This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Super 8 Debut Albums

           Be sure to check out all of the other lists by going to DiscConnected where you will find the Linky list.

            I thought that it would be difficult to come up with eight debut albums, but the difficult part as usual was in narrowing it down to only eight.  I didn't.   So what I did was come up with four upon which there would be probably be wide agreement on.   After that I have eight debut albums that are special to me.   You'll probably notice that most of these are from the late 1960s and early 70s--that's just the way it is.

Some No-Brainers:

     Steely Dan    Can't Buy a Thrill (1972)     This album first hit my radar when I saw Steely Dan performing "Reelin' in the Years" on The Midnight Special television show in 1972.  They blew me away.  And when I heard the album I was even more impressed.  Since that album, Steely Dan has been consistent in the quality of their releases.  But if this had been their only release, they would have still made musical history on the merits of this one alone.

King Crimson    In the Court of the Crimson King  (1969)     One of the early progressive rock albums remains one of the best of the prog rock genre.  It's an amazing album and the group has a reputation for cutting edge music.

    Blood, Sweat, and Tears  The Child Is the Father to the Man (1968)    Chicago II is probably my
 favorite of the horn band albums, but BS&T I think surpasses Chicago's debut effort.   Blood, Sweat, and Tears' debut is phenomenal jazz-rock fusion.


    The Band     Music from Big Pink (1968)     In my opinion one of the top ten best rock albums of all time.  I am not the only one with this opinion.

Some of My Favorite Debuts:

      Good Rats   The Good Rats (1969)     I recall that I was in the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Undergraduate Library perusing a classical music magazine in 1970 and I found a review of this album.   I thought it odd that they would be reviewing a rock album in a magazine like that so I figured the album must be good.  I found a copy in the University Bookstore and bought it.   It was good and I enjoyed it.    Years later I was looking through cassettes in the cut-out bin of a record store and found several tapes by the Good Rats.  I had not realized that the band had continued recording after that debut album.    The first album is not my favorite, but it is an excellent album.  On hearing the later albums the Good Rats became one of my favorite groups.  The Rats still play primarily in the New Jersey area and maintain a solid base of hardcore fans.

        Crazy Horse     Crazy Horse  (1971)     Primarily known as a back-up band for Neil Young, Crazy Horse has been around with various line-ups for many years.  The original band members released a very fine album in 1968 when they were called The Rockets.   This Crazy Horse album is the first released under this group name (without being Young's back-up band) and I'm going to call it a debut, though in a way it's not.  It's a superb album that adds Nils Lofgren and  Jack Nitzsche to the line-up and includes support from Neil Young and Ry Cooder.     Danny Whitten's "I Don't Want to Talk About It" is included on this album and has since been covered by many artists including Rod Stewart and Rita Coolidge.

         Grin (Nils Lofgren)   Grin (1971)   Grin was a band headed up by the very talented singer, songwriter, and musician Nils Logren.  He has been a singer and guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band for about 25 years in addition to his solo work.   His debut with Grin displayed his diverse skills as a songwriter.   This is an outstanding album.

Seals and Crofts     Seals and Crofts   (1969)     This duo had a string of huge hits throughout the 1970s.  Though they had been veterans of hit bands since 1958, they didn't make a real name for themselves until they embarked as a duo.   Their many commercial hits were wonderful examples of some of the finest in pop music, but this debut album to me is their real masterpiece.  Heavenly harmonies and mystical songs make this album an absolute joy to listen to.

       Spirit    Spirit (1968)   This is hands down one of the best, most tasteful, most well-rounded, finest musicianship bands in the history of rock.  I'll put them up against Steely Dan any day.   Their debut is a musical masterpiece and I just don't think there is any reasonable argument otherwise.  Spirit ranks as one of my favorite bands.

     The Police     Outlandos d'Amour (1978).   Before Sting and the Police became absolutely huge they were an edgy band that rode in on the New Wave rock music movement.   The album includes the controversial hit "Roxanne".   The entire album is simple reggae influenced rock and it's all good.

        Judybats    Native Son (1990)    This alternative rock band comes from Knoxville, Tennessee.   I have four of their albums and they are all excellent.  This debut is a truly outstanding effort that includes the Roky Erikson song "She Lives" which was also included on the tribute album Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye.

          Rich Mountain Tower    Rich Mountain Tower  (1971)  One of the earliest records released in quadraphonic stereo sound, this has the feel of the harmony bands like Crosby, Stills, and Nash.   The band came out of Knoxville, Tennessee and has a sweet country soft rock sound.   Of the three albums this group made, this is the only one I've heard.  The album is a real gem..


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Nifty Fifty

Tizzy's blogfest is to celebrate reaching 50 followers on her Impossible Dreams blog.  The idea is to create something with 50 as the theme.  My entry is a short little story.  After you've read mine make sure you go to Tizzy's site to find the other entries and read them as well.

                                          The Big Five O

         Maybe she had listened one too many times to Paul Simon's "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover".  Or maybe she had realized that she was still a relatively young hot babe and I had just turned fifty.

          Sure, back when we had gotten married everyone was telling me I was making a mistake.  Some suggested I was using 50% of my brain in thinking out this marriage thing--maybe I wasn't thinking with my brain at all.  Now I had gained fifty pounds and she had gained some devious knowledge of how to separate me from nearly everything I owned.

           So on my fiftieth birthday I was handed divorce papers drawn up by the $99 paralegal who was offering a $50 special.  Oh yeah, they all thought it was fair and equitable.  It was a fifty-fifty split--she got the assets and I got the debt.

           At least I got the pick-up truck--a 1988 Ford F-150 that had seen better days.  It had sat in the back yard barely used anymore, but it still ran.  I won't say it that the truck was not very dependable, but I wouldn't have wanted to go more than fifty miles from home in it.  It was not very economical to drive either.  I guess it got fifty gallons per mile.  Okay, I exaggerate, but I never left a gas station without having to pay at least fifty dollars.
            Believe me, I was not thrilled when I got the notice from the DMV that the registration renewal was due and I would have to get the truck smog checked.  They gave me sixty days, but of course I procrastinated until fifty days had passed and I decided that I'd better get it done so I wouldn't have to pay the fifty dollar penalty

            At the smog check station I was nervous that the truck might not pass the inspection and would require major repairs.  If that were the case I would have been just as well to roll the truck off a fifty foot cliff and forget about it.   But to my relief the truck passed.  I handed the smog inspection guy a fifty dollar bill and he handed me a penny.  My next stop would be the DMV.

           Going to the DMV would be high on my list of the top fifty places I hate to go.  I usually end up waiting at least fifty minutes whenever I have to go there.  When I arrived, there were maybe fifty people waiting to take a number.   I looked up at the digital counter to see which number was being served and noted that it read 750.

            From past experience I was aware that there was a number cycle that ended at 999 and then started over at one.   Since I estimated that there had been about fifty people ahead of me to pick up a number and from the looks of the waiting area there were maybe another fifty or so already there, I would probably be getting a number somewhere around 850.  That meant that this was going to take much longer than fifty minutes today.

           I could only hope that my estimation was wrong.  Please let my number be less than 850, I thought to myself.  When I reached the number dispenser I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and then took a number.  I opened my eyes and looked at the ticket in my hand--50.

                                            50 *  50 *  50 *  50 *  50 *  50

         Sign up for DiscConnected's SUPER 8 DEBUT ALBUMS BLOG HOP which happens on Monday February 28.  There's still time!   I'll even give you the Linky list to make it easy for you:

My Final Thank You Bloggers

       Before I begin my post today I wanted to again congratulate Nicki Elson for her success in promoting the A to Z Challenge to the press.  If you did not see her press release submission efforts please click on the link to see the wonderful job she did: 

       Nicki is scheduled to discuss the topic of to press coverage on the Monday edition of her blog.  She can also be found today as a guest on Jen Daiker's Unedited.   Now on to my post for today---


           No, I'm not going anywhere.  It's just that I've been doing these thank you posts where I show our gratitude to all of you who have posted something about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  Since these posts can get rather time-consuming I am going to discontinue posting these.  I'm sure I have missed many of your efforts to plug the Challenge.  If I missed yours I'm sorry, but please be sure that we do appreciate everything you've done so far.
          Please continue to add the badge to your sidebars, mention the challenge in your posts, and write up any special posts that feature the Challenge or provide others your own helpful pointers.   Your efforts will be appreciated by all of us.

            And now for our amazing list of spirited bloggers who believed in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge enough to show the world.   As always, I hope that each of you reading this post will try to stop by as many on this list as you are able to visit and tell them you appreciate them and then follow their blogs if you aren't doing so already.  Here are todays blog heroes:

Special Posts:

Karen from A Peek At Karen's World honored Tossing It Out with a Blog of the Week recognition and touted the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  Excuse me while I deflate my head.

The Dump Stat is one of many gaming sites that has joined and posted a special announcement.  I don't really know much about the subject matter of these sites, but if you are into games and other things related you might want to check this site and some of the others.

Australian game blogger Austrodavicus at There's Dungeons Down Under not only posted his intention to join the Challenge, but actually provided a list of his topics--interesting stuff.

Chris at Vaults of Nagoh is another gamer who posted his topics.

David from Tower of the Archmage also announced his intent, but had not announced any topics.

You'll find a special announcement with badge on sidebar at Legos and Lightsabers.

Elizabeth from Graphomaniac is returning from last year's Challenge and had a few words to say about Blogging from A to Z.

Sandi at That's Ahh Some! is giving her best shot at trying to encourage others to sign up.

A special announcement appears at My Bric-a-Brac.

Melody from Melody's Musings is back for a second year and made the official announcement.

Sheila at SheilaScribbles is another one who made her announcement in a big way.

Michelle at Beautiful Chaos also made her intentions known in her own special post.

Larry at DiscConnected posted a wonderful reminder about the Challenge.

Tiffani at Thought's from Tiffani announced that she too had joined in the Challenge--don't worry, Tiffani, I think you'll do just fine.

We always know that we can count on Yvonne at Welcome to My World of Poetry for promotion and she's done it again with another poetic plug.  If anyone reading this is still not following her blog, I'd like you to go over and do so now.  I told her she'd reach 400 followers by the end of April and I'm counting on everyone to help her reach that goal.

BZ gave us a double whammy at her blogs Reach for the Sky and English Speaking Zone.

Freda at Freda's Voice heard the voice of the A to Z Challenge calling her and decided to join in the fun.

Thaumiel at Cradle of Rabies--From Role to Games will be playing along with us as well.

Grendelwulf at Axe and Hammer-- another gamer joined the game.

And yo! Adrian (sorry I couldn't resist) from Occam's Samurai Sword made the big announcement.

Lisa at Flash Fiction announced about the interesting way she's going to approach the Challenge.

Wanda at The Watered Soul gave a big sprawling post for A to Z.

Charmaine at Wagging Tales gave us a very nice write-up.

Jim's Girl Family History Blog made the A to Z announcement.

A very nice write-up can also be found at Pocket Full of Playdough and she displays the badge as well.

K.D. at A Coffee Driven and Adventure Bound Life placed an announcement and added a badge.

A fun post from Dan at Sanguine Musings announced his entry into the Challenge.

Swim-Write-Run made the announcement with the badge in the sidebar as well.

J.L. at The Character Depot is displaying the badge.

Badge in Sidebar:

Kristin at Razzy's Corner has added the badge to her new blog that will essentially be debuting in the April Challenge.

The badge is also on display in the sidebar of The Poe Family Blog.

You can also find the badge in the sidebar of Better Is Possible -- a blog title that we should all take to heart.

Amanda at Inspiration,  Art, and Creativity got inspired to join in the Challenge and added the badge to her site.

Heidi from ...then she writes has the badge in her sidebar.

Sarah, The Aspiring Sub-Creator, has a newer blog that has added the badge.

Paula Martin's Potpourri has the badge displayed.

Angela at Whimsy, Writing, and Reading put the badge on display.

MJ at Creatively Spilt Ink has the badge.

M.P. McDonald Has the Write Stuff and she also has a badge in her sidebar.

Rogue has the badge up on Mercy's World and Rogue's Home Cooked Blog.

Susan at thecontemplativecat shows the sidebar.

Jonathon at Jon's Life added the badge.

Mariah is a new blogger who has put up the badge on her Formula Mom blog.

Mooderino at Moody Writing joined the Challenge and immediately added the badge.

Nicki Elson's Not So Deep Thoughts thought enough about the challenge to display the badge.

The artistic Blue Sand Studio blog is exhibiting our artistic A to Z badge.

Septembermom at My Voice, My View is another one with the badge.

Denise at L'Aussie's Travel Blog also has displayed the badge.

And Giving the Challenge a Nod:

Ruby from Blabbin' Grammy mentioned her participation in the upcoming Challenge.

The Word Crafter at The Rainy Day Wanderer also made her announcement and confrimed it with a badge in the sidebar.

Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain and joining in the A to Z Challenge.   She also displays the badge to prove it.

Melissa from Melissa's Imaginarium gave us a great big nod as well.

Another new blogger is Laura from Daily Dodo who included the Challenge in a post listing upcoming blog events and also added the badge to her sidebar.

Michael from In Time.... dropped a reminder in a post.

             So let's give these bloggers another round of applause for their dedication.  Anyone participating in the Challenge can always feel free to do their own Thank You posts--I'm sure won't hear any complaints from any of us if you do.

              Has anybody else tried to submit press releases or talk to someone from the press?  If so, what were your results?  Does anyone know how many countries are represented in the Challenge so far?  Did anyone notice that I didn't edit my post yesterday before posting it?  I did go back and fix several errors at about 10 AM PST, but before that it was pretty bad.

              Have a great weekend!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lost...and Gone Forever: A Blogger's Sad Lament

             They were the words that would change the world.   No better words had ever been written in all of the history of blogging.  I carefully studied what I had labored over for several minutes to make sure there were no errors.  This comment had to be perfect.

            With a deep breath of satisfaction I clicked the "Post Comment" button.  The screen lurched and the page shifted.  Scrolling down, I returned to the comment box.  The crazy word "APHYLE" waited for me to enter it into the Word Verification box. 

           The screen jogged and went back to top of the page.  I scrolled down.  The red letters told me that I had typed the word incorrectly.  Now I was commanded to type "CESSNE".  Curses!  I could have sworn I had entered the first word correctly, but undaunted I entered this new word.

          This time the blog page jumped and pulsed.  The screen flicked and twitched.  What was happening?  The comment box disappeared and was replaced by a blank white space.  I tried to refresh the page but the white space remained.  Nothing!   The comment box with my most perfect words was gone.

            My words had been captured by CAPTCHA and catapulted into cyberspace limbo.  My time had been wasted.  There would be no comment left on this blog today.   

           Has this ever happened to you?   Do you still have the surprise pop-up CAPTCHA word verification on your blog?    

          Two blog events are coming in the next couple days that need more support.  This is the first blog fest for each of these bloggers so I hope you'll show them your support by joining in the fun.

Larry Cavanaugh's Super 8 Debut Albums--Not as difficult as it sounds.  I'm going to double check mine on Wikipedia to make sure I find the debuts of some of my favorite artists.   These music themed blog hops have been a lot of fun in the past and I think this will be also.  It would be nice to have more participants.  Join up at DiscConnected.  The blogfest will be next Monday February 28th.

          The Nifty Fify Blogfest is a first try for Tizzy at Impossible Dreams.      A nice prize is going to given in Tizzy's blogfest.  She's offering a Bodleian Library Everyday Journal from Museums and Galleries--sounds pretty nice.  Pop on over and check this out and add your name to the list.  This fest happens this coming Saturday February 26th.



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Is This Book Perilous? Yes it is.

          Today I am finally getting around to reviewing one of the books that was included on my 2010 Christmas Holiday Reading List.  Author Tamara Hart Heiner from the blog Chasing Dreams is the author of the YA book Perilous.

          As far as I know I don't think I've ever read anything that is considered young adult or teenage literature unless the Tom Swift and Hardy Boys series would fall into this genre.  I wasn't totally sure what to expect from a genre labeled as "Young Adult", but Heiner's first published novel is pretty much what I thought I would find.

          Since I guess I am a good ways past the "young adult" phase I decided that I would have to try to read Perilous through the eyes of a younger reader and imagine how they might see this novel.   My impression that most teens, male and female alike, would enjoy the story and the way Tamara presents it.  And for that matter so did I as an older reader.

               This is an exciting action thriller that moves with intensity.  Four teen-age girls witness a jewel heist at a shopping mall and are abducted by the burglary gang.  They are taken from Idaho to the headquarters of the gang's ringleader, a notorious criminal known as "The Hand", who hides out in Quebec, Canada.  The stakes are raised after the girls escape from the gang's hideout and attempt to make their way home on foot, not knowing whom to trust since The Hand is intent on finding them.

             The story relies on some rather extreme coincidence and some illogical behavior from the characters, but that's what helps make the story more intriguing.   Some readers may need to add an extra dose of willing suspension of disbelief to keep from rolling their eyes at some things in the story, but I think most younger readers will be fine with it.  I was certainly willing to go along with all of it in order to enjoy the story.  Tamara has skillfully presented the story so that everything happens with a natural flow and the readers are kept on the edge of their seats to see what happens next.

            Perilous is mostly a road story--a journey home.  Tamara does an exceptional job of depicting that journey.   In fact, I pulled out my North American highway atlas to see if the places she mentions and the route her characters take were accurate.  The author did her research well.  I was able to follow the teens' journey and felt like I was right there with them.  I was very impressed by sense of place and the descriptions of settings in the novel.

          This book deals with some mature and serious themes including violence and rape.  It raises some questions of moral ambiguity related to stealing, divorce, and corruption.  However, all of these issues are presented discreetly and in good taste.  The issues allow for some good topics of discussion and thought.  Perilous is a wholesomely presented story of real life problems and is suitable for all teens. 

            Tamara Hart Heiner's Perilous is a book that parents should feel comfortable in allowing their teenagers to read.  It's also a book that I would recommend to adult readers who like a well told story that avoids bad language and scenes that one might deem offensive.  This is a fun reading diversion that deals with relevant topics. 

            One of the bigger issues that some may find with this book it that it leaves a lot of loose ends.  Those who want their endings neat and resolved may be disappointed.   This book demands a sequel or perhaps even a series.  I was sad to see the book end where it did and was left wanting more.  Now I'll have to wait for the next book.  Don't leave us waiting too long, Tamara.


Check this out!

Karen Gowen is posting something today (2/22/11) about how to use the A to Z Challenge to gain more followers.  Be sure to check her blog, Coming Down the Mountain, to learn from a blogger who has successfully helped many increase their numbers of followers.

And this!

Tizzy at Impossible Dreams is looking for some more participants in her NIFTY FIFTY Blogfest to celebrate her first 50 followers.  It happens this Saturday February 26th.   If you're looking for a bit of diversionary fun with a chance at a cool prize, why don't you check it out.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Let's Get Real!

That's a Lotta Blogs!

          As the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge roster nears 300 sign-ups, some of you may be looking at the list and thinking, "How am I going to visit that many blogs each day?"

          The answer?  Truthfully?  You won't!   Not unless you have some super fast computer and have nothing to do all day but visit blogs.  Very few of you have that luxury and even if you did, would you be actually spending much time on each blog and leaving decent comments?

Spending Quality Time

         We have often seen it in the other blogfests, challenges, and other events.  In one day or two we feel obligated to whiz through a list of blog participants and leave abbreviated stock messages on the level of "that's nice".  Of course, I do see many fine and fun comments, but I'm just saying and I think you know what I'm saying. 

          The beauty of a month long blog event is that you can face the reality that a daily grind of trying to visit every single blog in the challenge and leave your rote response can be a grueling ordeal that would be difficult to sustain for too many days.  Diffusing the networking over a month long period allows you to settle into more of a blogging as normal mode except with more choices involved. 

Getting to Know You

           Since we still have a few weeks ahead of us we can start visiting the blogs on the list and see who's going to be doing this.  Get out there and mingle a bit and see what others do.  You'll still have your favorites, but now is a great time to get to know some bloggers whom we have heretofore missed--some of these may be the types of blogs that you have been looking for.

           Check out a few new bloggers each day and don't forget to follow them.  And if someone new stops to visit and follow your blog, be fair and visit and follow them back.  It's not like you've made any major commitment.  If you find out later that you absolutely can't stand a blog that you have followed, you can always unfollow later, but that's a post for another day.

Try a Blog Workout

           Think of the April Challenge as a marathon.  You don't want to just wait until April 1st and just dive in.  I highly recommend that you start warming up with stretches and calisthenics.  Run through the A to Z sign up list and see how many blogs you can realistically visit each day. 

           One weekly event that I've tried just to see how fast I can go through a number of blogs and leave short reasonably inventive comments is a weekly feature on MizB's Should Be Reading called Teaser Tuesday.  Some of you already participate in this one.  Participants leave a two line teaser from a book they are reading.  If I have absolutely nothing to say about the teaser I just move on, otherwise I try to come up with something clever or unique to say.  If the blog looks interesting enough I may linger  and I may even follow it. 

          You can find many of these blog events and probably have your own favorites.   Many of you are currently honing your networking chops with Rachael Harrie's Crusade.  This is a excellent opportunity to get a blog workout. 

          Another event coming next Monday February 28th is DiscConnected Super 8 Debut Albums Blog Hop.  In fact, I'll let you sign up below.  Come on music lovers --how about jumping in on this one!
Here's the list:

You Can Handle the Truth!

           The truth is that the April Challenge is going to involve some creative thinking on your behalf.  It looks like it may be an impossibility to post six days a week and visit all of the other blogs.  And what if there are 300, 500, 1000, or more blogs?  How can you possibly do that?  Well, that's why it's called a challenge.  You can do it if you set your mind to it.  Don't let this intimidate you.  Meet the challenge head on, and if you start preparing now it will probably be much easier that you thought.

            Today Alex J Cavanaugh will be featuring fellow A to Z Team member Jeffrey Beesler with some ideas and encouragement that should be useful to you in the Challenge.

           In the coming weeks, the A to Z Team members will be offering posts to help you blog better, write better, and to get you revved up for the April marathon.  We want to help you get into shape.

            We also want your input on what you recommend.   What are you doing ahead of time to prepare?  Do you have any favorite types of blog events?  Do you feel intimidated by the April Challenge?  If so why?  Is there anything special you would like help with?



Friday, February 18, 2011

...A Little Help From Our Friends: Helpful Bloggers to the Rescue

          As I have been teasing all week, today I have a special announcement.  And I guess it would be of little surprise to anyone that this announcement has something to do with the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  If this is your guess, then you are correct.

          The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is climbing toward 300 participants with a probability that we may go over this amount before the arrival of the start date.  Last year I was nearly overwhelmed by the almost 100 bloggers who participated in A to Z.  I knew that this year would be even bigger since we had a much earlier start to get the word out to the blogging community.

            Fortunately, popular bloggers Alex J Cavanaugh, Jennifer Daiker, and Talli Roland came to my rescue to make the Challenge easier to administer and be a greater success.  However we came to the conclusion that even we might not be able to satisfactorily pull this off to a point that would make the Challenge as great as it could be.  For this reason we are expanding the A to Z Team.

Here are the four added members of the A to Z Team:

Jeffrey Beesler from World of the Scribe....

Candace Ganger from The Misadventures in Candyland

Karen Jones Gowen from Coming Down the Mountain: From Reclusive Writer to Published Author....

Stephen Tremp from Breakthrough Blogs..

           Some of you may already be familiar with all or some of these bloggers.  I'll let you visit each of their blogs so you can say hello and get to know them better.  They each have their own unique strengths and talents which should help make the challenge more fun and more rewarding for all of us. 

           In the weeks to come, we will be offering our special Challenge posts to make your April a more successful race to the finish line.  Be sure to watch the posts of the A to Z Team as we present tips from our experiences in blogging, writing, and life in general.  It won't always be A to Z of course, but we hope the special posts we give you will be something you will find useful and enjoyable. 

          The A to Z Team will be here to answer your questions as best we can and provide support to your blogging efforts.  Let us know if you feel like you need some attention or any suggestions.  Don't forget though, we are also participating in the Challenge and even with the added members our capabilities are limited.  That's why there is one more team member who is the most important one of all.

           Who is that most important team member?   It's YOU!  Without the participation, interaction, and mutual support that only each one of you can give to the Challenge community as a whole, this run through the alphabet is going to be less than the best we can make it.  We're counting on you--every one of you--to see us to the end of April with a grand sense of accomplishment.

            I'll have more to say about all of this in the next few weeks.  I'm sure that our A to Z Team members will likewise have their own words of encouragement.  We're all friends here and never underestimate the power of friends.  We can do this challenge together--so let's do it! 

            There is one more request.  Over the next few days if there are any other bloggers that you think would benefit from this Challenge or who are still on the fence trying to decide if they should do it, please try to get them to sign up this weekend.  We can make it to our goal of 300 by Monday if we try.  Please do what you can.

            Now enough from me.  Head on over to the above links and visit the blogs of our A to Z Team members, say hello, and if you're not following them yet, do so now.  And don't forget to continue going through the Linky list and visit, comment, and follow.  In other words:  network, network, network. April will be here soon.