A is for Aftermath

survivor-atoz [2016] v2The calendar has turned to May, and that means the 2016 A-to-Z Challenge is finally in the history books. But before we move on, I want to give my impressions of a challenge that was, well, challenging, and if there are any takeaways, I’ll touch on them, too.


Writing doesn’t just happen, there’s a lot of work involved, and I can’t imagine trying to do it on the fly. The Challenge is announced well in advance of the start date, and you better not waste a minute! I was writing and squirreling away posts far in advance. It’s a good thing to have a cushion for when that dry spell hits, and trust me, it WILL hit! I was writing like a champ up until I hit Q, then everything ground to a halt while I wrote and rewrote that post before finally moving on. By then, I had eaten up some of that cushion, and wasn’t feeling nearly as confident that I’d get everything done with enough time for a final edit before the publication date. And what about that troublesome Q? It turned out to be one of my more popular posts. Go figure!

IMG_0751The Minna-man

In my post about P, featuring my Pawpaw, I touched on a “talismanic” toy called the Minna-man. One of my readers commented that it looked like it was made from Bakelite, and using that as a hint, I Googled “Bakelite Bear,” because to my mind, the Minna-man looked more like a bear than anything else. And voilà! I now know that the Minna-man was a crib toy manufactured by the Tykie Toy Co. of Piqua, Ohio, in the 1940s and 1950s. Perfect examples sell for more than $100 among collectors, but I’ll never sell the Minna-man. You just can’t put a price on magical talismans.


One of the best things about the A-to-Z Challenge was attracting new people to my blog, and also getting out there in the community and meeting some new people and reading some new things. When somebody shows up and comments on my blog, I make it a point to visit theirs. It’s just part of being neighborly, but it’s also quite a commitment. There are only so many hours in a day, and there’s so much to read that it can be hard not to bite off more than you can chew. So many people worked so hard, and I wish I could have read and commented more than I did.

The 2017 A-to-Z Challenge?

Some people have already asked if I’ll do it again. It’s way too soon for me to even want to think about that. I had fun, but it was exhausting, and felt almost like having a job, albeit a very low-paying one! One of the reasons I didn’t regret getting out of the word business was that it had stopped being fun. Similarly, the A-to-Z Challenge was challenging enough that it kind of pushed my limits of endurance — both as a writer and as a reader — and I wasn’t sad when it ended. If I do it again, it’s going to have to be some topic that won’t take so much out of me as this one did. I’ll give it some thought … but not right away.

What’s ahead at Roamin’ Gnomials?

What’s in store for my readers this month? Well, certainly there won’t be as many words for you to choke on as in April, but I have a few things in mind. I’ll probably have a new entry in the wildly popular Random Stuff That Drives Me Batshit Crazy series, and then I hope to have a guest post from one of my loyal readers, which should be a lot of fun. Work will begin soon on a new co-writing project that I’ve undertaken with another young writer I met through the Challenge, but I can’t say when any of that will be ready.

Thanks again for all the kind words and support during the Challenge.



Add yours →

  1. When I saw your blog post title I got frightened that I had just imagined the A to Z challenge and all of April had been some sort of hallucination. Imagine my relief when I read your blog post and realized it was in fact May. Very tricky of you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a terrific Reflections Post. Don’t forget to add the link to it on the Reflections Post list that will be up at the A to Z Blog next Monday May 9th. I want as many people as can to see this.

    Thanks for your participation!

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyed the alphabetical ride, Glenn, although you did take some tortuous twists and turns along the way.

    Aftermath: Life since finishing my last math course in college, where I learned that my brain wasn’t really wired for numbers and that if I hoped to make a living, it would have to be with words.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yikes! When the ‘A is for Aftermath’ message appeared in my inbox I thought I had been cast into an alternate universe and the challenge was beginning all over again!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Q was indeed very innovative and creative 😀 My memory is a bit hazy and overloaded at the moment (had to go back and check Q!), but the posts on your Nana and the X post stand out. Btw when I saw the title, for a moment there I thought you were beginning atoz again 🙂 Random stuff is also cool. Looking forward to reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Like magickmermaid, I too thought we were in an April loop with the A to Z resetting LOL Though it’s been fun, I too think that the challenge has been a challenge! I’m glad that you’ve managed to connect with so many folks including one you’ll probably co-write a project with! How fun! See you around the blogging universe, Glenn!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your A to Z posts. It was an exhausting ride.Unlike you, I didn’t prepare every post beforehand (I started but it fizzled out by G), which meant I was up with the birds writing. It was good for me. I felt fired up every morning. So much so, I missed it yesterday, so sat down and wrote a new short story. Thanks for the reflections. Have a lovely May.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That is so cool about the Bakelite toy. Just goes to show you never know what you’ll run across while browsing the internet.

    BTW I’ve put together a Listly of posts from challenge participants like yourself who have written a recap. Enjoy! http://list.ly/list/17Wd-2016-a-to-z-challenge-wrap-ups


  9. Congratulations for being a survivor.. Great sum up.. keep rocking the blogging world..


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi there 🙂 I just nominated you for a blogging award and I do hope you will accept: https://mysilverstreaks.com/2016/05/11/what-a-fun-way-to-connect/

    Liked by 1 person

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