Reflections on the 2024 A-Z Challenge

Madeline Abercrombie – a member of the Edelweiss Club

I have just completed my eleventh A to Z Challenge. This year I wrote about the Edelweiss Club of Montgomery, Alabama. I had no posts written when the challenge began. This made for the usual nerve wracking experience of writing all day to get the post ready to go live by midnight. And also squeezing in visits to other blogs.

I have researched the 37 members intensively over the past several years, but had not looked at recipes of the day nor at the schools where the teacher members taught except in general, so I did learn about those things. I was surprised to see that most of them did marry, even if some married late and some divorced. I learned that their parents were pretty interesting. I tried to avoid getting sidetracked on them, although there were some good stories there. I’m considering writing about that generation next year, taking it back to my great grandmother Jennie Virginia Allen Turner’s life in Montgomery from the 1860s, to the time of her marriage in 1886.

This year I just didn’t seem to have the zest that I usually experience during the challenge. I was just holding on and getting through. Maybe it’s the depressing conditions all around, local, national and worldwide. Whatever it was, I did finish. I am glad I finally wrote up some of the Edelweiss women and their possible delicious luncheons.

I mostly read the same blogs I follow all year or those that I have on file from past challenges. I tried a few new ones as we went on, mainly finding them through comments on mine or other’s blogs or a few from the list.

These are the blogs I most often read and commented on:

There were others that I visited less often and there were some I discovered late in the challenge.

You can find an index to my April posts here A to Z Challenge 2024 – The Edelweiss Club

Thank you to everyone who makes the challenge work and to everyone who read my posts and to those who commented, I tried to visit and comment back. Also thanks to my husband Jim who proofreads my posts. I do sometimes change up afterwards, so he is not to blame if some errors crept in!

Reflecions 2024 #AtoZChallenge

36 thoughts on “Reflections on the 2024 A-Z Challenge

    1. I appreciate your visits and comments. I almost didn’t put a list up there because there were blogs like yours that I visited, but not everyday and I felt weird leaving them off. Oh well, onwards and upwards!

  1. I found you after the challenge but I enjoyed the posts I read. The world is a mess and the busier I can stay, the better I like it.

  2. I had the same experience as you — wrote my posts during the challenge, so played catch-up all month, barely able to manage visiting and commenting. I also lacked my usual A to Z Zest, perhaps for the same reasons you mentioned. That said, I loved your Edelweiss series – such an amazing group of talented women, in some ways ahead of their time, in other ways part of it. Congratulations on another A to Z completed — look forward to next year’s series!

  3. I must have burned out in 2022 on my blog challenges, but really want to get going again. The political issues these days and health issues take their toll on my energy and focus. Perhaps that’s what you are experiencing. Finally, I asked my doctor for antidepressents and feel hopeful as I feel some of the energy returning despite the daily chaos on the evening news.

    1. I feel much better if I get some exercise, which was sadly lacking as I sat at my computer writing posts during the challenge. I’m glad you’re feeling better! I look forward to reading your blog again.

  4. You obviously put a lot of effort into your entries, not just this year but in years past. I thought they were excellent! I definitely need to take some time and read each a little more carefully. Well, that’s what the road trip is for…

  5. Congratulations on completing the challenge. I enjoyed learning about these 37 women and their club. I would like to learn more about their parents too.

    My husband also proofreads and asks questions about my posts which I think helps a lot.

    Best wishes from Australia

    1. As soon as I get really done with A to Z, I’m going to start on the parents. I already gathered information about them when working on their daughters.

      I agree, that proofreading helps a lot.

    1. I just visited your blogs. I wish I’d found them earlier. I did two last year, a poetry one and this one. I haven’t done different forms and I think I will try some during the year on my poetry blog.

  6. Congratulations, Kristin, on completing your 11th Challenge, despite the war on Gaza, the election season in the U.S., court cases, mayhem, famine, and general grimness all around. The dignified and somewhat mysterious Edelweiss Club transported us to another time and other struggles. Life in Montgomery, Alabama on the eve of the your grandmother-to-be’s migration North. I loved the newspaper clippings–advertisements, recipes, society pages and the way you have mapped where all the members lived.
    Your decision to take up the Challenge always inspires me to do the same.

    1. Congratulations to you too Josna on making 26 pretty positive posts on the world in the middle of what you mention above. Hope we’ll be here doing it again next year.

  7. Well done, Kristin! I’m amazed that you could write each one day by day as the month went by. For me, it was the first time I did an A-Z Challenge, but I had all the posts ready and scheduled before April Fool’s Day. I enjoyed your interesting perspective on the Edelweiss girls’ lives. I had very little idea of what life was like for black people in those days.

    1. Having them done is the best way to do it! I think I’ve only had all posts done a few times. I visited your blog a few times and learned things about life in France and details about the Huguenots that I certainly never knew.

      I’m glad you also learned something from my posts.

    1. Those were quite some imaginary plants you shared. As my yard gets more and more wild, I think I recognize a few of them out there.

  8. Like you, I, maybe, sort of, move on through the post with not as much zest either. The news, which I read daily, does drag people down. I’m glad you finish. I’m always impressed when people finish the challenge because I see people quit at the letter A. The challenge is a challenge because most don’t have prepared posts (I don’t) and I suppose it would an easer challenge if you have write all your post ahead.

    Anyway, thank you for visiting my blog. Congrats on finishing the challenge.

    Have a lovely day.

  9. Congratulations on completing the A-Z Challenge! It is a marathon of blogging, for sure! I was not able to read many of your wonderful posts, but the Edelweiss Club was a great theme! I am always interested in learning more Black History, a subject not treated in white schools in the south back in the 1960s. Genealogy has broadened my perspective on the subject.

    I am thinking of following your plan of pre-writing posts for the A-Z Challenge of 2025. I wish I could have done that this year, and I wish I could have completed this year’s Challenge, but our daughter has cancer, and I think I’ve done well just doing as much as I did. So I have even more need for diversion than the news, the world going stark-raving mad, and insanity here at home, too.

    1. The schools I attended in Detroit in the 1950s and 1960s weren’t teaching black history either. I learned it at home and on my own.

      I’m thinking that if I start now and do only a few posts a month I could do it painlessly.

      That sounds really tough, dealing with serious illness in the family on top of the craziness surrounding us, congratulations on any bit of the Challenge you did and any visiting you were able to squeeze in. Good luck on next year. And may health return to your daughter soon.

    1. I did enjoy it. I enjoy all my research and doing the Edelweiss women helped me build a wider picture of my grandparents lives during that time.

  10. Congratulations on completing the challenge. It’s not easy. I read your early posts and enjoyed them very much, but time got in the way for me, and I’m in catch up mode now. Your theme is really great, and has sparked an idea for me for next year.

    1. I enjoyed your posts too. Because of your posts, I’m working on organizing my information on Montgomery into a one place study. Next year I’m thinking of using newspaper items about earlier generations in the families of the Edelweiss members to tell their stories.

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