I did it – another April participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, along with hundreds of other bloggers around the world. This was my second time working through the alphabet, and it was just as much fun as it was before. My theme was almost the same as last time: haiku puzzles, but this time focused on words from science fiction and fantasy. The challenge was both harder and easier than last year. It was harder because my April was a busier month in my personal life, since I’m serving this year as chair of my college department and my daughter’s wedding is coming up in less than a month. It was easier because I anticipated this, so I worked well ahead to write the haikus and draft the posts, and then took full advantage of WordPress’s capacity to schedule posts ahead of time. Each weekend I stacked up all the posts for the whole week and got them ready to go. This meant that all I had to do during the week was reading and commenting on posts by other people, and responding to all the wonderful comments I got on my own posts. This is the fun part of the A to Z challenge, so I made sure to budget time for building and maintaining these connections.
Now it’s time to look back at the numbers for the month, and compare them with my stats from a year ago.
- I posted 29 times in April, which is not quite as many as last time but still not bad for a 30-day month. This included the 26 alphabet posts plus three others, all related to the weekly WordPress photo challenge. (I only missed one challenge in April, which again isn’t bad for a month when the A-Z Challenge is happening!).
- Focusing on just the 26 alphabet posts that were part of the A-Z challenge, I see that I collected a total of 850 comments (more than double last year’s count). The fact that people take the time to comment on my posts continues to amaze me. Every one of those comments lifted my heart! The post that earned the most comments, at 17, was the one for the letter Q:
He snaps his fingers,
And with limitless power
Plays games with starships
The answer to this haiku is simply Q, the designation for one of the recurring antagonists in Star Trek. Since he sees himself as infinitely superior to us puny mortals, Q would be completely unsurprised at coming out on top in any category you care to name.
- All together, the 26 letter posts this month earned 192 “likes.” This isn’t double last year’s number (137), but it’s still a substantial increase. The post for the letter P was the one with the highest number of likes at 17, and is also one that earned only marginally less than the top number or comments, at 16:
what is in its pocketses?
No! That’s mine! It’s MY —
I guess lots of people love Lord of the Rings. Some of the science fiction/fantasy fans I know say that, knowing the letter of the day was P, all they needed was the first line. Nobody else but Gollum would say that, and all Gollum talked about was his precious.
- One more number. During April this blog gained 25 new followers, bringing my total up to 185. I can’t say how much it means to me that there are so many people who find what I ramble on about here to be useful, or entertaining, or in some way worth their time. Every single one of you counts as MY precious! I will do my best to return something to you for the gift of time you’ve given to me
Let me say thank you
To everyone who stopped by—
You are all the best!