AtoZ Challenge 2021 Wrap Up

In case you took all of April off from viewing my blog, I participated in the A to Z challenge where each day (except Sundays) you post on a new topic following the letters of the alphabet. So April 1 the blog topic started with A, on April 2 the blog topic began with B and so on.

This was my eighth year doing the challenge. The organizers of the challenge suggest you pick a theme for your writing. The first year I didn’t do a theme. The next year it was TV shows, followed by characters, antagonists, songs about magic, character flaws and comic strips. This year my theme was cat characters.

This turned out to be a fun topic. I featured some well known cats such as Garfield and the Cheshire cat. There were animated cats Mittens, the Aristocats, Oliver and Lucifer as well as live action cat who starred in movies such as Keanu, DC and Jake.

The typical harder letters – Q and X – were definitely hard this time as I did not find in cat characters with those letters. For Q, I featured my book Quietus that inspired this topic. For X, I just featured another cat character – one of my favorites Hobbes from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. W this year was also hard but I went with a cat-character based book series called Warriors.

As always, I enjoyed the challenge and look forward to doing it again next year.

For any of you who have missed out on my blogs from the A to Z challenge, here is a recap of what I covered.

Previous Posts

A is for the Aristocats

B is for Binx

C is for Cheshire Cat

D is for DC

E is for Elsa

F is for Felix

G is for Garfield

H is for Heathcliff

I is for Isis

J is for Jake

K is for Keanu

L is for Lucifer

M is for Mittens

N is for Nala

O is for Oliver

P is for Puss in Boots

Q is for Quietus

R is for Rum Tug Tugger

S is for Salem

T is for Thomasina

U is for Unknown

V is for Victoria

W is for Warriors

X is for Xtra

Y is for Yum Yum (and Koko)

Z is for Zira

Winding up this crazy school year

Nine months ago, the school year began – from home. Yes, we did virtual learning for the first eight weeks of school before my kids had the opportunity to go back to in-person learning. Over the next couple of months, more and more students returned until about 60% were back at the middle school and a little less than 50% were back at the high school.

Yes, the kids had to wear masks and socially distance, but the choice to go back to in-person learning was the right one for our family. Both kids do better away from the distractions of home and back with friends in the classroom. The year progressed pretty normally though I won’t say there weren’t struggles. Lexie still struggles with remembering to mark assignments as turned in on the computer when she knows they were turned in during class. Not marking them as done makes them still show up on the daily report I receive from Google Classroom.

Slowly as the year progressed, some of the activities that students were use to having returned. Jace’s orchestra concerts were performed with half the kids on stage and the other half on Zoom. The one hard thing for me was that volunteers were not allowed on campus while class was in session. That meant all the PTA activities that we normally do, didn’t happen or were modified to be done by staff and students without PTA help.

Then in March the Texas governor released the mask mandate as well as pretty much all other COVID restrictions. Our school district – and many other local businesses – decided to stick with their current protocols of social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing. The good news is that at the beginning of April the school district relaxed some of their rules. Volunteers were allowed back on campus. Graduation (in-person) will happen. They also are allowing in-person end of the year parties, banquets and celebrations – with certain guidelines.

This decision means many end of the year activities that we thought might not happen will actually happen. So now there are just four weeks left of school. The kids still have state tests still to take – Biology for Jase and English and math for Lexie. Jase also has one final orchestra concert and an orchestra banquet.

And then there are PTA things such as end of the year meetings, trainings, and a district-wide Used Book Sale. I’m sure these four weeks will fly by and then school will be done. We will then be celebrating with a trip to the beach.

Z is for Zira #AtoZChallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of cats as characters. Whether they appear in film, TV, cartoons or literature, these felines may be the star of the show or just a supporting character.

Enjoy the A to Z Challenge…

Z is for Zira, a lioness antagonist from the animated movie The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride. She is cynical and allows her emotions to control her. She is the mother of three cubs – Kovu, Nuka and Vitani, but rarely shows them any affection unless they are of use to her. She spends much of her time scheming and plotting against Simba, who she hates and blames for Scar’s death. Her goal is to kill Simba and take over the pride. In the end it is her hatred that destroys her.

In case you missed out…

A is for the Aristocats

B is for Binx

C is for Cheshire Cat

D is for DC

E is for Elsa

F is for Felix

G is for Garfield

H is for Heathcliff

I is for Isis

J is for Jake

K is for Keanu

L is for Lucifer

M is for Mittens

N is for Nala

O is for Oliver

P is for Puss in Boots

Q is for Quietus

R is for Rum Tug Tugger

S is for Salem

T is for Thomasina

U is for Unknown

V is for Victoria

W is for Warriors

X is for Xtra

Y is for Yum Yum (and Koko)

Y is for Yum Yum (and Koko) #AtoZchallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of cats as characters. Whether they appear in film, TV, cartoons or literature, these felines may be the star of the show or at supporting character.

If you are here looking for my typical Thursday post of a writing or publishing topic, I will go back to my regular schedule in May. Until then, enjoy the A to Z Challenge…

Y is for Yum Yum, one of two cat characters from The Cat Who mystery series by Lillian Jackson Braun. Yum Yum and her companion Kao K’o-Kung, known as Koko, help the main human character James Qwilleran solve mysteries. Yum Yum is the smaller of the two cats and doesn’t have an active role in solving the mysteries. Most of that is left up to Koko.

Yum Yum has a lot of dexterity, being able to open drawers, operate switches, and so forth, and likes to pilfer small objects. These traits have earned her the nickname “Yum Yum The Paw.”

In case you missed out…

A is for the Aristocats

B is for Binx

C is for Cheshire Cat

D is for DC

E is for Elsa

F is for Felix

G is for Garfield

H is for Heathcliff

I is for Isis

J is for Jake

K is for Keanu

L is for Lucifer

M is for Mittens

N is for Nala

O is for Oliver

P is for Puss in Boots

Q is for Quietus

R is for Rum Tug Tugger

S is for Salem

T is for Thomasina

U is for Unknown

V is for Victoria

W is for Warriors

X is for Xtra

X is for Xtra #atozchallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of cats as characters. Whether they appear in film, TV, cartoons or literature, these felines may be the star of the show or just a supporting character.

Enjoy the A to Z Challenge…

X is for Xtra. Yes, that is correct. I could not find a cat character that begins with the letter X. This is always one of the hardest characters in the A to Z challenge. So, I am going to take this time to talk about another cat character that I haven’t covered. There are several great ones such as Tom (from the Tom & Jerry cartoons), Sylvester (from the Looney Tunes), and Tigger (from Winnie the Pooh), but I decided to go with Hobbes from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson.  

Hobbes is a stuffed tiger (which is how everyone sees him) but from Calvin’s point of view, Hobbes is more than that. He is a living, breathing anthropomorphic tiger with his own independent attitude and ideas. He is playful, loyal and kind. He is more rational and aware of consequences than Calvin, but that doesn’t mean he stops Calvin from his antics.

In case you missed out…

A is for the Aristocats

B is for Binx

C is for Cheshire Cat

D is for DC

E is for Elsa

F is for Felix

G is for Garfield

H is for Heathcliff

I is for Isis

J is for Jake

K is for Keanu

L is for Lucifer

M is for Mittens

N is for Nala

O is for Oliver

P is for Puss in Boots

Q is for Quietus

R is for Rum Tug Tugger

S is for Salem

T is for Thomasina

U is for Unknown

V is for Victoria

W is for Warriors