Thursday, 14 December 2017

Top 5 Blog Posts from 5 Years of Blogging

Somehow I've been blogging for five years. I've posted 275 times, an average 55 posts a year, pretty much one post a week. As 2017 comes to a close, here are the "most-viewed" posts on this blog over the five years ...

Author, Sept 2017
I've written about books (mine mostly but not entirely), and about the writer's life (tips and pointers about writing get views). I've posted about my adventures in the Canadian Kid Lit world (always fun). I've put up my poetry and music, or pictures and letters from kids, snippets about my family, sailing, my dog, and more. I've tried to update my blog every week, rain or shine. 

It's been fun for the most part. It's certainly a record of this part of my life, if anyone is ever interested. As I write this, I'm creeping toward 80,000 views, which seems amazing. For a relatively quiet and reserved type, who knew I had so much to say!

The Top 5 posts from the past 5 years are a bit of a surprise, being memoir, music and monsters, so here they are ...

#5. The Tin Foil Fairy. A Christmas Eve memoir, I was six and my older brother's prank turned into the magical stuff of legend. I re-post it annually on Christmas Eve.

#4. My Brush with Mortality ... and Measles. Another memoir, here's the story of the spring when I was 11 years old, and went blind from measles (a message for the anti-vaxxer movement).

#3. When Authors and Editors Write Music Together. Super proud of this one. My first guitar album, Fifth Season, came out in 2015, with my editor. Lovely tunes, I hope you'll give a listen. The second album, Birches, is out now too. Listen free on the Free Music Archive, or pay what you will on Bandcamp. Enjoy!

#2. American Library Association Loves Myles and the Monster Outside. A great review for my 6th book from the ALA, in which they say nice things like "readers will be enthralled." Thank you!

And #1 is ... Myles and the Monster Outside KIRKUS REVIEW. Best review ever for my award-winning horror story for kids (book 2 in the Weird Stories Gone Wrong series). I love "Goosebumps from north of the border." We read R.L. Stine in this house until the books fell apart!

So the top posts (by views) are Memoir, Music and Monsters. Sounds good to me. We're all voyeurs at heart, so who doesn't love a good memoir piece? Or the curiosity of a lovely instrumental guitar album by an author and an editor? And a universal fascination with monsters? That goes without saying.

Will I keep blogging? Yes, for a while anyway. I hope to add reviews of Canadian kid lit authors, more writing tips, and more poetry in the year ahead.

If you're still reading, here are the next top posts from the past 5 years...

#6. It's Blog Tour Week for Everton Miles is Stranger than Me
#7. Book Reviews and How to Survive Them
#8. The Ghost of Lego Past: An Ode
#9. Carter and the Curious Maze Book Trailer is a Featured Video
#10. When Authors and Editors Write Music Together, Part 2

So glad to see a poem in there (#8), and if you're at all interested in magic realism, #6 is an exhaustive set of interviews about my fantasy series, The Night Flyer's Handbook. And as for book reviews, #7 is the best advice I can give anyone on that subject.

Thanks for joining me, and here's to another 5 years (wow, 2022, imagine)!

The Ghost of Lego Past: an Ode

From whence did you come,
you warrior’s badge of youth?

From which ubiquitous movie tie-in
were you lost?

Star Wars, or Indiana Jones, or Harry Potter
or no… the list will only sadden us.

Let us roll your sharp corners
in our wearied hands,

and remember your usefulness,
and your former glory.

The hours in former times, in which
your simple symmetry kept children,

engaged, quiet, entertained, head-down
and building for hours.

The many, many, many (oh Lego masters,
hear our prayer) hours,

in which we followed your careful instructions:
numbers 1-17, numbers 18-32,

numbers 33-77, numbers 78-130,
sizes and shapes and colours,

to test our failing vision and dexterity,
in your simple creation

(except that 1,000 piece Star Wars cruiser,
which nearly tore us all apart).

Your parts bible which we followed so religiously,
well past the time to turn the turkey,

or mash the potatoes, or set the table,
or make eye contact with other adults,

forgoing that, instead we built with you,
oh Christmas morning parental rite-of-passage.

On our aging knees, after a thorough cleaning,
behind the couch in the basement,

I find you, red rectangular reminder of boyhood
birthdays and sleepovers,

and loud,  endless Lego parties,
from which this pointed, six-holed

piece was thrown, or kicked, or left
somehow, idle in the dark,

separated and not even a second thought
would bring you to mind,

for you were once so common as to be laughable.
How many times did I just vacuum you up?

I admit! The rattle of your brothers and sisters
up the hose was a release, a small act of defiance!

Why would I stoop to collect something
as small and insignificant as you!

Your kind was a curse! A scourge! To be
carefully avoided when barefoot in the dark!

And yet now, after the great Lego purge
of many years gone,

I feel an immediate kinship.
I honour your place in my past,

I feel your heft and your perfection,
remember your snap and trusty grip,

and return you to your dark corner,
beneath the basement couch.

One day I will find you again, decades hence,
and remember the joy there was in your making:

for now, as long as you lie in wait,
my boy is not completely grown.

PD/Nov. 26/2011