Lunch Box, on whose blog I first saw the A to Z Challenge badge, and Lee at Tossing it Out, the force behind the challenge, as well as the other challenge hosts.
As some of you know, I started the Jim's Girl Family History Blog in mid-March 2011 for the purpose of sharing family history and genealogy research among my cousins. I knew nothing of blog challenges, memes, awards or much of anything in blogging culture. Then I saw the challenge badge and decided to find out what it was about. I liked the mental challenge of coming up with genealogy-related stories for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet. I also saw the challenge as a push, "into the deep end" if you will, to post frequently.
I may have underestimated the effort it would take to post 26 times in one month. Whew! I also underestimated how many other A to Z challengers would read my posts and make comments. Remember, my intended audience was just cousins (albeit in some cases fourth cousins once removed, by marriage).
I tried to visit other blogs in the challenge, but a full time job, travel, Easter and the ever-present pressure to write more blog posts limited the number I could read. Nonetheless, the A to Z challenge introduced me to a several interesting blogs I will follow in the future, blogs I'd never have found without the challenge. It also brought me some new followers.
It's true I didn't enjoy the pressure to research and compose on a strict deadline. In the future, you can expect more thoroughly researched, though less frequent posts interspersed with short blurbs on this and that; probably a few posts per week. I hope my cousins will stay with me into the future. And I hope some of the A to Z challengers will continue to follow my posts as well. Who knows, maybe we are cousins after all.
Before I go...thanks to Cousin Sam and my mom for fine-tuning some recipes, to Aunty Anna for the picture of her gorgeous genetti cookies, and to my Sweetie and the Bean for their patience. And, Arlee Bird, how can I thank you enough?!
Check out the reflections of other challengers via Tossing it Out.