Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Monday, May 7, 2012

A to Z: The Final Word

Before I get to the good stuff, let me tell you about the even better stuff. Today's the last day to enter my Robot Haiku Contest. Deadline's at 5pm, Eastern Time.

Letters. That was the final word of my Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.1

Of course, if that was all I had for you today, this would be a short post. Yet, as many of you know, I'm no good at writing short posts.

I expected this year's A to Z to be tougher than last year's. With a 9-month-old at home and things getting mighty busy at work, I knew I'd have much less time to participate. So, I did what any sane person would do: I chose a theme that took even more time.2

And I fell behind quickly. Starting on D-Day, every single post was written the night before. And I only really had the chance to visit the bloggers who commented on my posts. Still, I got to discover some fun blogs, and loved the small cadre of loyal visitors who kept coming back to The Wheel for more.

I learned a few things during the Challenge, too:
  • Some people appreciate being introduced to new things, but in general, people much prefer commenting on things they already know.
  • I will always be a perfectionist. And a procrastinator. These things do not go well together.
  • Sleep is for the weak.3

Creatively, what I enjoyed most about this year's Challenge was creating the letter graphics from my own photos. My favorites, in no particular order, are the ones ED LUVZ. Here are the whole bunch, in case you want to see 'em all in one place:


(click to embiggen)

A close second was coming up with the title for each letter. Here's a recap of all 26, for easy access:
  1. Like the Fonz Always Said (with anagrammed hosts' names)
  2. That Buzz in Your Ear
  3. A Body Off the Coast (Seven C's Edition)
  4. The End of the World
  5. The Gad Preceder
  6. Stop With the Camera
  7. The Most Common Willikers
  8. Jesus, Initially
  9. The Window to the Soul (I Spy With My Little I Edition)
  10. A Way of Walking
  11. It's Alright, I Guess
  12. The Train in Chicago (Double Hockey Stick Edition)
  13. A Kansas Auntie (Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm Edition)
  14. The Center of Attention
  15. A Surprised Utterance
  16. A Small Green Orb (P's in a Pod Edition)
  17. A British Line
  18. The Call of the Pirate
  19. The Start of Something (Super-Sized Saturday Edition)
  20. Something You Put Balls On (T for 2 Edition)
  21. A Ram's Better Half
  22. Southbound Geese
  23. The P.O.T.U.S. (#43)
  24. A Former Flame
  25. The Age-Old Question
  26. The End of All That Jazz

But the best thing to come out of this Challenge? I began writing nearly every day. And I plan to keep up the pace, too. Just not here.

After over two years' hiatus from my novel, I'm finally back at it. Five chapters to go in the first draft. 87.5% done. I'll get this thing finished yet.

Right after I read some robot haiku. (Hint hint.)


1 Unless you're of the mind that the footnotes came last, since they appear lower on the page. Then the final word was V. Which I'll pretend meant Victory.
2 I didn't realize that when I chose it, of course. I'm a master at self-delusion. You might not think I'm a master, but that's because I'm only good at deluding myself, not you.
3 I'm weak. Sleep is gooood.

28 comments:

  1. Good job on being back on track with your novel. I'm glad you enjoyed the A-Z challenge. It was pretty fun, wasn't it?

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    1. The A-Z was a blast. That's why I'm sure to be back next year, even though I suspect I'll have even less time for it. What can I say? I like a Challenge.

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  2. Glad to hear you got back on the novel. Only 12.5% to go!

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

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    1. Yep, just 12.5% of my first draft left to write. But I know the second draft will be extensive, so I'll make sure to go 110% on that one.

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  3. glad i found your site! the robot haiku contest was fun!
    and i liked your unique letters!

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    1. Thanks, Tara. And that's what the A-Z does best: Connects you with fun new blogs and bloggers. (What it does second best is deprive you of sleep and/or social life, but that's only for one month. The benefits last much longer.)

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  4. It appears that the last word was "and" unless you're somehow begrudging your endnotes, which are the reason we're all here. :P

    And yay for more writing! You will finish. You will now! ...or after robot haiku!

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    1. I guess it depends not only on your interpretation of "last," as I surmised, but also your interpretation of "word." I still contend it's letters.

      But yeah, since my novel contains neither robots nor haiku (nor endnotes), I figured I should get my fill now, before I really dive in.

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  5. My favorite letters were O and R.

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    1. Hey, that's right, two of your creations made my alphabet. You make great knit creatures (and challah... unknit challah, thankfully). And two things in your apartment ended up as F & W, FWIW.

      Sentimentally, R (and K) top my list. But visually, I'll stick with my original statement.

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  6. Perfectionist and procrastinator do not mix well.
    My theme was easy, but preparing the posts (in advance) took a lot of time due to all of the hyperlinks and images I selected.
    That said, I'll probably make next year's even more Challenging...
    Glad you had a good time, Nate!

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    1. I know what you mean. My posts were a bit heavy on the images and links, too. (Especially when I got to the ill-advised Massive and Super-Sized posts.)

      My goal for next year is to hit upon a theme that is somehow both more creative and less time-consuming than this year's. Knowing me, I'll probably just end up with the former...

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  7. congrats on being back and yeah perfectionist and procrastinator can certainly be hard on one--i don't possess either trait!

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    1. I envy you, Lynn. Although, I actually take pride in both my procrastination and my perfectionism. I know I'd be better off without either one, but I like to think I'll end up with better novels because of them... eventually.

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  8. Great posts and I know I'm coming back for the ones I missed. I fell behind as well with moving a new job assignment. We did it, though! Congrats on finishing the A to Z and for having some of the most interesting posts.

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    1. Wow, I thought my posts might be somewhat interesting, but not among the "most interesting." Clearly, I have underestimated my abilities. Which is pretty standard for writers, I believe...

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  9. I think it's probably easier to come up with a comment on things that were familiar to people... but I bet there were a lot of people who made mental notes about the "new to them" things you suggested. :)

    Glad to see the challenge inspired you to get back to writing more frequently... :)

    Jo
    In Which We Start Anew

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    1. You may be right, Jo. But yeah, I think it's not only easier, but also human nature to seek out the familiar.

      I'm glad I'm back in the (figurative) saddle again, too. If I'd stayed away any longer I might have had to stop calling myself a writer (and start calling myself "a blogger who writes on occasion," which just doesn't have the same ring to it).

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  10. Love your postscripts and sorry I missed your A to Z posts - I found your robot haiku contest through Tara Tyler's blog, and finally discovered your witty posts. I had to sleep, and live, and do regular stuff too, so my blog commenting and visiting was not the stuff of legends . . .oh well.

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    1. Glad to find another fan of the footnotes. But don't underestimate yourself; your April may very well have been the stuff of legends. But, you know, just the everyday stuff mentioned early in the first chapter before all the impressive stuff comes along.

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  11. Nate, I think I got by your site every day...though I'm not sure about anything right now. Either way I am going through all your posts again to be sure. I think your letter graphics were too cool...how did you do those?? I thought it was so interesting that you mentioned a few things in your posts that I thought almost no one really knew about (Tragically Hip comes to mind) and then there were a few new things to explore and some I had heard of but never really tested out. My hat is off to you for the 11th hour work you put in to crank out each post daily. Now you can go back and sleep in your own bed instead of the couch, right?

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    1. Thanks, Chuck. I tried my best to stop by out your way each day, too (though I know I was less successful).

      I made the letters in Photoshop, using a variety of filters and masks and good ol'-fashioned gumption. (Actually, I don't think there is any other type of gumption.) After footnotes, Photoshop may be my finest skill.

      I was always curious to see which things other people knew when I thought no one (or few) would. The Hip were one of those. Oh, and I never had to sleep on the couch. My wife kept forgetting to take up the entire bed, so I just waited until after she was asleep...

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  12. 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...

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    1. Yes, that seems to be a much more manageable number. (Manageable for you, that is. I still couldn't manage it.)

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  13. I am sorry... what are we talking about, oh okay!

    Reflection is a good thing, You have done a great job on the A to Z Challenge...
    Hopefully you were able to use one of my banners/badges for the Challenge, had as much fun designing them as seeing them around the blog world.

    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    A to Z Co-Host
    My New Book:
    Retro-Zombie: Art and Words

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    1. I suppose I might have used one of your creations before the A to Z started, but that would have been it. No offense, but I prefer to create my own images.

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  14. Great graphics you created there :) Good Luck with the novel!


    English Speaking Zone

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    1. Thanks, Barbara, on both counts! (Although, technically, I suppose it's not luck I need right now so much as forcing myself to write. Once I've finished, then I'll need the luck.)

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