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Monday, 9 May 2016

#AtoZChallenge Reflections 2016

Fictional Phantoms

It's AtoZChallenge Reflections day and welcome to my blog as we all share our experiences of this year's wonderful AtoZ. I don't know about everyone else, but I really, really enjoyed this year and found even more wonderful blogs to read.

First of all I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who visited my blog this year. I have had so much fun sharing all my choices of Fictional Phantoms with you all. I have some comments I haven't replied to yet, but I will try to get to them :).

I only have one big tip for those wanting to join the AtoZ next year and it is simply this:
Be Prepared.

I ended up doing the challenge on 2.5 blogs because my darling sister was unwell and so I had to take up the slack on one of the blogs we were sharing. If I hadn't been prepared I would have sunk. Luckily Soph and I had preplanned every single post in advance, so all I had to so was format everything ready for the go on the one blog we didn't get completely finished in advance.

I know some people like to wing it, and, if that works for you, well done, but I know that having everything planned out and mostly ready in advance left me all the time I wanted to visit other blogs. That's what I think the AtoZ is all about and I had so much fun this year, even with the blogs I only visited once.

To prove how much fun I had, I have listed many blogs below - if you missed them during April, I recommend taking a look when you have a chance. They are well worth a visit.

Blogs I tried to Visit Every Day

There were some blogs that were so good, as soon as I had visited once I had to keep going back. These are they.

Blogs I would have liked to have visited every day, but got behind

Read is the New Black - all about YA books with a personal meaning to the blogger.
melanie schulz - Ubooks - ficlets set to music on Youtube - so different and entertaining.
Michelle Wallace @ Writer~In~Transit - Showcasing Indie writers. Yay for indies :)
New Day Rising - Films
Darla M. Sands - Not Your Average Music Trivia - Great bands and then some made up band names for fun too.

Things that Go Bump in the Night - Scary things - JH didn't finish the AtoZ in the end due to personal commitments, but still a wonderful blog to visit that I highly recommend.

There were other blogs I enjoyed, but I just didn't have time to keep visiting. There were also loads I didn't get a chance to visit. If you have any recs that are a must see, please feel free to leave links in the comments.

42 comments:

  1. There were quite a few blogs you listed that I also visited as often as I could. Morgan's bad romance was the best. She was my favorite of the year.

    I'm all about writing my posts ahead of time because I agree that the challenge is about visiting. I heard a lot of people say they saw blogs state they wouldn't be visiting other blogs. Why are you doing the challenge then?

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    1. Morgan's bad romance was awesome :)

      Really?! The whole point of the challenge is to interact as far as I am concerned and to visit as many people as possible. Some days you might not be able to or you might not be able to visit huge numbers, but to actually say you're not going to visit anyone - that's bizarre.

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    2. Wow on the not visiting other blogs, can understand the challenge of taking part for the challenge itself, but that's a bit mean to the people who are visiting if you're never going to visit back.

      Mars xx

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    3. Wow not to visit - obviously not clear on the concept! I will admit the first time I did a blog challenge (not this one), I was a moron and didn't realize about the visiting - I was struggling to keep my head above water just writing daily posts. This year I have visited close to 500 of the participants. I'm not saying this to brag, just to give context that I have yet to see anyone who says they will not be visiting other blogs. Perhaps they are in the other 800 or so I have yet to visit.

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  2. Great reflections, amazed that you managed to visit so many blogs every day and thank you for visiting mine :) Fab list, I recognise quite a few of the names there but shall be dipping in to that when I get some downtime!

    One to recommend to you, hmmm, probably

    http://www.svcambria.com/

    A fab blog all about their life on the water, the A to Z series was fascinating and the writing was wonderful, some really honest posts about what it's actually like.

    You were also one of my "everyday" blogs :) but I read you in the mornings in case I was too scared to go to bed!

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

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    1. Thank you for the rec - I shall go take a look.
      Hope none of my posts were too scary. I'm glad my husband wasn't away during April - I have to ban myself from reading and watching ghostly things if he's not home - would have scuppered my theme ;)

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    2. I'll second SV Cambria as a great site to check out. She's one of the sailing/cruising bloggers that I "convinced" to join in the challenge this year :-)

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  3. Excellent advice, Tasha. My biggest regret was not being prepared and having less time to visit and comment than I would have liked. Thanks so much for your support and lovely comments! I've enjoyed your themes and look forward to next year. You did so well with multiple blogs! One is difficult enough. Cheers!

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    1. I really enjoyed all your posts - lovely insight into all the breeds. Thank you for your visits and tweets too.

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  4. Great reflections, Tasha. Thanks for sharing. There are some fantastic bloggers out there. Have a lovely week.

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    1. Thank you - you too. I have been amazed by all the talent I've seen this month.

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  5. There are some really great blogs that you've got listed. Many that I visit on the regular as well. Just goes to show we have great taste ;)

    Congrats on completing the challenge! I look forward to seeing what you come up with for next year.

    Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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    1. Great minds and all that ;) I have thoughts about next year, but no firm ideas yet.

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  6. I found several of the same blogs you mentioned this year (and thanks for mentioning mine) and stuck to reading those. Even then I got behind. I was regularly reading about 30 blogs a day which takes a lot of time. I am glad I found you on this challenge and look forward to seeing your posts in my email. Congrats on finishing.

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    1. Thank you and I very much enjoyed reading your blog too.

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  7. Hey Tasha, Thanks so much for mentioning my blog. I so appreciated all your visits! LOVED your theme as I love all things scary! And I learned so much about your fictional phantoms. You presented in a way that was so interesting!

    And thanks for providing such a great list of other A-Z posts to go visit. We regularly visited some of the same blogs but there are several that you listed that will be new to me so I'm looking forward to making even more new friends.

    I can't believe you kept up with three blogs! It's all I can do to keep up with one. But you are absolutely right: being prepared is the key to enjoying this process. I can't imagine writing posts on the fly and still having time to visit other blogs. I like to keep my time free for visiting and commenting because that's the fun (and the benefit) with this challenge.

    I look forward to keeping up with you throughout the year. Thanks again for the shout-out!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I really enjoyed all your posts, thank you for entertaining me all month. For my part I have no idea what I can do next year, I've done vampires and gods and now ghosts and I already do a Monster Monday, so I'm going to have to think of something different :). Thank you for all your comments too.

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  8. Congrats on completing the challenge, and on 2.5 blogs - I could hardly cope with one!
    Wow, there are lots of blogs you've mentioned that I haven't visited. I'll have to check in on some of them.

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    1. There were so many great blogs I just had to keep visiting this year and I am sure there were hundreds more I never got to.

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  9. You took me back to my days as a Boy Scout when I saw Be Prepared! I wasn't prepared this year, but I've learned from that mistake and I'm already under way with next Aprils theme. Well done Natasha.

    Visit Keith's Ramblings

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    1. I was a Brownie :) Thank you and good luck with next year :)

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  10. Hi Tasha - sorry to read about Sophie - sincerely hope all is well now ...

    That's great you've listed out the blogs you enjoyed and visited regularly ... definitely being prepared eases the pressure ..

    Congratulations and cheers Hilary

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    1. She's much better now thanks and she soldiered on to complete her own theme :) Missed your posts this year *hugs*

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  11. Thanks so much for the shout-out :-)

    You're a very good sister and it sounds like you two make a good team. I'm with you on being prepared. I wrote all of mine (except Z) in advance which was the only way I could have survived. Plus, my computer broke during the challenge and I'm not sure how I would have managed if I hadn't written mine in advance.

    Looking forward to continuing to follow along with your blog.

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  12. Aw! Thank you for the shout out. I tried to visit you every day too. I was even a bad girl and took a bit of time during work to read some blogs and comment.

    I don't understand those that refused to at least reciprocate comments. I did that at least on days I couldn't hop. There were some that I wasn't able to find their blog though when I went to comment back. Sigh.

    Loved your theme this year.

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  13. Hey! Thanks for the shout-out. This was one of my favorite visits too. I've loved horror movies since I was a kid and too young to see the really good ones. This was a great walk down memory lane and a place to get some good recommendations. Well done!

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  14. Tasha, I really enjoyed getting to know you through the challenge. I loved all your Fictional Phantoms and I appreciated your visits to my blog.

    @Kathleen01930
    Blog

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  15. Thanks for the shout out :) I did enjoy your theme and your visits :) WTG too with getting this all done plus keeping up with extra blogging duties on the blogs you and your sister were participating in. I totally agree with you, being prepared is the key to making it through the challenge. Lots of good blogs out there, just so little time!

    betty

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  16. Your posts were so good again this year!

    Your's was also one I tried to visit everyday.

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  17. You did one heck of a lot better than I did with visiting! And thanks for including The Write Game among your daily visits. I appreciate that.

    As you know I was very much involved with your posts, so I couldn't miss the next evil face you'd post.

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  18. Thanks for visiting my blog site today, Natasha. I'm grateful for your list of blogs above that I can use to visit those I may have missed in April.

    I agree that preparing in advance for the AtoZChallenge is important to the blogger's success in completing the Challenge. It might be comparable to holiday visiting of the past where family and friends went from house to house over a period of about two weeks to visit and exchange gifts. If you tried to buy and wrap the gifts, prepare the potluck contributions, and entertain guests in your own home between visits to other homes, things would get just as hectic.

    Congrats on completing 2.5 AtoZ blog posts. Now it's time to rest.

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  19. Thanks so much for the shout-out! I really enjoyed learning about all these new ghosts I'd never heard of before!

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  20. It was so much fun meeting all this ghosts - well, and quite frightening from time to time. But then I knew you were close by and so I dared to read your great ghostly posts. :-)

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  21. I admire anyone who can compete with two blogs. Two and a half! And you found time to read all those other blogs. I second your advice to BE PREPARED. Although I am usually a pantser when it comes to blog posts, I never could have made it without prewriting a good 60-70% of my A to Z posts. (As for my signature link - I never did get it to work; don't know what I did wrong.) Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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  22. Like everyone else, I'm so impressed with the number of blogs you managed to visit. Good job! I visited more this year than I did last year, and next year I'm determined to visit even more. But my hat's off to you!

    Glad your sister is feeling better. And thanks for the mention of Pen In Her Hand. Cheers!

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  23. Wow that's a lot of A-to-Z-ing. And thank you for calling me interesting and funny. It makes it all worth it :)

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  24. A great way to do reflections! Happy to report I have visited quite a few on your list, some daily some once or twice. This A-Z has been my most intense and intensely fun year.

    You have my serious admiration for completing with 2.5 blogs! So right about being prepared! Glad to know your sister is better now.

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  25. You did a great job on handling both blogs and I am glad you made it.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia http://www.patgarciaandeverythingmustchange.com/2016/05/reflection-to-z-blog-challenge-2016.html

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  26. Many thanks for mentioning my 'venomous' blogging, Natasha. Totally impressed by your multi-tasking with 2.5 blogs and all that visiting, including daily comments all over the internet.

    I'm still catching up on reading a few A to Z blogs that I started following. Plus my Reflections post is struggling into print. Manana?

    www.rolandclake.com

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  27. I got so behind, I gave up... I loved the visits and since many of my posts had vibrators in them. lol. thank you for all you did... did you get my email about you possibly being a contributor for the magazine?

    We made it...Hope you had a great time, thank you for your Reflection!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2016]

    T-SHIRTS, MUGS, FREE MAGAZINE... OH MY!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

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  28. We had quite a few of the same blogs on our daily visit lists :) One I would recommend would be Life In Dogs (blogspot.co.uk) she had a fantastic theme all about dog rescue
    Debbie

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  29. Thank you so much for the shoutout! I really enjoyed my first AtoZ challenge, and particularly finding sites like yours that offered such a range of topics :) You certainly did a great job of coming up with phantoms and I liked how you linked the two together and asked the question at the end. I look forward to catching up with your regular postings!

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