It was the third Friday in April. The time was a few minutes short of midnight. La Niña and El Niño were patiently waiting for me to finish uploading my post on R is for Responsibility.
La Niña watched me, bleary eyed, patience battling against sleep, and finally asked, "Mamma, after you finish S, T, U, V, W, X, Y and Z, will you start with 1, 2 and 3..?"
I burst out laughing at that. Her innocent question underlined her fears about whether her mamma, who seemed to have contracted a virulent attack by the blogging bug, would ever recover.
For the entire duration of the month, she had been my companion, offering suggestions on what object to highlight through the image, looking at her English Reader for inspiration. She had sat up with me every night, except Sundays, when the A to Z April Blogging Challenge very kindly gave us a day off. The strain was beginning to tell on her, as it was on me.
My theme for the challenge had emerged out of a long-ago promise I had made to myself: that I would someday share my feeble wisdom with my 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son through hand-written letters. When I heard of the challenge, it occurred to me that I could use this forum to share much, much more than I could put into a few hand-written notes and letters.
Then began the mad scramble in my head. The rush for thinking up suitable values that I could share with them, then categorising them alphabetically to make sure that no two words expressed the same idea and that as many values as possible could be covered through the 26 letters of the English alphabet.
The rhythm of the theme helped me, kept me sane. Without it, I would have lost interest, floundered in the sea of letters and words that is the English language.
Another thing that buttressed my efforts and sustained me through the entire challenge was the encouragement of fellow-travellers on this journey. They came from everywhere, some from the A to Zers group created on Facebook by Corinne Rodrigues, others from other places in the world, and how they propped up my spirits.
Thank you to all those who took time out to read my posts and those who left a comment on them. You motivated me, and made me feel good about myself. You caused my page views to soar through the roof, and you re-ignited a dream that I had put into my back pocket.
Thank you, Arlee Bird, for initiating this magnificent challenge. It taught me that the Muse isn't as fickle as I like to believe, that if I roll up my sleeves and pretend that I mean business, she will come and sit by me, and together we will have a blast.
The end of the challenge has created an empty space where once there was vacant staring into distances, frantic writing on scraps of paper, and checking and commenting of other gems in the blog world.
How will I keep myself busy until next April when the madness and the frenzy will consume me again? I hope you'll keep dropping in to find out.