Sunday, May 6, 2012

My A-to-Z Expedition Into the Wild West - Reflections

I had such a rip-roarin' good time this year on the A-to-Z!  It was my second year participating, but it was a year for firsts, as well.  First time I had the privilege of being a co-host.  First time I worked with a theme.  First time I did this as an established blog, as last year I had never posted publicly or tried to get attention to my writing at The Warrior Muse.

You, too can grab this badge and stick it on your blog. Thanks, Jeremy!

There were also many people I got to meet for the first time, many who I gained a friendship with.  There were blogs I found for the first time, read for the first time.  Fabulous firsts!

Boy, did I have fun!  I loved poring through information about the Wild West.  I spent hours reading and researching before I sat down to write my posts.  Sometimes I got so lost in what I was reading that I'd come around at 1 AM and realize I still needed to put all that information into an at least vaguely readable post.  Then would come the image search, with some being easier than others.  That was cool, too, with sometimes some fairly gross pictures, considering I was looking at post-hanging and post-shoot-em-up photos.  Some of you out there are probably quite relieved I skipped posting those photos, while others have already stopped reading to go hunt down some of those photos.  Happy searching!

What did I learn this year?  I learned that I'm still a little kid when it comes to researching history.  I learned I still enjoy research and the Wild West immensely.  I learned that I was right to think that I should have pre-written my posts and had every. single. one scheduled to post.  That was my intention, but I completely underestimated how sucked in I'd get and how long each post would take me to write.  Next year?  Haha, yeah, we'll see...

Despite my girlhood flirtation with the Wild West, I learned a ton I hadn't previously been aware of during this Challenge. Wyatt Earp a pimp...whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?  There were things that didn't make it into posts, because something else came along, such as the fact that Samuel Clemens was out west as a prospector before he became Mark Twain.  I bet when he washed his face in the stream he found gold dust in his 'stache.

I had so much fun, in fact, that I'm considering doing some posts on historical topics, just for fun.  For now, I'm resting.  This girl is tired!  I'm already considering themes for next year, though...

If you'd like to post a Reflections post and have everyone come on by and see what you had to say, sign up below.

Are you already thinking ahead to next year's A-to-Z?  Got any ideas?  What would you do differently?  The same?

May you find your Muse.

*Censored stamp courtesy of Mohamed Ibrahim,
**Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens picture from Appleton's Journal July 4, 1874; See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Stacy S. Jensen said...

Very glad you survived! I enjoyed participating in the challenge, but didn't plan on the time needed to comment. I failed this task, so I'll have to seriously think about 2013. Thanks for all you did to co-host the challenge.

mooderino said...

Great job co-hosting. I think you guys all did a great job. I might start planning for nest year a bit earlier, like this week.

Moody Writing
The Funnily Enough

Rebecca said...

it was a fun and interesting journey and I learned many new things along the way thank you for having me along


It was a great, fun Challenge but it wouldn't have been without Lee and all the co hosters. I would like to extend my thanks to you on all the hard work involved in making this A to Z a success.


Unknown said...

Thank you Shannon - for co-hosting the blog fest and also for posting all that fabulous information about the Wild West.

baygirl32 said...

It was a great year! I'm already looking forward to next

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'd like more time so I can visit more blogs!

Anonymous said...

Great Reflections Post! Your A to Z Challenge posts were definitely interesting.

Thanks for being such a great co-host! The challenge was fun.

Sarah Allen said...

Great post :) Congrats on finishing!
Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Matthew MacNish said...

Your theme was awesome, Shannon! It was an honor to co-host with you.

Andrew Leon said...

I did really enjoy your posts. They were substantial and frequently included information I didn't know. And some of them I'd never heard of (which is kind of saying something).

I had the same issue with the research, but I talk about that in my reflection post, so there's no need to go into it here.

Chuck said...

I knew as I read your posts that you had put in a ton of work. I couldn't imagine you doing it as the day came. I loved the wild west theme and learned a bunch I never knew. Thanks for the education and the entertainment! I am sure I'll enjoy the rest of the year just as much.

Anonymous said...

Nice work...and congrats on completing... research can be so much fun:)

Donna B. McNicol said...

Congrats on the challenge and all the hard work you did. Your posts were amazing...I don't think I ever commented on them (too many blogs followed), but I did scan them.

Looking forward to following you this year!

TMWHickman said...

I am looking forward to following you this year. Thank you for such terrific writing!

Unknown said...

I had a great time this challenge and a looking forward to continuing the visits. I got meet some great people like you. I appreciate all the comments you left. They meant a lot to me. I'm just sad that circumstance overwhelmed me and I have not been able to get around to commenting this last week or so. I hoe to be better organized next year and no moving. :)

Annalisa Crawford said...

I loved your theme, even though I was able to stop by as much as I wanted. I was really impressed by the amount of research that went into each one.

Thanks for co-hosting. It was a fantastic challenge!

EvalinaMaria said...

You've been a great team, thank you.

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 reflections post!

Evalina, This and that...

Barbara said...

It was a wonderful challenge this year! :)Congrats on finishing, and enjoying yourself all the way :) that's what it'a all about! :)

Huurray to the A - Zay!

English Speaking Zone

michelle said...

You did a fabulous job as co-hostess of the challenge! Thank you for all the hard work you put in.
This was my second challenge, and yes, yes, yes, I will definitely be on board again next year!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Stacy, I doubt any of us kept up with everything. I failed at completely keeping up with comments on my blog and am just now getting back to some!

Mood, no kidding! I feel like I need to write all my posts NOW. Then I won't freak out in April. And thanks for the kind words!

Becca, thank you for coming along!

Yvonne, thank you!

Susan, thank you for reading it!

Baygirl32, me, too!

Alex, no kidding! But you can! ;-p

Susanne, thank you! I enjoyed writing them.

Sarah, thank you!

Matthew, thank you! I enjoyed working with you!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Andrew, I figure that means we thoroughly enjoyed what we did, right!? Thank you! I enjoyed your posts, too. I intend to go back and catch up on the ones I missed.

Chuck, thanks so much! I'm glad it showed that I wasn't just throwing a couple facts out. That makes it worth it!

Tania, it can! I could happily be a historian.

Donna, I appreciate it! There really wasn't time to post, comment, reply, etc.

TMW, thank you! I look forward "seeing" you around!

Melissa, I regret the same thing. We all did the best we could, though.

Annalisa, thank you! It was fun!

Evalina, good for you! I'm just now getting back into the game. April was an incredibly busy month.

Barbara, I think you've got it pegged there! It's important that we have fun.

Michelle, that's awesome to hear! Looking forward to it!