43 Posts and a Conked Laptop – Reflections #AtoZChallenge

A-to-Z Reflection [2018]

My wife, Namratha, was the one who introduced to me to the AtoZ challenge last year. It didn’t matter then – I didn’t even have a blog. But she did participate and completed it successfully. Somewhere during last year’s AtoZ challenge, my blog was born. Wait, what?


See, this was actually supposed to be a dummy blog from which I intended to put ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ on my wife’s blog posts. That’s the whole reason my blog has this unreasonably long and absolutely weird name – ‘Loose End of the Red Thread.’ I had absolutely no idea on what to name the blog, it was supposed to be a dummy one right? I was sitting with the WordPress signup page open on my bed, thinking about a blog name when I realized that I was tugging at, you guessed it, the loose end of the red thread from a pillow. And I was in the blog-o-sphere!

Somewhere in June, last year I decided to use this dummy blog as a repository for the stories running in my brain. The stats for the first few months was exactly five posts and five views (obviously Namy!). I wasn’t bothered too much, but somewhere in the corner of my mind there was a little irritation setting in. After being encouraged by my single reader in the world, I started taking part in bloghops and weekly challenges and slowly cultivated a few followers.

And before I knew, it was March again and the next edition of AtoZ Challenge was upon us. I decided on a theme (y’all should be knowing that by now. :D) and started writing with the aim of being ready when April 1 came. I had 17 posts done by March end.

The first week went rapidly – My posts were scheduled, I got a lot of reading done, commented on as much as 80~90 blogs a day. AtoZ was easy-peasy! What were all these people moaning about?

And then my laptop decided to screw me!

My less than a year old Alienware laptop just conked off, refused to boot. Along with it went all my unpublished stories for AtoZ. After a great first week, I was almost on the verge of quitting after G!

But then I was hit by a huge bout of indignation. How can a bloody laptop defeat human will?

So, I rallied. Armed with my six year old Dell laptop, I set upon writing stories afresh. I had even forgotten most of the stories I’d written for the AtoZ Challenge. But this was actually the best thing that could have happened to me. I realized my new stories were far, far better than the ones I’d written till now. So, Yaay!

Because, I was spending time on researching on various topics before writing the stories, I had very less time to read other blogs. From 80~90 a day, my reading came down to 20~25 a day.

Enough reminiscing, on with the reflecting…

  1. After completing the AtoZ challenge almost two times over, I’m a much more confident writer than before.
  2. I believe in reciprocity. If someone reads my post and comments on them, the least I could do is return the favour. I’ve tried my level best to visit the blogs of almost all the bloggers who have visited mine and commented on my stories. I know I haven’t achieved 100% in this regard, but I have bookmarked those I haven’t and I fully intend to read their posts in the coming weeks.
  3. One more thing I do religiously is reply to comments. In this, I have achieved 100% success rate. It’s basic courtesy, you know.
  4. A massive bloghop like AtoZ Challenge is an opportunity to get to know bloggers previously unknown to me. I’ve had the good fortune to meet quite a few of them – Sayan, Sonia, Shipra, Tina, Ruchi, Rohan, Roma, Meha, Suchita, Priya, Deepa, Stu, Debs, Tasha, Zalka, Sharri, Debbie, Emily, Medha and Jai. I also was reacquainted with bloggers like Akshata, Natasha, Balaka, Lavanya, Anagha, Iain, Keith, Sascha, Rowena just to name a few. I’m sure I have missed a few names here. Please forgive me. It was not intentional.
  5. One thing I did observe was quite few bloggers were concerned with their blogs not hitting expected targets in terms of page views or comments. Some were actually aggressive in hounding for comments. Guys, forget the metrics and write for the sheer pleasure of writing. In fact, I have produced some of my best work near the end of the challenge and those have not had the same amount of views or comments. It happens, guys! Like the Frozen princess sings – ‘Let it go!’ Visit other blogs, read, comment and leave a link there to your blogs. Do it gently, with respect. That will get you traction, trust me.
  6. A very special shoutout to my Twitter DM Group. You guys are awesome, you flat out Rock!

Very special thanks to the team behind the AtoZ Challenge this year – Arlee Bird, J. Lenni Dorner, Jayden R. Vicente, Zalka Csenge Virag, John Holton and Jeremy Hawkins.

What else? Bit tired after April, need to catch a bit of break soon. I hope to see most of you guys across the blog-o-sphere. Cheers!

In case, if you haven’t read few of my posts, you can find them here.

Oh! Do check out Namy’s blog here. She’s awesome.



  1. What a great Reflection post! Thank you so much for putting this up. Aside from that blogger’s nightmare scenario of the conked computer, you packed a lot of neato things into your post.

    I love the story of how your blog started.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice to hear that you triumphed after the tragic lost of your laptop. I would have been devastated if I had lost that many stories.
    Thank you for sharing your reflection and congrats on finishing the challenge. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I so enjoyed the couple of your posts that I managed to find time to read – you are officially added to my blog reader and I will be going back and reading them all (can’t guarantee a comment on all, but I will read them).

    I love the reason for the blog name and now I understand the L.E.R.T. Funny! I enjoy your conversational style, similar to mine (in non-flash posts). I look forward to following you and Namy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Its hard to believe that you really came out with that LERT name just out of the blue. Its unfortunate that your laptop conked off. I guess you had saved your posts on word. WordPress would have worked well cos thats what I did. I am always worried about these devices conking off. Wonderful stories btw.. you totally rocked it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is no other logical story to explain the blog name, Akshata. πŸ˜€ I did learn a very valuable lesson though – Use cloud storage. Thanks for the comment and support πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey: first, Congratulations on not just finishing the challenge but for writing captivating pieces. It feels good when your creativity gets a chance to breathe.

    My blog also suffered the “End of the Month Blues”, in regards to comments & reads. It’s a lot (no way could I read/comment on 80 to 90 different blogs daily), and by the end, I know my brain was frazzled enough.

    I know a few bloggers, from previous years, that it seemed like all it was about was getting the numbers. Turned me off.

    Thanks for the mention. I’m glad you enjoyed The Abysmal Dollhouse. There (probably) will be more.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment and support, Stu. I still have few chapters to read in TAD. I have bookmarked them and will be reading them over the weekend. See you across the blog-o-sphere.


  6. A big ha ha on the name selection and your reason for starting a blog is just adorable; lucky wifey to have such a doting hubby πŸ˜‰ I am glad you took it up seriously as your story telling is fantastic Varad – looking forward to catching up on your posts in may and june when I plan to catch up on my reading! Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I always thought that one day I will check with you… whats with the name LERT? Quite a story here Varad.
    Thanks for the mention.
    Good you fought with technology and we ended up as the winners…coz we got to read your stories! Have to read a lot of them yet…on cards.
    It was a pleasure to connect with you after a gap.
    BTW…my daughter has asked me quite a few times if there is going to be some more of Vanarapuri Tales. Your little fan is awaiting new episodes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment, Anagha. Looking forward to read your opinions on the stories. There is a Vanarapuri book on the cards, definitely. It’s a project that is very close to my heart. I’m working on a couple of projects including a full fledged Vanarapuri adventure series. I’ll make sure that dear Sukhada will be one of the very first to get a copy. Cheers, Varad


  8. Thanks for mentioning me(throughout;))
    I know how much extra effort you put in for completing the challenge once your laptop died and you totally deserve all the accolades that have come your way. All your stories have been fabulously twisted. I am sure the ebook too will do very well. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Namy and Varad, you are the most adorable couple in blogosphere. And immense power to your lovely bond. Eternal happiness always. God bless loads. ✨✨✨

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree with you that some bloggers are desperately aggressive in getting views and comments but we should write for the sheer pleasure of it. I have known you since the time you took part in Barathon and instantly became your fan. I guess I am one of your biggest fanπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
    Keep writing the way you do..I was happy to see you exploring various genres this April. A terrific writer like you should write more. Awaiting your e-book

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Hey Varad,
    You nailed it and like how:) Congrats. I’ve been kind of bushed and swamped all at the same time, the last few days so I’m yet to read your final Z, which I will do soonest.
    It’s good to know the back story behind Looseendoftheredthread. I always wondered why would someone name their blog that. πŸ™‚
    You did a stupendous job, and shone through despite the many debacles. My Mac book died last A-Z, as it got watered out!!! :-II Had to buy a new one. Fortunately did not lose any posts. As they were on cloud.
    Yours is quite an applaudable achievement. Now give yourself a pat in the back, kick off those weary shoes and celebrate in style!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Natasha. It seems like the laptops hate AtoZ. There are at least three of us who have been screwed over by the little devil box. Biggest lesson learned – use cloud storage. I intend to get into reading all the books that are waiting for me in my shelf. And then off to Goa πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now that sounds like a dream….(the later bit of course) Just what I had wanted to do, but my dreams just got swallowed by the E-book prep, and a unique Buddhism programme that happens next weekend. But I’ve chosen not to wallow in self pity, but enjoy the journey that lies ahead.
        I was hoping to take a technology break to salvage my sanity, but think that will have to wait for another ten days, and then it’s going to be just ‘I, me, myself, my books, and some real world time”
        Last year I rewarded myself with a solo break to Goa. This year the majestic mountains of Leh/Ladakh seem to beckon. Que sera sera! and yes Amen to that!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. And it’s not happening for us yetπŸ˜” Meh!!! but going somewhere definitely. Maybe go do the Vipassana course …


  11. Hi Varad! ItΒ΄s been an absolute pleasure meeting and knowing you. Our Blogchatter DM group had a major role in this. Was a pleasant surprise to know that you are NamrataΒ΄s husband. Quite a romantic backstory to this blog, I must say. And the mystery behind the blog name has now been solved too. I have read a few of your flash fiction posts and love the narrative style. Will catch up on all your posts shortly. I completely echo the dynamism and enthusiasm of our group. Btw, my new blog came into existence last year in July but I made a public announcement of the same in August. Keep penning amazing stories and I wish you all the best in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the nice comment, Tina. It was a real pleasure coming across you through the AtoZ challenge and our DM group. I’m a fan of your hard-hitting stories. I’m yet to read the last few of your series. Will be catching up real soon. Hope to see your works more across the blog-o-sphere.


      1. So true! That’s where bloghops and challenges like AtoZ helps us out. It gives us a platform to meet fellow minded bloggers.


    1. This is my third blog in a decade and half, Ashwini. But the first one where I’ve written stories. My first ever blog was just a place where I vented and ranted about Himesh Reshmiya πŸ˜€ I’ve always been interested in writing stories but got the mind space and clarity only last year. All thanks to Namy. Thank you for the kind words. See you across the blogs πŸ™‚


    1. That’s awesome, Roma. The first and foremost target for a writer should be to write his heart’s content not look for blog metrics. Glad you believe that as well.


    1. Thank you, Meena. Congrats to you too πŸ™‚ And a very, very special shoutout to you for being the first to read most of my posts. πŸ™ I’ve missed a lot of your AtoZ blog posts. I have bookmarked them and will be reading them soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You did a great job on getting the challenge done. I liked the stories you put in and especially your series at the end.

    I registered only after it started πŸ™‚
    But I enjoyed doing it as I was trying out something different. Of course sometimes I feel as if I do need to leave comments on my own entries as no one else will πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Subroto. I’m sorry to have missed your posts during AtoZ. I will be reading them shortly. πŸ™


  13. Your determination impresses me. I would have cried and given up if my laptop died.
    Challenges like this are for sharing and commenting, and you excelled at both!
    Thank you for your dedication, and good luck on future writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. As a first time participant in AtoZ, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting and learning from experienced bloggers and writers like you. Thanks for the comment πŸ™‚


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