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Fill Out the A to Z Challenge Survey to Win

Many of you are familiar with the A to Z Challenge held every April. It was organized a little differently last year–a lot of people loved it, and a lot didn’t. Here’s your chance to weigh in and let the organizers know what worked for you!

There’s a survey to fill out here: https://goo.gl/forms/jXMnJKkwrdUt3y0o1

And you can find the original post here: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/2018/02/2018-pre-challenge-blogging-from-to-z.html

Click on the link for the original post to see what you could win by filling out the survey and sharing the post, and to get all the details for this year’s challenge!

Best of luck, and happy blogging in April!


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Breather – #AtoZChallenge

Take a deep breath. Time to really get into this whole A to Z business.

When I opened my thesaurus to find my “B” word, I saw “breather” and thought HA! An easy one. But like many words, the more I think about it, the more complex it seems. Of course, it’s “one who breathes.” Then there’s the rather unflattering term, “mouthbreather,” which according to the Urban Dictionary means “a stupid person.” I’ve been a bit of a mouth breather of late, but it’s to do with my cold… You know, stuffed up nose and all that.

But mostly the word “breather” is known as a noun to mean “a break.” Relax. Take a breather. In my thesaurus it says it’s a synonym for “constitutional” and “walk,” as well. In which case it could be thought of as a heavy-breather, depending on the shape one is in.

Speaking of heavy-breathers, do they still do that anymore? I remember it was a big thing in the 70s – you’d pick up the phone and on the other end there’d be someone just breathing heavily. I suppose prank calls pretty much went out the window with caller ID. One day I’ll be able to ask “Is your fridge running? Yes? Better go catch it!” and nobody will know where it came from.

“Breather” is one of those words that, when I think about it too much, stops making sense. Or in this case, I think it makes too much sense. Relax. Take a breath.

Phew! I need a rest. 😉

***

If you’re stopping by my blog for the first time or you haven’t picked it up yet, please check out my A to Z Challenge-inspired novelette “All Good Stories.” It’s a romantic comedy about two best friends who belong together – Xavier knows it, but Jupiter has her eye on another guy: a shady character named Bob.

“Delightful, Light-hearted tale with great twists!” ~ Lori Carleson, 5 stars, Amazon review

“Quirky and charming.” ~ Bobby Underwood, #11 top reviewers on Goodreads – 5 stars

Click the picture to find it on Kindle, or get it on Kobo here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/all-good-stories


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The Brand New Crazy Way to A to Z and Theme Reveal!

Incredibly, we’ve somehow made it all the way (almost) to the end of March already, which means the A-Z April Challenge is mere hours away. And if that’s not mind-blowing enough, they’ve changed the way they’re getting everyone together this year! Yes, gone is the Linky list (because who needed 2,000 participants easily found in one place) and now, to confuse us all, they’ve decided to go all SoCS style on our asses. Which would be wonderful if only the A-Z Challenge was on a WordPress account… but it’s on Blogger!

So every day we’re to go to their daily post and drop our link in the comments, and look around for other blogs to visit. It’s gonna be a free-for-all! Yay!

Ahem. Where was I?

Oh yes. I’ve decided to participate again this year because self-flagellation extra work is good for me. That, and I miss writing. Seriously, I do. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m at such a loss in the creation department that I’ve started colouring. Colouring!! (Colouring is fun! 😀 But it ain’t working my author muscles.) So I’m doing it. Come rain or shine, flood or drought, high water or hell, I’m going to write a post every day this month except Sundays if it kills me. Because you know what? It’s not even just the writing I miss. I miss you guys!

Are you ready then to find out what my theme is going to be? Are you? Are you sure?

You’re going to have to look at the banner first:

Clicking the banner will take you to the AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal page

Okay, that took me ten minutes. Is the drum roll almost finished?

My A to Z Theme for 2017 will be…

RANDOM AGAIN!

I had so much fun with my thesaurus a couple of years ago that I’ve chosen to do it again. This year, when I open my thesaurus to a page with the letter of the day, I’ll write a post based on the word listed second from the bottom, on the right-hand page, in the left-hand column. No exceptions. For those of you who are also playing along, I’ll choose a word to match the letter of the day that the Stream of Consciousness Saturdays of the month fall on. They are:

April 1 – A
April 8 – G
April 15 – M
April 22 – S
April 29 – Y

That’s that then! If you’re joining in on the torture fun this year, let me know in the comments and I’ll make sure to visit you.

Let’s do this thing!!

 


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Zzzoomin’ through to A-Z Reflections

It was a great month for blogging, wasn’t it? I met some really fantastic bloggers during the A-Z Challenge this year and although I started off visiting you all, I kinda fell off as time went on. I still hope to get caught up on all your posts!

My excuse – April was a tough one for me. My stress level finally reached the boiling point on Thursday and I literally ran away from home, meaning I made sure the kids were taken care of and I zzzoomed on outta here and spent the night at my mother’s empty condo. Which makes this both my reflections post and my unofficial “Z” post rolled into one.

My task for the month of May is getting rid of the above mentioned condo. Lawyers, real estate agents, auctioneers and moving trucks will be a huge part of my immediate future.

Just to reiterate, I WILL be doing One-Liner Wednesday and the Friday Stream of Consciousness prompts for the rest of May, and hopefully I’ll be up and running my blog as per usual in June. Don’t forget, you can still find me every day at my fiction blog here: http://lindaghillfiction.com/ … I can’t possibly stop writing altogether. And, of course, I’ll be editing my novel in the hopes of getting it published this year.

As a random note, I’ll be turning off the comments on my “K is for Key” post. For some reason the spammers are targeting it – I’m getting two or three spam comments on it every day. Weird.

Be well my friends and fellow writers. I wish you a wonderful month of May.

 


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X is for eXecute

I’m already cheating once, by not using an actual “X” word and I refuse to cheat again by not using the second-last word on the left hand page that I turned to in my thesaurus as I stated I would at the beginning of this challenge. However. Both the second-last and the last words are the same – there are so many different synonyms for “execute” to mean decapitate, electrocute, and generally put to death, and “execute” meaning to carry out, implement, and generally put into effect, that they separated them. Guess which one is second to last? Yes, I get to talk about beheadings today. This is bound to get gruesome… Go me!

You have to wonder how much they must pay executioners. Can you imagine doing that for a living? I suppose there are some people out there who would enjoy the idea of putting people to death, but I wouldn’t imagine they actually hire those sorts of people. Anyone who relishes the idea of murder enough to actually carry out the act is probably on the other side of the bars anyway. So then who gets to do it? An individual who believes so faithfully in the justice system that he (or she–I’m going with “he” for the remainder of this post) can justify the task in his own conscience? Someone who’s being paid a fortune?

Still, I’m trying to picture the sleep patterns of a person who has enough money to buy anything he wants because of this high-paying “dream job” only the one thing he can’t buy out of is the image running through his mind as he lays his head upon the pillow each night.

How much would you demand to do the job? They couldn’t pay me enough.


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W is for Weigh

There are way lots of things you can weigh, eh? You can weigh the odds, weigh the elephant (if you can find scales big enough), or you can weigh down the competition and squash ’em completely.

According to google’s suggestions I can weigh the pig, weigh the pros and cons, weigh the same as a duck,

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

weigh the options, weigh the anchor, weigh the wangdoodle (?), or hey! weigh thesaurus! I wonder if that’s anything like weighing a velociraptor?

I can weigh a plane without scales (there’s a trick I’d like to see), weigh a ton, a package, a fish, a dog, or a lot. I can even weigh a pie… somewhere over the rainbow. (Took me a few seconds to get that one. Hint: you’ve gotta sing it.)

And on that horrible note, I’m outta here. Enjoy the ducks!


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Cheating

I’m here to admit a transgression. A future one, which makes things worse. Up until now I’ve been choosing my A-Z Challenge words according to the page I open my thesaurus to, and that will work fine on Monday for the letter “W.” But “X,” “Y,” and “Z” are going to be more difficult. You see, there is only a page and a half for “Y,” a half a page for “Z,” and an unbelievable single word for the letter “X.” That word is xenophobic. Which in and of itself is a fine word. An interesting word. BUT, my philosophy for this A-Z Challenge has been all about the surprise. Knowing what the word is going to be ahead of time will ruin that completely.

So this is what I propose to do: For the last two letters of the alphabet I’m going to close my eyes and point. With any luck my finger will actually land on the page and not in my mashed potatoes. For the letter “X” I’m going to choose a word that starts with “EX.” There are six pages to choose from so I’ll still be in a position to improvise.

That’s my decision and I’m stickin’ to it.

Here’s some ducks to distract you from my hasty exit.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA*runs away*


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U is for Unceasing

Unceasing. It’s the word I’m stuck with today… Thinking about things that are unceasing.

For me there is a negative connotation to this word – unrelenting, constant, persistent, incessant… then again, to have these qualities may drive us to get what we want in life. Or drive us mad trying.

Even being unceasingly positive can be a negative thing – there must be a balance to everything, even if it’s weighed heavily to one side. Because eventually, it all falls back in the other direction, doesn’t it? How would we have hope in our darkest times otherwise? The phrase – when you’re at rock bottom there’s only one way to go: up – comes to mind and it’s true. Unless you go splat of course.

Wow, that’s depressing.

How about some good news? The unceasing pain in my shoulder is gone. It turns out the tendonitis that caused the frozen shoulder was a blessing in disguise. Having my shoulder frozen meant that I couldn’t aggravate my tendons because I couldn’t move. SO, now that the tendonitis is gone and with it, the excruciating pain, I can move my shoulder more and the more I move it the more unfrozen it gets. Yay!! I’m still going to need physio – I’ve got a long way to go before my arm will move normally and my muscle tone has gone to pot, but it’s a start! I can honestly say I’ll be working relentlessly to get myself back to health. Unceasingly even.

 


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L is for Lowly

I am but a lowly member of society. Lower than a proletariat – I’m not even working-class. I’ve been judged for the way I look, the way I dress… or at least I suppose that is why I was judged. I resemble a plebe.

It was about 21 years ago. I’d just moved into my own house, miles away from where my mother was trying to sell hers so that she could be closer to me. Since I was already in the area, I was shopping around new subdivisions for her. For a while we were considering sharing a home–a big one–so I went to my local bank manager to see what I could get pre-approved for. He gave me a number and so out I went.

I walked into one sales office and was looking over floor plans. There were two sales people, a man and a woman; both smiled at me and let me look, which was fine I supposed. Then a couple walked in. Both sales people pounced. Now here was a sale!! I waited patiently for the other potential customers to leave and then finally I guess the sales lady got tired of seeing me there (or assumed if she didn’t talk to me I’d never leave – I might even scare away real buyers!) and came over to ask if she could help me.

“This one,” I said, pointing.

“Yes, that’s a very nice house. The second largest.” She smiled, humoring me.

“I’m thinking about buying one. Can I see your lot layout?”

She stared at me.

“I’ve been pre-approved for $250,000…”

Never seen anyone move so fast in my life.

I took the information and left. I didn’t go back.

Among the synonyms for lowly, are average, dutiful, humble, modest, and unpretentious.

There are also these: common, inferior, poor, submissive, and unassuming. Ah, how ironic.


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K is for Key

What is the key to writing a successful blog? I had a comment on my Priorities post of Saturday which asked, Why do good bloggers always contemplate leaving.. (thank you Celona’s Blog). The truth is, I’m not really sure what it is that makes a “good blogger”.

Although one might argue that a blog is made up of its content, I don’t believe that’s all it is. I think it’s the amount of caring that goes into it. The grammar and spelling could be fair rather than excellent, the photos could be mediocre instead of professional, and the artwork may be less than fantastic, but if there is an abundance of passion, knowledge and love for whatever it is that a blogger does, others can see it.

The secret to producing a great blog is also the communication that goes on between the blogger and his or her audience. The very translation between the blogger’s life and how it relates to the experiences of the reader can make or break the connection that keeps the reader coming back.

As a noun, some of the synonyms of “key” are code, cue, interpretation, and solution. “Cue” is also an important answer to having a successful blog. When we cue responses we keep our readers engaged.

As an adjective we have influential, and leading. How do we influence and lead? With passion and caring.

Do you feel as though you have these things covered on your blog?