I made it all the way through April with the A to Z Challenge. I told you my story, in a poetry/prose style all my own, about my life caring for my husband who has end-stage Parkinson's disease. It was fun! It was sorrowful! It was therapeutic! I did not have as big of expectations this year. I knew that I would have a lot of hits on my blog during the month (3,056, isn't that crazy?) but I also knew that there would only be a few who stopped long enough to leave a comment( a total of 325 comments were made) which averages about 12.5 people per day who left a comment. I gained 12 new followers, which now puts me at 50. So I am pretty happy with the traffic part of the challenge. However, with that being said, that has never been my reason for doing the challenge. I do it for the fun of it and the challenge to keep me writing.
Now a few of the things that I find irritating about the challenge: some blogs still make it so hard to leave a comment. I either couldn't figure out how to leave a comment, I had to look too hard to find where the leave a comment spot was, or they are still using captcha which just makes it too much trouble when you are trying to leave a lot of comments in one day. Word Press and Blogger seems to fight each other. And I haven't yet really figured out how Google+ works.
Now I am going to share with you a few places I discovered as I made my way through some of the 2,015 bloggers who signed up for the challenge. I was number 186 on this sign up list. That blows my mind. I am going to put my list of places I discovered, and liked, into the A to Z Format. Please go visit them if you get a chance. Sometimes there will be more than one for that letter.
A=I had an amazing time with Betty from A Bench With a View. She took us on a journey of wonderful pictures of where she walks her dog, Koda. And I found a new friend.
B=It was such a blast reading Bemuzin.Com where her A To Z theme was about objects; pennies, omelets, doors and notes. I have to go back and read some more. And leave more comments. I encourage you to visit her as well.
C=This young adult author took us on such a caring journey on her blog Crystal Collier where she wrote about true-life heroes. Such an inspiration.
D=One delightful lady at Desert Canyon Living is Inger. Her theme was "Good things" and there were plenty to read about. Inger is from Sweden, now living in the mountains of California.
E=One of my energetic 'old' blogging friends is Elena at Elena's Lockets. Elena wrote about random things and I enjoyed each one of her posts. ( I don't mean old in years, I mean old as in was a blogging friend before the challenge).
F=I don't have a blog that starts with an F, but to me it always stands for funny and once again this year I found A Daft Scot's Lass to be a hoot. If you haven't read her A To Z Challenges, you must go there now.
G=I found a grand lady when I discovered Grammy's News. She wrote on a variety of topics. She is a brave lady who has suffered some pretty serious health problems and shared her wonderful family throughout the challenge.
H= 20/20 Hindsight wrote about Randomness and Tomfoolery. It was never a hassel for me to go see what her daily post would be.
I=I found many interesting blogs and I have to say that many I want to return and read more. There was just so little time. But I Just Have to Say is one of those blogs.
J=This lady wrote in two blogs (one for the A To Z Challenge and one is a care-giving blog). Jamie Dement is her name. Reading her A To Z challenge was joyful for me. Write Backwards was her A to Z blog where she wrote about Reflecting the Positives in herself...and she wrote them on a mirror. It was so clever. He other blog is Caring for My Veteran which details the challenges of caring for her husband who left the military not the same man who entered. You must read their story.
K=A nice young person whose name is Kaushik writes at Words and Lines. His topic was about comments he has received. I hope most of them were kind.
L=I have two loving people who I want to mention here. One is Lisa Moles who writes at My Sweet Peanut. She is a caregiver to her mom who has Alzheimer's and she shared with us what she lives with each day. A very touching story indeed. The other is KT DID who blogs at Life's Ride in Between. She wrote some fascinating random things.
M=This fine blog, Musings from A Bookmammal, blogged about what else....bookish things. I enjoyed her challenge posts. Who doesn't love books. Most of us do.
N=One of those little blogs that I found later on and I will return to read every one of her nice, short and sweet posts is Net on the Net written by Jeanette.
O=Another blog that I discovered on the 'Blog with <100 followers list' is Obsessive Mom who wrote her A To Z posts about amazing authors. I haven't made it all the way through the list but since I, too, am obsessive, I know that I will.
P=Positive Letters...Inspirational Stories written by Hilary was one of my favorites this year. She wrote about (and posted pretty pictures) of the British Coast.
Q=I will admit that I just today found this blog from the <100 followers list. But I am going to go back and read her quiet, quaint posts about social justice. Because that is something that interests me...check out QueasyPeasy.
R=Once again I have two blogs here that I want to mention. One I followed last year, Random Thoughts From a Random Guy. He led us through his rousing playlist of his kind of music. I enjoyed it so much. My other R blog is Raising The Curtain where she wrote about The A to Z of Living Imperfectly. It was really good each and every day.
S=If you are interested in reading about Yummy Fruits from A to Z then head over to Sharon Himsl's Shells Tails and Sails blog to savor her posts.
T=Now this was a fun and tantalizing blog! Thrift Shop Commando's theme was Frolic through Fashion and Flowers.She featured fashion pictures from a 1955 Speigel catalog which was so much fun.
U=Untethered Realms is a blog by numerous authors and their theme was about fantastical creatures. I have to admit while this isn't really my thing I am going back for a look around. I found this blog also on the <100 followers list. Unsettling!
V=VoiceURmind is a blog that likes to rhyme. I just found it today (again off the <100 followers list) so I have to go back and read it since rhyming was so Valuable to me.
W=I don't know what happened to my friend, Jen at We're Living a Full Life, but I am still going to mention her blog. She did some wonderful posts up until she stopped....oh Jen, I missed you!
X=Much like my own challenge finding a blog that started with an X proved to be a challenge. So here is where I will mention those of my blogging friends who came to visit me regularly even though they didn't do the challenge. Wendy at A Day in the Life, she is also a caregiver of a mother with Alzheimer's!
My friend, Elaine, My Next 20 Years, who was a caregiver for her aging mother for years. Another friend who visited me often was Myra at Respice, Prospice. I didn't see much of Cristy at My Own Personal Stage who was dealing with some real-life issues, but I will mention her anyway. And I always knew that my friend Allison from What if this is as Good as it Gets was lurking around too.
Y=Another blog I just found today. I want to go back to visit. Her theme was to share her pictures from her last trip to Europe. Then at the end of each post she shared a list of places she has not visited listing them from A To Z. YIELDED a few. I want to make a map like she did and see how many states and places I have visited. Her blog is call Yes, Virginia, There is Life After Retirement.
Z=I have to admit that I can't come up with anything for Z. Except to thank all of you who stopped by for a visit. And especially, all of you who left me a comment. It made this whole zany adventure worthwhile, didn't it. I am sure that I will do it again next year. Won't you join us. Thank you so much to the whole A To Z Crew, especially Arlee Bird the founder of this whole crazy idea. See you next year!!