Around the Web in 26 Days

Congrats to all my fellow Blogging from A to Z Challenge comrades – we Arrived, we Blogged, we Commented. And we conquered – 26 alphabetical posts in 26 days! We are a crazy and creative bunch.

A to Z Survivor

When I created this site last October, I chose the tongue-in-cheek title “I’ll Blog When I’m Dead” as a play on the phrase “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”. I had a mountainous to-do list prioritized, and blogging seemed like a frivolous afterthought. The sold-my-soul-for-rock-and-roll day job often seeps into my off-hours, the 10-year old has a social schedule to rival Zani Gugelmann’s and the book, as they say, ain’t gonna write itself.

I also thought – who wants to read my ramblings? As I wrote in my very first blog post: My pearls of wisdom are costume jewelry at best and I’m like a little kid playing dress-up. I write FICTION, not State of the Union. How could my site possibly contribute to the blogging pool at large? It will be just a drop in the bucket.

After completing A to Z, and discovering so many amazing and entertaining blogs, my reflection has changed. I still see a drop in the bucket…but I also see the ripples, widening in the blogging pool with each click, post and comment. Very cool.

The A to Z Challenge reminded me a bit of an Around The World party in the college dorm – but with less vomit in the stairwells and no one’s dorm furniture on fire outside in the middle of the quad by night’s end. But seriously, it was like a big party where you move from room to room, sampling different party foods and drinks and meeting all sorts of people as you traveled through.

One of my favorite parts of the month was landing in a “room with no guests”: arriving on a fresh blog post with zero comments. You know the host behind the post is a lot like a host at a party – nervously hoping people show up and have a good time. No one wants their visitors just standing around, not talking or sampling the spinach dip. So it was always fun to make the first comment on someone’s post, and come back later in the day to see how the party had grown.

I’m a stats junkie, so it was also fun to watch my April stats skyrocket in views – over 2,500 views for the month! That kind of high puts you on a high.

Some of my favorite discoveries and personal highlights: Bibsey, a UK new mum living in Spain – her blog posts were so clever and once, when she was at a loss for an “R” topic, she took inspiration from my blog. What a compliment!

I also became totally enamored with The Death Writer. She’s a non-fiction writer who truly has a gift for writing clearly and elegantly on all different aspects of a topic many may consider morbid or uncomfortable.

Another blog I found myself landing on almost daily was the whimsical Clay Baboons. I have a droll love for clay people making weird facial expressions that dates back to old SNL Mr. Bill skits. Oh no….! Clay Baboons’ ABCs in clay were killer!

Finally, I was totally blown away by the sheer number and quality of the “writer’s tips” blogs out there. Some were informational, others merely inspirational. But they all reminded me that I was never alone in my quest. Moody Writing was always very thought-provoking. And Steven Chapman‘s blog always gave me a kick in the writing pantaloons when I needed one. Plus, he’s a good one to have your back during the zombie apocalypse. Through comments, we agreed: he’s bringing the crossbow, I’m bringing the sandwiches.

If I am up for the Challenge next year, I think I will develop a theme. It was certainly a good exercise to pull a random topic out of the air each day, but after seeing so many cohesive themes this year, I feel inspired to come up with one and stick to it!

Out of my random ramblings, I had a few personal favorites, if you care to peek:

C – Coffee

G – Got Gray?

H – Helium

L – Library Lions

R – Rock and Roll Riders

X – Xigua

A final thanks to all the folks behind Blogging From A-Z, and to Stephanie Haefner over at The Writer’s Cocoon for bringing the Blog Hop to my attention in the first place!


18 thoughts on “Around the Web in 26 Days

  1. Now I feel totally lame for not putting in my favorite blogs from the challenge. A few of yours are faves of mine too. And we both wrote about dip!
    Congrats on finishing the challenge. It was a pleasure meeting you and like the Terminator, “I’ll be back.”

  2. I must say, your blog name reeled me in, love it! I wish I had gotten around to reading more blogs during the challenge. I am making up for it by attempting to read the first 100 reflections posts. Had to read yours first.;)

    • jesstopper says:

      Thanks, Cari – you’ve got a catchy name as well! I know, I had all good intentions to regularly visit new ones, but never enough! There’s always next year!

  3. I love how you compared the challenge/hop to a party, with the different foods and the nervous host – so true! 🙂

  4. AimeeKay says:

    I read your line about “dorm furniture on fire outside in the middle of the quad by night’s end.” and I just had to think after reading some of the reflection posts so far, and from my own experience, I think there might have been some fires at the end of the month if not during. lol

    I am really glad I found your blog during the challenge. I didn’t always comment on your posts (or anyone elses for that matter, I’m the shy girl in the corner that rarely says anything, since I’m afraid I will say something utterly embaressing, or even worse misspell something! I do however LOVE a good spinach dip) but I did subscribe to your blog via email. So I didn’t miss your posts and will be able to follow your future posts as well.

    (yes I know I didn’t spell embarressing correctly…so wish they had spell check on,)

  5. At the rate I am going, catching up is going to be just as much of a challenge. Congrats on making it across the finish line :)Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  6. baygirl32 says:

    congrats on finishing, it was a busy month with loads of great bloggers

  7. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the shout-out! Like a previous commenter, now I’m wishing that I’d linked to some of my new “finds” during the challenge. And like you, I love love love commenting on new blogs without a ton of readers. I know how exciting those comments are, especially when you’re new and feeling a bit unsure of yourself! Blogging is like words gone wild. I love that many people are out there writing, writing, writing.

  8. betty says:

    Visiting from A/Z post challenge reflections. Congrats on finishing! I too enjoyed finding those blogs that had little or no comments and then commenting on them for the majority of the challenge; I also found Clay Baboons; that is a very cute blog! It was an interesting challenge; just not sure about next year 🙂


  9. Barbara says:

    I like your comparison – that it’s all like a dorm party 🙂 Well done with your stats, I like to watch it too, I have to admit. Hope to continues with the fun – PARTY ON!

  10. Reflection is a good thing, You have done a great job on the A to Z Challenge…
    Hopefully you were able to use one of my banners/badges for the Challenge, had as much fun designing them as seeing them around the blog world.

    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    A to Z Co-Host
    My New Book:
    Retro-Zombie: Art and Words

  11. So enjoyed meeting you on the A-Z trail. It’s been a good experience hasn’t it? Thanks for the mention above. I have given you a Sunshine Award for your blogging fabulousness and for being a lovely fellow traveller. No obligation of course. xxx

  12. Arlee Bird says:

    I’m glad there was no vomit or burning furniture–my wife would have been really pissed. You described the experience well. Thanks for your post.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  13. I don’t think I caught up with you during the challenge, but I am saying hi now!

  14. Evalina says:

    Congratulation on finishing the challenge. I didn’t visit all blogs during the challenge but, cross my heart, I’m visiting every single one with reflections post!

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