Gratitude and Au Revoir #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

April 2015 has come to an end and so has the A to Z Challenge. It seems a bit surreal somehow, that a whole month has gone by where we blogged every single day, got lovely comments, found new blogs, made fabulous friends and will continue to grow in this spirit of friendship and happiness all through the months and maybe the years ahead.


As I look back, my reflections on this year’s challenge are not vastly different from last year’s, except perhaps that I had lowered my expectations, both of myself and of others. I know that blogging daily can be exhausting and frankly, blog hopping can be cumbersome when you have over 1000 blogs to check out.

So I wrote this year in the hope that some posts, not all, may be read. Instead I was overwhelmed by the flood of support, both on the blog as well as on social media for the love that I received! I confess I haven’t done enough justice in return and I hope to make it up over the next few months.

Twitter was a good friend during the A to Z Challenge. This year, three things I did differently on this medium, which have helped somewhat:

  1. I added the #AtoZchallenge tag as well as the handle @AprilA2Z in my titles, so they would get more visibility.
  2. I created a Twitter list of some#AtoZchallenge participants, so I could view their tweets in a single feed. This is also a good way to keep track of these bloggers post A-Z.
  3. I joined the #AZchat sessions on Twitter curated by Heather Gardner. TWICE! Within 7 hours of each other. That has to stand for some record. Hey, I even got a medal for it. Thanks my tweeps!

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Here are some fascinating stats thanks to the A to Z Challenge which I may analyse at a later stage:

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Nearly 4000 views in April alone! Wow! I am dumbstruck. That’s the highest ever for any month since I began the blog last May!

The posts that got the most views:

A for Anger

B for Beautiful

C for Code linking with L for Letter 

D for Dance

and a Non-A to Z post: No More Candles

A Big Thank you to the ones who visited every day and made this possible! I am listing the bloggers who made the effort to read, like and leave comments all through April. Others read and shared on social media channels, which brought more traffic. Such a generous gesture!

I may have missed out a few, so please forgive me if that happens!

Some bloggers did not do the A-Z but were avid supporters of those who did. All of them are wonderful bloggers in their own right! Their names are hyperlinked to their blogs. Do check them out and bookmark them. For comfort, I have broken them down into groups of ten.

PSST: I plan to feature them in smaller groups over the next few months in my posts, so watch out for that! 

Thank you

Vinay Ravindranath, Sanch Living Life, Shilpa Garg, Jyotsna Bhatia, Eloquent Mind, Mel Rowe, Patricia Lynne, Laurel Regan, Lata Sunil, Rajlakshmi.

Parul, Pratikshya, Shilpa Gupte, Little Princess Titli, Vidya, Shalini, Prasanna Rao, Keirthana, Vinitha, Sulekha.

Suzy Que,  Marie, Janaki, Sarah, Devika, Swathi, Nibha, Vinodini, Roger Ship, Inderpreet.

Sid Balachandran, Aparna George, Rachna Parmar, Beloo Mehra, Ankita, A.J. Sendall, Ula, Sundari Venkatraman, Soumya Prasad, Shantala Nayak.

Elly, Monica, Jenny, Shashank, Cat Graham, EclecticAlli, Pooja Sharma, Tulika, Nancy, Nisha Sanjeev.

Sheethal, Sonia Lal, DeeCoded, Debbie, Prathima, Mithila Menezes, Heather Gardner, Rosie Amber, Luccia Gray,Rekha Dhyani.

StoryTeller Mary, Yvonne Ventresca, A J Lauer, Henrietta M Ross, Vishal Bheeroo, Courtney Turner, Aathira Jim.


*Please note that the order is completely random and I am going to be updating this list as and when I remember more people.

**Oh and if you did the A-Z along my lines (Writing/ Fiction/ Flash Fiction) and if I have missed your blog, leave a link in the comments and I will pop over and say hello.

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With this I bid you all Au revoir. I have always loved this word from French, which means ‘Until we see each other again.’ It means that this is not good-bye. There is no final curtain call. There is always a next act, another chapter to be written and another page to be read.

So, while my blogging will slow down in May, it will not die. I may pop in occasionally to say hello or startle you with yet another Alternate Angle !

And in the words of the immortal Douglas Adams, ‘So long and thanks for all the fish!’


Not a Bad Person

Good writing comes from experiences. Great writing comes from painful ones.

Is that a quote? It should be, because it is so damn true! Oh and this is also officially the first close swear word I have used in a public space. I figured the end of a year, that both sucked and soared, kind of merits that.

You see, I am not a bad person. I know how trite and self-serving that sounds, but it’s justified. I don’t go out of my way to make people feel bad or hurt people wilfully or look down my nose at others. I have already written my end of 2014 posts- the one which tied things up in a neat bow with regard to my WordPress stats, the one where I spoke about having zero resolutions and even one with a wish list for my daughter. But, this post has to be written before the clock touches midnight, before I wake up tomorrow with the feeling of annoyance gone. I need to share my hurt or at least a modicum of it before the morning makes everything seem so much better.

2014 was my best year- blog-wise. It opened up so many, many, many connections in the blogging world. I touched base with people I had never known 12 months ago and forged a bond with so many, so instinctively. With others, I took my time, but built those as well, at my own pace, getting comfortable as and when I felt it was required.

Contrary to what my voluble Facebook status updates might say or my Twitter rants may reveal, I am a very private person.

You shouldn’t be writing a blog then!

Yes, thank you. I realise the irony. That’s the whole point of a blog, though, isn’t it? It allows us our space to be as open and as frank as we want, without feeling awkward about what people in real life would say. If my last year of blogging has taught me anything, it is that my real world connections and my virtual connections are almost mutually exclusive. I have a handful of my friends who actually read my posts. The others who read them are bloggers, not unlike myself. Do you know how spectacular that is? Of the 14,000 views on my blog this year, nearly 90 % of those are from writers like me, putting their thoughts out there for the world to see, judge, ignore or be indifferent to.

Today, after nearly 3 months of toying with a relationship and wondering if it was going anywhere, I decided to let it go. The person on the other end has not responded to my olive branch, sent in a myriad different ways. At some point, I must realise that some relationships are short-term. I questioned why I tried so hard to mend the crack in our interaction.

Then, another friend told me, “It’s because you always try to see the good in people.” Perhaps that’s true. Maybe it’s naive. But, it doesn’t change the fact that I will keep trying to do that. The seeing the good, I mean, not the continued extension of the peace pact.

Writing about it today has done one very important thing for me. It has helped me heal. Now, I look back at the bond with lots of gratitude plus a lot of regret. But, I am finally at peace. I bear no ill-will towards those people who choose to stay away from me.

It’s like my dad says ever so often, ‘They are the angels in your life. They help you become a better person.’

Thank you, 2014, for making me more aware. I end this year on a note of gratitude.

Linking this up with Yeah Write Moonshine # 194