A-Z Blog Challenge 2019: More Haiku Puzzles!

Try to find the word
A tiny poem hints at—
That will be your task

All throughout April
Every day a new letter
And a new puzzle

Hold on to your hats, people–The Haiku puzzle is back for the A-Z challenge this year! It’s been a lot of fun in previous years, and I expect it to be the same again this time. Here’s how it works.

In the A-Z Blog Challenge, there’s a letter of the alphabet assigned to every day in April except Sundays. Participating blogs will post something related to that letter on that day. What I’ll be posting is a tiny puzzle following a pattern called haiku, which consists of three lines with 5, 7, and 5 syllables. Traditionally a haiku invokes an image from nature, most often seasonal.

For the challenge, each haiku I post will suggest a word that starts with the letter assigned for the day, but the word itself won’t be in the poem. That’s why it’s a puzzle! Your job is to figure out what word the haiku suggests, and let us know your solution in the comments. If I’ve done my job well, the puzzles will be fun and easy.

The fun begins on Monday April 1 with the letter A. I hope you follow along!

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New Life: Why I’m Back on the Blog

Did you miss me?

I haven’t posted here on WordWacker since my New Year’s post at the end of 2018. Up until then I was posting at least once a week, but several things came together at the turn of the year: the end of my own personal photo challenge, gearing up for my last semester as a professor, recovering from some minor surgery compounded with a minor illness, and so on. Nothing that would normally have kept me off the site, but I put off getting a post together and then inertia took over. Why would I post something on this day when I haven’t posted anything on all those other days? I’ll put it off for a while longer…. You know the experience.

Well, today I’m back. There are signs of spring all around me, and it’s even warm today where I am, though we’re expecting winter weather to return over the weekend. Mainly, though, I just dug in my heels and decided I’m not ready to abandon this blog. It’s been important to me, and will continue to be.

So what’s the plan going forward?

  • First up: I’m participating in the A-Z Blog Challenge again this year, which will consume all of April. Look forward to the Return of the Haiku Puzzles. I love doing this, and wouldn’t miss it. Tomorrow is the big theme reveal, but hey, you heard it here first!
  • After that, I’ll be starting up a (mostly) regular feature called Something for Sunday. My plan is to post on topics ranging from book reviews, updates on my own writing journey, reflections on life, photos I’ve taken, insights from cognitive psychology, gaming, or whatever I feel like. I don’t promise to get a post out every single Sunday, but my plan is to make it more weeks than I miss.

Many thanks to all of you who continue to follow this little blog, despite my recent hiatus. I hope to reward you with content that’s worth sticking around for.

What would you like to hear about? Let me know in the comments!

WW Photo Challenge: Z for Zinnias

Z is for Zinnias

Well, here we are at the end of the alphabet, the end of the year, and the end of the WordWacker Photo Challenge. I’m closing with this picture of some lovely zinnia blossoms, spotted along the walk one day last September. Zinnias are adorable little puffball flowers that come in some really intense colors, and these are good examples. I’m happy to end my challenge on these beauties.

I’ve been giving some thought to the question of whether to continue the challenge into next year, and I’ve decided not to have a formal challenge. Aside from my buddy Olga Godim, posting her custom book covers every week, I’ve only had one other person who participated once (thank you, Alice DeForest!). So while I’ve had fun doing it, it seems that it was not meant to catch on.

I’ve got a whole end-of-year reflection coming up, so I’ll save the discussion of my blog plans for 2019 until then. In the meantime, let me just say thanks to everyone who followed, liked, commented, or just sent me invisible support vibes through this experiment. It’s been great.

You can join in on the photo challenge one last time! Pick any image you created you can label with the letter Z. Or, indeed, any photo you like; it’s the last week, so anything goes! Here’s how to participate.

  • Post an image on your own blog or website.* All types of images are welcome. If you have serious equipment and serious skills, that’s awesome! If you snap pics on your phone (like me), that’s also awesome!
  • Post a comment on this page with a link back to your post. If you post a comment that includes a link to your blog, I will add a link to your post below.
  • Check back over the next week to follow the links. That way you can see what other people did with the theme and join in the fun.

Olga Godim contributed her last custom cover to the WordWacker Photo Challenge with one about zebras. Check it out here. Thank you, Olga!


*Just so we’re all clear, you post your photos on your own site, which means you aren’t giving control to me or to anyone else. We’re all invited to view the images you post (and comment if your site allows for comments), but nobody has the right to use your images in any way without your permission. Got it? Great!

WW Photo Challenge: Yellow Daisies

Y is for Yellow Daisies

As we come to the end of the alphabet, it gets hard to find images for the letters. Last weeks’ X entry was especially challenging, but i had trouble with Y as well. I mulled over my options for weeks until finally my attention was captured by a field of yellow on the side of the road on my way to work. The flowers offered up the most vivid yellow there is, without making any demands for cultivation or admiration. I did admire them, though. I hope you do too.

Next week will be the end of this journey through the alphabet in images. As i look back at 2018 and think about 2019, I’ve got to decide whether to repeat the alphabetical photo challenge, think of a different way to challenge myself to post photos, or put the whole idea aside. I’d love to hear any wisdom you, my readers, have to offer on this topic. Have these posts been interesting or entertaining/ Would you like to see them continue? Please let me know, and thank you for your attention.

You can join in on the photo challenge! Pick any image you created you can label with the letter Y. Do you have a yurt? Maybe some colorful yarn? Share anything you’ve got for this week. Here’s how to participate.

  • Post an image on your own blog or website.* All types of images are welcome. If you have serious equipment and serious skills, that’s awesome! If you snap pics on your phone (like me), that’s also awesome!
  • Post a comment on this page with a link back to your post. If you post a comment that includes a link to your blog, I will add a link to your post below.
  • Check back over the next week to follow the links. That way you can see what other people did with the theme and join in the fun.

Olga Godim picked Yoga as the Y-word that inspired her custom cover this week. Check it out here.


*Just so we’re all clear, you post your photos on your own site, which means you aren’t giving control to me or to anyone else. We’re all invited to view the images you post (and comment if your site allows for comments), but nobody has the right to use your images in any way without your permission. Got it? Great!

WW Photo Challenge: The X Fence

X is for the X-shaped support structure for this fence
(X is a hard letter)

I looked for months to find something that starts with X that I could take a picture of for today’s post, and I failed. The closest I could come is this rail fence with its X-shaped supports. Aside from the letter X failure, I quite like the image. I have a fondness for strong diagonal elements in my photos (here are a few examples). I also like the feeling of rugged competence it invokes. Someone knocked down a bunch of small trees, lopped off the branches, and piled them up without fasteners to make a serviceable fence. Well done, anonymous person! When civilization collapses, I want to be on your team.

You can join in on the photo challenge! Pick any image you created you can label with the letter X. If you find a xylophone or an X-ray machine, more power to you! Otherwise, how abut anything X-shaped?  Here’s how to participate.

  • Post an image on your own blog or website.* All types of images are welcome. If you have serious equipment and serious skills, that’s awesome! If you snap pics on your phone (like me), that’s also awesome!
  • Post a comment on this page with a link back to your post. If you post a comment that includes a link to your blog, I will add a link to your post below.
  • Check back over the next week to follow the links. That way you can see what other people did with the theme and join in the fun.

Olga Godim found a different solution to the X dilemma, with her custom cover based on the sound of X. Check it out here.


*Just so we’re all clear, you post your photos on your own site, which means you aren’t giving control to me or to anyone else. We’re all invited to view the images you post (and comment if your site allows for comments), but nobody has the right to use your images in any way without your permission. Got it? Great!

WW Photo Challenge: Wood Wall

W is for Wood Wall

In this part of the world, boats generally don’t stay in the water over the winter. Our sailboat right now is “on the hard,” as they say, perched on its cradle, wrapped in plastic to keep out the snow and ice. The marina uses big blocks of wood, roughly chopped from 8″ x 8″ lumber, under the keels of the boats to support their weight and provide a little cushion. In the summer these blocks are stacked up on pallets. I was struck one day by the visual texture of all that wood, and this picture is the result. Now, as the snow is falling outside my window, I find this image invokes the lazy warmth of summer. I hope you enjoy it as I do!

You can join in on the photo challenge! Pick any image you created you can label with the letter W. Show us water, weeds, or wrinkles.  Here’s how to participate.

  • Post an image on your own blog or website.* All types of images are welcome. If you have serious equipment and serious skills, that’s awesome! If you snap pics on your phone (like me), that’s also awesome!
  • Post a comment on this page with a link back to your post. If you post a comment that includes a link to your blog, I will add a link to your post below.
  • Check back over the next week to follow the links. That way you can see what other people did with the theme and join in the fun.

Olga Godim has a cover for the letter W featuring a magnificent wolf! Check it out here.
And this week we have another image! Actually a whole set of beautiful photos on the theme of the wishing well, from The 59 Club. Stop over and visit them!


*Just so we’re all clear, you post your photos on your own site, which means you aren’t giving control to me or to anyone else. We’re all invited to view the images you post (and comment if your site allows for comments), but nobody has the right to use your images in any way without your permission. Got it? Great!