This is my first reflections post. I did not do one following my first A to Z in April of 2013 even though I finished 26 daily posts. In 2015 & 2106 I did not finish the challenge, so a reflection post did not seem genuine. But in 2017 I am embracing a totally different attitude about not starting something without making a solid effort to finish.
When I thought about how I wanted to approach the 2017 A to Z Challenge I was fresh off an exhilarating month doing the 2016 National Novel Writing Month effort. You know all about that, you write at least 50,000 words in 30 days. I chose the second book in a series about an F.B.I. agent duo. I exceeded the suggested goal by over 21,000 words and found a new confidence and drive I have been able to capitalize on moving forward.
My approach for the A to Z followed with the idea to brain storm my next NaNoWriMo project over the 26 posts challenge. The Steel Horse Saviors is about three Civil War veterans, two Yankees and one Rebel, who take their steam locomotive west to seek their post-war fortune. In the process they encounter Clementine O’Grady a auburn-haired beauty fighting to save the family business that causes each of them to reconsider their efforts to escape their various pasts.
If you missed any of the posts you can go to the page on The Fiction Playground where they as well as the Recaps are collected: 2017 A to Z Challenge
Since I have not written anything on this yet the posts I shared are actually my feeling out of the possible characters, plot lines and settings. I will not and cannot say everything posted will absolutely find its way into the novel. After all editing can sometimes wipe out plot, setting and even beloved characters, but at this point this is how I see things going.
My Opinion of the 2017 A To Z
I may draw some response from this, but I know there was a lot of concern about the new method of adding posts to the Letter of the Day post each day. I am interested to see if the A to Z folks will give their opinion, but I feel a little disappointed in the experience. Perhaps my topic was just not that appealing, but I hoped for more engagement with others taking part. I tried to connect with new folks because I need new content to read.
I know in the past there has been around 2,000 bloggers that sing up for the challenge. I don’t know how many of that number actually take part, but on the Facebook page for each letter the comments of people adding links were roughly 10-15% of that number. Is there another place to look for the posts? I really don’t know.
I like the camaraderie of this challenge and I feel like I have connected with some new bloggers that will turn in to long term friends. Maybe the growth will come as the days go on, I guess I should wait and see, but I just hoped for more.
New Blogging Friends and New Content
Another desire during this 26 piece challenge was to find at least 26 new bloggers to add to my collection of like-minded folks who I could go to for new content. We cannot allow ourselves to remain within the narrow confines of what we know or think. How can we learn? How will we grow? We must look for new thoughts and ideas and entertainment through other’s work. Here is the lineup of new folks I now follow:
Raven Avery https://everywhere-and-nowhere.com/ Flash Fiction
Janelle Miller https://everydaymomentsofworship.wordpress.com/ Christianity
Iain Kelly https://iainkellywriting.wordpress.com/ Flash Fiction
Jacqui Murray https://worddreams.wordpress.com/ Literary Genres
Carryl R https://carrylrobinson.wordpress.com/ Books & Authors
Stomperdad https://allinadadswork.wordpress.com/ Fatherhood
Katrina http://calliopewriting.com/ Famous Quotes
Dee https://ladieswholunchreviews.wordpress.com/ Flash Fiction
Natalie https://lunanoctis.wordpress.com/ Musical Artists
Sue Ranscht https://stranscht.com/ Flash Fiction
Halee Pagel http://2blueeyes.com/ Flash Fiction
Megan Morgan https://meganmorganauthor.com/ 26 Things She Hates About Writing
Geraint Isitt https://geraintisitt.com/ Flash Fiction
jetgirlcos https://fortyandfantastique.wordpress.com/ Adventures in Paris
Dawn https://lingeringvisions.wordpress.com/ Black & White photos
Kerry https://kerrylizblack.wordpress.com Herbs & Plants in Literature
The Artistic Christian https://theartisticchristian.wordpress.com/ Christianity
Jazz Feathers http://theoldshelter.com/ Film Noir
shyutgal https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/ All about Utah
Kim https://ramblingsofk.wordpress.com/ Travel
Barbara http://lifefaithincaneyhead.blogspot.com/ Personal Perspectives
Eva http://mailadventures.blogspot.com/ Postcards Recvd in Mail
Claudia http://thebookwright.blogspot.com Writing