The Cherished Blogfest: What holds special meaning?


I signed up to be a part of the Cherished Blogfest, hosted by Dan AntionDamyanti BiswasPaul RuddockPeter Nena,Sharukh Bamboat. Over the next three days, bloggers will share a short post (with or without pictures) about an object they cherish.

My Cherished Item


After moving last fall, I learned that a lot of the stuff I owned was not cherished. Parting with items I’d collected over the years was surprisingly easy.

One item that has been with me for many years is my father’s Valet Chair. My father passed away when I was a little girl and my memories of him are limited. He was in the Army and his assignments in Vietnam and other places forced him to spend more time away from us than with us. 16mm home films and stacks of old photographs filled in a few of the gaps in my memory.

After he was gone, I remember opening the seat of the valet chair and finding army green belts with brass buckles folded neatly in one of the compartments. Shoes strings filled the other section. Those meager offerings felt like lost treasure at the time.

The chair sits along the wall of my bedroom often holding jackets or folded clothes. Easily overlooked but never forgotten.

Please visit folks sharing during the Cherished Blogfest. Want to see the list? Want to join in the fun? Click here for the Linky Tools link.

My A to Z Wrap Up

A-to-Z_Reflection_[2014]I signed up for the A to Z blogging challenge in March because I tend to work better with deadlines and expectations, so the challenge of blogging 6 out of 7 days a week seemed like a perfect fit.

Along the way, here’s what I learned:

Blogging consistently is hard work. Time and effort go into each post and on many days there seemed to be a shortage of time.

A theme might have helped me. Perhaps I’ll try that next year. Yes, I did say next year. I will so do this again.

There are a lot of clever and talented bloggers out there. The community aspect of the challenge overwhelmed me. A special thanks to everyone who stopped by and offered encouragement along the way.

I didn’t have a favorite type of blog to visit. I liked the diversity of jewelry, flash fiction, notable women, movies, books, random thoughts, and everything else under the sun. It was awesome to see the different thought patterns, interests, and talents.

Now that the challenge is over, I intend to continue blogging on a regular basis (am shooting for 5 days with two days off :)) and I intend to wander around and find other blogs to read and perhaps follow.

A special shout out to the hosts of the A to Z challenge! They spent so much time and energy helping create an environment where would could all learn, gather, and grow. Please visit their blogs.

Arlee Bird: Tossing it Out
Alex J. Cavanaugh: Alex J. Cavanaugh
Stephen Tremp: Author Stephen Tremp
Tina Downey: Life is Good
Damyanti Biswas: Amlokiblogs
Jeremy Hawkins: [Being Retro]
Nicole Ayers: The Madlab Post
M. J. Joachim: M. J. Joachim’s Writing Tips
Heather M. Gardner: The Waiting is the Hardest Part
AJ Lauer: Naturally Sweet
Pam Margolis: An Unconventional Librarian – 

If you’re an A to Z participant, will you do it again?


Today’s inspiration for Opportunities: The A to Z challenge.

I wrote the words, “Opportunity is often disguised…” and then stopped. I knew I’d heard those words before. So I googled quotes and came up with the following three. (Number one had variant forms attributed to other folks.)

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them. – Ann Landers

We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. – Lee Iacocca

Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. – Napoleon Hill

The A to Z challenge has definitely required more work than I was accustomed to putting into my blog. I typically blog two or three times a week. On week three, I’ve already blogged fifteen times.

But this opportunity has been so well worth it for me because I have visited new blogs, read the work of others that I am certain I would have missed, and made new acquaintances. The best part, not everyone I visit is a writer. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading about writing tips or excerpts from books, but this challenge helped me add a little balance to my blogging diet.


If you’re looking for blogs to visit, try these: – She’s doing the A to Z challenge on quilt patterns. Amazing. I was floored by the designs.  Ready for a hoot and a half? Stop by and read the book blurbs for “Regrettable Books A to Z™” Want to expand your vocabulary and get a little flash fiction on the side? Here’s where you need to be. Like science? Melanie is sharing info about pesky parasites and diseases that affect pet and humans. (and more) Anecdotes peppered with wit and served up wonderfully. (She also makes beautiful jewelry)  English words with Arabic origin. Linguistic fun! Looking for a little encouragement? Hope and motivation found here. Ramblings that are enjoyable. She uses great gifs, fun stories, and even posted her super recent wedding pic.  Alex Hurst posted the MOST awesome dictionary for writers. Priceless. J is the letter Everything from dark stories to honest essays. A great place to check out.


I wish I could post everyone who has stopped by and/or been encouraging during the challenge, but I’ll have to share more names on another day. The A to Z challenge has turned out to be a great opportunity for me. If you’re participating, do you agree?

A to Z Blogging Challenge

A-to-Z Blogging Challenge

In less than two weeks, the A to Z blogging challenge begins. For the month of April, I will post a blog everyday (with the exception of Sundays). My first post will begin on April 1st with the letter A and I will move through the alphabet, one letter at a time.


Do I have a theme?

Many participants chose themes and revealed theirs yesterday, but I decided to be one-who-shall-remain-themeless. I’m not against a one-theme blogfest, but have chosen to go the miscellaneous route. I plan on blogging about my favorite movies, my writing experience, recipes, and more. There is a road map for my miscellaneous madness and I might just share it with you before April 1.

Why am I participating?

Over the past two months, edits for my YA PNR have demanded a lot of my time and energy, and I haven’t blogged as much. (But I see a light at the end of the tunnel. 🙂 ) The A-to-Z challenge will help me get back into the swing of things.

Are you joining the A-to-Z challenge? Leave me a note and I’ll visit your blog. Interested in participating? Click here to read more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge.