This post is only due on Monday 07 May, but I'm posting it early, since I will be too busy next week… plus this is quite a long post. Please bear with me. And I will link up again on Monday.
A BIG THANK YOU TO MR A TO Z HIMSELF, ARLEE BIRD, AND HIS AWESOME A TO Z TEAM! THEY DID AN EXCELLENT JOB!
The 2012 A to Z Challenge has come and gone. I say this with mixed feelings of delight, relief, sadness… and a sense that a life-changing event has come and gone. A never-to-be-repeated experience, since I am certain that each A to Z challenge is never the same. And I’m so glad that I had the privilege to be part of it.
The variety of responses to my 26 musically-themed fiction posts have given me new insights into my writing abilities and writing style. I’ve also grown in confidence and the knowledge that, as a writer-in-the-making, I have SOME degree of writing talent that needs to be worked on, improved, polished…
My reflection post is an outline of each post, with accompanying reader responses taken from the post. I have a thing about comments and decided to pay tribute to bloggers whose comments stood out because they were either encouraging when I felt "down and out", inspiring when I needed a boost, entertaining and made me laugh, or just something that resonated with me at that particular moment, for whatever the reason… so a heartfelt thank you for these gems…
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My musical journey through the alphabet began on a solitary note, with an unaccompanied solo performance in A CAPPELLA – which echoed each participant’s start to the journey – only you and your ideas, the 26 unknown days stretched before you with all its possibilities of success/failure…
COMMENTS: "… sometimes adversity brings the passion back in us which an easy life tends to scuttle away…" REKHA from A CHRONICLE OF DREAMS.
BOSSA NOVA introduced a funky character, whose body and beads swished and swayed, this way and that, in time to an unheard beat.
COMMENTS: "… very cool how you made the beads part of the music and therefore part of the woman's magic." JOCELYN RISH.
As the challenge forged ahead, and many bloggers battled to “find their feet” and settle into a balanced, flowing pattern of daily posting and visiting other bloggers, CADENCE added a rhythmic dimension to the entire process.
COMMENTS: "the rhythm of your writing matched your word of the day." JOCELYN RISH.
At this point, the challenge was well on its way, accompanied by tension in the distinctively naked, yet vibrant sounds, of DJEMBE DRUMS which stirred a memory…
COMMENTS: "I like the drumbeat of tension in this." DAMYANTI from AMLOKIBLOGS (CO-HOST OF THE A TO Z CHALLENGE).
Enter the nerd-inspired ENSEMBLE which changed the mood once again, restored it to a more even and light-hearted one, complete with a touch of irony and thumbs-up in favour of the under-dog.
COMMENTS: "… you are a creative machine! Such great words and stories to match…" PAT CARROLL MARCANTEL aka MS. PAT from LIFE'S AUTUMNS.
Just when things appeared normalised, the dark and eccentric FIDDLER crept into the picture under the guise of a normal and unassuming, ‘green-fingered fusspot’ of a character.
COMMENTS: "… (how many full-fledged books will she get out of this one- month challenge)…" PAT CARROLL MARCANTEL aka MS. PAT from LIFE'S AUTUMNS.
As the challenge entered its seventh day, the dark mood continued in GONG which revealed a procession moving along… a slow and inexorable passage towards an unknown destiny… within a Zen-like environment.
COMMENTS: "I finished reading The Hunger Games yesterday, so I'm imagining something like that experience." MARY AALGARD from PLAY OFF THE PAGE.
At this stage, a mixture of light-heartedness with a dark twist, took centre-stage in HARP, a tale of revenge, which results in the character “getting her own medicine” and gives a different meaning to the gentle, soothing perception of the musical instrument.
COMMENTS: "Oh Matilda! If only you'd known. Ha! Super. I loved reading about Matilda getting what she gave. I can see her wide-eyed face in my mind's eye." ROBYN CAMPBELL from PUTTING PEN TO PAPER.
"Love the idea that a harp can be lovely strains … or discordant 'harping'. TEXAS PLAYWRIGHT CHICK.
The typical tug-of-war that all writers experience at some stage or the other, is featured in the IMPROVISATION post, the result of not knowing what to post for the topic.
COMMENTS: " clever improv! keep inking ingsta!" TARA TYLER aka TTT from TARA TYLER TALKS.
The piece on JINGLE had nothing to do with radio/tele adverts as would be expected, but tells of a single, level-headed, “money-wise” character, who leads a “hum-drum” existence, but is about to be tricked by a red-headed siren.
COMMENTS: "I think his hum-drum life is about to get more exciting than he thought." PAMELA JO from THERESJUSTLIFEYALIVEIT.
The musical description of laughter is painted in KEY SIGNATURE with the synchronisation of ebony and ivory piano keys…
COMMENTS: "That was beautiful, dreamy and poetic." ELISE FALLSON.
"Love the way all the words swirled around like laughter in the rain." CHERYL KLARICH from WRITING REMNANTS.
The lilting, calming LULLABY is a reflection story of fond memories, experienced by an old piece of furniture which has been passed from one generation to the next.
COMMENTS: "lullaby memories are some of the best memories of all, whether one is the luller or the lullee." BETH STILBORN from BY WORD OF BETH.
The even-tempered, calming nature of the last few pieces changes again, to reveal the creepy and morbid mental faculty of a skilled and heartless, food-obsessed psychopath in MAESTRO.
COMMENTS: "You are indeed a maestro orchestrating some great stories." DEBBIE from ABRACADEBRA DESIGNS.
As you recover from the chill, the mystery of a dream-like NOCTURNE blurs the boundaries between fantasy and reality.
COMMENTS: "So mystical and pretty. I like it." JESSICA MARCARELLI from VISIONS OF OTHER WORLDS.
"The word has always attracted me because of its poetic sound. Now it will mean a bit more to me, and inspire further writing about a Nocturnal Angel… love it!" NOVEMBER RAIN ~k aka LADY MYSTIQUE from A-Z BLOGGIT WRITE.
This sense of uncertainty, of being neither here nor there, continues in OSTINATO with a confused character experiencing conflicting emotions on the topic of abandonment and life’s direction…
COMMENTS: "Almost sounds like a driving lesson." ALEX J. CAVANAUGH aka CAPTAIN NINJA.
"Oh, how sad! Though it sounds like the character is preparing to move on to something else." GOLDEN EAGLE from THE EAGLE'S AERIAL PERSPECTIVE.
"Fantastic quality to the piece, longing and bitterness in the right measure." REKHA from A CHRONICLE OF DREAMS.
PRIMA DONNA is a vivid close-up, on a larger-than-life character, who is condescending and full of her own self-importance.
COMMENTS: "I love all the wonderful details that you've woven in down to her Jimmy Choos!" JULIE from EMPTY NEST INSIDER.
"So many references, all bound up in a sensual musical dance." SUSAN KANE from THE CONTEMPLATIVE CAT.
A sea-side setting, with two characters who have re-connected after many years apart, is the poignant and multi-coloured QUARTET, where dialogue reveals heart-breaking memories and a couple who have been torn apart by circumstances beyond their control.
COMMENTS: "I like the addition of a storyline to your musical words. This has been a good way for me to learn a few of the terms that I was not familiar with, but more fun to see what you will do with them next." NOVEMBER RAIN ~k aka LADY MYSTIQUE from A-Z BLOGGIT WRITE.
REVERBERATE is a sad echo of somebody whose mental landscape has been altered by a tragic experience which is buried deep in the recesses of a broken mind.
COMMENTS: "I really think you need to write "behind the scenes" for some of these posts, letting us know what you were thinking about when you wrote it! Very cool post. STEPHANIE from CLAY BABOONS.
"Twisted but I like it. I can picture the poor soul rocking back and forth on a bed while her mind is tormenting her… great job on this one!" ELISE FALLSON.
The sadness continues in STACCATO which questions the workings of a machine which “dictates” life or death situations.
COMMENTS: " That's a sad way to think of the staccato. A fleeting blip. The final blips on the heart monitor. Then, flatline." MARY AALGARD from PLAY OFF THE PAGE.
"I had never thought of staccato that way. It always seems so full of life and energy. A new thing to think about." SHERRY ELLIS from MAMA DIARIES.
A saucy, sexy, sensual and seductive TANGO/TUTTA-FORZA weaves a spell and keeps you wondering until the last frenzied moment.
COMMENTS: "This is one heart-thumpin' post. Is it hot in here?" LESLIE ROSE from YES, THIS WILL BE ON THE TEST.
"Oooo, very, very sensual. *waves fan* ROBYN CAMPBELL from PUTTING PEN TO PAPER.
A positive, strong-spirited and UPBEAT character keeps the momentum going, at this stage of the challenge, with only five more posts left, and also provides some thought-provoking and life-saving reflections on good, old-fashioned physical work.
COMMENTS: "Mildred is my kinda girl. Didn't know Upbeat had a different meaning. Didn't know about downbeat either." J.L.CAMPBELL from THE CHARACTER DEPOT.
"You are now officially the queen of the intriguing twist end." STEPHANIE from CLAY BABOONS.
The word “sorry” is the feature of VIGOROSO/VIVACE in which a character gives somebody the “third degree” in a sarcastic one-sided outburst!
COMMENTS: "Snarky! I like it." ALEX J. CAVANAUGH aka CAPTAIN NINJA.
"Love it. Get your sorry ass out of here, pronto. You tell 'em, sista!" MINA BURROWS.
Memories surface and are erased in WINDCHIMES as the character watches the colours whirling round and round…
COMMENTS: "I so want to know what happened when those windchimes arrived, and also who brought them there." DEBBIE from ABRACADEBRA DESIGNS.
There is a definite sadness in the last few posts: the last, dying thoughts of a prisoner are explored in the explosive X-PIRANDO…
COMMENTS: "What a moment! I got chills and teared up at the transition from pain to bliss." LESLIE ROSE from YES, THIS WILL BE ON THE TEST.
"Poignant and powerful. I'm glad you decided to do this challenge." DAMYANTI from AMLOKIBLOGS (CO-HOST OF THE A TO Z CHALLENGE).
"Excellent post. I can practically hear the low chanting in my head as I read it. The involuntary jerking of the body sent chills down my spine." CATHERINE NOBLE.
…the haunting sound of a flute-player is the focus of YENTL…
COMMENTS: "Your writing is always wonderful." SHELLY from THE LIFE OF A NOVICE WRITER.
…an annual end-of-year reflection, accompanied by the migrationary patterns of doves, is always associated with tragic news for the character, and concludes the challenge in the mournful ZENAIDA DOVES.
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There were lots of other wonderful and encouraging comments, and thank you to EVERYBODY who took time out of the hectic schedule to visit my blog. If I had to add any more, then this reflection post would have lasted a week….
And that is that. The end of another wonderful challenge. And yes, I will definitely be participating in the next one… SEE YOU ALL AT THE 2013 A TO Z CHALLENGE!