Reflecting on the A to Z experience

English: Hurdle Suomi: Estejuoksija ja este
English: Hurdle Suomi: Estejuoksija ja este (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blogging in a vacuum isn’t very much fun. The wave of activity I signed up for by participating in these posts is a like running a marathon, I suppose. {I’ve never run a marathon, but after running a mile once when I was kid, I bent over and threw up.} I’m not feeling nauseous, I’m feeling a little bit accomplished. This year I did complete the challenge. I did browse the other participants’ posts and started new conversations with new people and stirred up new conversations with old friends.

The blogs I follow and link to on the far right column of this blog are a mix of blogs I’m interested in, but also blogs of people I have started to really admire as writers.

These bursts of content, whether relevant or not, are the hurdles in the race. This year we had 1000+ people sign up to publish one post per day having something to do with a letter of the alphabet. A little trite, but as a club activity, it’s a lot like a team building activity. At work, I was once asked to teach someone to juggle three balls. I didn’t have any juggling experience, but I had to do it anyway. I learned to communicate and give directions even though I wasn’t sure of the subject matter. I had been given all the details and tricks I needed. With practice my partner started to get the hang of it.

This exercise is very much like that situation. As we all scrambled to come up with ideas, some people dropped balls, fell over the hurdles, or out right threw up all over the track. {What-ever, you get the picture.}

We were also asked to visit the people who commented on our posts and look around at the other runners while we ran. I did try to CONTROL CLICK on the names and blog links to open their posts in new tabs. My strategy was to open several tabs and hunt for new interesting blogs as I prepared my posts and responded to comments. I started focusing on the Educational blogs first. I follow a lot of homeschooling people on Google Plus, but found so many new exciting people running alongside of me.

If you participated with me on this journey, I hope you didn’t trip up over any of the flying balls or falling runners.

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Zymurgy on the shelf or ZZzzz And Scene. Goodnight! Exploring storytelling through dreams.

From fruit to ‘punch’.

ZZZ, are we cheating by using a string of ZZZ’s for the last post of the A to Z Challenge? Okay, let’s talk about Zymurgy instead. Zymurgy is the study or practice of fermentation in brewing, winemaking, or distilling. It’s the last entry in my little computer dictionary. How fitting is that? Let’s look back through some posts to explore some choice posts on fermentations:

SF Daddy | Science Fiction Daddy: F Ferments and Krauts
SF Daddy | Science Fiction Daddy: B Boozy Botanists

On to the ZZZ’s conversation anyway…

We’ve established that we’re storytellers and we’re going to let stories create the structure for the learning environments we create around us. Some of us are writers, published or not, writers of novels, poetry, and whatnot. We all have ways of conjuring up a story to tell. Hopefully, if you find yourself employed to write you have plenty of inspiration and no shortage of ideas.

My kids need to be reminded sometimes how to come up with an idea to write about. We’ll prattle off lists of topics and ideas, hoping to be so mundane that they come up with something that will interest them on their own. “Dryer lint, speed bumps, how many shades of blue does paint come in?”


Let’s look back at a few older posts and talk some more about dreaming.

SF Daddy | Science Fiction Daddy: D is for Dreaming
Dream from March. Star Wars Episode III – SF Daddy

Journaling and especially dream journals are great ways to collect bits of stories that can be pulled from later. A twelve-year-old won’t believe you if you tell her this. She’ll have to figure that out on her own first.  She won’t believe that she’ll dream MORE if she merely pays attention to the dreams she’s already having. Then, after she has tuned in, she’ll find that the dreams flow whether she’s paying attention or not. If she’s right there in the morning ready with a pen to collection them in her journal, she’ll have an endless supply of ideas to cull.

I wonder if many of the writers we follow have used inspiration from their dreams to work out their stories.

It’s not really a robot, sucker.

Petticoat JunctionImage via Wikipedia

November was a funky month for me. I was making great strides with a novel for the NaNoWriMo, where you chunk out a 50,000 word novel in 30 days with a few thousand of your pals, but about half way through the month I became a little encumbered by some medical issues and couldn’t finish.

I learned a lot though and my family loves the story. They helped me by inspiring the characters. It’s a story about us in the future. It’s what we’d like to see happen next year if we could just up and “Green Acres” ourselves to the country, but 60 years in the future. What would Eddie Albert or Ava Gabor do in 2076? It turns out that my story ends up reading like Forrest Gump meets Petticoat Junction. Dunno if anyone other than Red1 will think that’s funny or remotely interesting.

Fortunately, we discovered that Green Acres is playing over at Hulu:

The other thing I learned is that advertising can be cruel. I really wanted the coffee pouring robot shown in the ad below. Maybe he’ll make an appearance in the book.

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