Friday, March 21, 2014

A to Z Theme Reveal Blog Hop!

It's almost here--the crazy exercise known as the A to Z Challenge.  Hundreds of bloggers sign on each year to blog almost daily through April (we get Sundays off.  Isn't that generous?) in a big blogging party.  Why?  There are several reasons.  One is to increase traffic and (hopefully) active followers for our blogs, because a huge part of the Hop is going about and reading the blogs of others, and following those that you like.  For some of us (okay, for me), another reason is one similar to the reason for doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month): it creates a focus on my writing in my own head and life.

Last year, doing the Hop for the first time (having jumped in at rather the last minute on an impulse), I met a number of great bloggers, and also figured out what I really wanted to do with this blog.  Not bad, for something just tossed into the hopper without much thought.

This year, with my blog chugging along pretty well (as you know, I've settled into a pattern of two reviews and a Flash Fiction each week, and yes, it does encroach on my novel-writing time, but probably in a good way, since it keeps me reading and keeps me writing fiction even when all about me is editing and formatting and marketing, oh my!) (I apologize for an inexcusably long parenthetical digression. .  . now where was I?), I am a little more conscious of what I'm doing and why.  And I have a THEME.

Yeah, yeah, you say.  Get to the point already.  What is that glorious theme?

First, I'm going to tell you what it's not.  I was sorely tempted, but my theme is NOT Ice Cream (it would have been a nice marketing ploy as my new mystery, Death By Ice Cream is launching in just a few days.  But just a little too much.  And the research would probably cause serious weight gain).

Nor is my theme haiku, though the brevity of that form made it tempting.
You could write a haiku about these almond blossoms.

I toyed with the idea of world travel.
Okay, I cheated.  This isn't in Holland.  It's a few miles from home, in Golden Gate Park.  But it originally came from Holland.

And in the end, I went with my great passion: Wilderness.
Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado

Here's what the month will look like:
Mondays: Reviews of adult books on wilderness/wilderness travel/backpacking.
Tuesdays: Original fiction and non-fiction pieces on wilderness travel.
Wednesdays: Reviews of children's books on wilderness, wilderness adventures, and settling the Wild West.
Thursdays: Photos.  I do a LOT of backpacking (the US style, i.e., wilderness travel with everything I will need on my back, sleeping in tents and cooking on a dinky alcohol-burning stove).  I will be highlighting some of my best photos from around the West (US and Canadian Rockies).
Fridays: Flash Fiction.  If possible, I will do these from the Chuck Wendig prompts, and force them to fit the letters of the day.  Should be interesting.
Saturdays: a return to something I've not done much recently: posts on writing.  I'm not sure how that will relate to the wilderness theme, except writing is all about the inside of my head, which is pretty much an untamed wilderness.  We might call it the writer's journey, too.

And, of course, as often as possible, I will mention ice cream.  Because. . . you know why!

So check out the list and hop around to see what some of the exciting themes of A to Z 2014 will be!

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In related news: only three days left to enter to win a paperback copy of Death By Ice Cream.

Click the link above or in the side-bar!  Do it by Monday or lose your chance!

Okay, I lied about that.  Because tomorrow kicks off the Death By Ice Cream blog tour and e-book give-away.  Visit on March 22 for a review and a chance to enter to win!

The other participating blogs are:
Gus Sanchez
Will MacMillan Jones
Storybook Reviews
Rosalee Richland
Lisa Frieden
Finishing with Carla Sarett on April 2


  1. Love your theme! I'll have to share it with my four year-old son. Your Alpine Alphabet book has become his new favorite.

    1. Aww! That's great! And I do have an amazing number of photos of those same boys from the book eating ice cream after hikes :)

  2. You have such a varied and organise theme and I love the backdrop of your blog. Good luck with the challenge and the new book and I look forward to seeing your posts. Also, thank you for reminding me I have some Ben&Jerry's in the freezer :)

    Tasha's Thinkings

    1. Thanks! And I hope reminding you about the B&J's was a good thing, not something you'll hate me for :)

      And on reflection. . . there's no ice cream in MY freezer! What's wrong with me!?

    2. And just in case you want to know. . .the background photo is Snag Lake from the top of the Cinder Cone (I'm pretty sure it has no other name) in Lassen National Park.

  3. In honour of your wilderness theme I made some Wild Rum and Wild Raisin Ice Cream last night. There is still some left today :D

    Thanks for the advert for my review today. It's a super book and I'm looking forward to more Pismawallops PTA Mysteries.

    Blogging from Alpha to Zulu in April

    1. You're more than welcome--thank you! And I'll be around for the ice cream later. . . :D

  4. You got a lot going on there for your A to Z challenge. Good luck!
    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z
    Caring for My Veteran

    1. And as the time nears, I realize I'm crazier than a hoot owl.

  5. Nice theme! Last summer I did a cross-Canada road trip and I got super intimate with 'wilderness'. I'm also pretty much always on the look out for book suggestions. Great choice!

    1. Oops! Thanks to my goof, you ended up with last year's theme reveal. Though this year it isn't so very different. I'm going have to change it up in 2016!


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