Friday, May 11, 2012

A-Z Reflections Post

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Photo from last nights piano recital.
Philippians 3:14
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

I have found that one does have to press towards goals to achieve them. I have a number of goals that I am pressing towards. Piano is one of those goals. I've been taking lessons now for four years it still takes every bit of my focus and the discipline to practice to manage to play for recital reasonably well.  At last nights recital I played the first page of my classical piece well and then lost my place in the music and struggled to recover and find a way back into the piece. Sadly I never recovered. I never expected piano to take so much work. My friends Karen, Karen, Kirsten, Mark, and Ron who play beautifully,  all make it look so effortless. Actually I was blessed by my friend Karen Stahl for sharing with me a very difficult piece that she was working on getting ready to play memorized. It was good for me to see that even for someone as accomplished as she is still has new challenges to work on.  It was good for me to realize that all of these folks after years of lessons and practice got to a place of being able to play proficiently and can do things like carry on a conversation while playing ( how do you do that Ron.)  It is good to know that there are always new challenges on the piano even for these guys that make it look so easy.  I am coming to look at piano as long journey that will continue on as part of the fabric of my life. It is a good discipline for my often very scattered mind. It takes tremendous focus. I realized after last nights recital that I need to know where the on ramps are in a piece of music. So that if I loose my place I can find the practiced places to get back on track. So I will count it as a learning experience.

But on to my A-Z reflections. Writing daily Monday through Friday was my goal that started back in July of last year and so far I have managed to post every day. Some days my posts are later than I would like. Much like this one will be but it will post while it is still Friday. This is the latest ever.

I only found out about the The A-Z challenge just days before it started. I was checking out some of the new changes to the Blogger site and noticed they gave a link to other blogs of interest. I stumbled on the A-Z challenge and thought it sounded like something that I could manage and decided to add my blog to the challenge list.  I was already writing daily Monday-Friday. The challenge added one Sunday and Saturdays to my writing schedule. 

I really enjoyed having to narrow my writing focus to fit the letter of each day. I think it added a bit of suspense for some of my readers who would ask me - what letter I was working and what my possible topics might be for the next letter. I got to z and felt a bit lost and directionless for a moment but I have managed to continue on with life after AtoZ. I did actually sign on with two blogs the other Bits and Pieces I took a whole day and did a months worth of photos and short posts and then used the blog scheduler to cause them to post at the right date. This one I pretty much continued with my regular format and the main change was that each post had to conform some how to the letter of the day.

I guess challenge for me was to try and find time to visit the other 2000+ bloggers in the challenge. I have to say I failed miserably. I did get to maybe 100 and did try to leave comments if doing so was not a major deal. Really turn on off the word verification thing. I do plan during the 11 months till the next A-Z to visit the rest of the challenge blogs.

I did love the comments and the new vistiors to my blogs. That was fun and I've added some blogs that I will now regularly follow.

One of the things I did notice was that it seemed that proportionally there were a lot of writers blogs, which makes perfect sense. I guess I would love to some how see A-Z reach out to the art, photography community. Granted I have a lot more blogs to visit but  I was hoping to find other mosaic artest, painters, photographers. Maybe I still will. I think one think that might be helpful given how big the list of participants has become and which is likely to continue growing. Would be to have people sign up under sub categories. For example if you were an artist your goal might be to visit all the other art blogs in the challenge and it would be made easier to do because all those folks would have signed up in their own category. There might still be a big random surprise me button that could take you to anyone in the challenge in any sub category. Loved Marcus Clearsprings' Navigation Buttons, they made it much easier to visit the other bloggers.

So all in all I would say the A-Z was a wonderful experience. I will look forward to participating in future years. So I extend my thanks to the hosts and folks that worked hard to make the challenge possible.

I may even see if my children who are home schooled might join the challenge next year. Again another possible sub category.  It might be nice to add a kid version like the Nanowrimo folks did and reach out to home schoolers and educators. We had fun doing Nanowrimo as part of our homeschooling several years back. It think this would be much more fun and be within the reach of more students.

My prayer today is for the folks that put on the A-Z challenge that they would be refreshed and encouraged. I pray that the A-Z would continue to bring people together and encourage people to write, create and share the things they love doing with others.

For my regular readers let me just say thanks for your patience today because this is posting really late. I encourage you to press on towards the goals that you are working on. Don't give up even if you have days that don't go as well as you had planned. Don't give up even if it take you far longer to accomplish your goals than you ever imagined possible. While you are pressing towards your own goals look around you and see who you might encourage and cheer on their way towards their goals.


  1. Visiting from A/Z post challenge reflections; congrats on finishing it! I admire your perseverance with learning to play the piano too! My husband is a professional guitarist (is that a word, it looks funny typed out like that). Anyway, he has played guitar for over 50 years (gasp), and he still needs to practice :) But as they say, practice makes perfect, or at least as perfect as we are going to get this side of eternity.

    I'm with you about the word verification on people's blogs. It was frustrating to deal with them with leaving comments. It was a daunting task to try to visit other blogs, keep up with my usual high number of blogs I follow, work mandatory overtime and get some sleep, LOL, I tried at least 10 new blogs a day. Like you, I did find there were a lot of writer blogs out there too.

    Not sure if I'm going to do it again next year, the jury is still out, but it was a fun adventure to at least do once!

    may the weekend be a nice one!


  2. one does have to press towards goals to achieve them.


  3. Congratulation on finishing the challenge. I didn't visit all blogs during the challenge but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with reflection post! I am so glad my journey brought me here.

    Evalina, This and that...


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