Monday, May 7, 2012

A-Z Reflections and Backworlds Launch Party

The A-Z in April hosts have asked participants to share reflections on this year's challenge, and there is a linky list here if you are interested in signing up and sharing your thoughts. When I was thinking back on last month, I realized I don't have much to say, except that I really enjoyed the challenge once again and had a great time participating. I'm very glad I signed up for the challenge for a second year.

The biggest difference between this year and last for me was that I had a terrible time keeping up with visiting and commenting on other blogs. At first I felt frustrated by that, but then I realized the main reason for my trouble was that I had a core of blogger friends I wanted to be sure to visit and read regularly. Last year, I had barely met any bloggers when I did the April challenge, so I was able to hop through the list and keep up without much difficulty.

It was a wonderful feeling to realize I now had great blogger buddies that I wanted to be sure I kept tabs on during this year's challenge. And, it was a lot of fun to go through the April craziness again with bloggers I met last year. While I would have loved to have been able to visit more blogs, it felt great to know I'd managed to maintain relationships with friends I met last April, and those I've met since.

So thanks again to A-Z founder Arlee Bird for coming up with this fantastic idea, and thanks as well to all the wonderful A-Z Challenge hosts. It was another great time! :)

I'm also really excited to be participating in the launch party for The Backworlds, by my friend M.Pax. Congratulations to Mary!!

Here is the scoop on this exciting new story: 

The Backworlds is here!

The first story in the Backworlds series by M. Pax. A vision of how humanity might colonize the galaxy some day in the distant future.

The Backworlds
After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.

Available from: Amazon / AmazonUK / Smashwords / Feedbooks
Other links to more outlets can be found at either Wistful Nebulae or MPax

The Backworlds is an ebook and a free read. All formats can be found at Smashwords and Feedbooks.

I read Mary's Semper Audacia last year, as well as some of her short stories, and thought all of her work was excellent. I've no doubt The Backworlds will be just as fantastic, as Mary has an amazing imagination, and the worlds she takes her readers to are always something special. 

So this is a busy day here in the blogosphere, and it's fun to jump back in with both feet after resting up a bit after the challenge. Today's post is my 200th since I started this blog, something that is most likely only exciting to me! But when I started this I wasn't sure if I'd make it to my second post, so it brought a big smile to my face to realize that this was going to be number 200. :)

Thanks again to the A-Z Challenge hosts and to all my fabulous blogger buddies who made the challenge so much fun, and huge kudos to Mary on the launch of her new book! 


  1. It was quite a hectic month of blog commenting, wasn't it. I think I had the same trouble as you. I was so busy trying to visit old blog friends that I couldn't throw myself at the new ones [so to speak!]

    Congratulations to Mary :-)

  2. That was my hangup as well - I have such a large core of blogger buddies and I focused on them first, which meant there wasn't much time left for new blogs. The Challenge does seem to benefit blogs under three hundred followers best.
    And excited for Mary!!

  3. "...terrible time keeping up with visiting and commenting on other blogs...I realized the main reason for my trouble was that I had a core of blogger friends I wanted to be sure to visit..."

    EXACTLY!! You said it right, so hard to comment and visit the new blogs when my blogger buddies had such great posts to catch my attention.

    Visiting The Backworlds now :)

  4. This year the challenge exceeded all expectations so it was hard to keep up with commenting.
    I had great pleasure reading your posts.


  5. Did I bump into you during last year's challenge? It was quite a ride ... again.

    Thank you a million for helping with the launch. :D

  6. It was frustrating for me in that I didn't get too meet as many people as I would have liked but I'm happy that the quality of the ones I met was so wonderful!

  7. I struggled with the A to Z this year, but I fully intend to try again next year. Like you though, I want to try to stay in blog contact with my regular blogger friends. It's a bit of a juggling act.

    I will pop by Marys blog. Thanks for sharing :)

  8. I hear you re the commenting. I tried to do what was suggested and visit at least five new blogs a day. That worked to a point, but then I started following more of those new blogs and so then had less time to visit new ones, plus I wanted to make good comments and then respond to all the great visitors of my blog, etc. It was a lot of fun but still...Yikes! :)

  9. The Challenge was a wonderful experience. I loved it :)

  10. I really enjoyed going through the challenge with you again! I also wish I had more time to meet even more people, but I'm so grateful for the bloggers that I got to know. Thanks again for all of your wonderful comments! Congrats to Mary on her new book! Julie

  11. Congratulations!! We rocked this challenge for sure. I'm really happy to have reconnected with fellow bloggers I met last year like you. :) Now that the dust is settling from my big move and my new job assignment I am going to get back to being a more regular blogger. I feel bad that I have had to let so many comments go unanswered for so long and not been able to visit all my friends and fellow challengers. I'm also hoping to continue to work my way through the A to Z list for the rest of the year.

  12. Interesting reflections post, Julie!

    Just visited, M Pax's blog and found you there! I am now one of your followers!

    Nice to meet you!

    Congratulations on the completion of the challenge!

  13. @Rosalind, hectic is the right word for it! That was exactly the issue I had, but it was definitely a fun month. :)

    @Alex, I am thrilled for Mary too, she is awesome.

    @Huntress, yeah, I regret not being able to meet more bloggers, but maybe now that things have settled down I will try going through the list again.

    @Yvonne, thank you, I really enjoyed your wonderful music posts as well!

    @Mary, I think it was last year's challenge, yes. Congrats again!!

    @Johanna, I agree, I did get to meet some great bloggers, like you! Very glad for that.

    @Rebecca, yeah, it definitely requires juggling, something I am not good at! It's fun though, no question.

    @Madeline, I had to give up on the visiting 5 new blogs a day too, just couldn't swing it.

    @Karen, I agree!

    @Julie, I feel the same, thanks!

    @Melissa, thank you, I'm really glad as well! And you shouldn't feel bad, it was so hard to keep up and you had so much going on!

    @Betty, oh, hello, so glad to meet you! Thanks for following!

  14. Julie, I'm glad I found you as a blogger buddy! You're phenomenal!

  15. @Susan, oh, thanks, so are you! I'm very glad I met you during the challenge. :)

  16. I tried to find one new blog a day. So many of my friends were in the challenge, it took me the month of April to get around and read. Plus I was organising a book launch. Next year I am going to work out a plan!

  17. Hi Julie - yes I think we're all loyal to our blogging friends - as we know they'll produce the goods and then of course we want to read those.

    I did love your tour round Cincinnati .. it was enlightening for me to see ...

    I did try and meet a few new people and thankfully a few came over to meet me!

    Actually I've had a great time - not too many, and not too few ... now begins the trouble .. with all the new ones ..

    Cheers Hilary

  18. @Glynis, LOL, if I do the challenge again next year I really need a plan as well. I intended to be more organized this year and didn't follow through, next year I can't make any excuses LOL.

    @Hilary, I agree, I'm so glad to have met some new friends and now I need to make sure I keep in contact. I had a great time as well. :)

  19. *whew* That was a fun A-Z but I'm glad we are done. Hey, didn't we find each other's blogs during last years challenge? I think so. :) Have a good week, Julie!

  20. After seeing the difference from that year to this year...imagine what next year's going to be like! Inspiring and daunting. :)

  21. Thanks for this reflections post---and I'm so excited for Mary!!

  22. @Michelle, yeah, I think we did find each other during the challenge last year. It was fun going through another one with you and I'm so glad we've kept in touch. :)

    @Michael, oh, I can't even imagine LOL. I was amazed how many bloggers participated this year, such a great thing. I hope I'll be ready for another go by next year.

    @Damyanti, thank you again for hosting, and I agree, so happy for Mary!

  23. Congrats to Mary!

    And I enjoyed reading your A-Z posts about Cincinnati! :)

  24. Congratulations on finishing the A-Z challenge. I took the month off, so I missed all the excitement. And congratulations on your 200th post! Building up bloggy friends is what I've loved about this all, too. So many wonderful people out there.

    Finally, congrats to Mary! Her book sounds very thrilling.

  25. Congratulation on finishing the challenge. I didn't visit all blogs during the challenge but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with reflection post! I am so glad my journey brought me here.

    Evalina, This and that...

  26. Hi! My mission...which I chose to accept...was to continue to visit as many A to Z Challenge participants as I could even after the challenge is over because I didn't want to miss out on any great bloggers out there! Lovely blog...good luck with the rest of the year and I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

    Donna L Martin

  27. @Cherie, thank you, I enjoyed your great Foxwick posts as well. :)

    @Janet, nice to meet you, thanks so much!

    @EvalinaMaria, that's a great idea, thanks so much for visiting. It's so nice to meet you!

    @Donna, thanks so much, it's great to meet you. I am looking forward to checking out your blog, thanks for visiting!


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