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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Debbie D.
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

  2. I am driving by with the A to Z Road Trip. I didn’t find you during the challenge. I will come back and read your posts as I am a LOVER of words too! Good luck

  3. 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 🙂

    1. Welcome to The Den, Mary! 🙂 Yes, the A-Z Challenge can be overwhelming. I had a rougher time this year, because only a handful of posts were pre-written. Much easier when they all are. We should start now! 😉 Nah……too tired! LOL I’m looking forward to being a guest at Jingle Jangle Jungle. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. 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 🙂

    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.

  5. 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.

    1. Thanks and congratulations to you as well, Solveig. 🙂 Yes, we are all quite exhausted from this, but it was a good experience, yes? Vielen Dank!

  6. Well done! Enjoyed reading your posts and good selection of words. Your Reflections post has inspired me to ‘analyse’ traffic on my blog…. Good luck 🙂

    1. Thanks! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the posts. I was writing as I went along – bad idea. 😛 Hope to be better organized next time, so there’s more opportunity to blog hop. I’m sure you’ll find an increase in traffic for the month of April. One of the side benefits to all this.

  7. 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.

    1. Hi Ann; Yes, I found it difficult, having to write the posts as I went along. It didn’t leave much time for visiting others. Hope to do better, next year! It was a pleasure meeting you and I’m always happy to know another dog lover. 🙂 Thanks for visiting.

  8. 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! 🙂

    1. I had planned to write them all ahead of time, but found myself much to busy offline to do that. I will definitely start earlier for next year! Even if you don’t use the words, it’s always good to expand one’s vocabulary, yes? 🙂 Thanks for visiting throughout the challenge. See you at the B-A-R!

  9. 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 ♥

    1. Glad you liked the posts, Shilpa. No problem, I think most of us have fallen behind. You see how late I am to respond here. 🙂 The B-A-R group is so supportive. It’s great to have something like that.

  10. 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!

    1. Congrats to you as well, Laura. 🙂 I hope to streamline things much better next time (then again, I said that last year. 😛 ) I agree – it’s just too soon, now. A little R&R is in order. Thanks for dropping in.

  11. Congrats Debbie!! I enjoyed your theme and all your posts! Those words were terrific..:)
    Thank you so much for the mention. I’m so glad we met!

  12. Perhaps I should write my X, Y, and Z posts ahead of time. They’re all there but Z… darn it! I started it, but then I got sick. Maybe I should publish it anyway–you know, like Brahms, Michael Crichton, etc… Phooey! I’m glad you got through it, though. Congratulations! 😀

    1. Why not publish the Z post anyway, just to complete the set? I know other people have done that. I’m glad I got through it too, especially since I only had 6 posts pre-written. Thanks, Mary. 🙂

  13. 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!


    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.

  14. I loved your eclectic posts and style Debbie! 🙂 I think we are soul sisters on some level as I feel a bond when I read your writing. Thanks for sharing yourself as you are! 🙂 Oh, and thanks for the wonderful mention: much appreciated! <3

  15. 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.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Myke. 🙂 There were so many interesting sites entered. Yes, the pace of daily blogging is difficult to sustain. I agree that people can’t possibly keep up with it. It’ s only once a year (for me; some people blog daily all the time! :O ) and a great way to make new connections.

  16. This was my second time, too. I never learned the trick about writing posts ahead of time, but that is my goal for next year! I’ll have to start thinking about my theme now so I’ll be ready.

    1. Yes, I keep vowing to write the posts ahead of time, but something always hinders that. 😛 Here’s hoping it will work out for next year, for both of us! Thanks for dropping in. 🙂

    1. Nice to meet a fellow dog lover, Claire and welcome to The Den. 🙂 My blog isn’t actually dog-related per se, but I do write about them, sometimes. “Doglady” is my nickname. Thanks for dropping in.

  17. 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

    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/

    1. Thanks, John! 🙂 I’ll definitely be back next year, but better organized, so there will be more time for visiting. I enjoyed your posts as well. I’ll be joining you for BOTB from now on and am following your blog as well. Cheers!

  18. Yay! Congrats Deb:-) I learned some new English words through your theme! Fun to read, and have some catch up to do! Keep writing:-)

    1. Hahaha! I feel that way now. 🙂 Come next year, I’ll be signing up again though. It’s been a great experience. Thanks for dropping by.

  19. Nice reflections post! I didn’t get a chance to visit all of your A to Z posts, but I think I saw most of them, and really enjoyed the series. Well done – congratulations for completing the challenge!

    1. Congratulations to you as well, Laurel, especially so, since I know you were doing more than one challenge. Super Blogger! You need a cape. 🙂 I enjoyed your poems but got bogged down later on and couldn’t get to all of them. Hope to be more streamlined, next time. Glad you enjoyed my theme.

  20. 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

    1. Yes, the commenting was definitely easier this time and there were less complaints here, as well. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to visit as many other blogs as I wanted to, but hope to do better next year. Congratulations on finishing the challenge! 🙂

  21. 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

    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!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the posts, Shailaja and thank you for offering the guest spot at B-A-R. 🙂 I also enjoyed your tales with a twist.

  22. 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!

    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! 🙂

  23. What a great round up. Glad you shared your stats – very interesting. I was thinking about doing it next year but the only way I could would be to start now. Thinking about it…..

    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.

        1. Now? 😛 Well, you didn’t just have a gruelling month of daily posts, Carol. LOL Have fun! As for me, I’m taking things a little easier on the blogging front, at the moment.