Josna Rege

Reflections on my third A-to-Z Challenge

In Notes on May 3, 2015 at 9:05 am
Click to read more reflections

Click to read more reflections

Well, I just managed to get all the way through to ‘Z’ in time, although I fell behind along the way and seemed to be scrambling to catch up all month. Thank goodness for Sundays, when there was time to write an extra post and visit other people’s blogs.

I’m afraid that I didn’t discover as many new blogs this year as I did in my first two years in the A-to-Z Challenge, mostly because I was perennially behind on my own posts. I did take the advice of the co-hosts and visit blogs near mine on the dauntingly long list. Otherwise I scrolled down, clicking on names that intrigued me or somehow struck a chord. Some of them didn’t seem to have A-to-Z posts on them and a few were clearly commercial. Perhaps more of these blogs could have been eliminated, along with those who never got past the first couple of letters of the alphabet. As the Challenge gets bigger, besides being stricter about eliminating inappropriate or non-participating blogs, it might be helpful to come up with a new system of organization that makes it easier to find like-minded blogs.

This is by no means a criticism of the organizers, who were more diligent than ever this year. Three times over the month, when I was flagging and becoming discouraged, I had a visit from a co-host cheering me on with a few words of appreciation. Thank you for your hard work—your visits certainly helped me get through to Z, as did those of a few supportive fellow-bloggers.

Although I discovered only a few new blogs, I’m happy to have found them. These were: modhukori, The View from the Top of the Ladder, Wanna Buy a Duck, Islam On My Mind, Jenn Lost in Chaos, and Kiwi with an orange flavour.

The blogs I visited and commented on the most regularly were ones I first discovered through my first or second A-to-Z Challenge and who participated again this year, Finding Eliza, Wangiwriter’s Blog, and aliceinbloggingland, all of which I follow year-round.

Then there were the visits from bloggers whom I met through the last Challenge but who didn’t participate in it this year: calmgrove, galeriaredelius, and undercovermole. I missed their participation but appreciated and enjoyed their “likes” and comments. I’m sorry that I didn’t always have time to write back to people who were kind enough to post a comment. I hope to get back to at least some of them belatedly, now that I have a bit more time.

Finally, thanks to TMA’s regular readers, who cheered me on through the alphabet and suggested topics for the letters that had me stumped. I’m glad I participated for a third year, and that the idea of A Printer’s Alphabet came to me, since it allowed me to write about things I love, not only letterpress printing and typography, books and independent publishers, but the inexhaustible subject of language itself.

Here’s a hyperlinked list of the whole month’s entries:

Back in the Challenge Again: A Printer’s Alphabet

304. Against the Grain (G)

305. Bed (G)

306. Composition

307. Deadline

308. Ems, Ens, and Endpapers

309. Folding, Flying, Bleeding, Pieing. . .

310. Godine

311. The Hogarth Press

312. Impression/Imposition (Kiss or Bite?)

313. Job Printers

314. Kern(ing)

315. Ligatures

316. Of Matrices, Magazines, and Melting Pots

317. The Nick

318. Out of Sorts

319. (Mind your) p’s and q’s

320. Quoin that Phrase

321. Recto

322. Stereotyping

323. Tympan and Times Roman

324. Upper Case (and lower case)

325. Verso

326. Whetstone Press

327. x-Height

328. Yellow Journalism

329. Zapf, Zubaan, Zinc-etching, Zzzzz . . .

atoz [2015] - BANNER - 910

  1. I’m visiting the blogs you mentioned and enjoying them. Perhaps we ought to mention blogs we are enjoying when we find them during the challenge because it’s so difficult to find them on our own.

    • Good idea, Kristin. I ought to have had the presence of mind to do that, but it was such a scramble all month. Glad you’re checking them out now.

  2. Congratulations on making your way to the z, Josna. What a challenge!

    I wonder whether we do our best work when we have this kind of challenge–a complex assignment, and a very short deadline. I hope not, but……….

    What do you think?

    • Thank you, Karen! I have mixed feelings about the deadline, and even wrote a post on it for the letter “D” (it comes from printing). It “worked” for me in my youth, but I don’t think it ever produced my best work, and certainly doesn’t anymore. That is, I experience the pressure it puts on me as more disabling than productive. Somehow I have to find a healthier and more sustainable way of working–but with my wayward nature rather than against it!

  3. Well done, Josna, and thank you for mentioning my blog. As I mentioned a couple of times in my comments on your individual posts, I found your topic interesting, and the extension into word origins great.
    I will check out the blogs you’ve mentioned too. 🙂

    • Thanks, Linda, and the same to you. Your poetry, and your experimentation with form, inspired me to have a go myself. A lot of poetry intimidates or mystifies me, and yours did neither. Your blog was a respite and a pleasure throughout the month.

  4. Thanks for your visits and mention. I’ll have to go my own reflection layer today. Just love being encouraged to travel in blogland through this challenge!

    • I will read your reflection, Saskia. Yes, I agree: my blog started with friends and family, and branched out slowly and rather organically. I have met a few new blogging friends with each challenge and we have continued to follow each other throughout the year. I love hearing from fellow-bloggers in East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand for whom it is already tomorrow–not to mention the height of summer during my darkest depths of winter.

  5. The biggest challenge for the hosts is the one you mentioned, checking out all those links and identifying the ones who need eliminated. Congrats on finishing and finding some new blogging friends.

    • Thank you, Susan, for visiting, and a big Thank You for having been a co-host this year. It’s hard enough posting a daily entry, but posting and entry AND doing all the work of a co-host—hard to contemplate! Congrats right back to you!

  6. Sounds like you had a fascinating theme! As a former journalist, printing intrigues me and the general history of the printed word. Sorry I missed the posts but I’ll check back here. I think the hosts did quite a good job, it is a big list to control. I think having the option of categories is a good compromise between one general list and specific lists because some like a mix.

    • Thanks for visiting and for your comment, Nick. Yes, it was a humongous list and the hosts did a terrific job—and without policing us too much, which I appreciated. The Reflections post has allowed me to discover your blog, and your interesting theme, after the fact, which carries the expansiveness of the Challenge forward beyond April.

  7. Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year!

    Mary @ Jingle Jangle Jungle

    • Thank you, Mary! It was fun. Too exhausted right now to contemplate next year yet, but I’m likely to get revved up again by then.Hope you enjoyed it too.

  8. Congratulations on completing the challenge! I agree, the more blogs participate, the more work it is to keep the list clean and easy to navigate… If you want to catch up on some visiting, stop by for the Road Trip on the main blog! 🙂

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary

    • Thank you, Zalka and congratulations to you too! And thanks for reminding me about the Road Trip. I am totally impressed that you maintain two blogs, and super-creative ones. Your A-Z theme on MopDog was fascinating–I mean, 26 Ways to die in medieval Hungary?!–and just bursting with energy. And I like your post on Multicolored Diary about diversity in folktales. Cheers, J

  9. Wish I could manage the quality and quantity of posts you maintain, Josna, I don’t know how you do it — you’d think my being ‘retired’ would not be a barrier to more frequent posting, but it is! (This by way of an apology for infrequent visits and a thank-you for the mention!)

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