REFLECTIONS – #AtoZChallenge 2015 @AprilA2Z

59 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2015, Writing/Blogging

Hard to believe that both April and the A to Z Challenge are finished already! This was my second time participating and I had hoped to streamline it better than last year, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. All the more reason to celebrate the completion, yes? So many interesting themes and fascinating posts by talented bloggers worldwide!

Congratulations to all of you!

Big round of applause to Challenge founder Arlee Bird,
Co-hosts and Helpers.

#AtoZChallenge 2015 - Reflections - The Doglady's Den

Last year’s theme, TRAVEL & CULTURE, was well received and I knew it would be a tough act to follow. Inspiration came by way of a post I read, entitled  “13 OF MY FAVORITE WORDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE”This appealed to the logophile in me and I had no trouble coming up with 26 “FAVOURITE WORDS” of my own. Thank you Diana at PART-TIME MONSTER for the idea!

#AtoZChallenge 2015: Favourite Words from A to Z, The Doglady;s Den

For the 2014 A to Z, I had completed 15 of the 26 posts in advance and was scrambling towards the end. My intention to get them all pre-written this time was stymied by a busy March offline and a nasty head cold. When April 1 came along, only A to F were ready; the rest mere outlines. So much for leisurely reading and commenting! Instead, I spent most of the time writing and responding to those who visited me, plus dealing with various offline distractions. Apologies to all whose comments I haven’t replied to yet; still catching up!

Stats for 2015 blackViews for The Den increased by 58% over March, but fell far short of last year’s increase, (maybe I should go back to travel posts?!), which was a whopping 158%!  Mind you, this March had 55% more traffic than the previous one. Of all 26 entries, the most popular was A is for APHRODISIAC. It’s true, sex does sell! 🙂  Least popular was X is for XANADU, but that’s natural when things are winding down. Enough of these boring statistics! 😛 Let’s move on….

#AtoZChallenge, E is for ENGAGEMENT, Blog-A-Rhythm

It was an honour to be a guest contributor for Blog-A-Rhythm’s April A to Z Challenge and the response was wonderful! I enjoy this dynamic, supportive group. Kudos to our “godmother” Shailaja Vishwanath and admins Shilpa Garg, Sid Balachandran and Tulika Singh. Step on up to the B-A-R! Clicking the logo will bring you to my post.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to drop in,
especially these frequent commenters:

Michele Truhlik…..Blog: Angels Bark / AtoZ Theme: The A-Z Musical Tour of My Life! / Must-read for music lovers.

Elly Stornebrink…..Blog: Xpress Your Essence / AtoZ Theme: Heart Things, Heart Strings / Wonderful life lessons.

Arlee Bird…..Blog: Tossing It Out (+3 more) / AtoZ Theme: Elements of Blogging / Great tips and themes.

Cathy Graham…..Blog: Cattitude & Gratitude / AtoZ theme: Quotations / Beautiful imagery and creative poetry.

Mary Purpari…..Blog: Musings / AtoZ Theme: The LDS Church / Fascinating history, geography and doctrine.

Tasha…..Blog: Tasha’s Thinkings (+2 more) / AtoZ Theme: Fictional Deities & Demons / Fantasy fun.

Kelly Martin…..Blog: Kelly Martin Speaks / AtoZ Theme: Feelings / Excellent insight and advice for living well.

Laurel Regan…..Blog: Alphabet Salad / AtoZ Theme: Poetry from A to Z / Wonderfully creative poetry.

Parul…..Blog: Happiness and Food / AtoZ Theme: Women in India / Educational and thought-provoking.

Suzy….Blog: Someday Somewhere (+2 more) / AtoZ Theme: Love is in the Air / Excellent epic of the Ramayana.

Unlike last year, there were no complaints about Blogger vs WordPress comments and few technical glitches. Either everyone is getting used to both platforms, or, some have made adjustments. I did cut back a little on the anti-spam measures and also made provision for an extra link, previously two of the biggest issues.

Now that I’ve done this twice, I’m hooked and intend to sign up again, next year. Hopefully, plans to get all the posts pre-written will actually work out. Maybe I should start now! No, no, I need a break….

#AtoZChallenge 2015 Survivor


Although it’s finished, the friendships will endure.

Looking forward to your comments! 


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Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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59 thoughts on “REFLECTIONS – #AtoZChallenge 2015 @AprilA2Z

  1. Hi Debbie, I’m visiting as part of the A to Z Road Trip as I didn’t get around as many blogs during April as I would have liked. This was my second year and I did a fair amount of writing for the April posts which was helpful for the days when life took over – which it does frequently! Great effort 15/28 .. there’s always next year. 🙂 Linda
    Linda recently posted…A Day in the Life of an Outreach Drug CounsellorMy Profile

  2. Hey Look! I finally made it over to your page! Sorry it took me so long. I have been a bit overwhelmed with all of it. Truly glad to be a participant and most definitely looking forward to next year’s challenge. Also looking forward to your guest post later this year on my page. I’m going to try not to be such a stranger… getting better at this commenting thing 🙂
    Mary Burris recently posted…The Allman Brothers: Blue SkyMy Profile

  3. Hi Debbie,

    Congratulations on your great achievement 🙂

    I was catching up with your regular posts and updates on Triberr, but didn’t stop by, knowing you’d be busy. I am so glad you are finally thinking of taking a little break now – wonder how you managed to write daily!! Lol…must be challenging!

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted…Shocking Facts About Infidelity In Marriages [Infographic]My Profile

    1. Nice to see you, Harleena. 🙂 I had planned to pre-write the posts, but was much too busy offline. This made for a difficult month, but I’m glad to have completed it! Hopefully, next year will be easier. Thanks for following along. I haven’t had much chance to visit anyone outside the challenge lately, but am slowly trying to catch up.
      Debbie D. recently posted…WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE DEN – MAY AND BEYONDMy Profile

  4. Congratulations for finishing, and for having been to my blog a few times during A to Z. I’ll have a look around your blog in the days to come. I think that we all are quite exhausted at the moment.
    Solveig recently posted…Polished shoesMy Profile

  5. This has been a bad year for colds at my house too.

    I found A to Z to be a lot of fun. Of course, it was time-consuming and life goes on with or without a blog.

    I did find a few fun blogs to keep up with. Actually more than I can handle but I tried to bookmark them all.

    I chuckled on May 1st, very few people posted. I did not do most of my posts ahead of time and it did get a bit tricky near the end. I plan to make a theme and write them early for next year.

    It was a good experience, and I met a lot of nice people like you. I wish we lived closer. My pups need a bit of tlc you give the gang who stay with you when I board them.
    ann bennett recently posted…I comment on everyone’s blog if I can: A to Z reflectionsMy Profile

  6. Oh yes! Writing the posts before starting April is a MUST! It becomes too hectic otherwise!

    Mine was the first experience this time. I must say, I’ve learnt a lot! Hopefully, next year, it will be easier.

    Glad to learn a few new words through your blog this month, Debbie! Although, I agree with Arlee – I doubt I’ll remember to use them much! 😛

    Happy blogging! 🙂
    Kaddu recently posted…A-to-Z Reflections: 2015 #AtoZChallenge @AprilAtoZMy Profile

  7. Enjoyed reading your super interesting and fun and insightful posts last month, Debbie. I was traveling during the last few days of the challenge so missed a few posts. Will come back and check them soon. Thanks for the mention ♥

  8. Congrats on finishing and on your stats! I noticed things slowing down at the end too. But it’s all good! Next year I do plan to have more of a plan and a theme (already have a couple percolating!). Like you, hopefully to have some done and ready to go but NOT ready to start them yet!
    Laura recently posted…99 Things About MeMy Profile

  9. Congratulations Debbie! I think it’s awesome that you do these challenges and it paid off…those were some great stats you shared, especially last year…it would be a great idea to do a travel post challenge…but you do deserve a break my dear :).

    I’ve thought about doing these challenges. It seems like a great discipline lesson. You’re inspiring me!

    Have a great week Debbie!

    Corina Ramos recently posted…20 Things You Don’t Know About MeMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Cori. 🙂 Yes, the stats are great, but once the challenge is over, things get back to normal. At least there are a few more subscribers now and some interesting new connections. The key to these things is writing the posts in advance, something I was unable to do this year. Made it difficult to visit other sites. That could be one reason for the stats being lower this year.
      Debbie D. recently posted…WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE DEN – MAY AND BEYONDMy Profile

  10. I enjoyed your collection. I even jumped over to some others, from your page, to see what they were writing about, to both writers I knew, and some who were new to me. Your drop in views was probably due to the saturation of having daily posts. Most people are not around to read every day.
    Myke Todd recently posted…Weeping Willow Walk (for Lainey)My Profile

  11. Congratulations on finishing Debbie! I know you were working your tail off. And yes, definitely for next year have all those posts written ahead of time. I did and still I was futzing with each of them the night before (is futzing a word?? 🙂 )
    Thanks so much for the mention! I appreciate it…and YOU!
    I loved your theme. You did such a great job with it. Are you compiling it? You may have and I just haven’t seen it yet…
    Ready for the Road Trip??
    Hey, this is our “anniversary” of sorts, huh? Our friendship was off to a great start last year at this time…
    The A-Z is such a great event. Arlee will go down in history for this one! 🙂
    congrats and thanks again. XOXO
    Michele Truhlik recently posted…Reflections on the 2015 Blogging A-Z Challenge:My Profile

    1. Thanks, Michele! 🙂 Yes, it was a rough one this year and I vow to get better organized next time. Glad you enjoyed the theme – there is a link for A To Z posts in the top menu. I signed on to the Road Trip last year, but then forgot. 😛 I’ll try to do better with it as well. Happy Anniversary to us. 🙂 Friendships are the best thing to come out of this. Thank you Arlee!
      Rock on! \m/
      Debbie D. recently posted…WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE DEN – MAY AND BEYONDMy Profile

  12. Great round up, I noticed less issue on commenting this year, but again as someone else said could be because the more you comment the more you get used to different platforms. I even joined Discus this year (or whatever it’s called).

    I definitely preferred it when people left direct links either tagged onto the end of their comment, or using a URL attached to their name… I did have to search for a couple of blogs but not half as many as last year!!

    Curling Stones for Lego People
    Mars recently posted…2015 A to Z Reflections PostMy Profile

  13. I think the Blogger/WP issue becomes resolved as we comment more often on the platform that we are not on. Rarely do I have problems any more on WP, Disqus, LiveFyre, or other systems where I regularly leave comments and I think that’s the key–get past the initial quirks and then you’re known by the filters and they let you through. Still a hassle, but that’s the nature of it all I guess.

    I enjoyed your posts this year. Not sure that I’ll be adding any of the words to my vocabulary, but your posts reminded me that the words are there.

    Good job on the 2015 Challenge and thanks for your ongoing support of my blogs as well.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Arlee Bird recently posted…Battle of the Bands: Je Crois Entendre EncoreMy Profile

    1. Yes, I think the more one participates in these challenges, the easier it is to navigate the different platforms. Glad you enjoyed the posts, Lee. 🙂 Last year’s “Travel & Culture” theme was a tough act to follow and I tried to make this interesting. Some of the words aren’t exactly in the common vernacular, so it’s understandable they won’t be used all that much. Thanks to you and your team for making the A to Z Challenge a memorable experience every year!
      Debbie D. recently posted…WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE DEN – MAY AND BEYONDMy Profile

  14. Nice wrap up. I’ve heard a few complaints about Blogger but I don’t use the robot thingy. The annoying thing for me is that WordPress asks me to log-in every dang time I comment on someone’s blog there which is so frustrating that I just don’t comment. I’ll be around reading all the posts I missed!
    Pam recently posted…A-Z ReflectionMy Profile

    1. I don’t ask people to log in to my site, but they do have to give me a name and email address. it keeps the spammer quotient down, plus you’ll be notified of a reply to your comment. No big deal from my perspective, but then I’m used to it. 😉 Yes, thank goodness that annoying captcha is gone from Blogger! Glad you enjoyed the post, Pam. I still have a lot of catching up to do as well. Thanks for dropping by! 🙂
      Debbie D. recently posted…WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE DEN – MAY AND BEYONDMy Profile

    1. Hahaha! I was thinking about starting now too, Carol, but then I snapped out of it. 😉 Having to write the posts in the thick of it was absolutely brutal, so I do vow to get them done ahead of time, next year. Missed you and I hope you’ll be able to join us in 2016. Thanks for dropping in.
      Debbie D. recently posted…#AtoZChallenge: Z is for ZEALOTMy Profile