Firstly a huge thank you to all the organisers at the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for thinking up this hair-brained scheme and sharing their time and effort to make it such a great challenge.
Secondly a huge thank you to everyone who visited through April, and hello and welcome to my new followers, I hope you will stick around and enjoy the odd book review and other random stuff that make up this blog.
Thirdly a huge thank you to Monkey for kicking my butt and making me join in when I was trying to cry off at the last minute, and providing me with (most of) the random words for my flash fiction.
Rather like NaNoWriMo the A to Z provides a bit of external discipline and motivation that stops me sinking into 'I never achieve anything with my free time' mode, something that inevitably leads to even worse procrastination and more loitering on Facebook. I like the challenge because it gives me an excuse to do something different on my blog and gets me back into the random blog browsing that I did so much of when I first started blogging.
Each year I have tended to scroll down the signup list clicking on blogs; I go for quirky titles, or sometimes because they are labelled as book bloggers, or sometimes just utterly at random. I have found many interesting blogs this way and always add some to my follow list. I can't guarantee I'll visit all the time but I do go down my RSS and blogger feeds every day and visit a few, and always read the ones that arrive by email.
New blogs I have enjoyed this year:
The Weekend Baker and Jo on Food, My Travels and a Scent of Chocolate are both great foodie blogs. Fanny Barnes Thornton's A to Z was about quilts, but she writes about all sorts of stuff. Zombie Flamingos wrote about house renovations, but was picked as the best blog name. Dave Graham at espresso coco reviewed some excellent films and gets a mention for the unforgettable photo of Sean Connery he included in the last day. Shahira at The Word Trance did a most fascinating A to Z of English words that originated in Arabic, and confesses a love of language. K.L. and Catherine blog at Spirit of Children's Literature and introduced me to lots of books I had never come across as well as old favourites. Jenn Lost in Chaos and This Nomadic Life (anonymous expat blog) both just struck a chord with what they wrote about.
My only quibble with the challenge is the number of people who were signed up but did not join in. It must be hard to keep up with everyone on such a long list, and to be honest, I just leave again if a blogger is not posting and go to the next one. The wonderful enthusiasm of most of the participants makes up for the few who didn't bother.
It was a busy April, but May will be quiet; I am off on holiday in 7 days time so there will be a distinct lull in posts this month.