The A-Z Reflections Post

This was my 5th challenge and the most frustrating one.
Why? Although I was on leave until the 13th April, unexpected gigs popped up, which sucked all my time and energy. For the first two weeks in April, we were gigging 4 times a week, two weeknight gigs and two weekend gigs. Now that’s in addition to my normal part-time day job at the school. It was really hectic. I didn’t get to visit many new blogs. I barely made my regular rounds…
A quick look at my five year A to Z journey as follows:

Year 1 – random non-fiction topics – still finding my feet…

Year 2 – flash fiction based on a theme

Year 3 – interactive theme – the most fun of all the challenges – responded to comments and what ensued was loads of comments back and forth, amongst a more-or-less concentrated group of visitors. There was lots of camaraderie and laughter. However, I didn’t really visit a whole lot of new blogs, and isn’t that the aim of the challenge, to meet new bloggers?

Year 4 – interactive theme – also lots of fun – I didn’t respond to comments, but I got around quite a bit and discovered lots of wonderful bloggers, and made lots of new friends as a result – about 20-odd new followers signed up via Networked blogs.

Year 5 – flash fiction based on a photo, phrase and object – met a handful of new bloggers due to time constraints and didn’t get many followers via blog sign-ups; however, I did gain new followers via Twitter.

So what have I learned from the above? Here are some reflections…
1. Short posts are best! My posts from the interactive themes of 2013 & 2014 could be read in under a minute.
2. This year, I didn’t have as much fun as I had with the interactive themes of 2013 & 2014, but I DID get to write some flash fiction pieces and flex my writing muscles under a certain amount of pressure. Btw, I don’t like writing under pressure…
3. Pre-schedule your posts if you can. It eliminates a certain amount of stress, unless you’re one of those bloggers who had no choice but to “wing it” or maybe you thrive on spontaneity…
4. The theme reveal bloghop is a great head start. You get to meet bloggers in advance and take a peek at some of the themes beforehand, so it gives you an idea of which blogs may interest you.
5. If I discovered a theme I really liked, then I gave that blog a miss for a few days. After a while, I backtracked and visited the 3 or 4 blog posts all in one go. I know that, to some extent, it defeats the purpose of a-visit-a-day, but that system worked for me. What do you think about it?
Thank you to everybody who visited my blog and left a comment. Thanks to the new followers too.
It’s my intention to follow back and respond to all who visited my place.
If I’ve missed you, my sincere apology.
Please drop me an email or leave a comment with a link and I’ll swing by your place.
See you all next year – same time, same place, for the 2016 challenge!
(P.S. If you notice a lurker around your place, don’t be alarmed… that will probably be me playing catch up with certain bloggers/blogs that I missed)


  1. Patricia Lynne on May 5, 2015 at 1:38 am

    Short posts are why the past two years I’ve stuck with the 100 word flash fiction. With so many other blogs to visit, short is less exhausting. I even saw people with posts shorter than mine.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 6, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Short posts are manageable… in terms of writing them, and for the readers too!

  2. Alex J. Cavanaugh on May 5, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Short posts are always best! But yours were really good. I enjoyed your writing and Diane’s photos.

  3. Sara C. Snider on May 5, 2015 at 6:56 am

    I agree that short posts are bests, and it will be something I’ll try and aim for next time. Assuming, of course, I write fiction again. We’ll see! And I’m intrigued by your interactive themes. I’m wondering how that works, exactly.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 6, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      You can check out the interactive themes from the 2013 & 2014 A to Z Challenges.

  4. Vidya Sury on May 5, 2015 at 7:26 am

    What a lovely recap, Michelle! I didn’t get to visit much this year, thanks to my own offline busy-ness and consequently, didn’t get many! 😀 But I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with a theme this year! I remember your posts last year – what fun they were! And this year too – thanks to subscribing to your blog and conveniently getting your posts in my mailbox. You ought to celebrate 5 years of A to Z! Love and hugs!

  5. Rosie Amber on May 5, 2015 at 8:17 am

    I’ve dropped in to your posts for the last year and this years challenge and enjoyed your writing.

  6. Alex Hurst on May 5, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    I did your #5 a lot. I didn’t want to miss posts from people I enjoyed reading, and so would “gattling-gun” the commenting process with 3-4 in a row, unless I was just too tired. I’m sorry this year was frustrating for you… the interactive themes sound super interesting!

    • Michelle Wallace on May 6, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      I like the “gattling-gun” image! Fits perfectly. 🙂

  7. Susan Gourley on May 5, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I enjoyed your theme and your posts were the perfect length to allow a quick but entertaining read and the pictures were great. Congrats on finishing and doing so much work.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks Susan!
      It was quite exhausting, but at least I completed!

  8. Michael Di Gesu on May 5, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    You managed very well, Michelle … Your flash fiction pieces were so good, (the one’s I read).

    Sadly ALL OF US have major time restraints. This year I was a voyeur and I still didn’t get around as much as I would’ve liked…

    CONGRATS on completing the challenge!

    • Michelle Wallace on May 6, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Hey Michael!
      Thanks! 🙂
      Some were good… others need work… editing & tweaking etc.
      Voyeur status during April? I’m sure you enjoyed the relaxing and much-needed downtime.

  9. emilia m. on May 5, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Loved the challenge, I was one of those “winging it” mostly due to the fact that it was the first time I was doing it AND I found out about the challenge on the first day of it 😀 😀 😀

    oh, and feel free to be lurking around my blog – I’d love that 😀

    • Michelle Wallace on May 6, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      You found out on the first day? Wow. You did well, Emilia.
      Nice meeting you via the challenge! 🙂

  10. joylene on May 5, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    I liked the challenge of trying to fit a post into less than 300 words. I feel lucky to have shared the challenge with our IWSG friends. Doing one alone still seems out of my range.

  11. Carol Kilgore on May 5, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    It’s fun, but a lot of work. I’m glad I did it in 2013, but I don’t know if I’ll do it again.

  12. Gary on May 6, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Hi Michelle,

    Yay and you did it again. Considering all your giggling, um, gigging, you did very well.

    Thought you should know that I have decided that this will be the last year of the A to Z. Then I woke up….:)

    Congrats, my amazing friend.


  13. Jen on May 6, 2015 at 1:49 am

    Whoops! I totally missed the Reflections Post. That’s how crazy my life has been…pretty much the only thing I had time for during the Challenge was posting! Congrats on completing the challenge! It was fun and I was happy to be back at it this year 🙂 I enjoyed your posts when I got the opportunity to read them. Your theme was fun!


    • Michelle Wallace on May 6, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Thank you, Jen! 🙂
      Thanks also for the special shout-out during the challenge!

  14. V.L. Jennings on May 6, 2015 at 4:11 am

    Oh! I’m glad I’ve found you! I’ve been looking for some more flash fiction bloggers to follow! I really liked hearing you compare this year to all your previous years! I’m guilty of having to back track through bloggers that interested me too 😉

    • Michelle Wallace on May 6, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Welcome to my blog!
      I’m a flash fiction junkie! 😀 😀

  15. Medeia Sharif on May 6, 2015 at 4:47 am

    I liked enjoyed your pieces along with the photo prompts. When I did A to Z in the past, I definitely kept my posts short.

  16. SittieCates on May 6, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Hi, Michelle! Taking note of the things you’ve learned and keeping those in mind.

  17. Nilanjana Bose on May 6, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Kudos for managing offline and online so well! I enjoyed your theme, posts and the pics. Short is seriously tough, though short in poetry is a piece of cake 🙂 I loved your recap of all past A-Zs too, very helpful and illuminating.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 6, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      Your poetry was SUPERB!
      You are a natural poetess! 🙂
      I’m looking forward to purchasing your collection.
      Thanks Nila!

  18. Sharon K Mayhew on May 6, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I haven’t done A-Z for several years. Life kept getting in the way of blogging every day. I need to go back to my last one and organize the posts, as I did them in a way they could be a picture book.

    Happy May!

    • Michelle Wallace on May 6, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      Life does tend to throw lots of curve balls—–
      You should really organize those posts, and work on that picture book, Sharon.
      Just do it! 🙂

  19. Mary Aalgaard on May 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I think it’s perfectly fine to catch up on a favorite blog by reading several posts in one visit. During the challenge there is so much to read and respond to, that’s the only way. It’s too much pressure to visit new blogs and connect with more people. I can’t get to them all. It’s like being in a big crowd for a celebration. I’d rather have several intimate conversations that are meaningful rather than just saying hi to everyone I bump into.
    Well done on the challenge. You have a very creative theme/month.

    • Michelle Wallace on May 6, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      You described it perfectly:”…being in a big crowd for a celebration.”
      That’s exactly what it is.
      Thanks Mary!

  20. Hilary on May 9, 2015 at 5:31 am

    Hi Michelle – it’s finding a way to cope isn’t it … and you were so so busy – I’m surprised you actually got through. Loved the stories attached to Diane’s photos – that was a great collaboration. I read a few posts where I needed to for continuity all in one go …

    I know what I should do for the A-Z … short – but each year fail and my choice of theme doesn’t really allow for it … I could do it – but I want to write what I want to … thus the impasse I suspect will remain.

    I always enjoy it .. but it’s tricky matching up with comments and generally keeping up … we do what we can do and we’re so lucky being amongst friends … Loved being here … and enjoying the A-Z with you .. have a good weekend – cheers Hilary

    • Michelle Wallace on May 12, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks Hilary!
      I still need to get to one or two of your posts.
      The long posts suit your eclectic content. It’s your trademark. can’t imagine you doing otherwise. 😀

      • Hilary on May 24, 2015 at 9:44 am

        Thanks Michelle .. and for all your returns to my posts … really appreciate the comments left and the time taken to come over …

        I’m still way behind … but I’ll post this coming week sometime!

        It’s lovely here … first decent day on the coast … it’s been so windy – today is glorious … time to get out … before the rains come later on – English life! Cheers Hilary

  21. Deniz on May 10, 2015 at 8:15 am

    I did #5 too. The reflections linky list was helpful for that — since I didn’t have time to visit regularly, I went through the reflections linked and clicked on random blogs with interesting-sounding names. Some I liked so much, I went through their entire A-Z! Though of course could comment only on one or two. There’s never enough time, is there?

  22. Mary Burris on May 12, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year! See you on the Road Trip!


  23. Arlee Bird on May 12, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    You offer good advice. From your overall experiences I think it shows that no matter how you approach A to Z their are advantages and each way has its different advantages. Generally speaking though, during April especially, short posts can make a big difference.

    Thanks for your participation and your Reflection.

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

    • Michelle Wallace on June 9, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      I LOVE the A to Z challenge! I can’t imagine not doing it!

  24. Tyrean on May 12, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    You’re always an awesome visitor, Michelle!

  25. Celine Jeanjean on May 15, 2015 at 3:20 am

    It’s really hard to be as sociable as we’d all ideally like to be, but I think your system of visiting each blogs every few days and reading several posts works really nicely!

    It’s true that short posts are best – I ran towards the verbose on occasion, and I think next year I’ll keep it much much shorter!

    • Michelle Wallace on June 9, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      I really enjoyed your charming stories, Celine… well, the ones that I managed to read…

  26. Yvonne on June 7, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Catching up on the Road Trip blogs. I’m enjoying your nuggets – something for me to consider as well for next years Challenge!
    Hope to see you around more.

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