Sparked by Words

Z is for Zounds!




Zounds – I did it! If you’re one of the rare species of human who’s read my entire alphabet of writing topics, you know my twenty-six posts took more than three years to write. Beginning in August 2013, one article a week on Thursdays, I should have completed the series by about February 2014. Give me up to March if you want to be generous. Enthusiasm I’ve got aplenty but I’m not great at sticking to schedules.

It’s been a challenge to write these twenty-six posts because it’s all been written before. With millions of blogs on the web, millions of writers posting every day, millions of courses, books, conferences, magazine articles, student sessions, critique groups, published texts, questions posed and answered, and impromptu chat sessions in situ at the local java joint and on the web, what’s left to talk about? Not much, except I wrote each of my posts in my own voice, with my own peculiar take.

Yes, I’m peculiar. As are you. It’s this peculiar individuality that tickles stories to get written, to be read. My take on topics like critique groups, journaling, character development, plot arcs, heroes and villains, maintaining passion, and finding one’s own voice informs my posts. B is for Blog Newbie displayed my technical limitations in an era when pre-schoolers can navigate digital devices more comfortably than I can. H is for Hats Off for Helping Hands reminds writers to acknowledge the readers and supporters who have helped us along our publishing journey. O is for Outside the Box is a Story described books that broadcast magnetic personalities and unusual circumstances. It made reference to some of the recently published quixotic books that have captured our imagination.

Along the way, I’ve read articles across the spectrum, from writers who are as new to blogging as I am to those who nearly invented the genre. I follow dozens, maybe hundreds, of blogs and interact with many of them, reading posts, reading replies, making my own comments.

And, boy oh boy, have I learned some things. Other bloggers have showcased new ideas, refreshed old lessons, inspired deep thinking, helped me find my muse, and sometimes humbled me. Those are the anticipated bonuses of reading and writing blogs, the result of interacting with an engaged community.

Sometime around D is for Dares with Dreams, I discovered an unexpected gift: friendship. Genuine even if we never sit in the same room. I have friends here in blog country, you are likely to be one of them – people who care about me when I’m frustrated or confused, who cheer when I celebrate, and who contact me personally when I’m harrowed.

I’ll be launching a new alphabet line next Thursday, August 25, 2016. Looking forward to seeing you here at Ink Flare when I’ll unveil the new meme.

Zounds, this was fun – exhausting but fun.




Fireworks image courtesy





Comments on: "Z is for Zounds!" (34)

  1. So what you’re saying is you’re ready to do AtoZ Challenge with me next April? I am so excited–I don’t want to do that one alone!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many congrats – it gives me hope when I see that others struggle just as I do to juggle all I want to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Da’al. Think about how much women were consigned to do – all the washing, cooking, childcare, gardening, laundry, sewing, and so many other tasks, while men got to exercise their creativity and thinking skills. I wonder how many brilliant women simply never had the chance to explore their mind’s quests because another stew needed to be fed to the hungry family, the barn had to be scoured again. It’s no wonder so many women went insane a hundred years ago out on the prairies, left alone all day in tiny hovels with nothing but the howling wind, dust, and endless back breaking work to occupy them. I feel fortunate that in this modern world, I do have time to pursue my dreams – but I might like a bit more time.


    • Yeesss! & I want a lot more time – but then I need sleep too.


  3. A to Z by Shareeeee

    Zounds may not be a real word
    but by Zikes and Zowee
    She’s undeterred

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I didn’t even know you were doing this. Shows how well I pay attention. What’s going to be your next stunt?

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I admit, it’s been a hard stream to follow as I was so inconsistent about posting. I did complete 26 entries but took 3 years to do what should have taken half a year.
      So, for my next stunt (love your phrase, Glynis) you’ll have to tune in on Thursday, August 25, when it will be announced. In the meanwhile, don’t tell anyone…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. First, your page doesn’t have categories. How can I research the others to find topics I wold like to read?

    Congrats on this accomplishment. Anxious to see your next theme.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, it’s something I have to figure out. I’ve asked for help from a friend and hopefully, much will be changed on the blog to make it easier to read and find other posts.
      Thanks for the congrats, Andrew, and the reminder to be current.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lol I hope you didn’t think I was being an ass. I would really like to see the topics to read a few.

        Hey, I did a search for the category “alphabet” and a few popped up.
        I will annoy you via the ones I find.

        Have a lovely weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I would never think of you as anything but a super cute chimp. You’re the first person who’s told me they were trying to locate past posts so this has gotten me realizing I must fix the blog.
        And any comment from you is much appreciated – that’s not annoying – that’s amore. (accent over the “e”)


  6. Yes, these A to Z challenges have been done before, but not through your eyes and life experience. I look forward to next week’s unveiling. Maybe I’ll do my own A-Z idea. Thank you for this, Shari.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats for sticking with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I saw the discussion upthread about the word zounds, and I thought I’d chime in.

    I think the date stamp is the 1600s, but you’d have to check to be sure. Back then, blasphemy used to be taken far more seriously than it is today. So people would almost blaspheme, a lot like a kid saying ‘fudge’ instead of something else.

    Zounds is actually a contraction of God’s wounds, referring to the wounds Christ received on the cross. There was even a penalty involved for using the complete phrase in a nonreligious way, but I don’t remember if it was gaol time or a fine.

    I’m a writer, okay? Word trivia sticks with me. *shrugs*

    Anyway, I also wanted to add that I’ve enjoyed your alphabet of blogging, and I’m looking forward to your next installments.

    Besides, they’re sure to have excellent graphics. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m a word person too, often looking up all kinds of trivia because it fascinates me. We are connected by language in ways so much deeper than what a mere comment can speak. So I already knew about “zounds,” but I appreciate that you explained it here.

      When I want to use inappropriate language, happens about a hundred times a minute, and when I’m in the company of those who shouldn’t have to exposed to my temper tantrums, which is pretty much all day long, I say, “Sugar plum fairies.” From the dance in Swan Lake, learned when I was a tot who thought she’d grow up graceful and talented and tall enough to be a prima ballerina.

      Now I just wonder about those graphics here: The Beauty of Words An Easy, Fast, Ethical Way to Find Online pics Using Google – must be something you showed me how to do. And thank you, Cathleen.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I was only able to pass it on because somebody shared it with me. 🙂


  10. Sharon, I missed coming in on the first round but look forward to this second round. Egads!


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