A to Z Blog Challenge – Reflection (What if…?)
This is my second year doing the A to Z Blog Challenge. I will admit that this year was harder than last year.
Last year’s theme I chose was Life’s Choices/Life’s Changes. Though coming up an idea for each letter was hard, the writing, once the idea was thought up, was easy. Every piece of writing was from my head and experience. I discovered mid-way through the alphabet, after reading blog entries from other writers, that adding pictures and cartoons to my writing, enhanced the pieces.
This year, however, it took a while to come up with the theme, What if…? It certainly allowed me more freedom in finding things to write about, however, it also required more research to be done for each piece. Once I came up with the theme, I hoped to get a jump on some of that research so I wouldn’t be pressured when it came time to writing and deadlines. That didn’t work out. I do much better when I research as I’m writing.
Now I needed ideas for each letter. I brainstormed with my family, friends and a lot with the elementary classes that I substitute teach in. When it was time to start writing, here was my list of ideas:
What if…A: animals could talk? everyone died at the same age? animals ruled people?, B: bees couldn’t help the flowers grow?, C: computers were internal devices? all of the computers shut down at once? when you cried your hair changed colors?, D: doomsday was tomorrow? dreams really foretold the future? dreams could be controlled? you could relive a day over and over until you perfect it? dragons existed?, E: education limited Professional Development to alternate years? emotions changed what color you appear. everyone was the same?, F: if you could have any number of fingers you wanted? if I was famous, what would I be famous for? people could fly?, G: games impacted real life decisions?, H: if hate were eliminated?, I: icebergs all melted? you could see your imagination?, J: Jeffrey (the ghost) visited me?, K: kids could get their driver’s licenses when they were under 10 years old?, L: lying caused some physical changes to you?, M: mammoths were still alive? people could morph into something else? mythical animals were real?, N: nobody spoke the same language?, O: old age didn’t prevent you from doing things? healthy, organic food was the norm, cheap and available for all?, P: politicians could only talk about themselves? Preventive medicine was the norm and covered by Medicare? protection of the environment was respected and profitable?, Q: questions were not allowed to be asked of others?, R: reading books is moving from words to graphics; what will reading evolve to? you could read someone’s mind?, S: silence ruled the world? sleep was not necessary or was limited to only a short period of time? stories that you tell, come to life? you couldn’t control what you say?, T: traveling through time was a reality, where would you go? what if you could stop time?, U: all of the earth was underwater? umbilical cords attached to random parts of a baby’s body?, V: virtue was its own reward? the world went vegetarian?, W: wishes were granted with a 24-hour expiration? your wrongs were being recorded?, X: x-rays could also show emotions and thoughts? x-rays could also spot diseases?, Y: yesterday was do overable but it meant you missed tomorrow?, Z: zoos contained more than just animals in their natural habitat? zebras could change the colors of their stripes?
As I got closer to the writing, I discovered I didn’t like a lot of the ideas at all. For those letters B, F, H, J, K, N, Q, V, Y, Z, I went to the dictionary to look for words that inspired me. For other letters, just having discussions with others or things that happened to me initiated a prompt – R for Reckless drivers was one of those. The rant came from incidents on the road. It also included a discussion my wife and I had about problems with Star Trek’s transporter beams. I knew I wanted to write about transporters, but wanted to keep the original ideas I had had for S and T, so I needed another letter where it would fit transporters in…enter R for reckless and rants.
My favorites of all the blogs I wrote this month were B (writing backwards) and Q (only using questions). Each of those required me to play with words and figure out, in the case of B how to reverse all of the writing (not an easy task.). M had an interesting twist, I needed to figure out a way to morph myself into an owl.
Here are the final ideas I chose for those of you that haven’t been reading all along and the links that go with each:
A: animals could talk? B: everyone spoke and\or wrote sdrawkcab? C: all of the computers shut down at once? D: dreams could be controlled? E: education limited Professional Development to alternate years? F: you had no Fear? G: games impacted real life decisions? H: there were no fights in ice hockey? I: you could see your imagination? J: you had another way to use junk? K: you never had kids? L: lying caused some physical changes to you? M: people could morph into something else? N: I had nothing to write about? O: opportunity were to knock again? P: politicians could only talk about themselves? Q: people only spoke using Questions? R: there were consequences for reckless drivers? S: sleep was not necessary or was limited to only a short period of time? T: traveling through time was a reality, where would you go? U: you had an Undo command in life similar to a computer’s “Undo” command? V: we are only Version 2.0? W: our wrongs were all being recorded? X: x-rays could also show emotions and thoughts? Y: we could stay young? Z: we could Zoom-in to things with just our eyes?
I’m definitely going to do this again next year. I’m not sure of a theme yet. I’ve got time…maybe fiction?
In terms of this year’s A to Z. I liked last year’s Linky List for the reveal because I could quickly see who was participating and the themes that they were pursuing. If I was interested, I bookmarked their blog so I could follow them easily. I would personally prefer that for the reveal. However, that being said, once I had the ones I wanted to follow, this year’s set-up by letter was preferable. I had my own set of people that I wanted to follow but got to check out others that were interesting on a day by day basis, some of which I added to my set of bookmarks. My favorite blogs to follow were: The Multicolored Diary (I’m a fellow storyteller, so I like finding more tales), Dorky Mom Doodles, and John Davis Frain’s blog where he killed himself off for every letter, they were fun to read and I’ll probably continue to follow them.