...

Holy moly! How can it be time to plan for A-Z again. Look at those numbers already. Yay for all the participants.

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Congratulations on being almost at 2000 followers! That's awesome.

Don't know yet about A to Z for this year. Doing so much art last year was intense, but I enjoyed it and have a show to put up because of it. Thanks for putting together so many fun activities!

Mary Montague Sikes

Andrew Leon said...

"What an incredible smell you've discovered."
They jumped into it, too, so...

Arlee Bird said...

We're off to another great A to Z start. Thanks for all you've done and continue to do.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I do believe that failures make us stronger and hopefully we learn from the experience.

Unknown said...

Wow, I lose touch for awhile and I feel like everything changes. I can't wait to see the A-Z challenges this year. Not sure I can participate this year but I'll think about it.

Brandon Ax said...

I must be crazy son on the way and book to finish, but I always wanted to do A-Z so here I go, lol.

Also I will be sure to say a prayer for your friend.

M Pax said...

Jamie, you have guts. Of course, you're a writer. :) Congrats on your new book!

I'm doing AtoZ w/ UR this year.

SC Author said...

Thanks Jamie for such an awesome post! And wow, so many people signed up for A-Z!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Liza, always sneaks up on us...

Mary, you should do it again. Yellowstone theme.

Lee, might hit two hundred the first day!

Brandon, glad you are on board! With your book coming out, perfect timing.

Mary, I think it's cool you guys are doing it with Untethered Realms.

David P. King said...

Awesome news, thanks for the shout-out, and I'll be sure to put in a good word for Roland! :)

Mark Koopmans said...

Just so you know... it was only this past Sunday that I found a grass skirt (and matching coconut bra at Party City) so I guess I should go buy them now :)

Oh, the angst, the angst :)

Frankie Miller said...

Sorry I didn't guess at your lie, Alex. I did the same as you - I turned a friend's truth into my lie.
I haven't decided yet about the A to Z Challenge. My hubby has suddenly sprung an early retirement on me - now there's a challenge! Things might settle down before April. We'll see.

Susan Kane said...

It took me some thinking to figure out the Linky thing, but there I am!

No. 156 or 157--not sure

Anonymous said...

Old Kitty--took me quite a few baths to smell like roses again ;-)

Jack--hmm, must find way to do virtual Star Wars marathon!

Diane Wolfe--I have that quote on my desk!

Joylene--my G'ma used to always say that . . . don't believe the lie!

Sherry--I can't make it through one day without at least one piece of chocolate :-)

Cherie--it would've been cool to be on Leno for ANYTHING! The lengths I'll go to, lol

Heather--thanks for humoring me and calling me Doctor!

*makes mental note to buy grass skirt since I didn't guess Alex's lie correctly

J E Oneil said...

Well, I got the lie right. Looks like picking the one I never heard of pays off again.

I still haven't decided whether or not to do the challenge. I'm leaning towards yes, although I'm worried I won't have enough time.

Shell Flower said...

I can't wait to see Mark in a grass skirt and coconut bra. I guessed wrong on that one, too, but at least I didn't promise something like that:) Sadly, I am not going to do A-Z again as it was just too much for me, not the posts, more the visiting other blogs so much. I get too addicted to commenting on those kinds of things and don't get anything else done. I will be watching from the sidelines, though. And yes, I definitely believe that adversity brings us closer to our true path.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

David, you're welcome.

Mark, not sure I want to see the coconut bra...

Fanny, you can always pre=plan and pre-schedule your Challenge posts. But that's cool your husband is retiring.

Susan, glad you are on board!

JE, it will make a huge difference if you do it!

Shell, I understand!

Unknown said...

So sorry to hear about Roland. I'll keep him in my prayers.

Jumping in a septic tank. I bet Jamie's still got lots of stories about that adventure.

Congrats to David, Michael & Susan.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember which fact I guessed was a lie... I'm not even sure I made a guess. LOL
Congrats to Jamie on her release.
I'm excited for the A to Z challenge, been looking forward to it since the start of the year.

Helena said...

I like Jamie Ayres' outlook so I'll keep her lovely 18 Truths in mind. Me, I've made so many mistakes it hurts to remember them all.

My prayers and thoughts are with Roland. May you pull through gloriously.

Kirsten said...

Great guest post from Jamie!
Even though I have an idea for what to post about, I'm still on the fence about the A-Z challenge. Maybe I'll try setting up a few test posts to see if I can do it. :)

Christine Rains said...

Woo-hoo for A-Z! Great guest post by Jamie. And no, tough situations and failures do not always result in good, shiny things. Sometimes they just are what they are. We've got to move on and focus on the good, shiny things.

Morgan said...

Oh my gosh... poor Roland... I had no idea. Man... Thanks for sharing the news, Alex.

And isn't the DPK news awesome? It just goes to show what good can come after tribulation. I seriously LOVE stories like this.

(And go Jamie!)


Paula said...

I am signed up and ready to go for my second year!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have guessed the lie, and that septic tank story grossed me out. :)

I'm all signed up for A to Z.

Steven said...

A to Z was a blast last year. Now to think up a theme...

Cynthia said...

I'm sure there's a quote out there that says something along the lines that wisdom doesn't come cheap, and that's how I feel about some of the lessons I learned earlier in my life that shaped me to be who I am today.
From an optimistic angle, I'd say that knowing rough times help you better appreciate good times.

G. B. Miller said...

The A-Z challenge definitely sounds intriguing. Will have to give it some thought though, as burnout is the norm for me these days.

Tara Tyler said...

loved Jamie's article - i can't believe she did that! no wonder she's full of ha haha =)

awesome truths!
yay for david.
and woot for your 2000 followers goal - epic!
a to z is off to an awesome start! and i get to be a minion again =)

so sorry to hear about Roland. praying for him.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patricia, just two more months now!

Kirsten, I hope you can join us.

Paula, glad you are on board.

GB, you can start writing now and pre-schedule.

Tara, we like our Minions!

Miranda Hardy said...

Can't wait to see Koopmans in the skirt. Lol

Wish I could sign up again this year, but my writing schedule is a bit tight for a few months. I have a deadline in April for one novel. Can't wait to read what others come up with though.

Elsie Amata said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to Roland.

Pride makes us do some crazy things although I'm glad I never jumped in poop. That was a great tale.

Wow! You partied with Night Ranger. That must have been such a fun time!!

Li said...

Still on the fence about A to Z - I may set myself the goal of being the very last person to sign up.

Leovi said...

Yes, you are only 25 followers to 2000!

Michael Di Gesu said...

I was just at David's blog. I was blown away by such AMAZING NEWS!!

Now you blew me away, Alex. I didn't know about Roland. My prayers are definitely with him!

Another A-Z... EEEEEEEEK! I hope to participate, but not sure yet. Please send me a badge too for non participants, so I can at least show my support for all of you!

Jen said...

Woohoo! Signed up for A-Z and now hoping my computer will let me post the badge. Argh...technical difficulties!

Thanks for the marvelous post, Jamie! I love that we are not imprisoned or defined by our failures. And yes, I DO believe failures turn into shiny we can chase...if we're willing to learn from them.


Anonymous said...

I cannot believe it's the April A-Z Challenge again...who's pressing the fast-forward button on time??

I saw Rush in concert once. It was a great concert! Still love them.

Lisa said...

Go Captain Alex! Thanks for the heads up on the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2014! Looking forward to my third year... Great post also. You ALWAYS have so much information!!!

Mark said...

Eclectic post:) The challenge sounds neat, but I fear I may be a bit challenged out at the moment, but I'll keep watching to see what people come up with:)

Mina Burrows said...

GO Jaimie. I'm heading to her blog now.

Signed up for A-Z. Wahoo. No clue what to post about so I put down books.

I'm so excited for David.

Thanks for letting us know about Roland.

Birgit said...

I believe that from the bad comes the good. Sometimes it is hard to see but it can be there. I can see it in myself and the last few years alot has happened and is sad but like the phoenix, one can rise from thos ashes and feel renewed. I look at the worst-Man I can't think of his name at this moment but he lost his son Adam in a most horrible way and from there, he developed America's Most wanted and captured many bad felons and this would not have happened except for the horrible death of his son. I wouldn;t want anyone to go through that, don;t get me wrong and some do not come through something that devastating, it just shows what strength we, as human beings, have. On a lighter note-I am so tempted to do the a-z challenge but I am scared that I won;t be able to keep it up. Does one write all the stuff before and save it and then post it each day? Ok I might sound really blond at this moment but is that how one does it?? I tried that once before and I couldn't post it so just asking:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elsie, they were really nice guys!

Lisa, that will be a challenging goal...

Michael, I will.

Liz, that makes you uber-cool.

Lisa, wait until you see tomorrow's post...

Birgit, I remember that story about Adam. And yes, most people pre-write all of their posts and many even schedule them ahead of time.

Unknown said...

Ooo, dang, which category do I choose for this year? This will take me all the way up until April 1st :S I'll get back to you on that!

klahanie said...

Hi Alex,

I know I'm in the minority, but I dread April and that A to Z. I resent how it hijacks the blogging world and you get all these cliques who get obsessed with it and forget about others not doing the darned thing. Sorry about the rant. As you will understand, in the past, I rather ironically promoted it by satirising it.

This year, I might as well just switch my computer off for the month of April.

Take care and have fun.


Fundy Blue said...

Thanks for your well wishes on my last blog post, Alex! I'm definitely on the mend. I will definitely say some prayers for your friend Roland. You have quite the blog! Wow! I know better than to go for an A-Z challenge! Although it sounds like fun! I definitely agree with Jamie Ayres on tough stuff leading to shine! She has a great voice ~ pride has led me into a lot of tight spots, but never a septic tank! I hope that you are enjoying a great week!

Unknown said...

Awesome talk on failure from Jamie. Yes, in my opinion, failure is a crucial stepping stone to success. If we don't take chances and get it wrong, how will we ever grow?

And good luck to everyone on A to Z. I know it will be a lot of fun for all. I'm on the fence, so we'll see if I end up joining.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Oh yes, I do believe the terrible things that happen to us work to shape us in the future. In that way, life does follow the cliche: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

I am thinking of Roland. :(

Congrats to David on the sale and Jamie on her book release!

And OH MY GOODNESS, I just saw the Alien graffiti. That is so incredibly fantastic!!!

I will pass along your Epic 2000 Followers Giveaway on Wednesday.

Truedessa said...

We all learn in the journey of life sometimes we fall down but, the good
news is the universe is full of surprises and there is a path for each of us..we just need to follow
the signs and hopefully not hit our
heads on any.

dolorah said...

That A-Z list is intimidating.

Yay; we get to see Mark in a grass skirt!!!!

Although always irritating, sometime there is a good reason to fail something. I let the universe keep a tally for me. I'm sure it all works out in my favor in the end.


Carrie Butler said...

1. "Time to scare the masses, oh Baldinator!" I just laughed so loudly at this, and it's 4:38 a.m. Eek!

2. Congrats to DPK and Michael!

3. I will definitely be preaying for Roland.

T.F. Walsh said...

Great post, Jamie, and I agree on the tough things in life giving us lots of ammunition to make things better... and for our stories of course:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jamie, you can sign up and then I can add your category later.

Gary, you are our best promoter! And I make it a point to not forget my blogger buddies who aren't participating.

Fundy, the A to Z is a lot of fun. Glad you're recovering.

Emilyann, hope you join us!

Shannon, thank you!

Donna, glad you are excited about that skirt!

Carrie, I aim to amuse!

farawayeyes said...

Sad to hear about Roland, but good to know. Prayers going out in behalf of this kind man immediately.

Toi Thomas said...

It seems that cancer is making its way into everyone’s life in some capacity. I will definitely be praying for Roland Yeomans. It seems as if I’m always dealing with tough situations and making the best of them. Most people never know what’s really going on with me, but it’s nice to have them around when things turn out pretty good from time to time.

DMS said...

Sending wishes and prayers to Roland.

Wonderful to read about all the good things happening out there for so many authors. Always love to hear about new authors, books, and book deals. :) Congrats to all of them!

Nicole said...

Will keep Roland in my prayers. Well wishes for him.

I think I guessed wrong on your two truths and a lie, but how awesome were those experiences?! I'm kinda jealous. That would have been amazing!! :)

Shah Wharton said...

I was only telling Lexa how I'm fixed for this, this year. I did it 2011 and one reason or another, I've not been able to again. I'm away in March, and in April. I need to start planning my holidays better. :) Massive turn out again. Well done Alex and the team. X