It’s over, it’s really, really over!


I think as the night rolled over to greet May 1st the people of the blogosphere let out a deep sigh of relief. It was fun, but I’m glad it’s over.

Part One of the Challenge: My Posts
I was happy that many of you enjoyed my gemstone posts. I worried that everyone would just scratch their heads and move on. And I know some did. My posts read more like mini-reports, but, for me, it helped me get through it. I spent time developing my “A” post. Then I was able to plug in the information for each gem followed allowing me more time to visit other blogs.

I am now very curious if the magical and mystical stuff really works.

So, here’s my plan: everyone pick a stone, wear it for month, and report back.

X & Y were problematic. As we got closer to these letters, I began to think of “cheats” like yellow topaz and xanthic sapphire. Then I did vesuvianite and low and behold, I discovered in the notes an X gem. This led me to scouring information on rocks looking for a Y. Thank goodness I found it when I hit the C stones.

Yes, I did jump up and down.

Next week, I will do a follow up rock post on how to use those gems.

I’m considering adding a new rock every now and then. If there is a stone you’re interested in knowing more about, post it on the index page here (or use my contact page).

Part Two of the Challenge: Visiting Blogs
I started out strong visiting between 20-30 new blogs a day along with several of my regular blogs. However, some of my regulars slide through the cracks. It was also hard to comment on comments on my own blog, but I tried.

Sadly, a death in my family midway through the blogfest brought my blogging to a halt. Again, thank you to everyone who stopped by that week and left words of encouragement. It meant something and it was appreciated.

It was fortunate that I had a week’s worth of posts ready to go. When I returned, I rushed to get the next post up and return visits to everyone. Then I looked at my reader and saw over 1000 new posts. I thought about it then clicked the “mark all as read” button. Sanity is worth something.

I was not the only person to suffer a loss this April. My heart and prayers are still with you.

This and That
I found lots of new blogs to visit and follow. I reconnected with some bloggers I already followed too.

A few days I got overzealous, I randomly clicked through to blogs, I read, I commented, trying to visit many new places only to realize I forgot to follow my new favorites after I closed all the windows. I could only hope they would visit me.

I hit several blogs that ended up forgetting the blogfest, were unable to participate, or signed up with the wrong URL. It was a bummer, but I visited them anyway (except for those who input the incorrect URL [What’s up with that, anyway?]) and commented. Next year (did I really just write that?), I don’t think the sign-up sheet should go up quite so early.

I was sad every time I ran across a site with word verification on. I really struggled with the decision to follow anyone who used it. I follow hundreds of blogs and WV slows everything down.

Side note: Blogger’s spam filter works great and if something gets through and you mark it as spam, it is sent to blogger and they update their filters. SO, turn off that word verifications, ‘kay?

I found several new people that I felt a connection to too. Their posts moved me, made me laugh, or in some way inspired me. I’ll be spending the next couple of week sorting out my reader and learning more about these new people.

I did not get much of anything else accomplished.

Side Notes:
Most viewed rock: Lapis lazuli
Most commented on rock: Bloodstone

This was a dozy of a post did you make it through to the end?

image by

Share! It will make you happy, trust me.

While you’re here…

Sign up for my newsletter and I'll send you my Double Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe free. Other benefits include being the first to know exciting news, first to receive sneak peeks and sale information. Mailers are sparse.
Updated: June 16, 2016 — 4:23 pm


  1. Holly, your posts on gemstones were the best. It was nice to read something different and learn something as well. I thought it was brilliant. and thank you for the comments on mine. 🙂

  2. I loved all the information you included with your gemstone posts. I have an award for you HERE

  3. I liked the posts that I got to read, Holly. April was a crazy month for me, this year, for reasons I decided not to go into on my blog. I'm sorry about the death in your family. Congrats on finishing your challenge.

  4. Hi Holly .. I have just typed a long comment and it's bombed me out .. I said in it I had problems .. and so I do .. I may come back .. I hate it when I lose a comment and I can't retrace my steps to get it back ..

    It's now saying 'Required field must not be left blank' in RED .. what does it think I've just done!!!!!!!!

    Cheers .. I'm a happy bunny really!! Hilary

  5. I enjoyed learning about the different stones. There were some days I'd stop by and read and just not have time to comment and a few others where I didn't get to stop by at all.

    But yes, they were enjoyable!

  6. I enjoyed your gem posts and learned some new, groovy words too. 🙂 Well done.

  7. Congrats on making it to the alphabet finish line!

  8. I really enjoyed getting to know you better too =) And I had the WV off for the challenge, but I just turned it back on because I got hit with a random advertiser – it left a comment and everything. Has that ever happened to you?

  9. Your posts were very interesting and informative. They've definitely inspired a few ideas for my fantasy world. I'm glad you put up an index page to make them all easy to find in the future.

  10. Congrats to you for keeping up and carrying on! Clearly, you have a writer's discipline.

  11. I loved the stone aspect and finding out more about them. Sorry I was so irregular, my life went crazy in April. I'm also sending belated sympathy.

    Wishing you a momentous May 🙂
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  12. I came into this in the middle & will have to go back & view earlier posts as I'm now curious as to what else I've missed.

    I wasn't aware of the death so am sending you much sympathy.

    Also, I just realized that I'm not encountering too many of those word verification thingies. My writing partner has his own blog & does blog approval but no word verification stuff & the filter blogger has now installed is just fine. Spam comments get sorted out very quickly thanks to the upgrade.

  13. Yes, made it to the end and I just loved your rock posts because I am a rock person and feel strong connections with different stones. I agree with so much of what you wrote here about the challenge – especially the word verification and wrong urls. So glad to have connected with you.

  14. Hi Holly,
    I am sorry to hear about your loss!
    I love your blog, but found life prevented me from commenting, like I hoped. I look forward to stopping by and visit~ You added an unique magic to the challenge! Congrats, on crossing the finish line~xXx

  15. Holly-I missed the word on your loss–I'm so sorry. I loved your gem posts–I think you did great with the commenting, too. I felt like I was going full force, but I know most days I only managed to back-visit people who visited me.

  16. So sorry to hear about your loss. It seems that it's been a difficult month for quite a few of us.

    I loved reading about the gems. I've tried a bit of crystal therapy at one time. It didn't quite convince me but I used it as a plot for a story.

    Like you I got confused with who I'd visited and who I'd commented on. I'm looking forward to a bit of calm and a chance to get to know all my new blogger friends.

  17. Hi Miss Holly. Congrats on finishing the challenge.

  18. You did awesome, Holly! And I visited more new blogs in the beginning before realizing I was missing many of my regulars, plus new followers, so I returned to them. Many of my blogging buddies were participating, which made it easy!

  19. Your approach to the Challenge was original and well presented. You did a great job! You made some good suggestions, although I will say that for some things no matter how often they are said or how clearly you state them some people will ignore it or just not understand what you're saying. I agree that the Challenge offers up some difficulties, but that's part of the Challenge and it's up to the individual how they want to cope with these.

    Thanks for a job well done–very well done!

    Don't forget to pick up your Winner's Badge at my site.
    Tossing It Out

  20. I am in awe of all of you that attempted this challenge! And now look, you have a lovely resource that will be so valuable to writers using gems in their fantasy books!

    I for one thank you!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  21. Oh, I missed the bloodstone one. I've got to go back and read that. I loved how unique your posts were. Gems have always fascinated me.

  22. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.

    I often forgot who I had previously visited, too. The A-Z list of participants shaded links that I'd clicked before, but it was faint and hard to see, so not really helpful. And for a lot of the month I just struggled with getting to everyone who commented on my blog.

  23. Great idea about the stones! Are you doing that or are we??? 😀

    I was really sorry about your loss there mid-way. April was a crazy month this year. Take care~ ((hugs)) <3

  24. I loved your posts, Holly, but like you it was way hard getting around to everyone. And I too think the form went up too early. But I enjoyed it. *gasp*

    I'm glad it's over, because this week I have to write a picture book a day. YIKES! *double gasp*

    I thought your theme was the most clever of anyone's. And I am sorry about your family member. We have the cool award and new blogging friends to show for the month of April. Pretty awesome, huh?

  25. I loved your gem series! I can only imagine how must work it must have been to do all that research, but it was so much fun to read.

    Congrats on your successful challenge!

  26. I have enjoyed your gemstone posts so much I put a link to them on my blog.

  27. Holly, I took the month off so I'm just coming to your gem series. WOW. I'm actually going to bookmark it in my faves because I'm totally fascinated by it and may use a bit of it for research in my next WIP!

    And I am so very sorry for your loss.

  28. Your posts are very interesting. I'll be back to see how the stones and gems work out. =)

    Poetry, Quotes and Book Reviews.

  29. I commented on the next stone I'd like to learn about, just so you know. I can answer the question about blue sapphire. It is one of my favorite gems and my original engagement ring was blue sapphire. Alas, I suffer from sinus troubles and had many sore throats mostly attributed to young children who caught and passed around strep throat regularly.

    Tomorrow I have a new award my daughter made and I'm giving one to you.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

  30. Yup, made it to the bitter end. Again, it was fascinating to find out about the different stones that there are.

    The word verification DOES complicate things. Sometimes I was moving so fast, I'm sure there were blogs where my comment didn't stick 'cause I forgot to check on the vw.

  31. Wow! Sounded great!!! I'm really sorry to have missed you gem posts! I love all things gemy. Might have to go peek…Congrats on finishing!

  32. I'm with Niki, your posts were gemstones. I really enjoyed them and learned a lot of new things from one of my hobbies as a youth.

  33. You did such a great job. I looked at all the posts, but not necessarily the day you posted them. Wouldn't it be nice if we could be everywhere at once!

  34. I was just overwhelmed by the number of participants – didn't even know where to begin.

  35. Congrats on finishing the challenge! Maybe next year I'll be brave enough to join you!

  36. Made it to the end. I caught a few of your gem posts and thought the magical part of them was most interesting. And I couldn't agree more with the VW. It really slows my reading down. I urge everyone to dispense with it. I did and have only got a few spammers, which I deleted later.

  37. Hooray to you for finishing the Challenge.

    I think I would have found it overwhelming even without family concerns that made me bail out. But the posts I did read were wonderful. And I'm now a fan of posting about alphabet letters. This can open creative outlets in surprising ways.

    I'm sorry about the death in your family. My little brother died a few months ago. It's always hard to let go.

    Word Verification: if only everyone would turn it off.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm excited too about my book's release. I hope my friends will like it.
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  38. It was a crazy month! I didn't discover your blog til the end, but I'm interested in gems and minerals and their powers. I will be backtracking and reading through them.
    I want to participate again next year! *bangs head on table, wondering what's wrong with me*

  39. I loved your posts, didn't always comment, but I think I managed to get to 90% of them. Amazing effort, and I'm so sorry for your loss.

    I'll chose a stone this week and wear it for a month – that sounds like fun – maybe one to help me get through the BuNoWriMo in June!

  40. Hi Holly,

    Sorry that I missed your A-Z posts. I had planned on participating in the challenge, but real life got the better of me and I had to bow out. Glad I found ya, though.


  41. I started out really good visiting blogs too then it got a ittle crazy.
    Sorry to hear about your loss.

  42. Thanks everyone.

    Myrna, I’m sorry to hear April was a tough month for you. I hope May goes better.

    Oh Hilary, I absolutely hate that. I get so frustrated when I lose a comment to the powers-that-be.

    Tara, I did get one a while back, but I just marked as spam. My blog is set to older comments needing blog owner approval so I can catch any sneaky spam. It also allows me to find new comments on old post.

Comments are closed.

H.R. Sinclair © 2016
Scroll Up