As promised, part two of this blog’s greatest hits!
Statistics have a way of humbling us, I think. My most popular post of all time, by a long way, is a rather prosaic summary of my favourite novel, Paul Auster’s Moon Palace – sitting on 9855 hits. In writing it, I was just trying to remember the details better, but unwittingly I created an essential resource for students who have Moon Palace as a set text and don’t want to actually read it. I have actively contributed to about 9000 people not reading my favourite novel.
More stats: I have 153 followers and would love more, so I do invite you to subscribe by putting in your email address in the box on the sidebar. In ten (and a bit) years I’ve published 446 posts. Here are six of my more interesting ones for the years 2012 to 2017.
My blog fell fallow in 2012; I was finishing my MA in creative writing and feeling rather gloomy about writing. But I did write this letter to my favourite author.
I wonder if you ever feel like the gambler who won? You put everything in life on writing working out. You lived those hungry years on crusts of bread and translation work, were saved by the inheritance from your dead father, but more than that, were saved because of success and because of brilliance. What of those who stake everything on it and it doesn’t pay off?
My MA submitted, I began to think about my next book in 2013 and publicly announced my interest in biography with this post reflecting on the genre.
In thinking what I might write next, I’m weighing up biography as a literary form at the moment. I’m not sure how to do that. The danger is that each biography I read has me judging the whole form by its merits.
I was intending to write a biography of J. S. Battye, the life-long head librarian of WA, but when I finally got to the archives in January 2014, I discovered there was nothing personal left behind and he did not interest me enough.
They began demolishing the Wellington St Bus Station yesterday. I might be the only person sad about this, and in my case, it’s all for sentimental reasons. I’ve spent a lot of time at that bus station since I moved to Perth as an eighteen year old in 1999. It has been an ugly, dingy thing of concrete and tin all that time.
I had so much energy and so much time before my son was born in 2015. Thomas had just been born when I wrote this account of the first year of my PhD, but it still sounds like someone with energy and time. It describes how I came to take on the KSP biography. I wrote some diary entries about Thomas’s earliest days, but never anything which made it to my blog; since then he’s been the main thing in our lives and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
One of my most unexpectedly popular posts was this tribute to a mentor and true character, Noel Vose, who has ‘been curiously tied up for me with my biographical quest’.
This post – a love letter to my suburb and the changes I was noticing – was quoted in The West Australian in an article on the closing of McGhee’s Newsagency! My blog may never again reach such heights of celebrity.
Thomas has been getting up at 4:30am the last couple of weeks and I’ve been trying to take a walk with him in the pram before it gets too hot. The streetsweepers are always out along Albany Highway when we’re walking at 6:30am. I’ve been so aware that the suburb keeps changing; much which defined it for me has been lost just recently.
Thank you to all my readers – it’s so wonderful to have you along! Hope to write some things you enjoy reading in 2018 and beyond. A follow up post of greatest hits from 2018 onwards shall appear in 2027.