Blogging from A-Z April Challenge Reflection Post!

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is over for another year and I have survived!  To everyone who made it through with me, cheers to us!

Hedgehog cheering for you

Sorry it took so long to write this–work has been insane and I’m so tired at night I can’t even work on Secret Book or anything else.  I hope things level out soon.

This year, in addition to choosing a theme ahead of time and pre-writing, I decided to pre-post.  WordPress has a scheduling function that allowed me to construct each post the night before and set it to go live at 6:00 am the following morning.  I knew this existed, but I’d never used it.

I think it should be my go-to from now on; writing the night before instead of waiting until I got home from work saved me so much angst.  Usually, I either try to crank out something on my lunch hour and then post when I get home, or wait until then.  It’s too easy to get behind that way.  So nope.

I have several blogs bookmarked to read—unfortunately, the list of quality posts is crazy long every year and I can’t possibly visit all the interesting-looking blogs while trying to keep up with my own posting.  But after the challenge, I can go back and peruse them at my leisure.  I have no life; I might as well catch up.

Off-topic, but why are there so many stock photos of people with laptops lying like this?

Image:  Matthias Ritzman/Corbis /

Everybody knows you use your laptop in bed like this:

Image: Sam Diephuis via Getty Images/

I enjoy doing this challenge, because it lets me choose an aspect of writing and deconstruct it—trying to explain it to you often changes the way I think about it.  Not everyone who reads my blog writes also, and I’ve had more than one question about how I do things.  While each writer’s process is different, we’re all trying to do the same thing.  When I read other people’s posts, I learn from them as well.

It’s loads of fun to tie something into the theme, like the Sherlock pictures in the Character posts in 2014’s challenge.  I had a great time thinking up captions for those.  This time, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower not only provided illustrations but plenty of examples.  While I’ve got nothing quite so ambitious, my little brain wheel is churning over a sequel to Tunerville, which may take me into an alternate universe, if it please ya.

If you want to read TDT but you’ve never read any other Stephen King, you should absolutely read ‘Salem’s Lot first and then Hearts in Atlantis [edited to add: and also Insomnia, though it’s a brick].  I’m a third of the way through Book VII and I’ll be finished soon, so I won’t bug you with it (much) after this except to periodically exhort you to read it and not watch the Hollywood shitshow.

Okay, one more.

Image:  Michael Whelan /

I hope the A-Z team keeps this challenge going–unless a miracle happens and I get so busy with cool life stuff and book tours (!!!) that I don’t have time to blog every day, I’ll keep doing it.  I’ll see you soon with more random writing and stuff.  ‘Til then, long days and pleasant nights, sai.

18 thoughts on “Blogging from A-Z April Challenge Reflection Post!

  1. Well, I guess we’d rather see you too busy with extremely profitable and life-rewarding things to do instead of have time for this Challenge, but thank goodness your’re there. I guess it’s kind of a mixed blessing.

    The ability to pre-post has been my greatest blogging discovery I think. It’s especially good when I’m traveling. But these days I pre-post just about everything.

    Thanks for doing another Challenge and sharing your Reflections here in this post.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    • Thank you, Arlee!

      Yeah, heh heh, let’s hope 2016 is more giving with that sort of thing instead of being the little bitch it has been, taking stuff away.

      On Tue, May 10, 2016 at 11:42 PM, Graphomaniac – Elizabeth West wrote:


  2. Congratulations on surviving the challenge! Truth be told, when I’m typing on my bed, I lie on my stomach with my laptop in front of me, like the girl in your picture. I’m not always grinning though :) Hope you’re looking forward to next year’s challenge!

    • LOL they always look waaaaay too happy. Anyway, if I tried to do that, it would kill my neck.

      Congrats to you too! I plan to start making notes for the next one soon. Wouldn’t it be great if all we had to do next year was pre-schedule already finished posts? ;)

      On Mon, May 16, 2016 at 1:37 AM, Graphomaniac – Elizabeth West wrote:


      • Hi Elizabeth – I’ve already started a new notebook on Evernote and will be on the look out for inspiration especially for letters X and Q for next year’s challenge :) Yes, it’ll be awesome and extremely organised of us if we’d already pre-scheduled our completed posts WHOA…. :D

        • Ha, that would be!!! Now to think of something….

          I forgot my flash drive at work today (aaaaaaaauuuuggghhhhh I feel naked), so I’ll have to save any passing inspiration until I get home.

          (No cloud backups for me–I use them, but Mr. Flashy stays with me all the time, except when I forget him like today.)

          On Mon, May 16, 2016 at 8:33 PM, Graphomaniac – Elizabeth West wrote:


            • LOL I only maintain one at a time–his actual name is Albert. ;) He’s password-protected (has to be for me to use him at work), so if he gets lost, no one can get my stuff anyway. It’s handy to have him and he has a cute lanyard I got at a Cath Kidston store in the Kingston town centre. :)

              I’m too paranoid to just have cloud storage. I consider it a backup of my backup.

              On Tue, May 17, 2016 at 8:15 PM, Graphomaniac – Elizabeth West wrote:


              • Albert AKA Mr. Flashy? ;P I don’t quite trust flash drives because it’s happened that I save uber-important stuff on them then when I plug them into my PC, the PC tells me that there’s an error reading the drive and they can’t retrieve the data! Nightmare!!!

                • That’s weird. PNC makes decent drives–I’ve never had any problems with them. Maybe something in your computer settings?

                  Here’s what I do–Albert pretty much goes everywhere with me, in case of fire, tornado, or theft at home. I back him up on the computer also. To avoid overwriting anything important, stuff goes from him to the laptop ONLY–NEVER the other way round (learned that one the hard way, LOL). I periodically back up the computer too, though not offsite. I’m still searching for a good cloud service that isn’t too expensive and is uber reliable.

                  I also (when I can be arsed to remember) back up stuff on Google Drive, in case the lappy gets stolen or damaged and I lose Albert or he’s taken from me at an airport by some TSA thug (nooooo!). He’s password-protected, so they couldn’t get on him without me, anyway. There is one person who has all my passwords in case of my untimely demise, or if I get whisked off to Mid-World or anything (I can dream, can’t I?).

                  I started this at an old job where I didn’t have much to do but had to appear busy. I could plug the drive in, write on it during slack times, and then take it home at the end of the day and no one was the wiser. Since my most recent work was on it, the backup system followed shortly.

                  Of course, since I’ve told you all that, now you must die.

                  On Wed, May 18, 2016 at 8:12 PM, Graphomaniac – Elizabeth West wrote:


                    • LOL!!!

                      I’m just a little paranoid about cloud storage only. Those companies could go under, and then what happens to your data?

                      On Fri, May 20, 2016 at 4:18 AM, Graphomaniac – Elizabeth West wrote:


                    • Haha true! Which means I’ll need to have the same data in many places i.e. flash drive, laptop, cloud…just to be safe :) Actually I already do but I forget which one has the most current data…ooops…

                    • LOL that’s why I mostly use Albert the flash drive to Littleun (my laptop–yes, I name my devices). The most current version is ALWAYS on Albert, then Littleun. I only have to remember those two. If I want to back up anywhere else, I update from Albert first.

                      Just for fun, here are my device names:

                      Current flash drive: Albert (he’s named after Royal Albert Hall) Current laptop: Littleun Backup old lappy: Biggun (he’s larger) Pentium II desktop: Old Wheezy T-Mobile phone: Bob British phone: Monty iPod classic: Barnabas (I was obsessed with Dark Shadows, LOL) iPod nano: BabyNano

                      I need a name for my Kindle.

                      On Fri, May 20, 2016 at 8:50 PM, Graphomaniac – Elizabeth West wrote:


                    • Hahaha I love that you name all your electronic gadgets!!! I’m going to do that too! :) I’ve got two kindles and named them (very boring names) Kindle Part 1 and Kindle Part Deux LOL No names for my other electronic devices yet but I’m inspired now!

                    • I name my cars too–my current one, a Chevy Cobalt, is named Oliver. :)

                      You’ll have to come back and share them when you do! :D

                      On Sat, May 21, 2016 at 8:24 PM, Graphomaniac – Elizabeth West wrote:


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