Monday, May 7, 2012

The P.U.R.E. Giveaway (and other stuff I learned from the A to Z Challenge)

My new mug!
I am so excited!  The mail was just delivered, and guess what?  My mug and signed bookmark finally arrived!  What, you didn't know I won a drawing?  Well, let me fill you in on the details….


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 dhsticklen@gmail.com.  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.

So, all in all, if you are a blogger (or just play one on TV), I recommend participating in future A to Z Challenges.  I thought it was a great way to meet other bloggers with similar interests as well as an opportunity to improve my craft!

19 comments:

  1. I'm so glad the mug arrived safe and sound for you. I was worried about that (as you probably noticed from all the packing materials LOL), though I probably should have thought of shipping hazards when I ordered them several months ago. I am thrilled a fellow A to Z Challenger won that contest, especially. Makes my day.

    I really appreciate the shout-out in your post and the nice comments on the tour. That was very special to me, Dawn (getting a little verklempt here). I've started my reflections post but it's only 33% done at best. Hopefully I can get it finished tonight so I can still make the 5/7/12 date. What a great experience A to Z was! Thank you for all the visits you made.

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    1. Thanks, Claire! Really, I enjoyed reading your posts - I found them quite informative. And The P.U.R.E. is a great, fun read. I wish you much success!

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  2. Congratulations on winning the give-away and completing the challenge!

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  3. Stopping by from the challenge and now following. Love the mug!

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    1. I know, isn't that mug cool?? Thanks for stopping by and following!

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  4. Cruising around on remote control and trying to catch up, that seems to be a challenge in itself :)

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    1. Siv, I'm so glad you found me! Thanks for reading, and I'm right there with ya, trying to read as many other blogs as I can!

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  5. So many of us made it to the end. I think that's truly amazing. The Challenge was a challenging endeavor, indeed.

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    1. I think it's so awesome that so many of us made it to the end! It was a really great experience for so many reasons!

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  6. yay--congrats on the challenge and the cool prizes---from a blogger that only plays one on the computer ;)

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    1. Thanks - congrats to you, too, Lynn :-)And you are doing a pretty good job with that blogger gig!(Even if it IS just on the computer!)

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  7. I loved the A-Z for all the blogging togetherness. So much fun when a favourite author writes back!

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    1. I enjoyed it so much, also, Deniz! And, yes, when I heard back from Claire it was a definite thrill! Go read her book - it's a fun read!

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  8. I enjoyed the challenge too. I gave up trying to get through the 1700 blogs, now I'm focusing on the reflection posts. I have to confess, I kinda miss the challenge now that I've recovered from it!

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  9. Congratulation on finishing the challenge. During the challenge I didn't visit as many blogs as I would like to but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with the reflection post! I am so glad my journey brought me here.

    Evalina, This and that...

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    1. I'm so glad you stopped by, Evalina! Congratulations to you, as well. I have not had time to get around to all the blogs yet, either, but am keeping the blog roll up and running so I can easily pop over and explore someone new from time to time! Thanks for coming by and for following!

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