A to Z Challenge: A Review

First, I want to give a bit shout-out to all those who are involved in the running of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. It’s got to take a lot of time and dedication to keep track of so many participants, making sure that non-participants are removed from the list, and ensuring that participants get the attention they deserve. Kudos!

Second, a double-huge shout-out to all my fellow participants who made it (sometimes kicking and screaming) to the end of the challenge. Some of those letters were pretty difficult, but you did it! You rock! 😀

Third, a triple-huge shout-out to all those who stopped by my blog during April and commented on my posts. I had some great conversations this month, met some cool new friends, and gained a number of new followers. I hope you all stick close by, because it’s been a blast, and I’ve been truly happy to meet you all. 🙂

The challenge has been a great deal of fun, and I got a lot of great comments on my 26 posts, so as part of this review I present a list of links to each of my posts in case anyone missed anything or is just dropping by now and would like to check a couple of them out.

Day 1: Ariel (the Little Mermaid)Day 2: Buffy Summers (the Vampire Slayer)
Day 3: Castiel (the Monster-Fighting Angel)
Day 4: Deadpool (the Lunatic Assassin)
Day 5: Eric Northman (the Viking Vampire)
Day 6: Freddy Krueger (the Nightmare Demon)
Day 7: Gau (the Wild Orphan)
Day 8: Han Solo (the Cocky Starpilot)
Day 9: Iron Man (the Smarmiest Avenger)
Day 10: James T. Kirk (the Star Fleet Captain)
Day 11: Kefka Palazzo (the Magitek Monster)
Day 12: Lisse (the Child of the Dystopian Future)
Day 13: Magus (the Lost Wizard)
Day 14: Neville Longbottom (the Heart of Gryffindor)
Day 15: Other-Mother (the Other World Evil)
Day 16: Peter Parker (the Spider-Man)
Day 17: Qui-Gon Jinn (the Jedi Knight)
Day 18: Ryuk (the Shinigami)
Day 19: Sherlock Holmes (the High-Functioning Sociopath)
Day 20: Tyrion Lannister (the Exceptionally Clever Imp)
Day 21: Usagi Tsukino (the Sailor Senshi)
Day 22: Victoria MacKinnon (the Lost Princess)
Day 23: Winchester Brothers (the Monster Hunters)
Day 24: Xander Harris (the Lovable Sidekick)
Day 25: Yuki Miaka (the Girl from Other World)
Day 26: Zelda (the Hyrulian Princess)

In case you somehow missed it, my theme for the challenge was “Fictional Characters”. Each one of these characters, even the ones chosen out of duress of very difficult letters, holds a special place in my heart for one reason or another. The TV shows, movies, comics, cartoons, and video games mentioned were overwhelmingly a great part of my childhood, and in some cases an incredible part of my adulthood. If you’ve got the time, check some of them out. You totally won’t be disappointed.

And finally, before I sign off, I wanted to share with you a couple of the blogs that I’ve come across during this particular challenge. I came into contact with so many awesome fellow bloggers this past month that it’s impossible to mention them all, but these are a couple of the ones I fully plan to keep tabs on even now that the challenge is over.

A Scenic Route – Kirsten is a fellow writer who blogs about her “journey into noveldom”. This month she wrote a wonderful series of posts with the theme “Backstage at the Blog”, in which she gave some wonderful tips, hints, and ideas for fellow bloggers, in addition to sharing info about her own blogging journey.

Sophie’s Thoughts and Fumbles – Sophie is a writer of many genres who uses her blog as a place to talk about reading, writing, all the topics in between, and whatever else she so desires. She is also the brains behind the mini-challenge that a few of us participated in in addition to the A to Z challenge: the Supernatural A to Z Challenge. She wrote about ghosts and ghoulies this month, and while I didn’t often comment on her posts because my WordPress reader doesn’t make it easy for me to deal with other blogging websites, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading about all the creepy creatures that she posted.

Alex Hurst – Alex is one of my favorite new people because she is fun, bubbly, and friendly, and we apparently have a great deal in common. The fantasy writer spent the month talking about different aspects of writing and being a writer. Her post “J for Jargon” cracked me up because so many of the definitions she came up with were SO TRUE.

I would love to share some more blogs, and perhaps I will in the future, but this has been such a busy month that I simply do not have the time it would take to go through all the wonderful blogs I’ve found during this challenge. However, if you’re really, truly interested in finding some great new people to follow, check out the A to Z sign-up list and just start clicking. There are literally hundreds of wonderful blogs amongst that list.

And now, with all that aside, I must say adieu, and take a much-deserved nap. Cheers everyone! ❤

A to Z Challenge Day 12: Lisse (the Child of the Dystopian Future)


When I was in grade school, my best friend and I wrote a series of stories that we titled, “The Game Masters”. They were silly stories about how we and our friends would enter video game worlds. I’m sure there was a reason, but I can’t remember it at all. I think at some point some monsters came along and were, like, trying to destroy the digital world or something. I’m certain that the stories would be excruciatingly embarrassing if I were to reread them today.

The reason I mention this is because one day, at a school book fair, my friend picked up a book called, “Invitation to the Game” and read the back cover. She subsequently thrust the book at me and told me to read because that blurb on the back of the book sounded strangely like our series of stories. Basically, a group of friends enters a digital “video game” world. We were shocked, so much so that I just had to buy the book and check it out. As it turned out the plot of the book wasn’t even the tiniest bit like our story (the “video game” was a kind of virtual world and that was the only tiny similarity), but I wound up being extremely happy with my purchase because the book was brilliant. A few of the themes went over my head as a child, but I’ve reread the book at least two dozen times as I’ve grown up, and the differences in personal maturity make the book that much better every time.

Lisse is our protagonist, the narrator of the story. She and a group of friends (for some the term is loose) graduate from school together and are shipped off into the work world…or so they think, at first. The world has become a dystopian future where the overwhelming majority of young graduates are designated as permanently unemployed and sent off to live on an extremely tiny government pittance. The group of kids decide to stick together and pool their resources, and somewhere along the line are invited to take part in an underground virtual experiment called “The Game”.

The reason I loved Lisse so much as a child, and continued to love her as I grew and matured, is because she reminds me so much of myself. Amongst her group there is a would-be chemist, a would-be doctor, a would-be agriculturist, and a would-be architect, amongst others, but Lisse graduated with no idea of what she might become. She was an artist at heart with no set discernible skill (she was smart, but not a genius at any one thing like her comrades). She tells the story through the eyes of someone who doesn’t understand what her place in things is, which is how I felt most of my life. In the end she winds up serving a very important, if unexpected, purpose, and that really hit home from the very first time I read it.

If you get a chance, I definitely recommend picking up this book. It’s a wonderfully written tale with lots of surprises and lots of heart.