2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2010. That’s about 3 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 55 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 39 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was September 8th with 48 views. The most popular post that day was Pleasantly brain dead.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, twitter.com, members.iinet.net.au, goodreads.com, and narrelle.livejournal.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for mortal words, love songs for the shy and cynical, rob shearman, pride and prejudice tv series, and liar justine larbalestier.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Pleasantly brain dead September 2010


Lessons in language: Tactfully changing tack October 2010


Review: Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical by Robert Shearman October 2010


GaryView: Get Vajazzled for $17! August 2010


Theatre Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Yohangza Theatre Company September 2010

GaryView: A Vampire Christmas

Gary and Lissa<At a simple, double-brick home in Glen Waverley, the doorbell rings. A pale, chubby man answers the door to greet a young woman with long dark frizzy hair. She is carrying an obviously full beach bag and is wearing a pair of foam antlers.>

Lissa: Merry Christmas, Gary! <gives him a bear hug. An antler pokes him in the ear>

Gary: <turns his head awkwardly to extricate the antler while gingerly returning the hug> Merry Christmas, Lissa!

<She follows him into the house and through to the kitchen, where a single coffee mug is on the table, next to a small platter of fruit mince pies.>

Gary: Cuppa?

Lissa: Yes, please! And fruit mince pies!

Gary: Yeah. They made them at the bakery down the street. <wistfully> They smelled good.

Lissa: They look good too, but oh god, I am still so full from Christmas lunch yesterday with Kate!

Gary:… Oh.

Lissa: …But not so full that there isn’t room for another fruit mince pie. My Nanna used to make those every Christmas. <she swipes her finger across the shortbread crust of one and licks the sugar from her finger.> Mmmmmm.

<Gary makes a cup of tea for Lissa.>

Lissa: Here, I’ve got something for you. <shoves a Santa hat on his head.>

Gary: <eyeing the drooping tip of it, which bears a tinkling bell, dubiously> Ah. Thanks.

Lissa: Trust me. You look very festive.

Gary: So do you. <Tweaks the end of a foam antler.>

Lissa: I don’t usually do the silly headgear, but Beatrice wanted us to look suitably Christmassy for the Christmas Eve kids’ storytime at the library, so, you know. Antlers and Santa hats.

Gary: Oh. Well. They’re. Um.

Lissa: Ridiculous, I know. <starts to pull the antlers off>

Gary: Yeah, but, you know, fun. You look…. happy in them. Leave them on. <waggles his head slightly to make the bell tinkle> If I tried I could probably make this play Jingle Bells.

Lissa: <laughs> You probably could.

Gary: I got you something too. <opens a cupboard and pulls out something wrapped in simple brown paper> Um. I forgot to buy Christmas paper. Sorry. I’m not used to the Christmas thing any more. When I remembered and went to the shop, there were… too many people. It was so noisy and I felt… I don’t know. Out of place. Then this little kid ran into me and I sort of tried getting into the Christmas spirit and smiled at him, and he screamed and took off. Because of… you know… <gestures vaguely at his fangs> Anyway, I came home. I found this paper in a box in the spare room.

Lissa: Someone should show that kid The Nightmare Before Christmas. Don’t worry. Thank you for thinking of me. This looks lovely, and very neat!

Gary: Yeah. I like getting all the lines straight.

LIssa: I got something for you too.

Gary: I know. My hat. <waggles his head to make it jingle> Thanks.

Lissa: No, silly. That’s just so we had matching ridiculous headgear. Here. <Pulls a brightly wrapped parcel from the bag.>

Gary: Oh.

Lissa: Go on. Open it.

Gary: You first.

<Lissa unwraps the plain brown parcel, revealing a thick book called The Elements. She flips it open and leafs through the pages.>

Lissa: Wow. This is gorgeous. Those photos are incredible…

Gary: Read the opening, and the entries.

Lissa: <reads and begins to laugh out loud.> Listen to this! “The Periodic Table is the universal catalog of everything you can drop on your foot.” <continues to flick through the pages> This is so cool. It’s funny science!

Gary: But still proper science. But like stories too.

Lissa: It is! Wow. Gary, this is perfect!

Gary: You said once that you liked the idea of the periodical table being all organised but you didn’t really understand it. I saw this and I thought it might help.

Lissa: It’s beautiful! <gives Gary a massive hug> Thank you! Here – open yours!

Gary: <looks at the parcel, pokes at the ribbon, blinks a lot>

Lissa: Gary?

Gary: Yeah?

Lissa: You okay?

Gary: Yeah. <opens the parcel, revealing a box depicting a plant and a black t-shirt>.

Lissa: I hope the shirt fits. It’s from this website called Think Geek. It’s for the geek types who like to stay inside and do science.

Gary: I like to stay inside and read about science. <shakes out the t-shirt. It reads “Keep out of direct sunlight”.>

Lissa: … Does it fit?

Gary: <holds it up. > Looks like it will. <puts it aside. Checks out the box> A dinosaur plant.

Lissa: I thought it could go with the cactus I got you. They live a really long time, even if you forget to water them, according to the website anyway.

Gary: That’s really cool. <looks> It comes with Genuine Volcanic Lava Rock.

Lissa: Do you like it?

Gary: I liked it when I thought I just had a Christmas hat. This is ace. Just a minute.

< Gary jumps up from the table with the t-shirt and disappears. Lissa sips her tea and leafs through the Elements book. Sometimes she laughs. A moment later, Gary returns.>

Gary: What do you think? <He is wearing the black t-shirt.>

Lissa: That’s a good fit.

Gary: <grins> It is.

Lissa: Here. There’s one more thing. <She takes a few plastic containers out of the huge bag.> I know you can’t eat it, but Kate made the most awesome Christmas pudding with brandy custard, the way Nanna used to, and I thought you might like the scent of it.

Gary: … Yeah. Yes I would.

Lissa: Merry Christmas, Gary!

Gary: Merry Christmas, Lissa. Thanks. For…you know.

Lissa: I know. You too.

<Gary’s Christmas hat jingles as Lissa gives him a big Christmas hug. This time he doesn’t mind that he has a foam antler stuck in his ear.>

*For newcomers, the GaryView is a review of books/films/TV/entertainment carried out as a conversation between Lissa Wilson (librarian) and Gary Hooper (vampire) , characters from my book ‘The Opposite of Life’.

Xmas eve

I am sitting at Perth Melbourne! airport, waiting for my flight to Canberra. I’m looking forward to seeing my family, and meeting my nephew.

I’m grateful to end the year with a new job I find interesting, working with people I like.

2011 is already a year offering new projects, forward momentum on some existing projects and, like every year, the promise of things I can’t even guess at.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of my life this year. 🙂 Have a wonderful summer break and I hope to spend more time with you in 2011!

Provided, of course, the zombie apocalypse doesn’t come first. 😀

You gotta have braaaaiiiinsss…

Best New Zombie Tales vol 2I was delighted to receive a box full of books this morning! I ordered a dozen copies of Best Zombie Tales vol 2 a while back, and they’ve finally arrived! They contain a lot of terrific zombie stories, and my own contribution, The Truth About Brains – about a 14 year old girl whose brother gets turned into a zombie, and she’s trying to fix him before mum finds out!

There are a couple of ways to get your hands on these fine zombie tales –

From Amazon.com:

Best New Zombie Tales (Vol. 2) (Paperback)

Best New Zombie Tales (vol. 2) (Kindle)

or you can get a copy from me, for $20 plus postage (or you can get it from me in person). Just let me know in the comments and I’ll send you my Paypal info!

Words are like oxygen