A to Z in April Challenge

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.

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.

A to Z Blogging Challenge 2020 Masterpost

Another A-Z Challenge successfully completed. This year it was all about watching some of the many DVDs that were sat on my shelves and this challenge got me watching and reviewing twenty of them.

Sign Up Post
A –The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
B – Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
C – Carlito’s Way (1993)
D – The Dead Pool (1988)
E – The Edukators (2004)
F – Family Plot (1976)
G – Good Bye Lenin! (2003)
H – House of D (2004)
I – Imagine Me & You (2005)
J – Jarhead (2005)
K – K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)
L – Let the Right One In (2008)
M – Monster (2003)
N – National Treasure (2004)
O – Outlander (2008)
P – Playing It Cool (2014)
Q – The Quake (2018)
R – Ray (2004)
S – Sudden Impact (1983)
T – Troy (2004)
U – Unforgiven (1992)
V – Vertigo (1958)
W – West Side Story (1961)
X – XXY (2007)
Y – You Again (2010)
Z – Zookeeper (2011)
Reflections Post

Reflections on the A-Z Challenge 2020 Edition

Another April gone by, and what an interesting April that was!

I’m thankful I was so well organised this year and had over half of my posts already written and scheduled before April began, because the end of March and April itself was tough. Three of my close family died in March (non COVID-19 related but I don’t know if that’s better or worse) and then there was living life under lockdown. It was good to have this challenge to focus on though and have some structure in an ultimately very confusing time.

I’m very pleased I completed the challenge for a number of reasons. It’s my senventh year of taking part in this challenge and I do like how it’s become a “thing” for me and my blog. I’m happy it made me cut down my unwatched film list by twenty. My updated list of films I own but haven’t watched is on Letterboxd and I’m always looking for recommendations. The six films I reviewed that weren’t part of that list were ones I found on Netflix or similar.

The month started on a high with The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford which I gave four stars but it ended on a low with Zookeeper which I do not recommend and gave one star. The films I most enjoyed watching a writing about were The Quake, Imagine Me & You and West Side Story. Though I have to say it was hard to review so many films in such a relatively short space of time – my brain’s not made to work that way.

My stats for April this year weren’t as good as last year but were better than the 2018 edition, so I’ll take that. The most popular A-Z posts were my reviews of Let the Right One In, National Treasure and K-19: The Widowmaker. Previous years A-Z posts also got a lot of hits including the posts I wrote about for Bucky Barnes and Happy Hogan last year, and Hermione Granger and Kingsley Shacklebolt that I wrote for the 2017 edition of the challenge.

Because of the aforementioned personal and wider world issues going on, I visited very few blogs which is a shame. I mostly did a good job at keeping up with replying to comments and I should have hopefully got to everyone by the time this post goes live.

Every year in my reflections post I ponder whether or not I’ll take part in the challenge next year, and this year’s no different! But I think as long as I have an idea well ahead of time that I can write and schedule posts for, then I think I will. I think it’d be nice to at least do this challenge for ten years in a row – only three more to go!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my A-Z posts this month. This blog will go back to a roughly equal amount of posts and books and films now. I hope all of you who took part had a successful A-Z in April, and sorry I didn’t get to your blog. For more information on the A-Z in April Challenge visit the website.

The Blogging from A-Z Challenge – 2020 Edition

It’s nearly April so that can only mean one thing – the A-Z in April Blogging Challenge! The challenge is to post on your blog every day in April except Sundays. Not including Sundays, there are twenty-six days 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 seventh 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 to do this challenge and I hope I continue to have ideas for it as the years go by.

This year all my twenty-six posts will be film reviews. More specifically reviews of some of the eighty plus films I have unwatched on DVD and Blu-ray. You can have a sneak peek at what some of the films might be by checking out what’s on this Letterboxd list. I’ve had some of these films for so long, some probably for over five years, so this is just the push I need to finally watch them. For the letters where I don’t have a film on DVD or Blu-ray that begins with that letter, I shall turn to the likes of Netflix to find a film.

In April I will still be posting my weekly book reviews as usual. I’m not sure if there will be “bonus” film reviews that are more modern releases/films I’ve watched that aren’t for this challenge, it’ll depend how I feel and how I keep up with the posts/reviews.

Because watching films and then reviewing them takes more time than the average post I’ve done for this challenge previously (especially as some of my unwatched films are really long!) I’ve been somewhat organised and have already scheduled thirteen posts (which is half of them!) and plan to have more scheduled before April arrives. Unfortunately, those thirteen aren’t the first thirteen days of April because I’m someone who has to be in the mood for potentially more serious or heavier films and I just don’t make things easy for myself.

Hopefully having so many posts scheduled already means I won’t be rushing to get the next post out and that I will be more active in visiting and commenting on other people’s blogs during the challenge.

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.

A to Z in April Blogging Challenge 2019 Masterpost

Well this is being posted later than expected – what can I say! Time got away from me. That’s another April gone and with it another A-Z in April Challenge successfully completed. This year it was all about my favourite characters in the MCU. It was certainly hard to narrow it down for some days/letters, but I’m happy with the characters I got to talk about.

Sign Up Post
A – Ava Starr
B – James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes
C – Cassie Lang
D – Carol Danvers
E – Erik “Killmonger” Stevens
F – Frigga
G – Goose
H – Happy Hogan
I – Ivan Vanko
J – Jim Paxton
K – Harley Keener
L – Luis
M – Maria Rambeau
N – Nebula
O – Okoye
P – Pepper Potts
Q – Peter Quill
R – James “Rhodey” Rhodes
S – Shuri
T – Tony Stark
U – Ulysses Klaue
V – Valkyrie
W – Wanda Maximoff
X – X-tras (Clint Barton, Michelle “MJ” Jones, Nick Fury, Hela and Rocket Racoon)
Y – Ho Yinsen
Z – Hemlut Zemo
Reflections Post

The Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge – 2019 Edition

It’ll soon be April and that means it’ll soon be time for the A-Z in April Blogging Challenge! The challenge is to post on your blog every day in April bar Sundays. Once you forget about the Sundays, that gives you 26 days in April which matches with the 26 letters of the alphabet. So on the 1st April you write about something beginning with the letter A, on the 2nd something beginning with the letter B and so on and so forth.

After feeling like the challenge became a bit of an effort (and not in a fun way) for me last year, I was unsure whether or not I’d take part again this year. But after thinking about it, I’ve thought of a theme I know I’ll enjoy writing about and the A to Z in April Challenge is like a tradition on my blog now and it’d feel weird not doing it.

This year all my posts in the challenge will be about my favourite characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Each day will be about a character whose name (first or last) starts with the corresponding letter. I’ve figured out which character is going to be with which letter, though I will say in the case of a couple of them, they’re not necessarily my favourite but their names fit with what I needed. That being said, they will all be characters I like to varying degrees.

For a previous A to Z in April Challenge I blogged about my favourite characters in general and mentioned a few MCU characters there. I’m going to try and avoid mentioning them again this year so it’ll be something completely new.

I’ll still be posting my usual book and film reviews in April they’ll just be a lot of MCU characters making an appearance too. Do you think your favourites will be featured next month?

If you want to find out more about the A to Z in April Challenge visit the website (there’s still time to sign up!) and you can see what I’ve written about for the challenge on previous years here.