Hasn’t this been an odd year. A difficult year! Who would have believed twelve months ago that we would face a choice between being locked in our homes – Australia, or being left to die in the hundreds of thousands – USA. We Australians were lucky in our State Premiers, I’m not so sure Scott Morrison, our undeservedly lucky Prime Minister and Trump sycophant, on his own would have been as wise or decisive.
I wish you all, all my friends around the world, a happier and safer 2021.
The photo I have chosen to represent Xmas this year is of my new grandson, born in April, out camping. Just with his mum and dad this time, a month or two ago, but often too with his multitudinous siblings who I think have already taken him white water rafting. Ok, joking, but definitely canoeing. I got to hold him in June when I got back from Darwin, then not again as interstate trucking and the situation in Victoria took me into indefinite isolation. Which ends, for a few weeks anyway, tomorrow, Xmas Eve.
So, on to the wadholloway Best Blog Post for 2020 …
First, there are two runners-up. Kim Kelly, last year’s winner, made a mad dash for the post at the last minute and very nearly pulled it off with a subject dear to my heart – “how can we try to ensure our fictions are steeped in useful, meaningful truths?” (here)
The other was Naomi at Consumed by Ink for a post on Book Spine Poetry compiled by her and her kids (here). I had a shot at it for a poem encompassing our year, and it’s much harder than it looks. Too few verbs!
Diary of a Bad Year
White House boys
A bunch of ratbags
Force and fraud
Crime and punishment
For the term of his natural life.
Wishful thinking, I know, but on to the 2020 winner. For an amazing effort continuing throughout the year, the ‘prize’ goes to Karen of Booker Talk for her series on how to deal with the new block editor and with WordPress generally. It will be a reference for years to come. (A-Z of Blogging here, more links at the end).
For my favourite post of my own I generally choose one that I think has been a bit of an orphan, and surprisingly (to me) my recent Ursula Le Guin post is in that category. But let’s go with the one that was the most fun to do, reading Chris Tsiolkas’ The Slap with Melanie of Grab the Lapels.
Elsewhere on the internet, I continue to follow Guy Rundle in the Australian newsletter Crikey, and the doings of the crime family in the White House in The Palmer Report, and also while it’s cheap, in the New York Times.
Going back for a minute to our sleazoid Prime Minister, you might remember his response to the Black Lives Matter movement coming here:
Scott Morrison has warned against “importing the things that are happening overseas to Australia” after protesters gathered in Sydney to denounce the killing of George Floyd in the United States and to rally against Indigenous deaths in custody.Guardian Australia, 4 Jun 2020 (here)
As it happens, as I set out at the time, Black Australians are far more likely to be arrested than Black Americans, and the rate of deaths in custody is a national disgrace, and proof, if any were needed of our systemic on-going racism.
Morrison also famously said Australia had no history of slavery. This story from National Indigenous TV, 10 things you should know about slavery in Australia (1 Sep 2020) puts the lie to that.
What can I say about all the exciting new books released this year? Nothing. I’m not sure I’ve read a single one, and if you include 2019, which after all most of the prizes do, then that still only gives me The Place on Dalhousie, by Melina Marchetta about which none of you were enthused, and Jess White’s Hearing Maud about which many of us were. Maybe next year I’ll be allowed in bookshops again.
Despite all these days at home I’ve been struggling to read but yesterday I knocked off Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends in one sitting, so I’d better find time to squeeze a review of that in, and an EOY 2020, and get ready for AWW Gen 3 Week Part II 17-23 Jan, 2021. Look at those dates – I go back to work on the 14th. But we’ll manage! Have a good Christmas (and if you haven’t seen, Jackie/Death by Tsundoku had a baby girl on the 17th).
Booker Talk’s blogging tips:
A-Z of book blogging (here)
WordPress retires Classic Editor (here)
Latest changes, thumbs up or thumbs down (here)
Ask me a Question (here)
Getting blog traffic from Facebook (here)
Getting blog traffic from Pinterest (here)
How to solve the headache of image alignment (here)
Changing my WordPress theme (here)
Three ways to add colour to your blog (here)
How to use WordPress to get free photos (here)
Avoid blogger burn out (here)