2019 A-Z Blogging Challenge - Reflection Post

Welcome back, A -Z Bloggers and Readers!

April - and with that another A-Z season - came and went, 

It was my fifth time around. 

In 2015 I was talking about aspects of the life of a (part-time) working Mom, there wasn't even much hockey in the picture yet. There were, however, balancing acts, commutes, caffeine, guilty feelings and overwhelm, just to name a few.

In 2016 I was invited to a wedding at the West coast, and it came at pretty short-notice, so for a moment I worried about the challenge. The next second I decided this was genius, my theme was going to be on the go, and voilà, A is for Arrival in Los Angeles, P is for Pike Place Market and Z is for I got back to Zurich.

In 2017 I had ambitious goals of losing 30 pounds and getting into shape, and I did! From Avocado Brownies till Zumba, I just about covered everything. 

I can't believe I picked this picture for the fitness theme. It's my instructor, coach and friend who unexpeectadly passed away just last week. She was a wonderful lady who will be missed so much! RIP, Vicky! 

The following year, 2018, I took you on a journey, kind of a trip around the world, even. 26 cities or national parks I have visited and loved! I used S for Sydney, so I had to squeeze in San Francisco at O is for Oakland ;-)

So in 2019 I got hooked on true crime, and it's basically Chris Watt's fault. 

Here's what my posts were all about:
  1. Alibi if you're suspected to have done something illegal you need one! Being home alone may not be a great alibi, so it's always a good idea to order pizza. At the very least the delivery person can corroborate that you were in fact home!
  2. Body hiding it makes investgators' lives hard. Every once in a while they still manage to get a conviction without the missing body, though.
  3. Cold Case unfortunately too many cases go cold once law enforcment runs out of leads. Even so, sometimes after many years, cold cases get reactivated and solved.
  4. Death Penalty does it serve as a deterrant? Is it OK for a state to kill people even if they're killers? Why do death row inmates spent so many years in prison prior to being executed?
  5. Evidence sometimes a crime scene doesn't provide much physical evidence, and you have to turn to circumstantial evidence.
  6. Forensics finger prints, DNA, gunshot residue, clothing fibers - what can they tell us?
  7. Gavel the ceremonial mallet that is used by the judge to make his point. In this post I mainly talked about the Casey Anthony case.
  8. Hung Jury happens when a jury can't come to an unanimous verdict even after lenghty deliberation. This happened in Jodi Arial's case.
  9. Interrogation when a firendly chat between detectives and a suspect turns serious. Law enforcment uses certain techniques to make the bad guys confess.
  10. Jail - is it the same as prison? What's the difference, and why are there State and Federal prisons?
  11. K9 - police dogs and their good nose assist law enforcement a great deal in tracking missing people, dead bodies or suspects.
  12. Luminol - a chemical used to make blood residue vidible even after it has been cleaned.
  13. Mitigating Factors "but he had a bad childhood" - sometimes it helps a criminal to get a lesser sentence.
  14. Nine-One-One the call the usually kicks off an investigation. 
  15. Oath as a witness and a suspect you have to tell the truth, otherwise you committ perjury.
  16. Polygraph once again, don't lie. You'll be busted.
  17. Quiz one of the tough letters. I used it to quiz you on cases. Later in this post you^ll get the answers.
  18. Reasonable Doubt the standard of evidence required to validate a criminal conviction.
  19. Sociopath are they necessarily bad people? How is it different from psychopathy?
  20. Temporary Insanity John Hinckley Jr's defense team succcessfully used this to plead not guilty, as did Andrea Yates' lawyers.
  21. U.S. Marshal the special law enforcment unit that is in charge of chasing fugitives and protecting witnesses.
  22. Voir Dire the process during jury selection that makes sure both defense and prosection are happy with the jurors who will decide upon the defendant's case.
  23. Warrant the piece of paper that is rquired to search your mobile phone, car or house before seizing evidence.
  24. X-Ray one of the methods that may be used for autopsies. This post also talks about other procedures that medical examinors and CSI use to find out about time and cause of death.
  25. Yates Andrea, the Texas Mom who suffered from post-partum depression and psychosis and as a result killed all of her five children. 
  26. Ziggy & Zalo Family the case of the Canadian real estate agent Lindsay Buziak who got lured into a million dollar home she was showing to fake buyers. The poor woman ended up stabbed, and the case is still unsolved.
How did my posts do? Sadly, in terms of stats they sucked did poorly. I like to think that content wise they were OK, though. I understand that blood and thunder isn't everybody's cup of tea. That's why I tried to integrate pizza every now and then ;-)

Not only did I feel that A-Z participation and engagement has been decreasing in the previous years, 2019 was the poorest in terms of people signing up (685 as opposed to 3,000 in earlier years and 1,500 in 2016) and actually following through. What's up with that anyway?

This year I also found it particularly hard to find new great quality blogs to follow. This probably says more about me than the bloggers out there since it's me who's not interested in the Roman empire, poetry, science fiction, video games, you name it. Blogs that are named "musings" or "rambling" usually make me cringe.

Also I find it hard to read book reviews about books I haven't read. Know what I mean?

That being said I did manage to connect with a few lovely bloggers who were new to me this year:

  • Alana at Rambling with Am   She caught my attention with her theme reveal post that revealed that there wasn't going to be a theme, hahaha! 
  • Melissa Marcus https://divergentmama.com talked about different aspects in regard to adjusting to Life as a Military Spouse
  • Shirley Dietz: https://shirleyjdietz.com/ took us hiking in the Grand Canyon area
  • Little Wandering Wren is a true globetrotter and shared some of her travel stories and tips.
  • Joy at the Joyous Living presented a favorite musical of hers every day. Sad coincidence had it that her N was for Notre Dame, Paris. Just wow.
  • Janet from Janet's Smiles is one serious crafter! She presented her artwork and the tools she uses. I wouldn't mind spending a crafternoon creating something at her atelier!
I was also thrilled to meet some of my long(er) time blogging friends again this season:

I hope I didn't forget anyone. Here's a quick shout-out to the YouTubers who inspired and educated me in all things true crime:

After A-Z is before A-Z. 

Brainstorming themes for 2020. Would you rather read about ice hockey, baking, living in Switzerland or psychology? Let me know. No promises, though ;-)

Before you leave...

Remember Caylee's Law? The unofficial name for bills proposed or passed in several U.S. states that make it a felony for a parent or legal guardian to fail to report a missing child, in cases where the parent knew or should have known that the child was possibly in danger. It came up as the one "good thing" that came out of the Casey Anthony case.

One of the states that introduced this law is Illinois, and it's a good thing, too. 

A.J. Friend, the little boy who was killed by his parents, is from Illinois, and not only are they charged with first degree murder, aggravated battery but also failure to report their son missing right away (they waited for three days), which is what? Caylee's law. 

Alright. One last thing: In my Q is for Quiz post I promised to share the answers to my riddle. The question was: what do the following people have in common? Here goes:
  1. Kelsey Berreth, Shanann Watts, Jonbenet Ramsey: Females who got killed in Colorado
  2. Laci Peterson, Jonbenet Ramsey, Sharon Aydelott: it happened at Christmastime
  3. Jonbenet Ramsey, Madeleine McCann, DeOrr Kunz: kids gone missing / been killed
  4. Denise Williams, Sabrina Limon, Nanette Ann Packard: wives who had their husbands killed by their boyfriends
  5. John D. Miller, Gary Charles Hartman, Joseph James DeAngelo: killers who got away with their crimes for a very long time. Until DNA technology caught up with them
  6. Darlie Routier, Andrea Yates, Megan Huntsman: Moms convicted for killing their kids
  7. Jodi Arias, Shayna Hubers, Yasmine Elders: crazy young women who murdered their boyfriends
  8. David Woods, Philip Workman, Barton Kay Kirkham: death row inmates who wanted pizza as their last meal
  9. Angelika Graswald, Jodi Arias, Shayna Hubers: crazy young women who performed in the interrogation room: yoga, hopscotch, singing,...
  10. Riaan Gondesi, Katera Barker, Cooper Harris: toddlers whose Dads forgot about them in the car on a hot day
Thanks so much for being part of my 2019 A-Z journey! Hope to keep in touch!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


  1. bravo on your challenge! i definitely love researching and reading true crime so i was excited to say i knew stuff and also to learn stuff. thanks for the shout out too :)

    Joy at The Joyous Living

  2. It was a good topic. And I know there's lots of interest out there about it. But I think the whole excitement for the challenge is waning. It seemed harder to connect with other bloggers this year.

  3. you are right, this year is a bit less involving, less comments, less something. I'm with you, some of the themes were no interest to me and it's why I have such a short list of blogs to visit.

    between ice hockey, baking, switzerland or psychology, I would choose switzerland but only because I don't have interest in the others.

    congrats on finishing the challenge.

    have a lovely day.

  4. First, thank you for mentioning my blog, and I'm glad you didn't run (too far) from my "Ramblin" title. Second, Switzerland is my vote. I have never been off the North American continent. When I was young, I fell in love with "Heidi". I would love to visit Switzerland, breathe that mountain air and have some cheese and dark bread (and chocolate). Your series is one series I need to go back and read through - I didn't read a whole lot of them. I wanted to see if you blogged any about serial killers. I lived in Wichita, Kansas for some of the time that BTK was active and it was....interesting. I have to mention a couple of issues with Blogspot blogs (and I have one of those, too, aargh) that may have cut traffic down. At the beginning of April, they had a glitch that anyone trying to comment had to go through a bunch of captcha's that seemed to go on and on. I almost stopped commenting on Blogger blogs! (Fortunately, A to Z moderators found a workaround). Second, I am finding myself unable to comment on any Blogger blog using my iPhone, despite being signed into my Google account. (I can do it on my computer fine). I read a lot of blogs on my phone and then I have to remember to come back and comment later. But I'm with you - traffic seemed down from previous years. Anyway - congrats!

  5. I found your series very interesting. I have only been doing the A to Z for the last 3 years and I have noticed that there were fewer participants. I do know that a lot of people who do the A to Z are writers and since I am not, I figured that was why there were fewer comments. Although my daughter has gotten us interested in hockey (Go Sharks!), if you're asking I think I'd like Switzerland or Psychology. :)

    Janet’s Smiles

  6. Congratulations on another fabulous A to Z series, Tamara! The posts I read were fascinating. I think the reason the challenge has become less popular is due to the serious time commitment required. That's actually why I stopped doing them. They always led to major bouts of internet fatigue and burnout, probably because I try to respond to comments and do return visits. It just became too much! Some people can handle the pressure, but it's not good for me. That said, I might jump back in next year. Did kind of miss it! ☺

  7. Glad you could join us for another year of A to Z. The Challenge has certainly evolved as has blogging I think. Perhaps we're winnowing down to the hard core A to Z blogging crowd--maybe the real Challenge will be to see who can stay in the game the most number of years.

    Oh dear--I'm tired.

    Thanks for the Reflections

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  8. As you already know, as a mystery writer, I loved your series and know I will be referring back to it often (even if I didn't get to comment on them all, too many time constraints this year). Second, thank you for the mention. I always enjoy writing flash fiction and this year was no different. It's always a challenge.

    And next year I vote for Switzerland!!

    DB McNicol, author
    A to Z Reflections
    My Author Page
    My Personal Blog

  9. I'm limping into my final view posts after a hectic few weeks of travel... if I was clever enough to remove the word April from the A-Z challenge logo I would do! I will get my reflections post up later today (on my blogspot blog!), which is why I'm here as I have included your comment as one that caught my eye. Only to find it's a MASSIVE thankyou for mentioning me in this post, much appreciated and will chat again later once things have calmed down... will they ever?!!
    Wren x


Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. It will be visible as soon as I had a chance to verify that you are not an anonymous user and/or a spammer.