I spent April writing my way through the annual A-Z Blogging Challenge with Pointed Ponderings, and today I’m accepting the invitation to reflect on the journey. I started the year inordinately delighted to discover the word manicule. It refers to the image/symbol in the shape of a pointing hand. And there was the idea for my theme. I often say I like to keep my feet on the joy trail, and I thought it would be fun to use a pointing hand to direct attention to the things on my trail that delight me. Of course, since I’m a self-confessed word nerd, all the things I wrote about somehow related to an obscure, obsolete, or simply charming-to-me word.
It’s no secret I’m crazy about abecedariums and any excuse to create them (or read another’s) delights me. April is definitely a happy place for me for just that reason, and I had a fabulous time again this year. But it also somehow felt very different to me as well. There was a spaciousness about my experience this year that was a bit surprising, but certainly welcome. There were a couple of unexpected things, but rather than being thrown off, I actually relaxed into a state of further mellowness.
As has been my practice for the nine years I’ve been playing, I didn’t write my posts in advance. I did have my list of words ready, and I prepped my pointed finger pictures ahead of time, but the daily writing and allowing myself to be pulled in whatever direction the present moment called me to is always what delights me most.
I equally enjoyed visiting other blogs, although I’m genuinely disappointed I didn’t get to as many as I hoped. My original goal was to visit 10 new blogs a day, plus visit all my faves every day. I fell pretty short with that – I only managed to visit 153 different blogs, although I did manage to visit about a dozen of them daily. I also had a new-this-year plan regarding blogs which were serial stories – and unfortunately that turned out to be a big fail for me. My plan was to devote my weekends to those – so I could read a week’s worth of entries at a time. I thought – and still do – that it’s a brilliant plan, and would help me keep track of each story with greater clarity. But alas, half-way through the challenge I became ill, and I spent almost all my weekend time simply resting and recovering and getting my energy up for the next week. But thankfully – and I’m so appreciative of this – there’s always the Road Trip to remedy my visitation short-comings.
I surprisingly had almost no trouble this year with the mechanics of commenting, barring Disqus and Wix blogs, which I can neither figure out, nor wish to sign up just to comment. Sorry/not sorry about that.
As always, I was delighted with the assortment of intriguing things folks chose to write about. It amuses me to think of all the participating blogs as part of a wonderful Cabinet of Curiosities, offering all manner of interesting things to peek at and explore. Poetry, gemstones, folktales, get-to-know-one-another questions, java, food, travel, book reviews , and a kajillion things more – my mind explodes with all the captivating diversions.
I know here might be the perfect point to list some of my favorites, but I’m actually deliberately refraining from that. One of the things I love best about the challenge is how inspired I become. Someone’s topic, or something they say, or resources they share often sparks something in me. I jotted a bunch of notes, and am thinking I’m going to share those treasures and point you in the direction of some of my faves in upcoming posts. I feel pretty strongly that we shouldn’t stop sharing, engaging, and celebrating each other just because the challenge container is closed.
Indeed, one of my goals for this challenge was to be inspired to return to blogging on a more regular basis, as I’ve allowed my blog to languish over the past couple of years. And I certainly feel like that happened.
I’m offering a shout-out of genuine gratitude to the members of the A-to-Z team – kudos for all your work!
I’m grateful to everyone who stopped by during the challenge, whether once, or faithfully, or any permutation between. It’s always a joy to connect.
I unabashedly love April and the challenge and appreciate everyone who decides to play. I always feel as though I end the month at least a little exhausted and yet filled to the brim. My well of ideas and inspirations has multiplied, my reading and to-watch lists grew, and my brain has been filled with all manner of things I’ve never considered or possibly even knew about before. How does it get any better than that?