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Reflections on the A to Z Challenge 2021

This post includes

Introduction

I have been taking part in the A to Z Challenge every year since 2013 and can honestly say I have enjoyed this one the most so far.

The official A to Z Blog began by setting a challenge to find certain words in participating blogs. I copied the alphabet scavenger hunt and that became the basis for the first part of this post. I have added links to posts where I found the words. Thanks to the team for the photo of the challenge and particularly to Jeremy for the badges.

A to Z scavenger hunt

The Alphabet scavenger hunt was introduced on the official A to Z blog a the beginning of April.

Scavenger Hunt words

A is for — Apple

The blog of J Lenni Dorner
Bob’s Home for Writing
What Rhymes with Stanza?
The Great Raven

B is for — Bear
Crackerberries

E is for — Evil
PsalterMark

F is for — Flowers
auntyamo

G is for — Game
Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
Blogging from A to Z Challenge (simulcast on WordPress)
auntymo

Q is for — Questions ❓
More than Writers
Jemima Pett, Author
Jazmin Ruiz
Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
(and simulcast on WordPress)

X is for — X-ray
Curious as a Cathy

Y is for — Yellow
Tossing it out

Z is for — Zipper
Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
(and simulcast on WordPress)

More blogs I visited

Over the years I have added a number of A to Z participants to the blogs I follow in my WordPress Reader. I have added some more this year.

Although (or perhaps because) there were fewer participants this year than in previous years, the spirit of community seemed stronger.

Blogs I already followed or was aware of:

Tossing it out (The blog of A to Z founder, Arlee Bird)
The Quiet Writer
On my Way Home
A Multitude of Musings
Curious as a Cathy
Bob’s Home for Writing
PsalterMark
Are we nearly there yet?
auntyamo
Curious Daydreams
Jemima Pett, Author
Janet’s Smiles
HSD
Quilting Patchwork and Appliqué
The Multicoloured Diary
The Old Shelter WWI

New blogs I visited and/or followed (Some of these I have visited regularly, others I hope to revisit later.)

Second thoughts First poetry blog
My Ordinary Moments writing and photos
The Squirrel Nutwork
How would you know…
More Than Words book reviews
Crackerberries
Dena’s Ramblings
Jazmin Ruiz Visual impairment awareness
Musings of a Middle Aged Mom recipes
Chapters From My Life cancer awareness
whole 180
Facing the Mountain
Molly’s Canopy
worddreams…
uniquely maladjusted but fun YA story
Iain Kelly Writing
KIM L HINE

More than Writers is the blog of the Association of Christian Writers. Only one A to Z post appeared there as the blog was not a participant, but one of the contributing bloggers was! The link to the post is in the Scavenger Hunt section above.

This is perhaps the most comprehensive reflections post I have ever written. Even so, I apologise for any errors or omissions. If we have made contact during the A to Z Challenge and I have not mentioned your blog, please remind me in the comments!

My A to Z 2021

This year I began my preparations for A to Z a bit later than in 2020. We were in lockdown here in England in the early part of the year. By the beginning of February I had decided on most of the words for the letters and began to write the posts. I had all the writing finished in the middle of April, but continued to add finishing touches to my unpublished posts and embedded a video link in my J post after its initial publication!

While I was preparing my posts I learned how to use the Block Editor on WordPress and how to create a point to jump to in a blog post. I shall be making use of this knowledge in future as well as in this post!

I have had more traffic to my blog this April than in recent years. This year on Sundays I published either a post for a poetry challenge or a book review. I gained 26 new followers between the Theme reveal and the end of April. Thank you everyone for your support. I appreciate your visits and comments.

The official Blogging from A to Z April Challenge Reflections post and sign-up list are here.

Future plans

I intend to take part in the Road Trip this time. Some of the blogs mentioned above and others on the master list have caught my attention.

Which post should I link to the Road Trip list? I am interested in your thoughts, but reserve the right to choose!

I shall be blogging about books and occasionally more generally here on Sue’s Trifles as well as continuing with the paint chip poetry challenge. Over on Sue’s words and pictures I intend to continue with some photo challenge posts. When life is less restricted Sue’s words and pictures may begin to have posts about visitor attractions and places I have visited, which was its original purpose.

I have no plans for adding material to my first blog, Sue’s considered trifles.

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Blogging news

It is almost six months since I wrote an update about my blogging activities.

At present I am preparing my posts for this year’s Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge. I like to have all my posts ready in advance, so that I am not tied to my computer in April, when the weather is likely to be better than earlier in the year.

This year’s challenge will be the 11th for the challenge and the 8th for me. Sue’s Trifles will be 7 years old in March.

This year I have been posting twice a week on Sue’s words and pictures – on Saturdays with my usual style of post and midweek with my response to a photo challenge. Challenges can become time-consuming as it is good manners to visit the blogs of other participants. There are four more weeks to go in the photo challenge. The theme of the challenge – on the hunt for joy – led to a post on this blog.

I continue to contribute to the More than Writers’ blog on a less than monthly basis.

A tea cosy

Book reviews will continue to feature here on Sue’s Trifles. I have been knitting some different items, so occasional craft posts are also likely.The pictured tea cosy is a variation on a theme. It does not merit a post to itself!

It is still possible to follow Sue’s words and pictures and this blog via bloglovin’. I looked into removing my blogs, but there didn’t seem to be any advantage. I have reinstated the follow buttons for bloglovin’  in the sidebars.

Thank you for reading.

A visit to The Lost Words exhibition

As the date for The Lost Words exhibition to close was approaching I realised that it would be possible to visit it in a single day travelling by train and bus. The internet is a wonderful tool for discovering and planning. I booked advance tickets including plusbus, collected them from a machine, set my alarm for an early start and off we went.

My research fell down a little over the location of bus stops, but we still managed to arrive at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh in the morning. There were other people travelling on the same bus to the gardens. Fortunately one of them knew the way!

Inverleith House

Inverleith House

Entry to the gardens is free, as for The Lost Words exhibition. We found Inverleith House with the help of maps in the gardens and arrived there at the same time as a group of primary school children. (The summer holidays start and end earlier in Scotland than in England for reasons connected with the Scottish potato harvest in earlier times.)

We followed the youngsters in and were impressed by their enthusiasm. However we chose a different route around the exhibition so that we could enjoy it more quietly! In fact we went round some of it twice.

The rooms were empty apart from the exhibition on the walls. Jackie Morris’s beautiful artwork was displayed alongside Robert Macfarlane’s acrostic poems. There were other items of interest, such as an enclosed nature table a bird’s nest and egg, another representing the artist’s workspace and yet another with the writer’s notebook showing his work in progress. Relevant items from the Royal Botanic Garden’s archive were also on display.

There were families and individuals visiting the exhibition. The artwork was presumably the originals from which the book was made. The paintings of the absences did not have the scattered letters across them, which are in the book. I didn’t realise the difference until the following day, when I was describing the exhibition to someone, who hadn’t heard about it. (Yes, there still are people, who have not heard of The Lost Words!)

The book is beautiful, but some of the paintings are interrupted by the fold between facing pages. It was lovely to see them as complete pictures in frames and to be able to admire them from a distance or have a closer look.

I am amazed that many of my friends and acquaintances do not seem to have heard of The Lost Words.

One who has, alerted me to other spin-offs from the dictionary, which replaced nature words with technical ones. Malcolm Guite wrote a sonnet. He also has a list of all the old words omitted from the dictionary in order to make room for modern ones.

Many but not all of the missing words are included in The Lost Words. My post about the book may be found here.