That’s a Wrap 2018

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For singers and bands, history shows their second album is often much harder to bring forth than the first.

The sheer euphoria and novelty that helped fuel the debut has often become a thing of the past once it comes time to roll up the sleeves again for a second bite of the cherry. The added expectation that accompanies a follow-up second stab at success is another factor that ensures lightning doesn’t always strike twice.

And so it is in the blogging world.

This much heralded second year of SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK has been just as satisfying for me as the first yet my bolstered experience as an on-line chronicler of thoughts and views  ensures I naturally no longer harbour those same freshman-style “I’m gonna rock the world with this post” thoughts to quite the same extent as perhaps I naively may have (embarrassing as it is now for me to admit that) back in my debut twelve months in 2017.

No matter.

I still get some semblance of that ‘first-ever kiss with fireworks’ feeling every time I have my finger hovering over that all-powerful ‘publish’ button. As long as I have that feeling in my nerve-endings to some degree I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. Given that I originally conceived SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK as a three-year project, and 2019 marks the beginning of that tri-year, I’m pretty content with how things have been travelling this second year.

2018 for me marked a time of new beginnings.

New car. New house. And with LOST IN SPACE FIRESIDE, a brand new blog. And I’m not done yet. I still have a couple more surprises up my sleeve before this year is done. You’re sure to learn about those sometime during 2019.

Journey with me now (can’t believe I just wrote that with a fully straight face) as we take a thumbnail sketch look back on the shaken-snowglobe-shenanigans of SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK these past twelve months –

Movies

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For All The Money in the World (January)

12 Strong (March)

The Wall (March)

Chappaquiddick (May)

The Incredibles 2 (July)

Entebbe (August)

Room 237 (October)

Books

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The Operator by Robert O’Neill (February)

Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton (March)

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena (March)

Swastika Night by Katherine Burdekin (March)

And Fire Came Down by Emma Viskic (April)

Friday, the Thirteenth by Thomas W. Lawson (April)

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland (April)

Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce (April)

Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff by Sean Penn (May)

The Book Ninja by Ali Berg & Michelle Kalus (June)

The Hunter & Other Stories of Men by David Cohen (October)

Favourite 2018 Book Titles List (December)

Television

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Midsummer Murders (January)

Underbelly Files : Chopper (February)

60 Minutes Interview with Jacinda Ardern (March)

Author Interviews

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Stuart Aken (January)

Iain Ryan (February)

Jim Toomey (May)

Deborah Abela (August)

R.I.P.

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Neil Simon (August)

Burt Reynolds (September)

Bonus Reads

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Unearthed (January) (Mine)

The Small Town with 5 Indie Book Stores (January)

David Bowie’s Top 100 Books List (January)

Afterglow (March) (Mine)

Desert Island Discs (April)

Imagined Descriptions of Women by Bad Male Authors (April)

2018 Top 40 Book Club Reads (April)

The Book Depository’s Top 95 Books Of All Time List (May)

The Hyman Archive (World’s Largest Magazine Collection) (June)

My Books (Bridget Whelen blogsite) (October)

Weird Whacky Wow!

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Pick a Slogan (January)

Death by Cricket Bowling Machine  (January)

Designer Icecream Handbags (March)

Death in Gold Class (March)

Pranking Oxley Golf Course (March)

Planking (April)

Sydney Road Rage Chainsaw Incident Madness (April)

Top Ten Martial Arts Movies (June)

Where the Money’s Buried (June)

Go Premium! (June)

Letter from Prince Charles (August)

Wrap Advertising for Cars (September)

Top 5 Spokespeople for SWS (November)

Computer Art (November)

Whatever Happened to Crop Circles? (December)

The Issues

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Parkrun Jogger’s Noise (February)

My New Favourite Politician (March)

Core Values (March)

AVENGER’S: INFINITY WAR release on ANZAC DAY (April)

The Great Vanilla Slice Ripoff (June)

Controlled Demolition Theory of 9/11 (September)

The Events

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Sth Korean Winter Olympics (March)

The Oscars (March)

West End Icecream Festival (March)

Winx sets world record (March)

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (April)

Inugural Women’s NRL Competition (April)

World Naked Gardening Day (May)

Jacinda Adern’s baby daughter (June)

New Car Purchase (July)

Thai Cave Rescue (July)

Sale of Brady Bunch House (July)

Oz Comic Con (September)

International Skeptics Day (October)

LOST IN SPACE FIRESIDE Launch (October)

International Teacher’s Day (October)

Halloween 2018 (October)

House move (November)

 

Capture Used This Year

Made with the Scent of Juniper & Witch Hazel

The Only Blog With No Vampires

Pulsating Word Ectoplasm

Better Than Iron Man 2

My Own Personal Ringtone

More Uplifting than the Great Potato Recession of the 1840’s

100% Pineapple Wedge Free

Thinking ‘Here Goes Nothing’ Could Be the Start of Everything

First Draft Only Draft

No Bells ‘N Whistles But Shenanigans Galore

Are You Even Listening To Me?

You Don’t Need To Audition To Get In

I Know Nothing About Sri Lanka

Zero Irony

I Don’t Read Novels So I’m Sure As Hell Never Gonna Write One

There’s No School Like Old School

Nestled Deep Within the Foothills of Literary Obscurity

Miscellany to the Next level

Twice As Exciting as a Pre-Fight Safety Demonstration

Seriously? Nah.

No Antman. No Wasp. But spellchecker Galore.

The Silicon Implant of the Literary World

King of Cliches. Emperor of Eiderdowns.

35% Funny65% Bad At Maths

Razzamatazz Desperately in Need of Shizzle

Good Different

Come for the view. Stay for the Cliches.

Micro-sleep-free Reading Guaranteed.

A Dedicated Blurter Blurts

Writing Several Notches in Quality above Burping the National Anthem

A Land-Locked Literary Hideaway Aquaman is Never Gonna Visit 

I Wake Up With Scenic Writer’s Shack

Absolutely No Hand-Eye Coordination Needed

You Don’t Need To Audition To Get In

Creativity Spoken Here

Attracting Interest from the Little End of Town

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I will leave you finally with a little joke to end the year.

On female whale says to the other female whale – “My New Year’s resolution is to lose 18 000 kilograms.”

Thankyou for the second consecutive year for playing along with the idea that I have anything at all of value to say. It is a funny experiment indeed I will agree.

See you all on the other side, where 2019 promises to pack in as many twists and turns and flood our comfort zones with pepper spray every bit as much as 2018 did.

But always in an interesting way.

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Favourite Book Titles of 2018

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Some books grab you before you’ve even turned the first page.

The allure of an intriguing title that piques a reader’s interest and makes you WANT to read a book should never be underestimated.

All of the books pictured below were first published sometime this year. I have read none of them. But I HAVE read and re-read the titles of these books over and over,  because for me each time I do it’s the feeling of magic pixie dust being scattered into the air.

These are my sweet sixteen best book titles of 2018 –

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And while we’re on the subject, U.S. based literary website BOOKSTR (HERE)

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last year released a list of what they consider to be the 10 Best Book Titles of All Time

1.   Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  (1968) by Philip K. Dick

2.   Everything I Never Told You  (2014) by Celeste Ng

3.   Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns) (2011) by Mindy Kaling

4.   The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test  (1968) by Tom Wolfe

5.   Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea (2008) by Chelsea Handler

6.   The Devil Wears Prada (2003) by  Lauren Weisberger

7.  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time  (2003) by Mark Haddon

8.   How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936) by Dale Carnegie

9.   Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (1978) by Judi Barrett

10.   Love in the Time of Cholera  (1985) by Gabriel García Márquez

Some of those titles are unusual that’s for sure. But they merely scrape the tip of the weird iceberg. Next, try on these little crazy-town gems for size –

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Trivia Knowhow Ain’t What It Used To Be!

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I could scarcely believe my eyes and ears.

There I was planted in front of an afternoon episode of Millionaire Hot Seat watching Eddie McGuire do his shtick before six of at-least-average-intelligence contestants and a studio audience ready to laugh at Eddie’s knockabout style jokes.

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It was the first half of the show, known as ‘Fastest Finger’ (introduced last year as part of the rejigged format), where the contestants are pitted directly against each other in competition for a cash prize before the main ‘Hot Seat’ part of the show gets underway.  15 one-at-a-time questions are offered in the quest for what is essentially an entrée cash prize seperate from the eventual big kahuna jackpot. The players enter their guesses to the multiple choice questions into an electronic keypad infront of them and then wait to be told by Eddie if they’re (A) correct and (B) the fastest responder.

All was going well until this question was asked  –

Which of these astronauts was not part of NASA’s  Apollo 11 Mission which was the first to place a man on the moon in July 1969:

(A)   Michael Collins

(B)   John Glenn

(C)   Neil Armstrong

(D)   Buzz Aldrin

Incredibly only one of the contestants got the answer correct. And if that wasn’t astonishing enough (at least to me ‘playing at home’) compounding the jaw drop was the fact only one of the players (not the person who answered correctly) was a twenty-something iGener. In other words, no one, besides the female law student Centennial in the candy apple red dress, I would have thought, had any reason not to know.

Like I say, I would have thought.

I realise it’s been a number of years since any generation of school children was standardly taught the name of the first person to walk on the moon, but still I would have thought some things, like the fact the ancient pyramids are located in Egypt or that Albert Einstein was the person who first conceived the equation E = mc2 , are just generally known fragments of knowledge people living in Western countries acquire by at least the time they’ve reached adulthood.

But they are assumptions on my part and as the ‘ol chestnut saying goes, when you assume anything you run the risk of making an ass out of you and me (or should that be an ass out of you infront of me?). I’m not even going to assume that people get that older-than-the-hills wordplay, hence the use of colours to spell out the double meanings).

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Those punters on Millionaire Hot Seat didn’t go so well with the astronauts question so likely they’d be fumblin’ on this one as well –

                             True or False.

According to NASA, outer space has no smell.

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The answer is false.

According to those who would know (NASA) outer space smells like welding fumes.

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Ps. If you’d like to see a quite nutty answer from a contestant on Millionaire Hot Seat  CLICK HERE 

Pss. The astronaut listed who was not part of the Apollo 11 Mission to the moon in July 1969 was John Glenn (who was the first American to orbit the earth in 1962 – and I didn’t expect you to know that!)

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Psss.  There’s a new movie with a writerly theme just been released. It’s called CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? and stars Melissa McCarthy. It is based on the 2008 confessional memoir of American writer Lee Israel  (1939 –  2014), an author known for her involvement in literary forgery.