|My new mug!|
As you all know, during the month of April I participated in the annual A to Z Blogging Challenge. Every day (except Sundays) bloggers published posts using a letter of the alphabet as a prompt. Some of us also chose a theme to tie our word choices together. Additionally, we were encouraged to visit as many other blogs in the challenge as possible. For me, this last element of the Challenge proved most daunting for me as there were over 1,700 other bloggers participating! Slowly, though, I made my way through many of the blogs and even found a few I enjoyed.
|Bookmark signed by none other than Claire Gillian!|
One of these blogs belongs to Claire Gillian, who recently published her first full-length novel, The Pure, with J. Taylor Publishing Company. Throughout the A to Z Challenge Claire wrote about, well, writing. She led us through such trials as waiting for the first shipment of her first novel to arrive, blog tours promoting her new book, things she does while she plays the “waiting game” of submitting query letters and manuscripts to potential publishers, and a host of other useful tidbits for aspiring authors of all stripes. I enjoyed reading Claire’s posts so much that I eagerly followed her from one blog to another during her blog tour promoting her book. At one of these stops I decided to participate in a giveaway, and, lo and behold, I won! It was almost as much fun as learning that I had won my NCAA basketball pool during March Madness (that check arrived today, also, yay for me!). So, now I am the proud owner of a very cool mug and a signed bookmark from a real, live, published author. How cool is that? Oh, and I just finished reading The P.U.R.E., and it is a great read! Who knew that all of this would come about just because I decided to enter the A to Z Challenge? (Well, not the basketball pool. That I’ve been entering FOR YEARS.)
What about the rest of my reflections regarding this year’s challenge? Well, at this point I plan on participating next year, but it will depend on where I’m at with the blog at that time. This year was perfect timing, since the blog is still in its infancy. One thing that the challenge helped me with, though, was finding my voice, audience, and objective. As a result of my participation, I have found what I really like to write about here and have developed a better understanding of where I want to go and what I want to highlight. One of these things is my new series, “In Celebration of Mothers”, which will feature different guest bloggers sharing stories about motherhood. I look forward to these new posts, and if you have an interest in participating, please don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also enjoyed brainstorming for new ideas before and during the challenge. In fact, I still have some leftover words that I plan on using as prompts for future posts.