*All 31 "Prompts" might not be featured on this blog; I have my own schedule and topics to adhere to.

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Monday
May022011

Flying High

The love of airplanes or at least, things that fly...how wonderful! This week's theme is on movies that are "focused on flight, things that fly or become airborne" according to The Bumbles, so here are two movies I thought of automatically to fit the bill.

Top Gun
Monday Movie Meme,WordCount Blogathon

The timing was perfect since this Tom Cruise movie came on TV last night after the White House, CBS and the President decided to interrupt my "CSI: Miami" episode instead of waiting 15 minutes until the news came on. Anyway, "Top Gun" has romance in the midst of fighter pilots being trained to fly an F-14A Tomcat.

Up

Monday Movie Meme,WordCount Blogathon

An old man decides that Tom Cruise's fighter aircraft options are sooo 80s and tying balloons to his home is a better form of transportation. Talk about traveling on the fly...and on the cheap! The floating house is supposed to help this man fulfill a lifelong dream of traveling to South America.

Let's see....floating home with balloons or a fighter jet?
Hmmm, I think I may want to go with Tom Cruise on this one. Then again, old man Carl has access to toilets, satellite television (hey, why pay for cable if you're already in the sky?) and possibly a change of clothes.......if he kept these things in his house. I didn't see "Up" but I do know one thing, Carl's form of transportation was not only more frugal and possibly environmentally friendly than the way Tom Cruise chose to fly but it also won him two Oscars while "Top Gun" is sitting pretty with only one....Best Original Song. Well, "Up" grabbed Best Original Score AND won Best Animated Feature. So, who's Top Gun now?! It surely ain't Mr. "You had me at hello"! At least not this week in the Monday Movie Meme!

Shucks! I just also thought of "The Aviator" starring Leonardo DiCaprio while adding the photos to this post. Oh well. Sorry Leo. I'm running late for something I have to do and still have to take a shower, so you're not going to get as much attention from me in this blog post, at least this morning anyway.

If you're not too busy, check out Manifest this, buddy by a fellow blogger who is participating in the WordCount blogathon.

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Sunday
May012011

My Blogging from A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post

A to Z Challenge

My experiences with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge was exciting, inspiring and exhausting but it was all for a good purpose. The only frustrating aspect of the challenge that I experienced were the captcha features that many bloggers had on their blogs. This made it difficult to visit and comment on as many blogs as I hoped, especially because I am having problems with my computer.

Still, it was only a minor stumbling block compared to the wonderful experiences that I had while participating in the blogging from A to Z Challenge. One of those experiences included winning my first ever blog award, the Creative Blogger Award from Deirdra who operates A Storybook World and I want to take this time to thank her again for such a thoughtful award.

The A to Z Challenge helped me become more productive as a writer and blogger by posting more on this blog of mine, The Madlab Post. The challenge also helped me to take a more active approach in promoting my blog and making it known to new readers while also meeting new bloggers that share similar interests. I gained an estimated 30 or so followers from my participation in the A to Z Challenge. This total is significantly less than what I desired but it’s also a lot more than what I had before I started the challenge, so the results are greater than I could have expected.

A to Z Challenge

Reading dozens of blog posts was the most challenging aspect of this event for me due to a combination of factors including my work responsibilities, a slow computer and the captcha issue. The amount of published authors and writers participating in the challenge surprised me the most because I thought that the participating blogs would be a balanced mixture of subjects or niches but noticed that the majority seems to include writers with published novels or soon to be published novels. I would participate in the A to Z Challenge again because it gave me the opportunity to increase readership for my blog and also because it caused me to be accountable to a blogging schedule.

The A to Z Challenge also introduced me to some inspiring men and women from around the world who appear to be very successful and happy and able to do what they love, which are all things that I strive for but feel like I fail, so it’s nice to be in the company of people who will bring out the best in what I have to offer. It makes me want to do better and move more swiftly and diligently toward reaching certain goals.

I would recommend the A to Z Challenge to others who need a fresh start with a new blog or who want to turbo-charge the blog that they already have. I would also recommend the challenge to poets and lovers of literature even those who do not blog because, if for nothing else, it provides great writing exercises and entertaining reading activities.

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I would not know whether the A to Z team of event hosts did an adequate job of helping to answer questions or solving problems because after a few days, I just stuck with Arlee at Tossing It Out because it was a challenge keeping up with all of the hosts PLUS other bloggers participating on top of that....I would never get anything else done that way, so I had to just stick with one host only.

I also do not have an opinion on the preparation leading up to the challenge because I joined at the last minute, like the last day or two of March. I don’t really see anything wrong with the challenge and think that it is a very useful event. The only suggestions that I would offer to improve it would be to remove bloggers from the Linky list who have not kept up on their blogging through the challenge. I’ve come across a few who either did not start the challenge at all and their last post was in like February or March or others who started the challenge but their last post is for letter “D” or something like that.

I know that it’s easy to get behind if something happens but there is clearly a different between a blog that is like 2 or 3 letters behind and a blog that hasn’t written anything in like 2 weeks. An ideal setup would be for one of the organizers to check blogs, or create some kind of check-in system where participating bloggers must sign-in for the day or something. It could be as simple as requiring bloggers to leave a comment on a specific blog or something....and then participating bloggers could go by the current comment section when trying to visit blogs, instead of using the Linky List to visit blogs.

A to Z Challenge

I am glad to have come across some very special bloggers with entertaining, creative, educational or just plain ol’ inspiring blogs. Having already recognized many these bloggers on my “Pay It Forward” post for the letter ‘P,’ I won’t list all of them again but would especially like to bring attention to Alana who operates Writercize because her blog is like the ultimate cure for writer’s block....and...maybe even slight depression!

Among the new blogs that I discovered and liked enough to follow were Film Sketchr because it focuses on storyboards and concept art from popular movies, Giggle Laugh Cry because it’s such a fun read, It's All Me because the author blogs about his life in such a free, relaxed way, Sand Castles and Snow Forts because each visit is refreshing and Gail M Baughnett - Author because she teaches readers about cool aspects of cultures from different parts of the world such as Japanese phrases and some type of dried Mango and Hawaiian plum powder. I also enjoyed reading the Random Thoughts blog where the author blogs about the ABC's of a Good Friend, which I thought was a clever way for Sharon, the author, to go through letters in the A to Z Challenge.

I must not forget Daily Write where my new-found Twitter buddy Damyanti blogs about writing and reading while also sharing really good short stories that she writes and I also enjoyed reading It's All Me where the blogger writes about his passion for playing sports and thought provoking topics about life that everyone can relate to such as Youth. There are too many new blogs that I discovered and liked, to name them all in this post, so I'll stop here for now but I do plan on highlighting more of them in my future blog posts throughout the year.

A to Z Challenge

One of the new blog friendships I made that will make this A to Z Challenge more memorable would have to be Beverly from Blue Velvet Vincent and it’s funny how we met. She really helped the re-launch of my King Dong series take off and I later learned that she did not even know about the A to Z challenge until finding my Tweets about our main squeeze, actor Vincent D’Onofrio. She decided to join the A to Z Challenge, even though April had already started.....then the “Surprise” button brought her back to my blog.

I guess she and I were meant to connect since we sorta already met by communicating with each other on Twitter and she even gave me a Stylish Blogger Award, my second blog award that I received during the challenge. Unfortunately, our great times together during the A to Z Challenge did not last very long. A mutual love for the "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" star quickly led to a budding blogging friendship but then a few days ago, she informed me that she has taken down her blog and doesn’t know when she will return.

I thought it was just her blog but then I noticed that she also removed her Twitter profile and other online places that she was involved with although I'm not sure if the sudden hiatus includes the Facebook profile for BLV. I understand that this is just the Internet and we have not been communicating for that long but I miss her already and hope that she returns to blogging, tweeting and being online but in the meantime, I hope that she is okay and I wish her the very best.

I’d like to thank Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out for organizing the A to Z Challenge and for also visiting this blog and commenting on various posts. I also thank all of my fellow bloggers who participated in the challenge and visited my blog and left comments. I’m pretty exclusive and didn’t really care to have many blogging friends when first joining the challenge, especially since I felt like I had enough....I had Glozell and Herman at Terrible Analogies and some fellow freelance writing friends and I figured that’s it...they’re all I need in the world!

A to Z Challenge

I guess I now have to accept the fact that my circle of blogging friends has expanded beyond my expectations and, well, hmmmm...I guess that's not toooooo bad. I like some of the rest of y’all....most of the time! *hehe*

A to Z Challenge

Congratulations to all who completed the A to Z Challenge!

May you continue to blog and read often throughout the year and have fun doing it.

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Saturday
Apr302011

Zombieland Sucks!

Today is not about a movie starring Woody Harrison
and that "Social Network" guy.
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It's about me, sleep deprivation and Blogging from A to Z.
would require more effort than meets the eye.

I wrote all day and wrote all night for clients,
freelance writing assignments and my blog.
I began to feel like I was in a Zombie-like state of being
that almost made me as sick as a dog.

During April 2011, I read posts, made comments and enjoyed blogging from A to Z
But I started to loathe my freelance writing work because it felt like it was draining the life out of me.

Most of my energy was torn between something fulfilling and something else that pays the bills.
When I think about all the rewrite requests, long hours, not eating and still not working on my movie, it seems like I'm climbing up a steep and never-ending hill.

Feeling like a Zombie makes it tough to always keep moving forward on a quest to be all I can be.
But, one day during the challenge, I read what looked like a suicide note from {Mis}Adventures of an Army Wife that served as a reminder that there are others out in the world that may have it worse than me.

I'm disappointed that now there are spelling typos, grammar errors and other mistakes editors find in my work because I can't get any sleep.
My computer is slow and a mouse frightens me at night, yet, when the daytime comes, it doesn't make a peep.

I'm sure I'm not alone, as there are probably other bloggers and freelance writers who feel like Zombies walking around like a bunch of smokers zoned out on some herb without a clue of what to do.
So, to my fellow Zombie-like friends, Let me be the first to say that Zombieland sucks, but a longtime friend once told me "It could always suck more!" and so I invite you to join me in trying to view it as motivation and a lesson to reflect on blessings taken for granted.
.....Just a message from me to you!

Here's to all who blogged through to the end of this year's A to Z Challenge!
A to Z Challenge,Poems
Yay We Did It!

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