The first thing I did, setting up this post was read Seasons Greetings, 2021, which is full of Covid precautions. Remember Covid, the pandemic that politicians, Lib and Lab alike, wished away? Pity all those thousands of deaths, particularly in nursing homes, hadn’t been wished away at the same time.
I actually get to have two Xmas dinners this year, first at Milly’s with those of her sisters who are in Perth, this weekend, then at Denmark on the (WA) south coast, at Gee’s, where we’ll stay for a week in the bush with all the grandkids. The photo above is apparently the boys of Mr 12’s year 6 graduation class in Denmark this week, jumping from the bridge.
Anyway, a happy and hopefully Covid-free festive season to you all! And may the bridges you jump from not be too high.
So, on to the wadholloway Best Blog Post for 2022 …
honourable mentions go to –
Robert Graham’s Anarchism Weblog, let us say for his body of work, which I have been reading for a number of years. The post I have chosen is actually from last year, marking the death, in February, at 101 years and 11 months, of anarchist poet, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, with his poem ‘I am Waiting’. I am waiting “for the final withering away of all governments”, but I am sure we are all waiting for “a way to be devised to destroy all nationalisms without killing anybody”.
Melanie at Grab the Lapels for her review of The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour because I like the name, because it ties in with my own reading over the year of North American First Nations stories, and because it’s a good review.
Naomi, Consumed by Ink, Literary Wives: The Sentence by Louise Erdrich. Literary Wives is a ‘club’ where each year four novels are discussed for what they say about marriage. I have always enjoyed following these posts and joining in. I chose The Sentence because for once I actually read the book.
Nathan Hobby, whose excellent biography of KSP, The Red Witch, finally came out this year, for his series of posts over the course of the year, An A to Z of Katharine Susannah Prichard
and the winner is …
As well as being the founder of the Australian Women Writers Challenge and the Australian Women Writers site, Elizabeth Lhuede has created and continually updates our archive of out of copyright stories. In the post I have selected above, Elizabeth displays her amazing detective skills for pinning down the details of long-forgotten authors.
For my own best/favourite post, I often pick an orphan, which this year would probably, sadly be The Australian Legend. Apart from WG with whom I discussed the post over a very pleasant lunch, no Australian reader felt spurred to engage with me about what constitutes Australianness. Though I actually feel the best post I wrote was Australian Genocide on 26 Jan.
I haven’t saved a best or favourite story from the internet. My best reads online are probably (still) Guy Rundle at Crikey; Helen Razer has been missing for a while, apparently ill, but has popped up again in Substack, where there is also Jane Rawson, and which I must learn to navigate; and the Australian Literary Studies Journal.
I got to the Twitter party just before Musk began to destroy it (and his fortune, hopefully) and follow a mix of you guys, Indigenous writers and their friends, and two or three US politics people, including Bill Palmer. My subscriptions are Palmer Report, Truthout, NYT, Crikey and that sad shell of its former self, The Age.
I wrote in the corresponding 2020 post about “our sleazoid Prime Minister”. Wasn’t it good to see him go, and his continuing humiliation in the face of Labor’s demonstrable competence, and the scrutiny of various enquiries and Royal Commissions. Unlike his orange mate, he won’t go to jail, but nor will he have any but the most tattered reputation. Honestly, we made a mistake believing religious fundamentalists would behave either sensibly or honourably when they got the reins of power.
My ‘project’ for 2023 will be to read 12 books which influenced me as a young man. I’m not going to include Pride & Prejudice which I read, and re-read in Year 12, and have discussed a number of times here, so we may will end up with 12 male authors. The first four are
PC Wren, Beau Ideal
Jack London, The Iron Heel
Martin Boyd, A Difficult Young Man (I should read all 4 of The Cardboard Crown)
Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh
I’m not sure where I’ll go from there, though I am talking with Marcie McCauley about buddy-reading USA by John Dos Passos (Melanie, I know, you are horrified). I think the first SF I read was John Wyndham’s The Kraken Wakes, maybe even for school in year 11. And the first US mainstream SF novel I remember reading was as a serial, in Analog maybe, actually Galaxy Jul-Dec 1970, my second year at uni, Robert Heinlein’s I Will Fear No Evil.
I’ve re-read Catch 22 in the last couple of years without reviewing it, so that should go in, and maybe my first Ursula Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness – if I don’t make the whole ‘Hainish’ cycle a project for another year.
The AWWC project is going well. We’re taking the first week in January off before resuming on Jan 11. And yes the first few posts are already pencilled in, we just need to pin Sue down before she consumes too much xmas pud. I enjoy my role as Contributions Editor. Thank you regular contributors, I’ll be twisting your arms again, but I also have ‘outsiders’ in mind, the first of whom has already handed in her ‘copy’ for Feb.
As always, don’t forget Australian Women Writers Gen x Week. We’re up to Gen 5, 1990s to today, and because it’s an area we’ve all already written a lot about, I have decided that the theme should be the tendency over the past couple of decades to ‘dystopian’ fiction, as well as SF/Fantasy in general. So, AWW Gen 5-SFF Week 15-22 Jan. 2023. I’ve put a page up with an updated list of reviews (by me, Kim and Lisa). Suggestions for books not yet reviewed might be handy! And of course, books you’ve reviewed I’ve missed.
Enjoy giving, receiving, resting, eating, drinking and above all being with family. And a big shout out to the poor buggers working through, which I haven’t done for four or five years now (Christmas Day is a very peaceful time to drive), though Milly has four hours Telecross each morning for the 10 or so days of xmas-new year.