#AtoZChallenge and IWSG!

Happy April everyone!
It's going to be a busy month round these parts, what with April A-Z Challenge, and also participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. Oh, and today is Insecure Writer's Support Group as well (see bottom of post, though I encourage you to read the whole thing!).

My theme for A-Z this year is interactive fiction. So every day I will write a short bit of a story, and then my lovely readers will get the opportunity to vote for what direction they want the story to go next by leaving a comment. I have absolutely no idea where this is going to go because it is up to y'all, so it should be fun! Here we go...

Amy had never been to the bazaar. She'd read about it of course, but this was her first time walking into the heady swirl of colors, music, smells and humans. And not humans. Monkeys? Eew. Frankly, it was overwhelming. Also entirely enchanting. She found herself trying to focus on just one item, one person, at a time, allowing the rest of it to wash over her.

Each time she engaged with a vendor, she gave them her entire attention. However she was indiscriminate about what booths she stopped at, and that was how she found herself poring over a table of objects of dubious origin. Her best efforts to deflect the vendor's sales pitch failed so she tuned him out with the rest of the clamor of the bazaar. Several objects on the table attracted her attention, though.

Which object should Amy inspect?
A Basket full of Bits of fabric
The Blue Bottle, decorated with riBBon and twine
The Bouquet of interesting herbs and grasses

Please vote below for your favorite option for tomorrow's bit of adventure! I will tally the votes after 8pm Mountain Time and use them to write my next post.
Voting has closed for this post! Please visit the Blue Bottle post to continue reading :)

IWSG reflection:
Last week I saw one of my favorite authors, Jacqueline Winspear, speak in Fort Collins. She ended her talk by telling us that she does not allow herself writer's block because so many have lost their lives to give us our freedom of speech:

"What a privilege to be able to make up stories for a living. There are those who would, and have, died for that privilege. If you have it, you MUST use it."

Gives new meaning to the phrase, 'I write because I must,' and was exactly what I needed to hear last week as I embarked upon writing full-time.


  1. ok, first time here and first time taking part in the A-Z challenge. Love your idea, I'd go with the Blue bottle. http://waffle-with-wendy.blogspot.co.uk/

  2. The blue bottle! More mysterious possibilities...

    Great post, by the way!

  3. I'll go with The Blue Bottle, decorated with riBBon and twine too. :)

  4. I am voting Blue Bottle. Maybe there is a genie in it :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

  5. Love the Winspear quote. It does give new meaning. I'm not doing the challenge but I'll guess that Amy will take the blue bottle. With a nod to Forest Gump, the bottle is like a box of chocolate--you never know what's inside.

  6. Fun writing adventure. And, yes, let's honor those who have gone on before us, paved the way, and made it just a little easier to live a creative life.
    Play off the Page

  7. That must have been thrilling. :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

    Here's my link if you'd like to drop by :-)

  8. I love your theme for the challenge. And putting extra pressure on yourself by not being able to write ahead? Bold. :) I'm voting for the blue bottle also.

  9. I like the blue bottle. Great way to start this challenge!

  10. Definitely the blue bottle.

  11. Hi,
    Nice blog challenge. It should be very interesting. I vote for a basket full of bits of fabric.

    Visiting from A to Z Blog Challenge 2015
    Patricia at Everything Must Change

  12. Anonymous8:22 AM

    The blue bottle sounds like fun! :) Great start!

  13. Such a fun theme!
    Interactive is the way to go... it's a win-win situation!
    I vote that Blue Bottle... can't wait to see where you go with this...
    Writer In Transit

  14. My vote goes to The Bouquet of interesting herbs and grasses because the mention of it reminded me of Simon and Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair, which is such a magical song/tale to me.

    Kiss. :)

  15. I am new to the A-Z challenge and I will be participating in April's, my 1st ever and I am very excited.I will be posting a series of Photographs with the story behind them :-)

    Your blog series is going to be a really exciting journey, I cannot wait to see how the story unfolds!

    My choice would be the: The Blue Bottle, decorated with ribbon and twine.

    I'll visit again tomorrow to see what happens...


  16. Bouquet of herbs! How fun :)

    Interesting perspective to motivate writing by thinking of those who don't have free speech. Examining privilege in that regard hadn't occurred to me (again, privilege!). Thanks for sharing that.

    Here's my post: Stephanie Scott IWSG April post

  17. As a Bazaar Vendor of Fabric Items displayed in baskets....my vote is for 'A Basket full of Bits of Fabric'. And Yes, some of my items have stories to tell...although not all that bizzare...but with a historical flair. Like the Amulets and Broaches made from my vintage quilts. This is going to be so much fun for your readers and challenging for you....every evening. Will be back for what looks like a shoe in for the 'Blue Bottle'...still lots of time left for votes.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ's wHooligans

  18. I'm up for her investigating the Bouquet of interesting herbs and grasses. This is going to be fun.

  19. The blue bottle! This is a fun idea!

  20. Blue bottle. Because blue bottle. This is like a choose your own adventure A to Z. Awesome! :)

  21. The bouquet sounds like a win win. I love mysteries.

  22. Such a cool idea! Looking forward to seeing how this works out. My vote: The Bouquet of interesting herbs and grasses

  23. Anonymous12:05 PM

    the blue bottle... looking forward to more!

  24. I like blue glass and things like that, so I'm voting blue bottle.

  25. Blue Bottle
    Have a great A to Z month

  26. I've never heard that point of view on writing before, but it is true. We should use our freedom :)

  27. The Bouquet of interesting herbs and grasses!

    Great so far!

    Nothing like making me feel guilty when I can't write a word! It is a great piece of advice.

  28. Anonymous4:38 PM

    Writing a story on the fly is a challenge! Going with the basket of herbs. Happy alphabeting!

  29. Great theme, AJ! OK... I'm torn between the bottle and the basket of herbs and grasses. Both could be interesting directions for the story. Let's go with... the blue bottle. :)

  30. I vote for the basket with bits of fabric. There could be something very surprising hiding at the bottom.
    I love the theme and will tune in for your installments.

  31. Wow, her words are powerful. And she's right.

  32. Anonymous7:44 PM

    Hope I'm not too late. I thing she should select the blue bottle.

  33. The Blue Bottle! The Blue Bottle! Maybe there's a genie inside it! :D

    Interesting concept. It's going to be fun watching the tale unfold.

  34. I vote for the Blue Bottle! Awesome theme, BTW.

    2015 A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Matthew MacNish from The QQQE

  35. Anonymous1:51 PM

    AJ, You can do it! I'm kind of glad to hear I'm not the only one crazy enough to be doing A-Z challenge and Nanowrimo at the same time although (I suspect like you) there will probably be some overlap - either that or possible insanity. =D Maybe both....
    Also I know it's too late, but I would have voted for the basket definitely, because plants intrigue me! I can almost imagine the scents. Good luck!

  36. You're doing a create your own story with your blog? With 26 options? I am beyond floored! Seriously- mind utterly blown.

  37. I finally made it over to see the story and hopefully vote on letter D today.
    Thanks too for sharing Jacqueline Winspear's thoughts. I am one who once had the chance to write more as a stay at home Mom, but who now works full time. I do think that the advice still applies.

  38. Since I only discovered your blog today (Day- Q), I came here to check out the start of this series. I hope to catch up and be able to vote before we are at Z.
    *Shantala @ ShanayaTales*


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