So Long, Farewell

After 5 1/2 years, it’s time for me to stop updating this blog. It’s been great, and I really appreciate all the people who’ve followed me over the years. Thank you!

I’ve not stopped blogging, though. You can keep following me over at my website: See you there in 2020!

Blue marbles on white background. Text: Celia Reaves: Author, teacher, observer of the world

WordWacker is 5!

A cake with frosting baloons and the number 5, with text: Happy Blog BirthdayWordWacker is five years old today!

In some ways, this has been a rocky year, with good news and bad. I’m still lamenting the passing of the WordPress Photo Challenge, which ended in May 2018. I tried my own photo challenge for the second half of 2018 (you can see the first entry here). It worked, in that I posted a photo a week, one for every letter of the alphabet, and I liked the structure of it. Still, it felt awkward and never garnered much enthusiasm (though I did appreciate the constant participation of Olga Godim). I didn’t continue it past December. Then I didn’t post at all for the first few months of 2019. I needed to regroup and find a new direction.

I came back in mid-March, though, and participated for the fourth time in the A-Z Blog Challenge with another set of haiku puzzles (you can see them starting here, if you want).

Since the end of April, I’ve been posting once a week with Something for Sunday. There have been 11 of these posts so far on a range of topics, starting with an essay on how a popular movie movie relates to an important facet of human evolution and ranging through public celebrations like Mothers Day, private milestones like my anniversary, and a meditation on the complex relationship most of us have with our belongings.

This has been a year of modest growth on social media.

  • I posted 68 times on this blog.The biggest category was the A-Z blog Challenge, followed by my own photo challenge.
  • The number of new followers grew by the same number: 68, which brings my total followers up to 32. Welcome! I am sincerely grateful to all my followers. This blog wouldn’t exist without you. Thank you for coming, and I will try to provide you with content that’s worth the visit.
  • I’ve been participating more and more over on Twitter, where my follower count is up to 282, more than doubling the 121 followers I had this time last year. On Twitter I mostly post haiku (I wrote about it on the blog here), but I also follow various writing groups there, including #amwriting and #WritingCommunity. If you’re on Twitter, check me out @Celia_Reaves.

What do I see looking forward to the next year?

  • I’m going to get the my novel in shape to begin querying. That’s been a long time coming, but I think I can see the finish line from here.
  • I’ll keep up the Something for Sunday posts at least through the end of 2019, and see how it goes after that.
  • I’m going to look into becoming more active on Instagram. I’ve got an account there but haven’t done anything with it. I intend to figure out that platform and participate over there at least a little.

So, here’s to the end of another year on the blog. A good year, if not an outstanding year. Again, many thanks to all my followers for sticking with me, and I hope to make it worth your while for another year.

A-Z Reflection #atozchallenge

Another year, another set of haiku puzzles for the A-Z Blog Challenge! I had a lot of fun, as usual, and was delighted to be able to participate in the challenge’s 10th year anniversary. First, some stats from my posts for the challenge. (If you want to see all my puzzle poems from the beginning of the challenge, click here to go back to the Letter A on April 1.)

  • The haiku with the most likes was for the letter F, at 18. I guess the idea of family really resonates with people, which is no surprise at all.
  • The haiku that generated the most comments was for the letter B, at 19. Who doesn’t love birds!

In honor of the 10th anniversary, this year’s reflections can include answers to 10 questions, so here goes:

  1. What did you love about the challenge this year? The same thing I love every year. I love writing the poems and creating the puzzles, and I really love the interaction with those who visit and comment.
  2. What would you change about it? I can’t think of anything to change. It worked really well for me, as a blogger and a reader.
  3. What was the best moment for you during this year’s challenge? My best moment happened every day, when I went to my blog and found likes and comments from my readers. My other best moment was visiting another blog and finding something that made my day. Shout out to Dena Pauling, who also based her challenge on puzzles, and included some of my geek favorites and taught me I’m really bad with plants.
  4. What is the best comment your blog got during the challenge, and who left the comment? So many to choose from! I loved it when people responded to my puzzles with creative sideways answers. Here’s an example. The answer to my haiku for the letter G was Guest, and Sue of Sue’s Trifles responded, “I guessed that one quickly!”
  5. Will you do the challenge again? Absolutely!
  6. Was it well organized and were the hosts helpful? (Did you fill out the after survey?) Yes, the whole operation is organized very well. I enjoyed the posts the hosts created on the A-Z blog, and loved that they played along with the challenge. Yes, I filled out the survey.
  7. How did you and your blog grow, change, or improve as a result of this challenge? Did you find new blogs out there to enjoy? I can’t say I broke any new ground, since this was my fourth time through the challenge. I grew my readership, though, gaining 34 new followers (Hi, everyone!). This year was crazier than usual due to some personal things in my life, I didn’t get to visit as many other blogs as I would have liked. That’s definitely a goal I’ll work harder on next time.
  8. Were you on the Master List? (If you did the challenge last year, was it better this time without the daily lists?) Yes, I was on the Master List, and used it to find new blogs to check out. I can’t say I ever really used the daily lists before, so I didn’t miss them. The Master List worked out well for me.
  9. Any suggestions for our future? Just keep it up. I would miss this challenge if it weren’t there
  10. Any notes to the co-host team? A word of thanks to Jeremy for all his hard work on the graphics? Here’s what I have to say: Whoo hooo! Great job. *loud clapping*. Thanks so much for doing this. The graphics look great and the hosts do a wonderful job. Thanks.

We’ve come to the end
Of the A to Z Challenge
For another year

Thanks to everyone
Who worked to make it happen
And those who stopped by

It’s been fun for me
I hope you’ve had fun as well
See you all next year!

Z Haiku #atozchallenge

Start going one way
Then take a new direction
Just go back and forth

Here we are at the end of the A to Z Blog Challenge, with the haiku puzzle for the letter Z. One last time, try to guess the word that starts with Z that is suggested by the poem. Figure it out? Let us know by posting your answer in the comments.

After today, the challenge is over for another year. If you want to see all of this year’s puzzle poems from the beginning of the challenge, click here to go back to the Letter A on April 1. Hungry for even more? You can also look back at my first set of haiku puzzles from 2016, my scifi/fantasy haiku puzzles from 2017, and the haiku puzzles from last year.

Thanks for taking this journey through the alphabet with me. We now return to our regularly-scheduled programming of photography, writing, reviews, and general commentary on life. I hope to see you around again soon!

Y Haiku #atozchallenge

Let’s be positive
Stop saying NO all the time
We’ll say this instead

We’re back for the letter Y on the A to Z Blog Challenge, and here’s my haiku puzzle of the day. Can you figure out the word that starts with Y that this haiku suggests? Once you get the answer, tell us in the comments.

If you want to see all my puzzle poems from the beginning of the challenge, click here to go back to the Letter A on April 1.

X Haiku #atozchallenge

It’s an instrument
In the percussion section
Play it with mallets

Today on the A to Z Blog Challenge the letter is X, and here is my haiku puzzle for the day. The little poem up above should suggest a word that starts with X. Can you figure out that word? Great! Tell us your answer in the comments.

Since the challenge takes Sundays off, there won’t be a new puzzle tomorrow. Come back on Monday for the haiku for the letter Y. See you then!

If you want to see all my puzzle poems from the beginning of the challenge, click here to go back to the Letter A on April 1.

W Haiku #atozchallenge

Just look at the time!
This is a word for looking
And for the timepiece

Welcome to another day in the A to Z Blog Challenge! Today is devoted to the letter W, so I have a little haiku poem up above that suggests a word that starts with a W. Can you guess what that word is? Once you have an idea, let us know about it in the comments, and thanks for visiting.

If you want to see all my puzzle poems from the beginning of the challenge, click here to go back to the Letter A on April 1.

V Haiku #atozchallenge

Every now and then
We need some new scenery
A chance to get away

The letter for today’s A to Z Blog Challenge is V, and I’ve got another haiku puzzle for you. Your task is to figure out what word, starting with V, is suggested by the haiku up above. Once you get the word, post your solution to the puzzle in the comments!

If you want to see all my puzzle poems from the beginning of the challenge, click here to go back to the Letter A on April 1.

U Haiku #atozchallenge

Sadly, it’s not real
That imaginary place
Where all is perfect

It’s another day in the A to Z Blog Challenge, and the letter for the day is U. Can you figure out the word that begins with U that is suggested by today’s haiku poem? Once you’ve got it, tell with world by posting your answer in the comments!

If you want to see all my puzzle poems from the beginning of the challenge, click here to go back to the Letter A on April 1.

T Haiku #atozchallenge

Made from earth and rain
A tower of wood and leaves
Reaching for the sun

Hello, again, and here’s the entry for the letter T in the A to Z Blog Challenge. My entries are haiku puzzles that suggest but don’t include a word that begins with the letter of the day, and your job is to figure out what the word is. Can you guess the word starting with T that the poem above implies? Tell us your guess in the comments!

If you want to see all my puzzle poems from the beginning of the challenge, click here to go back to the Letter A on April 1.