Home » Blog » Reflections on the A to Z Challenge 2012: Almost the A, B, and C of It

Reflections on the A to Z Challenge 2012: Almost the A, B, and C of It

Artwork by Ada Z from Collagepodge.com

I often wake up to a jazz standard in my head, and today it’s Teach Me Tonight, particularly, Dinah Washington’s version, with the lyric:

Starting with the ABC of it
Right down to the XYZ of it
Help me solve the mystery of it
Go on, teach me tonight

The alphabet is a mysterious thing, with its evocation of detail, range and completion.  I loved the alphabet song on Sesame Street, and choosing words for each letter as a first grade assignment.  In college I was pleased to discover the word abecedary, which is a delicious way to describe the inscription of the entire alphabet.

I particpated in the A to Z Challenge in 2011, and met a blogger who is one my most faithful commenters, and I love her thoughtful reflections on being a playwriter, piano teacher, and creative person dealing with inner critics and taking courage, Play off the Page‘s Mary Aalgaard.  For 2012, Mary did a fabulous A to Z, where she took a picture of each letter from her surroundings to begin the post.

This year, I was yet again drawn to a writer, Beth Stilborn, who writes on writing, reading, the arts and life.  Beth kindly referred to my L is for Levels and Loving Them  post in an an article she wrote on art for the visually impaired.

For 2012, I chose a loose theme of my art, and this simple modification made the challenge, though still a challenge, much more inviting.  Going through the alphabet is like practicing scales, exploring the whole range of notes and how they connect together.  At first it seems artificial, but then you recognize those connections, those runs of notes, in the beautiful music you wish to play.

What were your favorite posts of the 2012 A to Z Challenge?

Note:  It’s “almost the A,B, and C of it” because I started with C!

Jazz bonus:


  1. Thanks so much, Margaret, for the shout out and your lovely words!

    I “met” Mary Aalgaard through this year’s A to Z challenge, and her posts have been highlights for me, as well.

    Of course, your L is for Levels was one of my favorites — several others of yours delighted me as well.

    One of my other favorite discoveries during the A to Z Challenge was the posts of a social worker, who told a fictional story, but a very true-to-life one, of a woman with dementia. Her posts are now taken down, as they will become part of a book, but her website is “Hold My Hand” — http://doris-socialworker.blogspot.ca/2012/05/gracias.html

  2. Betty says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog (a bench with a view) and your comment 🙂 It was an interesting challenge; I like that you had a theme for your posts; I heard that made it easier to come up with posts for each letter; sounds like you had a successful challenge; also sounds like this was your second year to participate; that in itself is an accomplishment!! hope the day is a great one!


  3. Hi Margaret — thanks for connecting via the A to Z challenge. My wish list was fun and easy, but I’m still trying to wade through that long list of participants. So many nice people writing so many wonderful blogs…I wish I had more hours in my day.

  4. Arlee Bird says:

    What a beautifully written Reflections post. And such an appropriate song–I’ve heard it many times but never paid much attention to the lyrics.

    Thanks for participating.


  5. Thank you for your kind words and lifting up my blog. It has become what I had hoped from the start, a place of inspiration and encouragement for artists. I am thrilled that it has led me to view and review plays and other entertainment as well. My favorite was the Y post where I took photos at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, focusing on yellow flowers and art. My favorite letter photo was Z.

    I love your blog and your art so much. I do think I’ll meet you in person some day and see your studio.

  6. anna says:

    abecedary. Had never heard that word before but I love it! Glad you joined in and enjoyed the challenge 🙂

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