Reflections & IWSG : The A-Z Challenge Kicked My A$$
Posted on May 6, 2015
To the Procrastination Muses... for now.

My goal for the A-Z Challenge was to use the event to get into a daily creative writing routine. I wanted to finish this challenge so I'd be pumped to writing the first draft to The Onyx Ring, the sequel to Family Relics (which will be out by July 3rd, my 40th Birthday, as a gift to myself - woohoo!).

Since April 30th, I've done anything but work on The Onyx Ring. I think I'm sore, from the mental workout. I spent an entire day cleaning my house, of dust, from beneath the furniture. That alone hasn't been done in months. (Did I mention how much I LOATH cleaning?) I cleared out all my closets of things outgrown by my forever growing children. (I see a yard sale in my near future.) I read a novel over the weekend, and have started catching up on some A-Z posts I bookmarked during the month of April that I just didn't have time to read because... life.  I watched four movies on my TBW list, went shopping with Mom... I can go on and on, the point is I'm on some sort of subconscious novel-writing protest kick. I chalked it up to withdrawal from the daily writing challenge. Why not? Sounded logical.

So, this morning I asked myself, "Hey T, when you're writing your novels you write for hours a day, day after day, so why was this so different? Oh, and where's the butter?"

I scratched my head with no answer as I chewed on a butterless piece of toast. After thinking about it, I realized the difference was this : I had to create a new character for each day, for each letter, with a new back story, and a new situation, with no similarities or relationships whatsoever to other characters in other posts. On top of these demands, I wanted to write in different genres. I created these requirements, at the last minute, and I stuck to them to the very end. That was the difference. I totally underestimated the effort. The challenge kicked my a$$.

So now that that's cleared up, I've given myself up until Monday to recover. Then, it's all about The Onyx Ring, baby. That's right... The Onyx Ring....

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For more tales of the crazy life of writers, visit other members of the

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Despite all of my complaining above, I really did have a ton of fun writing those short stories. I was both exhausted and thrilled whenever a new story went live. My top five posts were:

But enough about me... I want to present a list of my top 10 favorite bloggers that partook in the A-Z Challenge. They are listed in no particular order:

1 - Sara C. Snider - One hellofa fantasy writer. Her stories will have you looking under the bed for several nights.

2 - David Powers King - Character portraits from his novel, Woven. Having your characters brought to life by art is something I hope to do sometime in the future. 

3 - Lauren Green, Author - Her short stories stuck to me throughout the day. They are subtle, full of meaning, and totally worth the read.

4 - The Cyborg Mom - A blog post daily from the point of view of her dog. What a unique theme! Emmie, the pitbull, refers to her owners as "the humans". Loved it! 

5 - Shanaya Tales - Because everyone should live life positively and inspired, everyday. 

6 - Eli Ert - A global fusionista talking about different facets of her life. She's got a great voice, check her out.

7 - Chrys Fey - As if disasters weren't scary when they are NOT explained to us with details! Chrys made me want to kiss my kids and be thankful for being alive.

8 - Stephen Tremp - If you want to learn about the supernatural and paranormal, you have 26 posts that will make you wonder if that was just a breeze or... something else....

9 - Misha Gericke - Although finishing was not in the cards, she has tons of posts on the life of a writer and all the things we go through. Life Happens was a favorite, ironically.

10 - Scarlet Embers - A good dose of fairy tale blended with pop culture will get you rethinking about all those stories you know from your childhood. 


  1. Thanks Tanya. It was a great time and I hope to keep in touch with some of my new contacts. Out of Africa - Reflections on the Challenge

    1. Thanks Shirley! I love your theme. Will checkout the individual posts. Kind of feeling like a kid in school, learning a new interesting topic. Nothing like getting the first hand account of a region from the folks that live there. :-D

  2. Tanya, best wishes with The Onyx Ring! I've had to put off writing projects but like yourself jumped head first back into them.

    And thanks for the shout out! That was a fun theme to work with.

    Stephen Tremp
    IWSG Co-host

    1. You're welcome Stephen! I learned quite a bit from some of your posts.

      There just wasn't enough time to stay on track with both the challenge and other writing. Next year I'm going to plan it better. This off-the-cuff writing was a bit draining.

  3. Thanks for the list of posts. I'll check out more of these that I didn't find during A to Z. Sounds like you really picked a challenging theme, but I'm glad your butt isn't permanently kicked.

    1. Thanks Samantha! I love the reflections blog hop for exactly that... I've hopped over to other bloggers from these lists. Cheers! :-D

  4. Thank you for the mention Tanya! I felt pretty exhausted after April was over too. I have so much respect for all you writers for doing what you do! Going to check out some of these other blogs...
    Katie @TheCyborgMom

    1. Don't mention it, Katie. I loved your theme! :-D

  5. Just now getting around to visiting the blogs in the challenge. April was a busy month for me. Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! Looking forward to next year! See you on the Road Trip!


  6. The challenge kicked my ass too, which should be obvious given the fact that I've only now discovered this post lingering in the pile of my unchecked email. I get to the point where I'm like, "I can't deal anymore!" haha.

    But you survived and did brilliantly well! And I love that you're releasing your new book on your birthday. Best present ever. Good luck with writing the sequel, and thank you so much for the shout out and your kind words. :)

    1. Thanks Sara! I get those "I can't take it anymore!" moments. That's when I know I have to step away from the computer and all things social media and just drown myself in some hazelnut chocolate goodies...yummy.


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