30 Apr 2011

Z is for Zzzzz ...

Wow, I've made it. This is the last day of the A to Z blogging challenge. 26 mad days of posting every day, visiting tons of other blogs, commenting and connecting.

What a ride it has been. I've met a bunch of people, who feel like they've become friends. I've discovered a number of blogs that inform me, entertain me, make me think or put a smile on my face.

My blog has grown and become more lively, with a lot more visitors dropping by and adding to the party. It feels like it's got more of a soul now, and will continue to thrive.

Over the course of 1 month, I've gone from a wonderful 10 followers (I owe you all at least one of those legendary caipirinhas!), to an even more fabulous 72.

And what I like most, is that those 72 followers all have a face to me, an identity of their own - even those I've never met in person. I've read pieces of their writing, I've exchanged ideas and information, and I feel like I know them a little bit - enough to want to learn more.

The Web is a huge place, where it's easy to feel tiny, insignificant or intimidated. What initiatives like the A to Z challenge do, is to fence off a piece of that vast universe and define the borders of a (temporary) playground.

All of a sudden the blogosphere doesn't seem so big any more. Even though there were over a thousand participants, the challenge we all had in common made it more manageable and accessible.

At first, you see just names and profile pictures, but soon, those names start looking familiar and turn into people. Then they become individuals you respect and appreciate.

With some, I feel I've connected on a more personal level, because we think alike or because we're complementary and can teach each other a lot; because we're all writers or because we share a love for particular books or genres; because we've been through similar experiences, or because we're drawn to the same people.

Whatever the future brings, I'm happy and grateful for this experience.

I would like to express my special thanks to Lee (Arlee Bird), word and idea juggler extraordinaire, for coming up with the A to Z challenge, and to science fiction guru Alex J. Cavanaugh, whose tweets informed me about the challenge in the first place.

And now it's time to relax, take a weekend off, catch up on some sleep, and then I'll be back with a whole list of topics, dealing with writing, life, love and my quest for authentic and worthwhile experiences.

See you around!

Funky fact: at a given point I had 666 unread messages in Google Reader, ànd 66 followers. I'm sure it was a sign, but of what?

Image 2: 'web' by Brenda Anderson. Available under a creative commons license. © 2005, Brenda Anderson.
Image 3: 'Friends' by Leon Rice-Whetton. Available under a creative commons license. © 2010, Leon Rice-Whetton.
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  1. It's been a trip for sure. Now I feel like finding a battered old VW van, painting flowers on it and heading out for anywhere. Anywhere that does NOT have a computer. Just for a while.

  2. @mbj: oh no, the challenge woke your Inner Hippie! Is that good or bad? :-)

  3. What a lovely way to express it K.C. "to fence off a piece of that vast universe and define the borders of a (temporary) playground." - beautiful :)



  4. Congrats! It's a nice feeling to be done, but it's been a wonderful ride.

  5. You have summarized very clearly how I feel about the challenge as well. Congratulations.It's a wonderful feeling, isn't it. So glad to have met you.

  6. Great summary. And, yes, I'm ready for some Zzzz's myself.

    You know I'll be around after the challenge. :-)

  7. I couldn't agree with you more. It's been great getting to know you... and all those other A to Z bloggers too. I'm almost sorry that the mad party is coming to an end but like everyone else, it's time for zzzzz. See you soon.

  8. @Rach: thanks :-) That's really what it feels like to me.

    @Donna: congrats to you too! And yes: wonderful, but I'm glad it was only a month. :-)

    @Karen: Congratulations to you too! :-) It's a great feeling indeed, and what a wonderful group of people.

    @L.G.: yep, and likewise! :-)

    @Rosalind: Likewise! I must say I hadn't expected the A to Z would have such an effect, on me as well as my blog. See you soon! :-)

  9. You summed it up and it makes me feel a little sad. I think we all share the thoughts you wrote about. It's like leaving old friends but we don't really have to leave. We can still continue to be friends. That's the neat thing. I enjoyed your posts and I'm happy we met.

  10. KC, we did it! Congratulations! I have an award for you!!

  11. @Manzanita: we don't have to leave indeed. Great, isn't it! :-) I'm happy we met as well. I'll be around!

    @Elizabeth: we sure did! Thanks for the award. :-)

  12. Congrats on finishing--and it's so nice to meet a fellow writer. Good luck!

  13. Thanks, Kristine, and congratulations to you too! :-)

  14. I loved the challenge and this was a great reflection post. I have grown to enjoy the blogosphere more this past month and have now added you through the reflections posts :)

  15. Congratulations on completing the challenge !!!


  16. Congratulations on making it to the end of the challenge. I'm so glad I met you through A to Z and I am looking forward to following your blogging journey.

    Ellie Garratt

  17. Congrats on crossing the A-Z finish line with such an insightful post. It's been great "meeting" people and I plan to keep right on following them.

  18. @Rebecca: thanks! :) The blogosphere has certainly become a little less scary. :-)

    @RJR: thanks, you too! :-)

    @Ellie: likewise, and I still think you've got one of the coolest profile pics :-)

    @Laurie: I love the pictures on your final post - so funny! :-) See you around!

  19. Excellent choice for the letter Z. That's how many bloggers are probably feeling right about now, but I imagine that the A to Z organizers are feeling double or triple Zzzzz!

    Enjoy your weekend of relaxation and congrats on completing the challenge.

    The Madlab Post

  20. @Nicole: thanks :-) Congrats to you too! And I agree: the hosts must be exhausted now, but I hope all the appreciation that's coming their way will lift them up a bit. :-)

  21. Congratulations on a job well done!

  22. You painted a great picture of what this blog world is all about. Glad to hear the positive report and congratulations on making it to the end.

    Tossing It Out

  23. Lovely getting to know you...and all you've said about the nature of blog acquaintances is so very true. Hope to keep visiting your blog in the coming months and years!

  24. @Better is Possible: thanks, you too :-)

    @Lee: thank you for an impressive challenge and enjoy a good rest! :-)

    @damyanti: likewise. I'm so impressed you did flash fiction every day!

  25. Congratulations on surviving the A-Z challenge!

  26. you painted a lovely picture. Congrats on surviving

  27. Hello. Finally I found you through the megapost linky. You joined my blog but there wasn't a link to your site in your profile. So, better go have a wander around.
    Moody Writing

  28. Putting on my hat and coat and making for the door but hey wasn't it a party! So nice to meet you and I think you were my 200th so must think about that....
    see you around the water cooler.

  29. The Web is a huge place, where it's easy to feel tiny, insignificant or intimidated. What initiatives like the A to Z challenge do, is to fence off a piece of that vast universe and define the borders of a (temporary) playground.
    I found this to be true too!

    Congratulations on finishing! I'm sorry I didn't find your blog until it was over, but that way the fun part of the challenge continues for me - meeting new bloggers!

  30. @Angela: thanks, you too! :-)

    @baygirl: thank you, and the same to you. :-)

    @mooderino: I hope you enjoy the wander :-)

    @Jan: it sure was, and I think I was #200 on your blog. Fun, and see you around! :-)

    @Brianna: Thank you, and congratulations to you too! There are so many blogs I missed, and some of them I just discovered through the mega post, which is great too. I'll be around to explore more. :-)

  31. Hi KC .. you've expressed your experience, and as others have said 'our' experience too ..

    but you have me beat .. and bettered!! - am I meant to put a list of the blog hops on my blog - am not sure I can do the coding .. ?

    Cheers and see you around .. Hilary

  32. Good for you, KC, for finishing the challenge and for expressing the overall feeling about it. Beautiful thoughts, thank you :)

  33. Hi Hilary :-)

    the blog hop code was easy: under the list of names (like in this post) is a link: "get the code here". If you click that, it takes you to a page that contains the code you need.
    (it looks like: <script src= etc. - up to </script>)

    If you copy that piece of code and paste it in your post (where you edit your post, you see 2 tabs: "Compose" - the normal one and "Edit html" -> you need the "edit html" one, ignore everything in that box, scroll to the bottom and paste that piece of script-code in there.)

    Then save, and when you look at your post, you should see the entire names list instead of the script line.

    @San: Thanks, and congratulations to you too. :-)

  34. Congrats on crossing the finish line! What a challenge it was~ I missed so many great blogs...looking forward to next year~ Great reflection post~

  35. That is an interesting number. So did you figure it out what it meant?:)

  36. @Ella: thanks, and congrats to you too! :-) I missed many as well, but I'm sure they'll pop up again, one day or another. :-)

    @Josh: no idea. :-) You wouldn't happen to know of a blog that can help diagnose situations like this? ;-)

  37. Congratulations on finishing the A-Z Challenge! :)

    Great reflections post. I agree with what you said about the blogosphere seeming smaller with all the participants; even though it brought together over a thousand people, there was something uniting about it.

  38. @The Golden Eagle: thanks, and congrats to you too! :-) Yes, definitely a feeling of unity :-)

  39. Hi, I feel so bad for not having met you during the Challenge. I hope you are still reading comments. I'm your follower number 84 (congrats for the huge increase in followers, eh), and number 90 on the Reflection list.
    Now I can spend more time reading your blog :)

    Life on The Farm

  40. @Grandpa: I remember seeing your name in someone else's comments, but I didn't know you were a participant as well. I thought you were her grandpa for real. =)

    I'm looking forward to exploring your blog. A farm in the jungle in Malaysia: that sounds too exotic to miss! :-)

  41. I posted a comment, but it disappeared and is probably now stuck in that web somewhere. Anyway, I loved your assessment of how the Challenge accomplished so much for you. My favorite part of it has just arrived. Now I have time to visit the many blogs I missed in April. You've added another follower.

  42. @walk2write: that bloody web :-) It's definitely more relaxed, now the challenge is over, so yes: perfect time to catch up on blog reading :-)

  43. Nice to meet you! Shannon @ The Warrior Muse and I are joining forces in another challenge. We're going to visit and comment at each of the participants, starting with the reflections post. We hope you'll join us!
    Tina @ Life is Good

  44. Hi, Tina, and that's an ambitious challenge! Thanks for stopping by! :-)


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