Tick, Tick, Tick…

Did you know that this year’s April Challenge will be the 9th annual go at this thing?


The A to Z Team is getting ready and so are a lot of you.


New posts on this site are coming your way.   


What do you want to know?  Tell us in the comment section below…



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The A to Z Blog Is Stirring!

It looks like we’ve gotten our blog domain issues fixed and previously existing links should be working fine.


Things are happening!


April is coming!


Get ready for the 9th annual April Challenge!


Watch for more information in an upcoming post as well as updates to the blog for 2018.


SEE YOU SOON!!!!!

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Do the Holidays Influence Your Blog

December is ripe with holidays from several religions and cultures. Has any of the celebrating come to your blog? Some bloggers adopt a new color scheme (red and green or blue and silver). Others add holiday music that plays on page loading. I’ve even seen my mouse pointer turn into Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.



So tell me, A to Z bloggers, who among you is bringing the holiday spirit (or anti-spirit in some cases)?

  • Where can I click to find kittens in Santa hats?
  • Has anyone done a book review guide on the best eight books to give this Hanukkah?
  • Is there a craft blog with instructions to make a shimekazari for Omisoka?
  • Is there a recipie for a Kwanzaa dish?
  • Any blog posts out there with tips on what card to send to my favorite atheist scientist?
  • How about a list with the very best movies to watch this month?
  • Is anyone posting about the best games?
  • What about the mythology behind all the December celebrations?
  • Who has the best history post about the Greek letter “Chi”?
  • Is there a web comic to explain Boxing Day to Americans?
  • Any lifestyle bloggers giving insight to the fasting, introspection and prayer that takes place during Ramadan?
  • Is there a great personal blog out there with posts about what a certain holiday means to that blogger?
  • Which photography blog has the best pictures of the Rockefeller Center tree, and which has the most unique pictures of another December icon?
  • Have any of you poetry bloggers written a poem to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe?
  • Has there been a travel blog post showcasing a Saturnalia traditions?
  • How many writers out there have a sale special going in December? (Perhaps a naughty special from the Adult Content bloggers?)




The holidays in December are a wonderful time to explore our diversity and to show the very best parts of our religions and cultures. Be good to each other this month. And please share some links to entertain me!





by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer
Please visit the blog of @JLenniDorner Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer @JLenniDornerFollow @JLenniDorner on Twitter please WhatAreThey is the Facebook fan page of @JLenniDorner — Please click Like and Follow!

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Temporary Site Disorder

English: Frame of the actor and comedian Larry...
Frame of the actor and comedian Larry Fine from “Disorder in the Court” (1936), in public domain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

          For those who have had problems getting to the A to Z Blog we are having some temporary difficulties.  The site is still here (and if you are here at the blog reading this then you know that), however we’ve had to revert back to the Blogspot domain address. 

         I’m currently trying to reestablish the old a-to-zchallenge.com address so bear with me.  Hopefully this issue will be taken care of soon.  In the meantime you can still find us at a-to-zchallenge.blogspot.com.   If new posts appear this address will take you to them.  In fact the blogspot address even works if the custom domain is in effect.

          So if anyone is wondering, A to Z is still alive though we might be a bit dormant for a while.  If you are interested in contributing an A to Z relevant post then let us know and we can make the necessary arrangements.

         Thanks for your patience and continued support!

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Wake Me Up When September Ends

How is life treating you?

It’s Autumn in my area. The time when people take mini-vacations to look at leaves that have changed color. (Yes, it’s a thing. They’re called “leafers” or “leaf peepers.”)
Autumn is the third season of the year. This is when crops and fruits are gathered, and leaves fall. In the northern hemisphere, it is from September to November.” (Thanks, Google.)

September has been especially hard for several areas. In my newsfeed, I see:

  • Montana suffering from fires.
  • Texas still taking hits from the horrible weather.
  • The historic destruction in Florida.
  • Puerto Rico facing months of devastation.
  • Fallout from the earthquake in Mexico.

I’m sure there are more stories like this all over the world. These are just the headlines where I live. It’s been terrible. As Green Day put it, “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”

#AtoZchallenge -Wake Me Up When September Ends post- Photo by Bruno Ramos Lara on Unsplash

Then there’s happier news:

WMMR, a radio rock station in Philadelphia (PA, USA), was voted the best rock station of all time.
I heard about this while checking out the A TO Z event they held.
http://wmmr.com/event/back-to-school-a-to-z/

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FPrestonAndSteve%2Fposts%2F1473930412685815&width=500



Cool stuff! I was listening to tunes while finishing the publication of my debut novel, an urban fantasy titled “Fractions of Existence.”


Operation Awesome (a blog in the 2017 A to Z Challenge) had team member Kara interview me. Usually, I’m the one interviewing debut authors, so this was an interesting experience!

If you happen to be a writer, I suggest checking out this IWSG post. Not one, but TWO contests! What??? That’s amazing!



#AtoZchallenge -Wake Me Up When September Ends post-  Photo by Dora Reis on Unsplash

Have you encountered any A to Z fun in a non-blog place?

Are there any books by debut authors you’re looking forward to in the coming months?



Do you have any big news to share?

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Back to Stationery Shopping

Back to Stationery Shopping #AtoZchallenge blog post by @JLenniDorner August 2017





In my neck of the woods, it’s the time of year when all the stores overflow with stationery, all of which is on sale. For parents and children, this is known as “back to school shopping.”



For writers, this is known as “fueling for the addiction.” (I’d tell you I’m kidding, but my wallet would disagree. Also, I have habit of sniffing… deeply inhaling… new notebooks. That scent is “the good stuff.” Am I alone in this?)



Here’s an A to Z stationery shopping list:

  • A is for — activity books
  • books image on the Back to Stationery Shopping #AtoZchallenge blog post by @JLenniDorner August 2017

  • B is for — books ~~~ If you enjoy reading, check these out:

Bout of Books Read-a-thon — August 21-27.

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon — September 11-24

  • C is for — crayons
  • D is for — dictonary
  • dictionary image on the Back to Stationery Shopping #AtoZchallenge blog post by @JLenniDorner August 2017

  • E is for — erasers
  • F is for — flashcards
  • flashcards image on the Back to Stationery Shopping #AtoZchallenge blog post by @JLenniDorner August 2017

  • G is for — glue
  • H is for — hundreds of index cards
  • I is for — ink filled pens
  • ink filled pens image on the Back to Stationery Shopping #AtoZchallenge blog post by @JLenniDorner August 2017

  • J is for — jump drive (USB flash drive, data stick, pen drive, memory unit, key chain drive and thumb drive)
  • K is for — kicks (sneakers, tennis shoes)
  • L is for — lined paper
  • lined paper image on the Back to Stationery Shopping #AtoZchallenge blog post by @JLenniDorner August 2017

  • M is for — measuring devices (rulers, protractors)
  • N is for — notebook, spiral bound
  • O is for — object to carry books and such in (backpack)
  • P is for — pencils
  • pencils image on the Back to Stationery Shopping #AtoZchallenge blog post by @JLenniDorner August 2017

  • Q is for Quaker oatmeal, cereal, fast breakfast foods
  • R is for — reward stickers
  • reward stickers image on the Back to Stationery Shopping #AtoZchallenge blog post by @JLenniDorner August 2017

  • S is for — stapler
  • staplers with NFL teams image on the Back to Stationery Shopping #AtoZchallenge blog post by @JLenniDorner August 2017 Giants, Steelers, Eagles

  • T is for — thesaurus
  • thesaurus image on the Back to Stationery Shopping #AtoZchallenge blog post by @JLenniDorner August 2017

  • U is for — utensils
  • V is for — variety of three-ring binders
  • W is for — wireless notebook
  • wireless notebook image on the Back to Stationery Shopping #AtoZchallenge blog post by @JLenniDorner August 2017

  • X is for Xbox lunchbox
  • Y is for — yellow highlighter
  • Z is for — zit remover




I admit this alphabetical list has strayed from stationery in places.

What words might you suggest for K, Q, U, X, or Z?




Have an idea for an A to Z post? Are you a past participant who would like to be featured? Let me know!



by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer
Please visit the blog of @JLenniDorner Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer @JLenniDornerFollow @JLenniDorner on Twitter please WhatAreThey is the Facebook fan page of @JLenniDorner — Please click Like and Follow!

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July Traditions

Happy Independence Day America!



The A to Z challenge is American based, but has participants from around the world.

A list of July traditions in my neck of the woods:



  • A is for Autosports— Racing vehicles at the track or smashing vehicles at a demolition derby are both popular around here in July.
  • B is for BBQ— Having barbeque made on a barbecue is popular because food cooked over fire just tastes better.
  • C is for Cloud watching— Look! Up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a dragon, it’s… clouds are weird and awesome.
    Staring at them is fun.
cloud image @JLenniDorner from #atozchallenge July Traditions post
  • D is for Dancing in the sunshine— People love to soak up the rays. (Hopefully while using SPF protection.)
  • E is for Eating summer treats— There are some foods that taste better in July (watermelon), and some that are only available during this time of year (Rita’s Italian Ice).
  • F is for Fireworks— The best, brightest, boldest, and biggest fireworks displays in my area take place on America’s Independence Day.
  • G is for Game nights— Families and friends are more inclined to gather for nights of board, card, or yard games.
  • H is for Hiking— It’s the time of year when people take to the trails.
  • I is for Iced drinks— Tea, coffee, juice… every drink seems to have ice added.
  • J is for Jubilant gatherings— July and August have the highest number of birthdays around here. Not that it’s the only reason people get together.
  • K is for Kite flying— On any day with sun and some wind, there are people flying kites at local parks.
  • L is for Lightning bug chasing— Also called fireflies, these cute beetles have bioluminescence in their backsides.
  • M is for Movie marathons— It’s the time of year when people suggest watching a whole series. (This should be a “Netflix and Binge” category. The streaming boxset!)
  • N is for Neighborhood volunteering— Mowing the lawn for an elderly neighbor, teaching someone about planting flowers, picking up a carton of milk for a friend… part of July is about giving back to the community.
  • O is for Outdoor sleeping— Camping in tents, RV campers, or just with a blanket under the stars. July is a popular month for people to leave their domicile for a night or two.
  • P is for Pasta or potato salad— The hotter it gets, the less people want hot food. Pasta salad or potato salad are great alternatives (as long as they are kept cool).
  • Q is for Quiet reflection— July is when people around here are most inclined to take a break to meditate.
take a break to meditate #atozchallenge @JLenniDorner July Traditions post
  • R is for Reading— It’s a popular time to curl up with a good book!
  • S is for S’mores— Roast a marshmallow over the fire. Then trap it between two graham crackers and piece of chocolate candy (such as a Hershey bar).
  • T is for Traveling— It’s the time of year that folks pack up to go visit other folks or fun places.
  • U is for Understanding nature— So much of modern life keeps people indoors. July is a popular month to get back in touch with nature and all she has to teach us.
  • V is for Volleyball— This is a popular summer sport, best played in the sand.
  • W is for Water fun— Pools, water parks, lawn sprinklers, lakes, rivers, the ocean… July is when people rediscover just how fun water can be.
  • X is for X-rays resulting from over doing it— Common July injuries come from people ignoring limitations.
  • Y is for Yelling at kids on the lawn— Without fail, there is someone in the neighborhood who is yelling at kids on the lawn.
    (Usually the kids are children, but I have now seen two people yelling at young goats…)
  • Z is for Zoo trips— This is also a popular time of year to head to the zoo or game preserve to learn more about animals.



What are the July traditions in your area?




I’m seeking A to Z participants who have recently done something “spotlight worthy” (getting a big publishing deal, winning the rodeo championship, landing a part in a movie, setting a Guinness World Record, etc etc etc). If you’d be willing to be interviewed for this blog, please get in touch with me! Thanks.



by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer
Please visit the blog of @JLenniDorner Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer @JLenniDornerFollow @JLenniDorner on Twitter please WhatAreThey on Facebook pages

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