It is done!
SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK commenced life on December 30th last year with the following post –
That means it’s now a year old and Season One is officially, as the movie types might say, ‘in the can’.
Not many of you have heard the story of how this blog came about, or how it almost had the plug pulled on it after taking just its first couple of breaths, so… on the eve of the first anniversary of SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK, allow me to share with you the events of that fateful morning back on December 30th 2016.
After a number of years as a practising sideline commenter on other people’s blogs, I decided sometime during last year’s Christmas holidays that perhaps it was time I acquired my own digital digs with an online space I could legitimately call my own.
In a fit of boredom fuelled equally by curiosity to find out if I had the technical smarts to create digital life in this form, I set about the task like some mad inventor with glassed over eyes in a dusty lab. Incredibly (to me!), within less than 20 minutes, the spawn of my creation was up and running and I was now father to a bouncing baby blog.
There is, however, something few people know. Something I have kept hidden all this time, the guilt of which has, in many moments, been an almost impossibly weighty cross to bear. For the first few hours after the birth of SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK I was consumed with the most dastardly thoughts of ending the life of this innocent newborn. Ending it in the most devastating and final way before anyone had a chance to lay eyes on ‘it’. Why? Because I was unsure of what I had done. Unsure if I wanted to step onto the stage of public opinion and allow my creation, and by extension myself, to be exposed to the harsh light of judgement.
And then, after several hours of this torturous indecision about whether or not to finalise the life of the creation I had just single-handedly brought into the world, a funny thing happened.
I got my first follower.
It was a High School teacher who lived 14 000km away on the other side of the world in Atlanta, USA. His name was Matt Pavlak. (View his own blog here) Bolstered by that initial interest and show of belief from one single other human being, I decided to spare the hours-old life of my kicking and writhing offspring (who at that moment was already attempting to curl its tiny fingers around my pinky) and from that day forward I’ve become hopelessly hooked on the feeling of attracting fresh sets of eyes and minds to what I’m writing.
Over the ensuing weeks and months new readers began to trickle in. By the time October clocked around, I had 100 followers and a magnificent letter from Her Majesty The Queen to commemorate the occasion. (Remember that?)
Milestones are there to be marked and celebrated and so, having reached the first birthday of SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK and before the ribbon is cut on the 2nd Season, I thought we’d take a brief look back at some of the highlight ‘moments’ of the last twelve months on THE SHACK. God knows you guys have put up with some regular shenanigans here (and I promise there’s lots more where that came from) so in honour of the whole gloriously weird and cobbled together shebang, here’s the skinny on what’s gone down throughout 2017 –
– TV SHOWS –
Special Forces Ultimate Hell Week (Jan)
Million Dollar Cold Case (March)
Millionaire Hotseat (July)
Blue Murder: Killer Cop (August)
– MOVIES –
Scarface remake (Feb)
Boss Baby (April)
Terminator 2 in 3D (Aug)
Blade Runner 2049 (Oct)
Borg vs McEnroe (Nov)
The Teacher (Dec)
– BOOKS –
Mein Kampf re-release (Jan)
Face the Music – Paul Stanley’s Autobiography (Feb)
Roger Rogerson (May)
Chopper from the Inside (June)
Dissapearing off the Face of the Earth – David Cohen (Sept)
Ms Runway & Australia’s Next Top Merino – Matt Porter (Oct)
Stephanie Chiocci & the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Chase – Matt Porter (Oct)
Lincoln & the Bardo – George Sanders (Oct)
The Search for Anne Perry (Nov)
Tell Tale – Short Story Collection by Jeffrey Archer (Nov)
The Hornet – Jeff Horn’s Autobiography (Nov)
Uncommon Type – Short Stories by Tom Hanks (Nov)
Unbreakable – Jelena Dokic’s Autobiography (Dec)
Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge (Dec)
Billy Slater Autobiography (Dec)
A World Without Whom by Emmy J. Favilla (Dec)
What Would Nietzsche Do? by Marcus Weeks (Dec)
– MUSIC –
Jean-Michael Jarre’s Oxygen 3 album (Jan)
Beatles White Album (June)
My Top 50 songs list (June)
Ariana Grande’s Brisbane visit (Sept)
– AUTHORS –
Matt Potter (August)
David Cohen (Sept)
Tom Hanks (Nov)
Jeffrey Archer (Nov)
Sue Townsend (Nov)
– OBITUARIES –
Bill Paxton (Mar)
Jerry Lewis (Aug)
Tom Petty (Oct)
Charles Manson (Nov)
Jana Novotna (Nov)
Jim Nabors (Dec)
– LITERARY EVENTS –
Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest (Mar)
Love Your Book Shop Day (August)
Brisbane Writer’s Festival (Sep)
Man Booker Prize (Oct)
Qld Book of the Year Award (Oct)
Qld Writer’s Centre 8 Word Story Comp (Nov)
Asteroid Florence Flys Past (Sept)
Halloween/ Brisbane Zombie Walk (Oct)
World Teacher’s Day (Oct)
Melbourne Cup (Nov)
Driving Tests (Jan)
The Spirit of ‘Pay It Forward’ (Feb)
Cyclone Debbie (March)
Airlines’ Economy Minus Class (April)
Standard of Coffee Shop Service (May)
Same Sex Marriage Laws (Sep)
Cultural Stereotypes (Oct)
Phone Scammers (Nov)
Book Clubs (Dec)
Music Piracy (Dec)
THE BONUS READS
Falling Like Dominos (Mine) – Jan
The Rise & Fall of a Finger Dazzle Master (Mine) – Feb
Done and Dusted (Mine) – July
Unearthed (Mine) – Sep
No Brain Pickers For Her! (Mine) – Sep
Halloween Coming Out – Oct
Indigestible Books – Nov
Cupcake Mistake (Mine) -Nov
Piano Man (Mine) – Nov
Jumpin’ Jellyfish (Mine) – Dec
Famous Novel Covers (Jan)
First Billionaire Author (July)
Famous Novel Covers 2 (Sept)
Weird! Wacky! Wow!
Awkward Author Photos (Jan)
Mad Magazine (April)
Opening Prisoners Letters (June)
The Amazing Anti-Wrinkle Removal Machine (June)
Inner vs Outer Beauty of Bananas (Aug)
Competitive Punning (Sept)
Band T-Shirts (Oct)
Letter From The Queen (Oct)
Old Quotes Notebook (Nov)
What’s Your Band Name? (Nov)
Hanging Out The Laundry (Dec)
Like any year, 2017 came with its own variety of highs and lows – and I recorded a few of them on this blog. My car crash back in April with my seven-year old daughter inside at the time definitely served up one of life’s not so pleasant curve balls (no injuries sustained). But equally my first placed entry in the New Yorker Caption Competition in May was reason for celebration (considering it took me 105 consecutive weeks of trying!).
However there can be no doubt who the real star of SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK debut season has been. She of the wilting death stare – she of the elbows cocked, cage-fighter- worthy tough-walk – the one-of-a-kind stalking femme fatale of shopping centre carparks, the snarling and untamable devourer of innocent women and children – I speak of course of none other than Megan the Malpractising McDonald’s worker.
Anyone who’s been following this blog from at least as far back as July will remember my encounter with this evil-spell conjuring 18-year-old assistant McDonald’s manager based at Indooroopilly Shoppingtown and the wash up to the ‘inquiry’ that was launched to bring young Megan to account.
God that was a ride and a half! This ‘coke & fries’ flavoured little misadventure was the only topic during 2017 that somehow managed to stretch across three consecutive weeks of posting. If you’re reading this Megs, I have some none-too-original words of wisdom for you. Ready? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Actually, who am I kidding? Those words are for both of us Megan!
As to the bare stats for the first year of SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK, check out these little sprouting turnips for size –
Followers by year end – 141
Posts – 67
Comments – 454
Total Views of Posts – 4004
Total Views of the site itself – close to 2000
Most Popular Month for Page Views – July
Most Popular Day for Page Views – Saturday
Post with Most Views – Quiz : Who is Publishing’s First Billionaire Author? (July)
Post with Most Comments – What’s your Band Name? (Nov)
Post with 2nd Most Comments – Top 50 Songs List (June)
Shortest Post – The very first.
Longest Post – You’re reading it.
While figures like these won’t put me in the league of Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez or celebrity gossip site TMZ any time soon, they are nonetheless MY figures, and at this particular juncture in time, I’m pretty proud of them. With in excess of 400 million blogs in operation throughout the world (with as much as 30% of that figure thought to include still registered blogs that have been abandoned after only weeks or months) I figure it’s only right I should leave some followers for the others. Right?
Now seems the perfect time to thank the people who’ve been along for the journey since back in January as well as those who’ve joined more recently. A special thank you must be extended to my already mentioned very first follower Matt Pavlak as well as the entire GASS crew. Without you guys I definitely wouldn’t have a blog, or if I did, it would be a very scaled down version of what is already a pretty humble little enterprise to begin with. I’d also like to acknowledge all the people from outside of Australia who have signed up to be followers of SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK as well as the professional authors who I’ve somehow managed to convince to allow their inbox’s to welcome my often rambling, pop-culture heavy posts. Last of all I’d like to thank my Mum who reads every post.
And with those words of recognition still rebounding pleasantly in your ears, if any of you are interested in signing up to my Platinum VIP Subscribers Package *, please just drop me a line! That goes for you too Mum!
Season One has been a lot of fun. I live in hope** that Season two will be just as wacky, just as trivial and self-absorbed and just as unflinching when it comes to tackling the big issues, like sorting why burgers and kebabs fall apart in your hand when you’re trying to eat them or why Siri can’t pronounce your name or identify a particular song title.
See you all on the other side (of 2017) for the mad-cap, (possibly) hilarious 2nd Season!
* There is no Platinum VIP Subscribers Package. There is however a Gold VIP Subscribers Package and, sad to say, if you’re able to read these words now, you’re already signed up to it.
** I heard someone observe recently that “Despair is a walk in the park. It’s hope that kills you.” With that in mind, I will keep my expectations for SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK’s 2nd Season suitably contained.
Ps. Don’t tell me you’ve waded through all that and you still want a bonus read? Alright, if you insist. This one is my lookback at another blogger’s year –