Blogging

Reflections on the A-Z Challenge 2022 Edition

Another April has gone by and it’s been another successful A-Z Challenge here on ElenaSquareEyes.

This was the ninth year in a row I’ve taken part in and completed this challenge and I think this was the year I was closest to failing. I refused to fail because I don’t like failing anything and while I had the best intentions and had over half of the posts written and scheduled before April came around, the latter half of the month got away from me. It feels somewhat apt that I’m only just putting together my reflections post, days after the so called deadline, because the last few weeks have definitely blurred into one another for me.

I do enjoy writing film reviews but I seem to always forget how long they take and watching and reviewing 26 films in a relatively short space of time does take a while. I watched some films I’d been putting off for ages so this challenge was a success plus I watched some that I liked for more than I expected to like Letters from Iwo Jima and Rope. Rope especially is a film I can see myself revisiting often.

The most popular posts/reviews were of House of Flying Daggers, Space Cowboys, and Blue Steel which is an interesting mix of genres. Funnily enough the most popular film review of the month was XXY which was featured in 2020’s April A-Z Challenge. That was the last time I did film reviews for the challenge and after two years of it I’m not sure if I’ll manage a third.

I didn’t visit and comment on as many blogs as I hopped to but I did enjoy reading the ones I did visit and I really appreciate all the comments I received. I think next year I will aim to get all my posts written and scheduled before April actually begins, that way I’ll have far more time to visit all the other blogs taking part. I don’t know what my theme will be for my tenth year doing this challenge. I’ve done film reviews, favourite characters, favourite songs, favourite anything, and I have a whole year to figure it out. I say this and watch me panic about it in March 2023 so if you have any suggestions for a theme please do share!

I hope all of you who took part in the challenge had fun and a successful A-Z in April. Thanks to those who stopped by my blog and liked or commented – it always means a lot. For more information on the A-Z in April Challenge visit the website.

The Blogging from A-Z Challenge – 2022 Edition

It’s fast approaching that time of year again! For me and this blog April has meant the A-Z in April Blogging Challenge for the past eight years and this year is no different. The challenge is to post on your blog every day in April except Sundays. Not including Sundays, there are twenty-six days in April which matches with the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. That means on 1st April you write something beginning with the letter A, on the 2nd something beginning with the letter B and so on and so forth.

Part of me can’t quite believe this will be the ninth year I’ve attempted this challenge and like the previous eight I hope to succeed at it.

This year my theme is the same as it was in 2020 – a film review for each letter of the alphabet and FYI “the” and “a” at the beginning of the film title doesn’t count. I still have over 60 unwatched DVDs/Blu-Rays sitting on my shelves so those films are likely to make up a big chunk of those featured in the challenge. Any letters I don’t own unwatched films of, I will go to the various streaming platforms I have and see what’s on my watchlist. In those instances, I will make an effort to find, watch and review a film that’s directed by a woman. That way it’ll help me hit my goal of (at least) 52 films by women directors watched this year plus I’ll finally watch something that I’ve probably been meaning to for ages.

I doubt there will be non-A to Z in April film reviews next month but there should still be book reviews on Thursdays. I’m going to try and get as many films watched, reviewed and scheduled before April starts as having the posts scheduled really does make life easier – especially as I’ve got a friend’s wedding in the first week of April that I have to travel to so I won’t be online much then. I currently have 10 posts written and scheduled (unfortunately they aren’t for the first 10 letters of the alphabet) with another 11 days left in March so I should get some more films watched, reviewed, and posts scheduled before April comes around.

There’s still time to sign up for the A to Z in April Challenge. I do recommend it; it definitely makes you stretch yourself to think of something for every letter and it encourages you to be organised – something I’m always trying to be better at when it comes to my blog.

Book Blogger Hop: If you were in a book, would you rather be the main character or in the background?

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly feature hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, to find bookish blogs and to learn more about the bloggers themselves. You can find more info on the feature on their website.

This week’s question is: If you were in a book, would you rather be the main character or in the background?

While I like the idea of being the main character and the hero in a book, I think it’s a lot of responsibility to have. I think I’d rather be a bit more in the background, maybe help the hero. I’m a bit of a people watcher so I think being in the background watching what’s happening would be helpful to the hero. Also, I do like to wonder what the every day kind of character thinks about all the drama that goes on around them. Whether it’s a bystander to some big romantic miscommunication or to a big fantasy showdown.

BOOK BLOGGER HOP: Why did you start a book blog?

Book Blogger Hop

 

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly feature hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, to find bookish blogs and to learn more about the bloggers themselves. You can find more info on the feature on their website.

This week’s question is: Why did you start a book blog?

I had to look up when exactly I started this blog as it’s been a part of my life for so long, I can barely remember not having it. My first posts were in the summer of 2013 but I started blogging pretty regularly from 2014 onwards.

While I’d definitely count this as a book blog it’s also a mix of everything. I think I started it as I wanted a place to talk about books (and films) and try and improve my writing skills as I was at uni at the time. I had tried my hand at starting a BookTube channel but didn’t really feel comfortable in front of the camera nor had the time or editing skills to make them so a blog seemed to be the best way forward for me to share my love of books and to perhaps meet some likeminded people.

Welcome to blogmas 2021

So probably to my detriment, I’ve decided to attempt blogmas again this year. I last did it in 2019 and it seems as if I somewhat unintentionally rotate doing blogtober and blogmas each year so now it’s time for blogmas.

I have not been posting as regularly as I usually do this year, in part because I’m not watching as many films or reading as many books, so I thought it might be a good idea to push myself and hopefully give my yearly blogging stats a boost while I’m at it.

While blogmas is supposed to be super Christmas themed, I’ll just be hoping that I post something every day between now and Christmas. There will probably be book and film reviews (including a few extra ones from Cambridge Film Festival), some tags as they’re always good to take up a couple of days and the weekends will be for Christmas movie reviews.

Including this one, I have ten posts already written and scheduled, a couple half written and plans for the rest so I’m not going into this completely unprepared. It would’ve been nice to have had more scheduled but I only really decided to attempt blogmas last week so really the fact I’ve got the next week’s posts already scheduled is an achievement and gives me some breathing room.

This is really your warning that there will be more stuff from me on your feed and perhaps make you panic about how close to the end of another year we are – I certainly felt like that when I saw it was the 1st this morning!

A to Z Blogging Challenge 2021 Masterpost

Another A-Z Challenge completed! This year was all about my favourite characters and I had great fun sharing how much I love characters from different shoes, books and films.

Sign Up Post
A – Alec Lightwood
B – Kate Bishop
C – Clare Devlin
D – Poe Dameron
E – Elizabeth Sloane
F – Jessica Fletcher
G – Garrett McNeil
H – Holland March
I – Isabelle “Izzy” Lightwood
J – Johnny Lawrence
K – Kaz Brekker
L – Leïto
M – Mark Watney
N – Nancy Wheeler
O – Sally Owens
P – John Proudstar
Q – Q
R – Rose Tyler
S – Sara Howard
T – Terri Coverley
U – Uma
V – Elena de la Vega
W – Will Scarlett
X – Xtras (Steve Harrington, Jaylah, Jesper Fahey, and Elizabeth Swann)
Y – Yzma
Z – Zorro
Reflections Post

Reflections on the A-Z Challenge 2021 Edition

Another April gone and another A-Z in April Challenge completed!

This was my eighth year taking part in the A-Z Challenge and I really enjoyed writing my posts. I was pretty organised this year though I did spend some weekends writing like seven posts, but it all worked out OK. I do really enjoy writing about characters I love, I find it relatively easy to gush about them and it’s fun to share my love of various characters that might be from lesser-known films or shows. It’s hard to choose which posts were my favourite to write but I’ve got to give shoutouts to my posts on Leïto, Johnny Lawrence, and Elizabeth Sloane – those three characters pretty much cover the main characteristics of characters I tend to love.

My stats were great in April and I received more views and visitors last month than the last two April A-Z Challenges I’ve taken part in so thank you so much to everyone who stopped by to view by A-Z posts, liked them and/or commented. I haven’t quite got round to responding to every comment yet, but I do read every single one and I really do appreciate them.

I definitely had phases where I’d be really good at seeking out blogs or visiting ones who’d visited mine. There’d be the odd day or evening where blog hopping was all I did after work! There’s still more blog I’d like to visit and I’m going to do my best to make time for that in the coming weeks.

My most popular posts from this year’s challenge were Kaz Brekker by a mile (I definitely think the Shadow and Bone show being released a week or so after my post probably helped with that), Sally Owens, Rose Tyler, and Poe Dameron. Also for some reason, posts from previous year’s challenges where I talked about my favourite characters made an appearance and Carol Danvers and Pepper Potts were quite popular last month.

I always muse on whether or not I’ll take part in the A-Z Challenge next year but this year I’ve pretty much decided I will. I’ve decided that I want to do the A-Z Challenge for ten years in a row and I have two more years to go. I’m not sure what the themes will be for those next two years, but I’ve got plenty of time to figure that out.

I hope all of you who took part in the challenge had fun and a successful A-Z in April. Thanks to those who stopped by my blog and liked or commented – it always means a lot. For more information on the A-Z in April Challenge visit the website.

The Blogging from A-Z Challenge – 2021 Edition

We’re two weeks away from April (what is time etc) and that means the A-Z in April Blogging Challenge is just around the corner. The challenge is to post on your blog every day in April except Sundays. Not including Sundays, there are twenty-six days in April which matches with the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. That means on 1st April you write something beginning with the letter A, on the 2nd something beginning with the letter B and so on and so forth.

This will be the eighth year in a row I’ve taken part in this challenge and I hope to complete it once again. It’s become almost a tradition for me to do this challenge and I hope I continue to have ideas for it as the years go by – or maybe rehash old ones as I’m doing this year. I suppose I’d like to do it a nice round ten times, but we will see what happens.

This year my theme for the challenge is favourite characters. So, each day will be a gushing post about a character I love whose first or last name begins with that letter. In previous A-Z Challenges I’ve written about my favourite characters – in 2020 I wrote about my favourite characters from the MCU, in 2017 the theme was a general “My Favourite Things” which included a few characters, and way back in 2016 it was all about my favourite characters. As it’s been five years since then, I’ve watched more films and TV shows and read more books so there’s more characters I like a lot and can easily write about. Plus, I’m taking part in a challenge on Twitter where I’m sharing a character I love each day, so that’s inspired me a bit for this challenge too – that could give you some spoilers for who might appear in this blog in April. It will be twenty-six new characters who I haven’t mentioned in previous A-Z Challenges.

This is where I’d normally say “There will still be film reviews on Mondays and book reviews on Thursdays” but as I haven’t been watching a lot of films recently (just the X-Men movies) or reading a lot or writing many reviews, there might still be film and book reviews in April but I’m not going to promise anything. There will be my X-Men reviews every Saturday though as they’re all written and scheduled.

I haven’t actually got any of my A-Z posts written or scheduled yet so that’s going to be my plan for the weekend. I don’t think they’ll take me long as it’s always easy to write about something I love so it’ll be good to gets some scheduled before April arrives. It will make things less stressful and give me more time to visit other blogs.

There’s still time to sign up for the A to Z in April Challenge. I do recommend it; it definitely makes you stretch yourself to think of something for every letter and it encourages you to be organised – something I’m always trying to be better at when it comes to my blog.

BOOK BLOGGER HOP: If you could go trick-or-treating with your favourite book character, who would it be?

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly feature hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, to find bookish blogs and to learn more about the bloggers themselves. You can find more info on the feature here.

This week’s question is: If you could go trick-or-treating with your favourite book character, who would it be?

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a proper favourite character from a book, but I think I’ve got two picks for this. The first would be Izzy from The Exact Opposite of Okay. I think she’d be great fun to go trick-or-treating with, she’d be full of jokes and would probably make an inventive costume. My second pick would be Locke Lamora from the Gentleman Bastards series. He’d be very good at the trick part of trick-or-treating.

Who would you want to go trick-or-treating with if you could?

It’s Blogtober!

Thought it’d be a good idea to do a little announcement about the fact I’m attempting Blogtober this year – plus, I can then use this post as today’s entry to Blogtober. I took part in and completed Blogtober a few years ago in 2017 but not done it since, though for the past few years I have been doing Blogmas instead.

So what can you expect here during the month of October/Blogtober? There will still be my weekly book reviews on Thursdays and film reviews on Mondays but there will be extra film reviews at the weekends. I plan to watch and review some spooky/horror films and share them every Saturday and Sunday this month. I’m quite the wuss when it comes to horror films so some of these are more on the creepy/happen to include witches rather than being super scary. When it comes to horror I don’t think I mind zombie or vampire films, though they wouldn’t be my first choice when choosing a film to watch, it’s more the super gory, slasher films that I don’t like and I’m also not a fan of the ghosts/paranormal type horror. Maybe it’s because that I know zombies and vampires are not real, and while I don’t exactly believe in ghosts, there’s still the unknown when it comes to death and what (if anything) comes next.

Here’s some of the horror films that I own physical copies of or are currently on my Netflix watchlist, so expect some of these films to make appearances over the next few weeks.

There might be extra film reviews in the shape of London Film Festival too. I have press accreditation for the first time this year and as the majority of the festival is online due to current world events, I should be able to fit a lot of films in around my day job.

Besides the planned film and book reviews, that leaves me thirteen days to find posts for. I’m going to fully embrace features like Top Ten Tuesday and Book Blogger Hop to fill in the gaps, and a few other features that I haven’t taken part in in years and want to bring back to my blog and get in the habit of taking part in. there’s probably going to be a few tags too – some autumnal themed ones obviously. This month there will be a whole mix of stuff on my blog so I hope it doesn’t get overwhelming – for you or for me!

I’m attempting to get as many posts written and scheduled in advance – as I’m scheduling this at the end of September I have 12 blog posts already scheduled which I’m happy with. In October I’ll have work, LFF and (hopefully) will be going to Spain to see my sister and go through my dad’s things so that’s why I want to get as much prepped as possible. I think I will manage to post every day this month, I’ve been successful with previous Blogtober’s, Blogmas’ and April A-Z Challenge’s and once I make a decision about something like this I get myself organised and make it work.

So, to sum up this needlessly rambly post – I’m attempting Blogtober and I hope you enjoy the extra stuff I’m creating this month. Good luck to you if you’re also attempting Blogtober, I’m sure you’ll smash it!