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A to Z Reflections 2018

This was my seventh year participating in the A to Z Challenge, and my fifth doing it with two blogs. I waited till January this year to write the posts for my main blog, and to finalize my list of topics. My secondary blog posts were written in March and on April first.

The first post I wrote was Archangel Michael, and my final post was The Zayande River. Six posts were double topics, with a seventh initially planned. I began writing that second topic, but quickly realized it’d either bloat the wordcount past my desired upper limit of 800 words, or force me to leave out a lot of great, important details. I moved what I’d written into a post in my drafts folder, to be used the next time I do this theme.

So many letters had great topics in my working list, but I was unable to use a lot of them due to the interests of wordcount. Other topics I wanted to do were crossed off because I couldn’t find enough information or proper photos in time. I could easily do this theme (people, places, and things from my Russian historicals) at least thrice more!

Discarded topics you may see in future years include the Kabardin horse, the influenza pandemic of 1918, White émigrés, Disease X (radiation poisoning), the Battle of Tinian, and sofreh aghed (a cloth set with symbolic foods and objects at traditional Persian weddings).

I noticed several other people had the same observation I did, that participation this year seemed rather down from past years. Perhaps we were just visiting the wrong blogs, or people didn’t understand how to use the Google Docs form. I’ll admit I had issues with the scrolling on it more than a few times. I wish we had a system that worked for everyone!

View and comment count may also have been down for those of us who didn’t have our posts hyperlinked early enough in the day. We don’t all have the same work, school, or sleep schedule. I know the admins have said they don’t want to bring the old master list back, but I did like the ability to peruse it at my leisure.

Post recap:

Arbat Street
Bykivnya
The Crown Colony of Aden
Drancy
The Empress Hotel and The Emporium
The Fleishhacker Pool and the French Concession of Shanghai
The Garden Ring
Hamilton Heights and Hotel Kämp
Irkutsk, Russia
Juno Beach and the Jewish Hospital of Lublin
Kurapaty
Levittown, NY
Archangel Michael
Novodevichye Cemetery and Nansen passports
Omamori
Patriarch’s Pond
Queens Village and the qalam
Riverdale, Toronto
The Battle of Saipan
The Battle of Tarawa
The Umileniye Ikon
St. Vladimir
Washington Square Park
Xanten, Germany
Yorkville
The Zayande River

Author:

I started reading at three (my first book was Grimm's Fairy Tales, the uncensored adult version), started writing at four, started writing book-length things at eleven, and have been a writer ever since. I predominantly write historical fiction family sagas/series. I primarily write about young people, since I was a young person myself when I became a serious writer and didn't know how to write about adults as main characters. I only write in a contemporary setting if the books naturally go into the modern era over the course of the decades-long stories being told over many books. I've always been drawn to books, films, music, fashions, et al, from bygone eras, and have never really been too much into modern things. If something or someone has appeal for all time, it'll still be there to be discovered after the initial to-do has died down. For example, my second-favorite writer enjoyed a huge burst of popularity in the Sixties and Seventies, but he wrote his books from 1904-43, and his books still resonate today, even after he's no longer such a fad. Quality lasts for all time.

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