#AtoZChallenge: Reflection

Well, this was a very exciting month. I really didn´t imagine that my bits of poetry had such a good response! Since April 2020, when I finished an AtoZ for the first time, I had my poor blog a bit abandoned.

Last year I was sick and I couldn´t participate. So, this year I prepared my topic in advance since mid February, then, I felt that I wasn´t properly prepared and changed my mind, I decided to give another try to writing chained haikus. And it seems that this has become my thing!

In 2020, I used my haikus as a way to mourn the recent loss of our beloved kitty Jaspe, a real warrior lady who left us due to feline leukemia at the age of 10 months old. The poems helped me in that moment to process all the grief and feelings inside. This year I wanted my poetry to have a different feel, so there are love stories, vampires, yetis, ghosts, and absurd tales.

As soon as April started, my BFFs saw me blogging and asked me everything about the blogging challenge. Thus, we started a micro stories challenge in Spanish last month. They don´t have blogs but they made me company on twitter. Aaaaand: we enjoyed it so much that we´ll continue all year long doing #PalabrosdelaAalaZ using uncommon Spanish words of our very short stories.

Indeed, they are my wonderful tribe and it was their amazing support that motivated me to go on some days. Is this the time to be mellow?

Caterina Valente – Wenn man Freunde hat (That´s what friends are for)

As I was writing my post the very day, I decided to mix the challenge with CampNaNoWrimo (the light version of National November Writing Month) and NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month), using the latter´s daily prompts to give my stories a twist. The drawback of not preparing my topics in advance was, of course that I had less time to visit blogs as real life demanded attention.

Also, in February I started writing a short story that I wanted to submit before April 30th. During this last month, I changed the story 4 times; I had an amazing worldbuilding, but somehow the plot(s) didn´t captivate me. Many of my fellas wanted to use CampNaNo to finish their own stories for that anthology, and I followed their lead.

The girls taking a nap after making a mess on the bed.

What could go wrong? I only had to make a 3000 word story, an English poem, a Spanish poem, take care of the family, the crazy pets, visit a dozen blogs a day… of course, real life always loves to meddle with our writing: we wanted to spay our “tiny” pup this month, but unfortunately, I had a post-op ophthalmology appointment. But my mother in law spayed her pup, who is sister to ours, and I helped every now and then to give her her medicine or checking the wound.

On April 16th it was our 22nd Wedding Anniversary! We planned a one day trip to the Teotihuacan pyramids. We hadn´t made any outing due to the quarantine, and we enjoyed the family trip. I´m the one with the white blouse, so you can see how I look like in real life.

Although I programmed my posts for that weekend, it took me a while to catch up after the exhaustion of the trip; however, I wouldn´t change it for anything.

Some things I learned this month:

  • To write everything during April is not the best idea if I´m expecting to have a stress-free month, especially if I want to make multiple challenges.
  • I´m not as obsessed about views or likes or followers as I used to with my social networks. Of course, t´s great to see that my entries had from 20 to 60 views each day. But those are only numbers after all and quantity doesn´t mean that my writing is good or bad. (I saw many poems and stories that I considered way superior to what I improvised with a handful of views. I´m not saying mine are bad, but as a perfectionist, I find there´s always room for improvement.)
  • It was so refreshing to read what bloggers write about. I learned lots of new things from folk tales, crafting techniques I´d love to try someday, fun facts, genealogy tips, drawings, new poetry styles, conspiration theories or just some sweet musings about real life experiences.
  • The master list helped me to pick some new blogs to visit, but as the month went by, I also visited back new ones, and I ended up with a personal list of 43 blogs that I was visiting! (btw, 43 is my lucky number)
  • Programming posts will also give me more time to visit, as the list of blogs grew up, anxiety about being fair and visiting back increased, too. Oh, yes, only 2 anxiety attacks during the month was a great record. I´m getting better with my stress management.

Also, I want to thank the AtoZ crew for hosting this magnificent challenge every year, it´s a great way to make new friends and to support each other. The live chats were quite fun, I hope they have come to stay. And thanks for the badges. I´m sorry for the loss of Jeremy, he did a great job and it was a very sweet homage you did about him this year.

Finally, I want to say that I managed all the challenges on the last day, I double checked my story and submitted it in the nick of time and I want to take hold of the momentum I got to write and to keep blogging at least once a week, too.

I hope that, even if not everyone could finish the challenge, at least they had fulfilled a dream, as it was the topic of the month. My dreams come true: to blog every day, to finish another story that might see the light soon if picked for the anthology, and the biggest one: my health is getting so much better every day!

Here are the posts I did last month in case you want to visit some. Please remember to throw a blog hop so I can visit you back, and I hope to see you at the Road Trip, too!

  1. A is for Amnesia.
  2. B is for Bastard.
  3. C is for Carousel.
  4. D is for Dandelion.
  5. E is for Euthanasia.
  6. F is for Fleeting.
  7. G is for Gargoyle.
  8. H is for Hologram.
  9. I is for Island.
  10. J is for (microscopic) Jupiter.
  11. K is for Karma.
  12. L is for Lunatic.
  13. M is for Morgue.
  14. N is for Nyctophilia.
  15. O is for Obituary.
  16. P is for Pineapple.
  17. Q is for Quixotic.
  18. R is for Ravioli.
  19. S is for Sabotage.
  20. T is for Theater.
  21. U is for Unicorn.
  22. V is for Venom.
  23. W is for Walkman.
  24. X is for Xylophagous.
  25. Y is for Yeti.
  26. Z is for Zombie / Zero.

Kudos if you managed to read until this paragraph. 😉

16 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Reflection

  1. Well done on successfully completing a very ambitious April. And congratulations on your wedding anniversary (we celebrated 26 yrs on April 15th). I’m happy to come to know you through the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on completing all your challenges. You have a very comprehensive Reflections post, giving a snap shot of the month gone by!! I loved the idea of a micro story challenge. Infact my sister and I have started writing such micro stories daily. Lets see how it goes. Congrats again on completing the AtoZ!! And all the best!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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