On To New Stories | #AtoZReflections

survivor-atoz [2017] v1

“The past is just a story we tell ourselves.”

-Her (2013)

On the 12th of this month, my blog will turn 9 years old. And in the month that just ended was when I had the most fun in all this time. Of course, just like the end of A to Z 2014, I’m hit with a bit of a block following the break in routine, but I’m not cranky like I was back then. The difference is quite plain: back then I wanted to write something, anything, to get back into the game. This time, I don’t care if I don’t ever write another word again. (Maybe that’s an exaggeration).

This was a story I knew I’ll write someday – “someday” being the right place and the right time. When I signed up for the challenge, I can’t say I was in the right place. I did not even remain in the same place as the series progressed. I wrote Valentine’s Day well in advance, and I wrote it from a place of anger; a part of Like A Stone was written last year from a place of resignation (although it had a different title then); New Day was written one afternoon four days before it went live from a place of… I can’t put a word on it, but it is my personal favorite on the blog right now (overtaking past favorites – Of Regrets In Love and Forbidden); Funeral was written from a place of writer’s block (it’s the post I like the least in the series) and a need to promote that beautiful song that no one seems to have heard of (Band of Horses should hire me for PR activities).

That said, the story I set out to write isn’t the one I wrote. The narrative is spread over a few years, which I squeezed into 26 posts, writing only what was necessary, in keeping with the minimalist technique. No frills, no elaborate scene-setting, no vivid scenery (although, I’ve taken some liberties). Originally I intended to link the posts in sequence, an idea that I dropped when I reached Demons and realized, though unplanned, the last lines of the posts were connected, and alphabetical is the real order in which this haphazard mess was supposed to be read. (It did not work that way for all posts, but still).

All of it has been a great learning experience for me, on writing, on relationships, on heartbreaks. It’s even strengthened my belief in the fact that people never really change – their masks simply fall off. There were multiple times when I almost withdrew from the challenge. The day after the 14th post went live, there was a moment when I nearly trashed all the posts. But now, at the end of it, I’m glad I persisted.

In 2014, I don’t remember visiting or discovering new blogs during A to Z – I stuck to my small circle. This year, I discovered so many wonderful blogs, along with the ones I’ve always followed. That is the true purpose of a blog hop, as I now see. That sense of community, it’s new to me. I’ve even set aside a few blogs to binge read at a later date, ones I couldn’t catch up on during the month.

When Zombie went live, I felt a tinge of sadness. Ending this story felt like saying goodbye to an old friend. In a way, that’s exactly what it was. As I mentioned in my post about The Shining, the idea for a story is different from the inspiration. I got the idea from these recurring nightmares I used to have a couple of years ago about a badly wrecked car. The inspiration – well, now that’s something else altogether. Writing it all down has helped me put that nightmare to bed. Or so I hope.

It’s been a great month, everybody! Thank you for all your support!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming 🙂

“A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.”

-Stephen King


12 thoughts on “On To New Stories | #AtoZReflections

  1. Namratha Varadharajan May 4, 2017 / 11:39 AM

    Felt the same when I read Zombies, like I was saying goodbye. Some stories you just can’t get enough of, and I would be terribly disappointed if you din’t write another word, cause you have a way with words. And 9 years! Wow.. Congratulations:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran May 11, 2017 / 3:24 PM

      Thank you, Namratha. 9 years, wow, even I find it hard to believe sometimes 😀

      Loved having you here on this space during the challenge. Do keep visiting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. jazzfeathers May 8, 2017 / 1:40 PM

    You did a beautiful challenge, if this means anything for you (I mean, my opinion 😉 ).
    It is indeed a challenge, but I think the reward is well worth it. It was my third year and once again I learned a lot, I met lots of fantastic people, stumbled upon awesome blogs and had a ton of fun.
    That’s wha the chalelnge has always been abotu for me.

    Thanks so much for sharing your stories, they are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran May 11, 2017 / 3:25 PM

      Yes, the best part for me for visiting so many blogs. Some, I read silently, like a stalker. The others, I added a few thoughts in the comments. The good thing is I enjoyed them all. It was such a great experience.

      And yes, your opinion means a lot to me 🙂 🙂 Thank you so much! ❤


  3. Titli s May 9, 2017 / 8:29 PM

    I wonder if it was difficult for you, picking up parts that went into each alphabet, mainly because the story wasn’t in sequence (most of it at least!) I can understand the ‘wanting to trash everything’ feeling…happened to me too! But yay! we persisted!

    I read each part as a whole, enjoying the language, the narration and the way you worded each one of them…to me that was the real fun. You are very very talented writer, and I’m sure I’m not the first one telling you this…

    Thank you so much for your visits and comments…they truly meant a lot.

    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran May 11, 2017 / 3:29 PM

      I thought it wouldn’t be, but yes. Mainly cos at first I wanted to go in QWERTY sequence to keep things easy for myself. But then, I didn’t schedule or write any of the posts in the first row, so I had to chuck that idea – A and B just rushed at me, and I would’ve never got to them had I taken the QWERTY route.

      I’m so glad you liked it. It was wonderful to read each time you could relate to a post. Thank you so much 🙂 🙂


  4. Mithila Menezes May 10, 2017 / 12:56 PM

    After racking my head on finding the correct order, I too felt that the series was best read as posted. With no need to find the actual order of the posts, because that was what made the whole story more intriguing. (And the boyfriend getting killed off was like a masterstroke 🙈 ) Plus, the minimalistic style with which you write the stories made it super difficult to fit the pieces of the jigsaw together. It was like piecing together a puzzle when you know the pieces are smaller than they are actually supposed to be! 🙂

    I liked Funeral, but it didn’t add up to the sequence, or contribute to the whole story as much as the other posts did.

    Hi-5 on the not giving up part. If you had to delete those posts, we your followers would not have a puzzle to solve, a piece of art to fall into and a ideal to live up to this April! Congratulations Sreesha, and hugs for getting rid of the writer’s block ❤😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran May 11, 2017 / 3:32 PM

      Don’t worry about the exact sequence. Your grouping is actually enough – pre-breakup, breakup, post-breakup, death, post death.

      My problem with Funeral was that I was flying blind. I didn’t intend to kill anyone off that early in the story, but I had to, just *had* to make people listen to that song. And at the last moment, I had no story so thought, chuck it, just kill someone.

      Thank you so much, Mithila! Congrats to you too!! ❤ ❤ ❤


  5. Anmol Rawat May 19, 2017 / 12:04 PM

    Congratulation Sreesha. You nailed it even with Reflections post! Your mood and the setting while you were writing different sections did reflect on the stories.
    “no frills, no elaborate scene-setting, no vivid scenery” Well, this was how I used to write, but I learn how to do the opposite in this challenge while you mastered the art of being minimal and yet powerful. Isn’t this the beauty of the challenge?

    And yes, Funeral wasn’t my least favorite because I just loved them all.

    Keep up and all the best for future.

    You need to publish this as an ebook with two different sections – 1) With random order 2) With linear order. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran May 29, 2017 / 8:25 AM

      Glad this experiment has paid off 🙂

      I’m not publishing it yet. Remember what I told you that day about the need to forget the story you wrote in order to edit it properly? I may do that, but after a while…


  6. Louise May 29, 2017 / 12:44 AM

    Finding your blog – and the story – was one of the highlights of my A to Z challenge. Congrats on finishing the challenge and I was so happy to find your blog and read along.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran May 29, 2017 / 8:26 AM

      Thank you so much, Louise. So glad you liked the story 🙂


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