Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What is the A to Z Challenge, 2013 Golden Globes and Critic’s Choice Awards, Ninja News, and More Pondering and Blog Questions

What is the A to Z Challenge?

It’s posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

There were one hundred of us for the first Challenge in 2010. Last year, over 1700 participated. And on January 30, the list will open for signups for this year’s Challenge.

For a more detailed account than that, visit the A to Z Blog.

That first Challenge changed my blog forever, so I hope many of you will join us this year!

The Golden Globes and Critic’s Choice Awards

Last week, I made my predictions in certain categories for the Academy Awards. Since the Golden Globes and Critic’s Choice Awards often foreshadow the Oscars, thought I’d show you where the awards fell in the categories I selected:

Golden Globes -
Best Picture, drama – Argo
Best Director – Ben Affleck, Argo
Best Actor, drama - Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln / Best Actor, comedy or musical - Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
Best Supporting Actor - Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best Animated Feature Film – Brave

Critic’s Choice Awards –
Best Picture - Argo
Best Director - Ben Affleck, Argo
Best Actor - Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Best Supporting Actor - Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Best Animated Feature - Wreck-It Ralph

My predictions for the Oscars:
Best Picture - Lincoln, but Argo would be cool.
Best Picture - I picked Spielberg, but note that Ben Affleck is not even nominated
Best Actor - Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Best Supporting Actor - Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best Animated – anyone’s game

And at this point, it really is anyone’s game.

And I would like to point out that Looper won Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie at the Critic’s Choice Awards – yes!!

Anyone want to take a guess on who will win the Oscars now?

Ninja News

Lynn Rush’s latest, Tainted, is available now. Congratulations, Lynn!

Stephen, Mark, Elise, and CM are hosting the Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest on January 28. Many new bloggers joined the community last year, and this is a chance for us to re-introduce ourselves to our followers. Visit any of their sites to sign up. (And Stephen suggests keeping it to one hundred words. That’s easy!)

JL Campbell is doing something special to celebrate her upcoming release – The Love…The Second Time Around Celebration dovetails with the theme of my-soon-to-be-released novel, Retribution. Help me celebrate by submitting your most interesting stories of people taking another shot at a relationship.” It’s February 1 – see her SITE for details.

Patsy Collins’ new romance is out – A Year and a Day. You can purchase it on Amazon US and Amazon UK. Congratulations, Patsy!

18 Things by Jamie Ayers will be released on January 24 – and she’s holding a huge celebration: “Beginning January 17th until release day, January 24th–I’ll be hosting the What Are Your 18 Things Blogfest. All you have to do is blog about things on your bucket list.” And the prizes are amazing! Check it out HERE

Yvonne Lewis posted a special thank you poem for me for directing people to her new site and look at the image she chose for it. Yes, I am a video game. Thank you, Yvonne!

More Blog Questions and Ponderings

Thanks for suggestions for the blanks in my manuscript last week. It probably would be better if I left a place holder for each name rather than a lot of blanks. Of course, that all depends on whether I write another book…

Why do some people never respond to comments? Most of you said you did visit the blogs of those who leave comments on your own, but why do some people never visit commenters?

Some of you asked about using Google Reader and how to do folders – I will post about that very soon! (As you can see, I am running out of room…)

And finally - commenting times. Now, I know there’s a time difference. But some of you are up at midnight during the week commenting! Don’t you people sleep? 10:00 is my bed time – no way I could stay up that late. (Even my clones are tired.) You guys must be Energizer Bunnies or something.

Ready for this year's A to Z Challenge? We're already posting tips at the A to Z Blog. Surprised by the Golden Globe or Critic's Choice winners? Care to change your Oscar predictions? Excited about the new books and blogfests? And what about commenting? And you late night commenters? Do you sleep?


  1. Since I have kids, I should be in bed early, but I'm not. I have too much writing to do!

    Can't wait for A-Z!

  2. I usualy sleep 6 hours a day, except weekends, when have a little more time to staying bed.

    Due to the time difference your blog can receive comments anytime. ;)

  3. Responding to comments is something I have been slightly slacking on of late. I do try my best but often times I hope that me visiting their blog in return is enough to let them know I appreciate their time! But sometimes, I am quite slow with it.

  4. Thanks so much for the mention, Alex.

  5. First glad you liked the poem I wrote. I did appreciate what you did though I think some people are finding it hard to access my blog.

    I think the re-introduce yourself blog is idea as I have been coming and going like a yo yo this past few months.

    Hopefully the awards will be shown on TV so it will be good to see.
    I notice my brother(Daniel Day)Lewis got an award. we Lewis's get
    Trying to get my A to Z up together but to me I am disappointed there will be no music with each post,


  6. Looking forward to A-Z Challenge. As yet I have not organized anything, but have been mulling over some ideas.

    Thanks for giving the Re-Introduce Yourself Blog Hop a shout out, on behalf of my co-hosts, I will add that it is greatly appreciated.

    And yes, I do try to visit my commentator's, but time is an issue to get everything done, even though I am one of those who do stay up past midnight!

  7. Midnight? What is that? I'm dead around 9:30 -10:00. Okay, 10:30 last night. I actually (this is the truth) started thinking of things to put up on A-Z.

  8. It seems like the A to Z was just the other day...
    It can be time-consuming, but I try to visit and comment on other blogs as much as possible.
    I'm the opposite end of the globe, so when lots of people are fast asleep, I'm wide awake...

  9. I'm an early to bed and early to rise person, too. :)

    Looking forward to reading the A-Z entries!

  10. I find the same people comment on my blog every time. I think with so many blogs out there, leaving comments on each one gets to be a daunting task. Some people just can't think of something to say...I'm one of those types. While I read every blog you write sometimes I can't think of something to say.

    I used to sleep four hours a night. Now because of medicines, it's more like six to eight. Don't you love the ability to prewrite blogs on this site and schedule!

  11. Sad part about those awards is that I haven't seen any of the movies. *bows head*
    Congrats, Patsy!
    I'll check out the Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest.
    I have to go to sleep by 11 because I get up at 5:30 to get kiddos off to school.

  12. So happy for Patsy!!!

    Best Actor - Daniel Craig
    Best Actress - Judi Dench
    Best Film - Skyfall
    Best Musical Score - Adele for sounding like Shirley Bassey.
    Best NAKED upper body on screen - Daniel Craig.
    Best NAKED & WET body on screen - Daniel Craig.

    Er... where was I!??!


    Take care

  13. LG, I would be extra tired at that point!

    Zoltan, you're several hours ahead of me, so that I understand.

    Kyra, if you visit them, that's good.

    Patsy, you're welcome.

    Yvonne, thank you again. And so no music.

    Carolyn, you're welcome. And I can't stay up that late.

    T, so am I!

    Michelle, that makes sense though.

    Elizabeth, so am I.

    JL, I pre-schedule all of my posts. And whatever you say in a comment is fine with me.

    Ciara, I'm up a little earlier than that, which is why I go to bed early.

    Kitty, you are funny! And Adele did win a Golden I think.

  14. I try to be in bed by 8:30 and up by 5:00am. So, you know that my comments usually come early. I think Old Kitty above me hates Daniel Craig. NOT.

  15. I do respond to my comments via e-mail. Now that I have so many followers I can't follow all their blogs anymore, which makes me kind of sad because I know it's a good thing to do.

  16. I'm excited for the A to z challenge as this will be my first year participating. I'm a bit surprised that Argo is doing so well (never actually saw that one). I agree that Daniel Day-Lewis has the Oscar in the bag, and I'm SO glad Looper won that award! Happy Wednesday! :D

  17. Hmm? Still pondering whether to do the Challenge or not. I did last year and it was fun writing, but I failed miserably to visiting other's blog. I can't stand the guilt.

  18. I'll be surprised if Lincoln doesn't win big.

    I try to comment on as many blogs as possible, but it can be quite draining. I can understand why people don't get round to it.


  19. Natalie, it takes a lot of time, that's for sure!

    Liesel, glad you are joining it, and Looper was SO overlooked elsewhere.

    Leigh, even just five a day is good.

  20. I'm in bed by 10 PM as well...but I hardly ever leave a comment after 9 PM. I need a minimum of an hour to wind down before hitting the sack. :)

  21. I tend to comment back on my blog and visit others' blogs off and on during the day, and I try to keep to an email/web cutoff point in the evening.

    Yeh for LOOPER! So good! :)

  22. I'm excited for the A to Z Challenge. It's going to be a huge year! There's lots going on in the blogging world. I have Looper on DVD from Netflix right now. I'm so close to finishing my next book. Once I'm done it (tomorrow or Friday), I'll be on the couch with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and watching Looper. Yum! I try to go to bed between 10:00 and 10:30 too. I need my sleep or I'm useless the next day.

  23. I can't understand the comment issue at all. To me it's just common courtesy to respond. My Google reader is a complete mess so I'm looking forward to reading about your folder.

  24. I think I've figured out an A-Z theme! yay!

    I've been trying to be better about responding to comments, but I do try to comment back at least.

    Unfortunately I need sleep too.

  25. Hi, Alex,
    I've decided to wrap my A-Z around something I've been working on, but parked for a while.

    Thanks for the mention, lots of things going on. I've signed up for a couple already. Thanks for the updates!

  26. Dragon Cave fires go off at 10 as well, but that's Mexico time. I sometimes deal with people who are in London or even in India. They of course are enjoying the sunlight as I sleep. Thanks for explaining about the challenge. Silly me thought it had something to do with the huge hand with legs.

  27. I just noticed you have two lists of blogs on your right sidebar. I need to come up with a more efficient system for commenting before A-Z.

  28. I am a terrible sleeper so I'm often up at 2-3am looking for things to read. I love your posts though, so you're one of the firsts on my list that I get to at a normal time ;)

  29. Days off for good behavior? Who decides if the behavior is good? :)

  30. I'm a late owl and I've always been that way since my preteen days but I must admit I can't hang as late like I use to. LOL!

    I've never participated in a blogfest before but the Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest sounds simple enough. I'm thinking about signing up.

    I would love more info on Google Reader. I'm trying to find an easier way to keep up with my favorite blogs without email notifications. ;)

  31. I'm looking forward to the reintroduce myself hop-- what a fun concept. So many good things going on and as always, you keep your finger on that pulse.

  32. I only started visiting commenters until my follow list grew too large.

    I just wish I knew why I have 910 follows and average about 25 comments.

    Oh well. Maybe I can get those lurkers back too. ;-)

  33. I know commenters are the people I try to get to first, so not sure on that one, except some people maybe don't quite get how it works. My blog roll is my second tier (or new followers). I know the people who have come OFF my blog roll are people I visit several times who never reciprocate. I also, though, get periodically bogged and behind on visiting.

    Thanks for the blogfest heads up!

  34. I do try to visit those who comment on my blog, except if I'm sick or something. I really must get to see Argo. I hope Lincoln wins, though.

  35. I visit people who comment on my blog first. Then, I see if I have time to visit others. When I have work, I'm definitely in bed early. :)

  36. Being a rare blood courier who worked 24 of the 48 hours of the last weekend, I have so little free time, and it is shrinking with the influx of the flu season and writing my latest book.

    I try to visit my commentators but it is so hard lately.

    Oh, Hart, if you are reading this, my anti-virus program flags your site I try to visit it. Just thought you might want to know. It has something to do with your twitter button I believe.

  37. Great predictions on the Globes! I'm thinking Lincoln might win at the Oscars... I need to see that movie since I keep hearing such great things.

  38. It's good that Argo got best picture. I haven't seen it yet, but I hope they did homage to the Canadians. As for A-Z, I can't join in again this year. I'm crossing fingers and toes that we sell the house and I'm enroute to NB! Yay!

    Morning, Captain!

  39. Thanks Alex for the shout out for Re-Introduce Myself! And cool banner too.

    And Congrats! to Lynn Rush on Tainted!

  40. I'm always a little confounded by people who don't respond to their comments. I can understand someone not reciprocating comments every time (everyone gets busy!), but people will stop commenting on their blogs if they don't interact or at least show some occasional interest in their followers' blogs too.

  41. DL, maybe we're getting old?

    Madeline, Looper rocked!

    Christine, enjoy.

    JL, you're welcome, and that is cool.

    Tonja, I actually have five...

    Randi, thanks!

    Melissa, I will post that soon.

    Hart, guess they don't know...

    Roland, not good about Hart's site!

    Joylene, they gave credit.

    Stephen, you're welcome.

    LG, exactly!

  42. I just watched Argo and loved it! It deserved all the nominations.

    I'm thinking of signing up again this year for A-Z

  43. If you already explained this and I missed it, my apologies but...why do you do predictions for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor but don't mention the Best Actress awards at all? No love for the ladies?

  44. I always try to comment back - using the reply button, which I like - or heading over to the persons blog. It's just polite to acknowledge other people's interest, I think.

    I think Lincoln will be the big winner but we'll see...

  45. I just watched Looper last night (edited version...I can't do gore and *I think* most of the bloody stuff was cut out) and loved it.

    I want to have a theme for A to Z this year but don't know what.

  46. I definitely sleep. But I am considering joining the 'Reintroducing' blogfest on the 28th. :)

  47. Awards - So glad to see Argo and Affleck get some recognition. It was a great flick. I'm impressed with a movie that can keep me on the edge of my seat, even though historically I know the outcome (think Apollo 13).

    Also, glad to see Looper get some recognition. I really liked that movie.

    Blogfests - some great ones coming up.

    I really could use a tutorial on Google + and Google Reader.

  48. i am thrilled and afraid of the monster this a to z challenge is going to bring in... i am truly liking the issues we have addressed in our behind the scene team stuff.

  49. Not quite ready for A to Z, but it's in the back of my mind, brewing on lists and such. Not surprised by Golden Globe. Excited about blogfests but can't do them all.
    Commenting - I try to get back to everyone, but sometimes comments come in late, I have a busy day, and realize three days later that there are a stream of comments I didn't see earlier . . .aagh! If I've commented and it's midnight someone else's time, trust me it's earlier on the Pacific Coast. And if I comment on your blog three to four days after you've commented on mine - all I can say is . . .I'm so sorry.

  50. I haven't seen enough of the movies this year to guess. As for blogging, I just can't keep up with some people and, like you, I need my sleep. lol

  51. I'm really looking forward to the A to Z challenge as I barely missed it last year.

    I always try to respond to comments as I'm always appreciative that people even read my blog, much less take the time to comment :)

    I'm, definitely, a night owl...I stay up late and get up early-ish, so I comment at all hours. I think it's my constant coffee I.V. drip that's responsible for that :)

  52. I may attempt the A to Z this year...if I remember.

  53. The A to Z Challenge is becoming bigger and bigger. I can't believe that you sleep at 10 p.m. I always thought that you would be a night bird trying to catch up with your blogging etc.

    I finally managed to see Life of Pi. Interested to know what you thought about it.

  54. I really enjoyed reading the A-Z posts on everyone's blogs last year!

    I still need to watch Argo- especially after watching the globes. I just didn't get to the movies enough!

    I am not sure why people don't go back to visit the blogs of commenters. I do my best to visit eveyone who comments on my blog- even if it is a few days later. :)


  55. I really want to see Lincoln, I'm so bad at keeping up with these things. But I did see Les Mis, and I love it!

  56. I used to be able to stay up all night. My bed time is 11:00 p.m. now. I just can't keep my eyes open beyond that. I'm so happy I have a DVR so I never have to miss any of my favorite shows.

  57. Looking forward to A to Z!

    I used to be able to go without sleep like that. Not anymore.

  58. Did I mention I came up with a theme? I can't remember if I was telling you or someone else...

  59. Thank you for posting more details about the A-Z challenge. I had a fairly ugly meltdown yesterday when I read something about Themes. And then I sent an email (well, 2 actually). One never made it out of draft form. I realized I probably should visit the main page to see if some of my questions would be answered there. They were, but others were raised. Ugghh. So, your blog is very helpful for first-timers. And I see that you are offering the option of going non-theme this year.

    As to commenting on your own comments... I used to be terrible about that. I am getting better. I try to remember to check back on the blogs that I commented on. It is a rather long process, no?

    Even though Argo swept the other two awards, I am sticking with Lincoln. I am just not feeling it for this one. I also like Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis. I have no idea on the other categories.

    And boo-yah on Looper winning. Awesome flick.

  60. Clarissa, it was amazing.

    LD, sorry, but I hadn't seen hardly any of the films that the ladies were in, so couldn't really make a prediction.

    MsHatch, it is polite.

    Ilima, wasn't it great?

    Faraway, I know - Argo was so tense even though I knew the ending.

    Jeremy, yes, we need to be ready this year.

    Tyrean, it happens! I have to go back and check older posts now and then as comments continue to appear.

    Donna, sleep is more important, and so is somthing else...

    Mark, God bless you then! Keep up the IV drip.

    Gail, please do!

    Rachna, too old to be a night owl. And I thought the movie was very spiritual and powerful.

    Stephanie, and you do a great job of it!

    Michael, I'm happy NetFlix and Hulu exist, or I would never see any shows either.

    Andrew, yes you did!

  61. Still haven't seen Looper. Tough to watch a movie when you have an infant that doesn't like to sleep, lol.

    Congratulations, Lynn!

  62. I feel like it's really hard to build a relationship with someone who never returns or responds to comments. It feels like you're being ignored, and when there are so many enjoyable conversations to be had, that's not the way I want to spend my time.

  63. So many questions Alex, so little time. I am joining in the challenge this year and have started composing my posts.

    I'm not a late night commenter - but what is this thing you call sleep?

  64. I'm ready for the A to Z challenge this year. I (think) I already have my theme.

    As a kid, my single Mom worked the night shift and we often got up when she came home to kiss her goodnight. Consequently, all four of her kids are night owls.

  65. I'm already working on my A to Z list. Can't believe it's getting close already.

  66. I tend to respond to people's comments on the reply tab on my blog under their comments. I hope that means they get an update. ALso, thanks for dong the A-Z blog fest. This will be my third year in a row and I have to say the last two years both really stretched me.

  67. Of course, I'd pick Hugh Jackman over everybody else for everything he's nominated for. LOL

    This year, I plan on taking the plunge and joining everyone on the A-Z journey. Although, I am a bit frightened of such a huge commitment. But I will do my best!

  68. Hi, Alex,

    Definitely into doing blogfests this year. I missed out so many last year! A-Z? Hopefully, but this year I will REALLY NEED to START them before. I want to post QUALITY writing, so I will need time for that.

    I am TOTALLY a late night commenter. I rarely get to sleep before 1:30 am... Yes, put your eyes back into your head Alex... LOL. It is true. I love the am hours. Everything is so quiet. As the city sleeps, I am up writing, blogging, thinking....

  69. Much like a reader, I like lots of action and effects and ooh I love sexy men. So I haven't watched any of the nominated movies...oooh wait, I watched Brave!

  70. Christopher Waltz was the surprise for me, a Quentin movie!

  71. Looper was super cool!!

    a to z is going to be insane! i may have to change up my visiting strategy...
    ps, the only thing i had trouble with was the addition of blogs during the challenge. hard to keep up...

  72. I can stay up late bc I sleep till ten!
    And yes, teach me how to use google reader so I can be a ninja reader!!

  73. A - Z again already? Wow. I'll be there I suppose. I can be a bad commenter. Probably because I do so much on my phone and even saying 'nice post' is a big commitment. Especially is someone has captcha enabled.

  74. ps, where are the actresses?! hmm?

  75. I get my second wind late at night. Great predictions and I'm looking forward to the Oscars. Lots of creative blogfests out there, and it's a good idea to start getting ready for A to Z. Julie

  76. A-Z challenge sounds interesting, if I can sort the time in April I'll definitely join in!

  77. I have not seen but I've heard good things about Argo.

  78. Robin, visit the main site - it explains it better there. And note that at first I had the wrong email posted. Yes, it does take a long time to comment and yes, Looper is awesome!

    Johanna, exactly!!!

    Jenn, that explains it!

    Melanie, that's great!

    Jaybird, glad you are joining us!

    Michael, my brain shuts down a little after nine pm, so no thinking then!

    Fran, but that rocked! Dig Tarantino.

    Tara, yes! The second year I gained 350 followers in less than three months as a co-host - it was overload!

    Elizabeth, I will.

    Rusty, you need an iPad.

    Tara, I haven't seen any of the movies nominated!

  79. The A to Z Blog challenge is such a great concept. I'm going to strongly consider participating, but am not ready to commit yet.

    Okay, I have seen none of those Golden Globe winners... I think I need to get out more :)

    Yes, I do sleep and better now that I am in a routine. Actually 10:00 is my bedtime too, unless I'm rebellious and push to 11:00.

  80. I am in bed before 10pm or my head hits the back of the wall from falling over due to sleepiness. Loved the Golden Globes! I think Argo will win best picture but Daniel Day Lewis will grab for best actor...he is just so good in any role he does. I need to see more movies like I used day.....

  81. I've always tried to visit everyone who's left a comment on my site, but I've gotten kind of bad about it in the past year. I try, but...

    Tossing It Out

  82. This post is going to keep me busy for at least half an hour following all the links!

    With regards to re-visiting commenters, some people are hard to track as their link leads either to G+ with no blog link or a profile, again with no link. This always makes me sad when I can't reach someone!

    Off to visit everyone
    Laura x

  83. I always reciprocate a comment with a comment! But I don't comment back on my blog--usually by email if I have something to say...

    And sleep? I *maybe* got an hour last night, LOL... I'm a mess! :D

  84. Hehe, I'm Australian, so my times are very different to everyone else's. I'm an early to bed person, too, but even earlier than most people here I think. 8:30's when I sleep. I spent the past two weeks going to bed at midnight and beyond while I was away, and I have no idea how those night owls manage it!

    As to responding to comments, I always try to look for a commenter's blog when they first comment, and I do try and remember to keep going back, notnalways successfully, but I do try. And I respond to every single comment on my own blog before checking out other people's. I'm not as efficient ad the Ninja Captain, but I'm trying to learn from the master.

    looking forwards to that post about Google reader. I've never dared to touch it because I don't understand how to use it. But maybe I can learn from the master about this too.

  85. I did enjoy the A to Z last year, but no had time then that I don't have now. I wanna do it. I guess I'll sign up and see if I can handle it. As for the GG, I'm so happy Argo & Ben Affleck won. Although I typically love time travel stories, I didn't care much for Looper. Too confusing. As for commenting, I try to at least comment on my commenters posts though I sometimes don't have the time, but that's rare. I use my blog roll to remind me where else I should visit. But except for a rare few like yours, I only visit blogs once a week. It's all I can afford as far as time goes. I seriously don't know how you do it, especially going to bed at 10.

  86. I was SO thrilled to learn Ben Affleck and Argo have won in both those awards. Still want to know the story behind the story about the Oscar snub. I'm sure there's one :)

    Thanks for the link back to Yvonne. I haven't been able to find her. I just updated my link and left her a comment.

  87. blogging about bucket lists, not a bad way to intro a novel. :)

  88. Emilyann, hope you join us!

    Birgit, Day-Lewis is just an amazing actor.

    Laura, I find that a lot with new followers.

    Morgan, I couldn't function!

    Imogen, that is early, but I bet you feel better for getting that much sleep.

    Nancy, most of the comments I make are during the day from work. And we need to have a Looper 101 class...

    Carol, wonderful!

  89. I loved Looper! I'm glad to hear it won.

    I try to respond back to comments even if I'm a day or two behind. If someone takes the time to comment, it's only polite to respond and also to visit their blog in kind...unless they are spammers, then, not so much.

  90. Congrats to Patsy, Jamie & J.L.! Yvonne's video game image is adorable. You should have your own video game, hehe.

    I'm invited to an Oscar party and am required to dress as a character from any movie out in 2012 - any suggestions? I'm going for cozy, easy and clever.

  91. P.S. Thans for the shout out for Back From the Future! You're a swell guy. ;)

  92. Argo was a really good film.

    Some people don;t comment back, which is rude. I try not to be one of those people though.

  93. Definitely in for A-Z! I'm relying on reader contribution for my theme, and it's going to be so much fun, I can't wait.

    There is a massive amount of blogfests going on at the minute. I signed up for Reintroducing Myself and Joy's fest. Also, Misha Gericke is holding a contest to write the worst opening for a novel ever. You should feature it on Friday, it sounds amazing!

    And yeah, I always reply to commenters and visit back, but some days that's all I can do. It just depends what else is going on. And I have been up til midnight and beyond doing it!

  94. Thanks for all this Alex. I take my hat off to Hugh, but I know that Lincoln will be the film and Daniel Day Lewis the Actor. I can live with that-he's fabulous.

    Comments on blogs? I just read someone pouring their heart out about not getting comments, but she has Captcha Codes on for heaven's sake. So many bloggers won't leave a comment if those hideous things are on.

    I get around a lot of blogs-I like to read and learn- but even blogger-lover me will no longer comment if that person never visits me as I think that shows they're only focused on themselves, to me a bit character flaw. I will tweet if I like the post.

  95. I never get to bed before 11, but I'm aiming to sleep better these days - too many down sides of lack of sleep.

    I follow the same commenting style you do - respond on the blog and visit the commenter's blog. To not respond would feel rude!

  96. I wonder about that too, Alex,

    "Why do some people never respond to comments? Most of you said you did visit the blogs of those who leave comments on your own, but why do some people never visit commenters?" (per the Capt'n)

    I try to respond and visit anyone who visits my blogs. It's courtesy. I comment all the time, sometimes early, sometimes late, depending on life's impacts that day.

    Re the A to Z, I think I'm ready to prep. I liked my results last year. I really enjoyed reading everyone's posts.

  97. Thanks for the shout out!!! As for comments, I try to comment on everyone's who's left a comment on mine or anyone I subscribe to within a week. I'm no Alex, but I am up late. Usually between midnight and 1:30am, and I get up at 6:15:-)

  98. I SHOULD be getting to bed around 10:00, but I almost never do and then I'm dragging the next day. I've really gotta learn.

    You really did call the Globes this year, didn't you? I was surprised when Ben Affleck won but also happy. I loved Argo.

  99. Nicki, you're welcome. Can I suggest going as Dejah Thoris, the princess from John Carter? How about Black Widow from The Avengers? No? Like animals? How about going as Richard Parker, the tiger in Life of Pi? Hey, I'm trying!

    Nick, thanks for reminding me about Misha's contest - completely forgot to mention it today!

    Denise, word verification is a reason for low comments. And your policy is very fair. I stop commenting as well.

    Jemi, you night owl!

    DG, it's a courtesy so few follow.

    Jamie, you're welcome, and that is insane.

    Helena, Argo was great!

  100. I'm definitely not a late night commenter. I used to be a morning commenter but I've tried to change my schedule since mornings is when I currently write best. So now it's the afternoons (I'm not counting today... my schedule is way off today since firefox acted up yesterday and I couldn't go visiting like normal so now I'm playing cath-up)

  101. I changed my Oscar predictions a little bit after I saw Zero Dark Thirty. Now I think Zero Dark Thirty deserves all the honors (despite Kathryn Bigelow got snubbed Best Director and same with Ben Affleck). But definitely, Oscar night will belong to Lincoln. Now that Zero Dark Thirty and Argo got snubbed in the directing category. If they weren't both of those films would be going to head to head.

    And the Golden Globes were excellent! Loved Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's jokes, especially the one that referred to Kathryn Bigelow and her latest film. Now I must watch the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards and the BIGGIE Oscars! Counting down :)

    Can't wait to host the A to Z challenge! April is going to be a busy month for me. Better not book anything up. :)

  102. I meant to see Looper, but missed it, I'll have to wait for the DVD. Argo does look pretty cool though, so does Django Unchained.

  103. I have plans to join in the A to Z challenge this year. It will be my first year. I've read other's posts while they did it and it sounded fun.

    I'm a late night commenter, sometimes. I like to be in bed by 11 reading, but sometimes I get behind and stay up commenting instead. I sleep...sometimes. *Grin*

  104. I'm thinking about doing A-Z this year. I skipped out last year.

    My commenting times seem to vary. Just lately I haven't been a good commenter, as I've had a cold.

    Happy 2013, Alex!

  105. Lynda, bad Firefox!

    Livia, you are such a great addition to the team!

    Ray, watch Looper man!!!!

    Jack, you won't regret joining the Challenge!

    Sharon, join us!

  106. Not sure I want to do A to Z again this year, but I might. Last year my posts were all random and didn't go together. I might pick a theme this year. :)

    I'm always commenting at odd times. Sleep, people do that? :D

    I'll have to check out that blogfest!

  107. Alex, I usually don't get home from work and class until 9 p.m. If I'm lucky, I might be starting my writing and blogging time as you're going to bed. :)

  108. Alex, the Oscars will be interesting particularly in light of the Affleck Affect on the Globes.

    Gosh you pack so much in a small space when you post it is just amazing.

    Regarding commenting, what I do each day depends on when I get home and what my wife has in mind for the evening. Like tonight I am catching up on almost 3 days of reading since yesterday she and I watched the NCIS shows together (she had a tooth pulled so this was a good move on my part).

    Some day I will learn the Ninja ways of posting, reading, commenting and still work, sleep, and see my wife.

  109. I think I'm going to do A-Z this year!

    You know, I'm a little peeved that Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson didn't get any recognition for Django Unchained from the Oscars. Also, how does Django get a best picture nod but Tarantino doesn't get a best director nomination? I guess Argo and Django directed themselves, eh?

    *end of rant*

  110. No freaking way it's time for A-Z again. Really? What the heck happened to the last 9 months?

  111. Didn't we just have the A-Z challenge? How quickly it's returned.

    10pm is my bedtime too, Alex, and I have the West Coast advantage. Still, I'm comment #111 here. Oh, well. It's better than being #112.


  112. Dude, I sleep for sure. I'm in bed by 9 usually and get up at 5, except for weekends when it's my goal to outsleep my teenager. Yet, I still manage to at least respond to comments on my blog by visiting the commenter's blog and then a few more. I'm looking into hiring some clones, but fair trade clones aren't cheap, it turns out.

  113. I love the night, I'm an insomniac, and used to hate it, but have learned to adjust. It's easier so now I love the night! I really love the early mornings, but that's for work, then I'm alert -- at night I'm a zombie and do a lot of reading.

    My husband can fall asleep anywhere, any time -- I envy that.

    Looking forward to A to Z this year!

  114. I'm rooting for Les Misérables just because I love the show and the music.

    I am more of a night person than hubby these days. I'm surprised with all the visits you pay you can get to bed so early. How do you have time to sleep?

  115. I do my best to respond to comments, but you? Well, you are just plain a ninja! not all of us can keep up :).

  116. I sometimes stay up too late to finally squeeze my blog-hopping in and leave some comments, but I keep running out of day before I run out of blogs to visit.

  117. I can't wait for the A-Z Challenge! I really want to see Lincoln too.

    I try to visit the people who visit me, but it's just so time consuming it's hard to keep up.


  118. I did A-Z last year and really enjoyed it! The problem is getting around all the different blogs. Therefore I will have to think very carefully before I commit as its tricky fitting it all in...unless its a different system this year.

    I can't pressure myself into visiting thousands of blogs, otherwise I'll never get any writing done!

    Brilliant challenge though...

  119. Well, it's after 1:00 AM and I'm up commenting. And this certainly isn't the latest I've done it. It's the only time I can find to do it many days. And I'm behind on commenting as it is. Ugh.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  120. I work nights. That's my excuse. Sometimes I catch up on blogging from work on a slow night. ;)

  121. I am participating in A-Z again this year, but have no clue yet on postings. Where did the year go? I just realized from your posting on the Oscars and Golden Globe that I haven't seen any of those movies. I am such a slacker this year.

  122. Man, I like the days when i can at least hit in the below 75th person to comment. :) I visit all the commenters' blogs. I like to. Other than that I comment on blogs I find interesting or I have something to say. I read a lot more than I comment on. :)

  123. Why don't some people visit the sites of their commentators? Good question. I've stopped going to some sites because of it. I typically stop by blogs because I like the blogger. With so many bloggers I like around here, I don't have time to visit to fit in everyone (unlike Alex J) ;) It's almost become an easy way to cut blogs out. ;)

  124. A - Z sign ups already?! oh boy! I'm to think of a topic :)

  125. Krista, a theme really helps.

    Chuck, the snubbing of Affleck will be very obvious at the Oscars. And be happy to teach you the Ninja way, little grasshopper.

    Samantha, glad you're with us! Yes, those movies just came together all by themselves.

    Vicki, don't panic!

    Shell, they aren't cheap. And they like to eat.

    Jo, because I do most of my blogging during the day at work.

    Jamie, it will be our fourth!

    Maria, just visit a handful a day. Even I never visit all of them.

    Kimberly, even I don't have time to visit those who don't visit me.

    Baygirl - in two weeks!

  126. Whew, I wonder about people blogging that late, too! I know I have a couple of blogging friends outside of the US, so they get a pass. I need my beauty sleep, though!

    Thanks for the A-Z info. I'm looking forward to participating this year.

    I'd be interested in how you use Google Reader. I haven't used it too much -- it feels a bit overwhelming when I open it up!

  127. I always "try" to visit people who take their time to visit my blog and post comments. I also respond privately via email if they have that enabled. Otherwise, there's not dialog.

    As to the Oscars, I'm with you on the Daniel Day Lewis Best Actor.

  128. I'm not a late night person, so I'm usually in bed by 10pm as well. But haven't you got clones that stay up for you? Hehe.

    A to Z. Gosh. I need to start brainstorming some ideas!

  129. Congrats, Lynn!

    My bed time is 11:45pm - and that means that I go to bed with my kindle, while the hubs sleeps by my side ;) I read until 12:30am (or more if I can't stop!), then go to sleep. I remember reading until 4am once, when I couldn't put the book down - I finished it then went to sleep ... but at 7am I'm always up, so it wasn't a good day. Though, I don't regret anything!

  130. I like your movie predictions, especially for Brave:)

  131. I'm still racking my brain for A-Z ideas....I've got some GRAND ideas but nothing reasonable or practical so I'll keep thinking. As for commenting, I tend to be a late night commenter. I can't really get the blogging thing going until late at night. I'm happy when I can get to bed by midnight, but I'm usually in bed between 1:30-2am. It's one of my goals to cut that back and get to bed earlier ...but I can function on 6 hours of sleep, learned that last year during A-Z. (:

  132. I'm looking forward to learning about Google Reader and folders. I desperately need a better way to return blog visits!

  133. Looking forward to the A-Z challenge! I read Yvonne's poem. It was really nice!

  134. Yes, looking forward to my third estou participation in A to Z.

  135. I don't have a whole lot of time to comment, so I prefer doing it via email. If an email is not linked, it usually takes me a while to get back on my blog. Unless I'm actually in front of my computer at home and blog reading. Then I make sure I've responded to everyone and then visit blogs. But I only have maybe 2 hours free time on a weekly basis. So I do what I can.

  136. Nickie, I will have that up tomorrow.

    Ellie, even they get tired...

    Juliana, we get about the same amount of sleep then.

    Elise, no way I could stay up that late. I barely make it to midnight on New Year's Eve.

    Gwen, hope it will help you.

    Sherry, wasn't that sweet of her?

    Leovi, you always have great photos for the Challenge.

  137. I am way behind in movies this year (but glad I was traveling), as I haven't seen a single one on any of your lists.

  138. I'm pulling for ARGO at the Oscars. That would be awesome. As for the A-to-Z, I'm already planning my posts out. Still settling on a topic, but it's almost nailed down.

  139. I'm trying to get more organized about visiting back commentators. I only recently figured out how to use Google Reader, and prior had just been remembering blogs I visit often and letting autofill do the rest. That meant I forgot about some blogs I'd followed and had liked, but just hadn't gone to in awhile. I may have an elephantine memory, but it's not always fool-proof!

  140. Yes, I've been terribly absent. I moved 850 miles in September and haven't had much time to blog. Having a super-slow computer does not help.

    However, I will participate once again in the A-Z challenge,

  141. I'm definitely excited about the A-Z challenge, I already have my whole list of topics for every day. :)

    And I generally go to sleep somewhere between 4-5 am. Crazy, I know. I have my days and nights mixed up. haha

    My whole family's schedule is upside down and we keep saying we're going to fix it, but it's really hard cause we're all total night owls...

    I, personally, hated the two weeks my blog wouldn't let me respond to anyone's comments--but now that it's fixed, I always do. I respond to everyone and visit everyone's blog who comments on mine. I'd actually like to do more, but I haven't figured out how to clone myself yet...can you please tell me how you did it???? Pretty please??? :)

  142. Ah yes, almost A to Z time! I expect it will be a good year. :) Me? Not usually a late night commenter, once in a great while maybe. Need my beauty sleep. lol

  143. Hannah, then I appreciate that you always come here.

    Joshua, I have my topic, just need to plan the posts.

    Carrie-Anne, Google Reader rocks!

    Alexandra, we have missed you.

    Tamara, are you sure you want clones? They do eat. A lot!

  144. I am glad Argo and Django are getting some props. I'm sure Lincoln is good too, but I didn't see it. Can't believe it's almost time for A to Z again!

  145. ...I'm with you on Looper, Alex. Entertaining flik ;)


  146. Always exciting to find out about new releases and blogfests!

    I'm not a night commenter . . . though I guess I'm contradicting myself in blogging relatively late today. :P But normally I blog before 8PM.

  147. I'm behind in my movie watching. I haven't seen any of these.

    I'm getting ready for A to Z.

    Ha ha. I once had someone email me back on why I was commenting late at night/early in the morning. Commenting takes a lot of time, so I split it up, commenting on 5-10 blogs at a time until I've reciprocated completely.

  148. I am always tempted by the A to Z challenge, but have totally sucked at it in the past. Knowing my limitations, I'm happy to just click around and read everyone else's posts! As for comments, I always try to visit the blogs of those who comment on my posts. I'm not sure what I would do, though, if I had as many commenters as you do, Alex!

  149. These things sound great: The A to Z challenge, reintroducing yourselves to new followers, and no way can I go to bed before 12 am! 1 am is ideal. Maybe I can do 11 if I have to get up extra early, but that takes great effort.

  150. Too bad. I am too late for the A to Z challenge.

  151. I can be a late night commenter like now, but that's cause I can only comment when I have time. I've been hugely busy and had a lot of stuff going on so my computer time is almost nil.

    Can't wait for A to Z! And I LOVED Argo.

  152. Gosh A-Z is coming up. I can't help admiring all those clever people who write their blog posts ahead of makes me sweat just to think of it! No Oscar for Les Miserables? You might be right. I do comment - both on the blog and on commenters' blogs, it's only polite, isn't it?

  153. I laughed when I read your thoughts on late night commenters. It's just so easy to get carried away in what people are saying and writing about. I have a few questions, and seeing how you respond so efficiently to everyone, maybe you won't have time to respond, but here goes. When I subscribed to your blog I noticed that the next day you had subscribed to mine. Is that some kind of tech that makes it automatic upon ones subscription, or do you make the effort to subscribe to everyone's blogs indevidually? I've not read any of your books, which do you like best and which do you recommend the most? Is Alex J. Cavanaugh your real name or a pen name? Do people use pen names much anymore? I love to leave good thorough comments when I've taken the time to read something mostly because I want people to do the same for me. I don't get offended when they don't though, just a touch disappointed. I like to talk to people. I do sleep, tomorrow is my day off when after my kid is on a bus to school I get to either sleep more, write more, or do my homework. I prefer the first two but if I was disciplined for early to bed early to rise, I'd walk and listen for the birds to wake and greet me. Someday soon perhaps.

  154. p.s. It's only 1:30 AM my time, not the 4:28 that it states on the time stamp. Just saying... -wink

  155. I try to visit the blogs of those who comment on mine. I've always felt that it was just common courtesy to do so and have generally received the same in return. I also try to respond to the comments on my blog. Sometimes I don't know what to say, but I suppose even saying 'Thank you for commenting' would be better than nothing.

    The A-Z Challenge looks interesting. I'll have to look into it. Thanks for the heads up.

  156. Can't wait for A-Z blogging challenge. Can't wait for Retribution by J.L. Campbell. Read Distraction and it was great. So many things for us to know and you're the one to inform us. Thanks Alex.

  157. I seem to have entered a parallel universe - are there actually bloggers that do sleep?

  158. I like your Oscar picks! I go to an Oscar party at a friend's house every year, so I need to start thinking on my ballot.

    My problem is I always vote with my heart. This year, I'm really in love with Django. It wasn't perfect, but ti was bold in a way most of the nominees weren't.

    We caught Silver Linings playbook last weekend, and I enjoyed it. The actors were great. I still haven't seen Argo.

    My favorite movie this year was Moonrise Kingdom, I think. But it didn't make the cut for much.

    Re Comments: Do you blog to say things, or do you blog to grow your blog/brand? If it is the latter, you'd better invest time into commenting back, or recognize it will take you years (and years) to build a sizable following (if you do at all). That's just how it works.

    I'm actually someone who doesn't get bent out of shape if people don't reply to my comments. It takes a ton of time/energy to do that. I get it. However, I don't care for it when I follow someone's blog and actively comment, and they don't follow my blog in return.

    Personally, mine depends on the blog post and the comment left. If it is a guest post, cover announcement, etc. I don't always comment back to everyone (unless they leave a thoughtful comment). If it's something a little deeper, I try to get back in touch with everyone who comments--at least for the first few days the post is up.

  159. Hi Alex, Good to be here again after a bit gap, The challenge times are here again, thanks for the notification about the A to Z Challenge. Last year i left half way due to some unforeseen reasons, but this year I firmly believe that i can reach the finish line.
    Good Keep up the good work of informing the fellow bloggers about the new developments.
    Have good and profitable and purposeful time ahead.
    Keep in touch
    Best Phil


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