Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Voting has opened for this years Best Australian Blogs 2013 competition. As the title suggests, only Australian blogs are included, but voting is open to anyone, anywhere in the world.

You could look at the inclusion of “Exquisite Corpse” on the ballot and my subsequent mention of it here as extreme hubris (you wouldn’t be alone; every time I self-promote – which is often – a little voice in my head calls me all sorts of rude words).

Or you could view it as me participating in the blogging community and helping to spread the word about the multitude of outstanding Aussie blogs.

Either way, I’d love your vote.


Voting is via Survey Monkey. Here’s the link –  Exquisite Corpse is at the bottom of the first page.

Paul D. Dail, one of my “Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies” ToC bedfellows, has given me a Liebster Blog Award.

And what, you might ask, is a Liebster Award? Initial Google inquiries seem to suggest that it shares characteristics with an urban myth; nobody seems to be entirely sure where or how it started, and the rules of the award appear to have evolved over time. I’m going to enter into the apparent spirit of the awards by modifying them just a little bit to suit me, but if you want to see Paul’s rules, go visit his blog (he’s a very hospitable host).

These are the rules I’m going with  –

– Paste the award picture on the blog.

– provide 11 random facts about me and answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated me (obviously notifying said person about this post).

– Nominate some more people to answer the same questions.

11 Random Facts About Me

1. I’m left-handed. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a disproportionately high number of writers are left-handed.

2. I love anchovies.By Gottfried Lindauer (1839-1926) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

3. I am a direct descendent of  Chief Kamariera Te Hau Takiri Wharepapa.

4. My second child is named after St. Alia of the Knife from the novel “Dune”.

5. When I was pregnant with my first child, I worked for a community of Catholic friars, running their retreat centre. Some visitors mistook me for a Sister in mufti – until I stood up from behind my desk…

6. I am the oldest of seven assorted full and half siblings.

7. I have a theory that one of the secret ingredients in KFC is catnip.

8. My IQ according to the free online test I did just now is 125. My greatest strength was (not surprisingly) Verbal. Tomorrow, with another test…it’s anybody’s guess.

9. My story in “Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies” was inspired by my aunt who died of cancer.

10. The first story I ever sold for publication, “Metal Mouth”, was inspired by her sons.

11. The smell of fresh earthworks makes me nostalgic.

And the answer to Paul’s 11 questions are –

1) Before now, had you ever heard of the Liebster Award?


2) Before now, had you ever heard of me?


3) How long have you been blogging?

Since September 2010.

4) What is the primary purpose of your blog?

I’d been told – many, many times – that writers Must Have A Blog for promotional purposes. And oh, because the fans demand it, daaahling! The shameless self-promotion angle is still there, but I’ve found that I get more satisfaction out of using my blog to promote other people.

5) Where do your blogging ideas come from?

Random stuff that happens in my life, mostly.

6) Do you blog according to a schedule or is it more random?

I aim for two posts a week. Some weeks I win, some weeks I lose.

7) If you have a day job, what is it? If not, just say something interesting.

I work part time as a teacher aide. I discovered this calling (and it does feel like a calling) by accident; I was volunteering so much at my kids’ school that they finally gave in and decided to pay me. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that a disproportionately high number of writers also work, or have worked, in education. Anyone want to propose a theory why that is?

8) Which search engine is set as default on your browser?

What – you mean I have a choice besides Google?

9) Did you have to check your browser before answering #8?


10) What is the title of the last book you read?

Fractured Spirits: Hauntings in the Peoria State Hospital. Quite timely, as I’m off on a horror writers’ weekend retreat in an abandoned mental hospital in a couple of weeks’ time.

11) Have you ever met a famous person?

Define famous…some of the cast and crew of the 1993 movie “The Piano” stayed at the hotel at which I worked when they were filming, so I got to wait on Sam Neill and Holly Hunter.


My chosen recipients of the Liebster Award have been selected kinda sorta at random from the list of blogs I follow. Some are old friends, some are new-ish discoveries. And they are –

Noor A Jahangir a.k.a. The Troll King

The Bookworm’s Fancy

A.J. Ponder

The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog

S.L. Schmitz

Werzombies Press



Obligatory Christmas post – check. Obligatory End of Year post – coming right up. Seeing as the good folks at WordPress have taken the trouble of compiling a whole heap of statistics, I thought I’d rearrange them into a summary of the year on Exquisite Corpse.

Since February 25, 2012, WordPress has been keeping track of where their bloggers’ visitors come from. According to the stats, I’ve had visitors from 104 countries. Over half of my viewers come from the USA. Brazil has only recently shot into the Top 10 stats, due to the inexplicable popularity of gnus in that country. (When I say “inexplicable”, I mean that I don’t know why; if anyone else can enlighten me, I’d love to know what’s up with that.) Thanks to gnus (and about 185 million more people), I’m more popular in Brazil than in my native country of New Zealand.

 Most views in 2012 by country

Alcohol consumption per capita. Well, this explains a lot…

  1. United States 53%
  2. United Kingdom 9%
  3. Australia 7%
  4. Canada 5%
  5. Brazil 2.5%
  6. New Zealand 2.5%
  7. Italy 2%
  8. Germany 1.5%
  9. India 1%
  10. South Africa 1%

The most popular search term is a little more slippery to count, as there are countless variations on what amounts to the same search. This is copy-and-pasted directly from the stats.  I’m glad I made it into the top 10; it would have been embarrassing if I hadn’t, seeing as it’s my blog!

 Top 10 most popular search terms of 2012

  1. sons of anarchy drinking game
  2. gnu
  3. fringe drinking game
  4. multiculturalism in Australia
  5. tracie mcbride
  6. character clichés
  7. jax teller
  8. female horror writers
  9. australian multiculturalism
  10. jax teller shower scene

This one is entirely subjective – these are not the most common search terms, but ranked solely on their ability to make me laugh, cry or say “WTF?” One thing is certain – the lovely Charlie Hunnam, a.k.a. Jax Teller, brought a lot of viewers to my blog, with or without his ass.

 Top 10 weirdest search terms of 2012

Etsy. They sell everything on Etsy.

  1. jacks teller with his ass
  2. saying no to chocolate [It’s simple; you don’t.]
  3. bacon cyborg
  4. corpse shoe laces
  5. cello dogs [Huh. And I thought mine was the only dog that liked to climb inside cello cases. ]
  6. flagellation cookbook [Maybe that’s where you’ll find the recipes for bacon cyborgs.]
  7. barack obama has a wart on his nose [Yes, he has. What of it?]
  8. brenda blethyn topless [You won’t find that here!!!]
  9. nightmare before christmas wedding stuff
  10. monkey riding a unicorn [This, on the other hand, you will find here.]

No surprises here – my most popular posts correspond closely with the most popular search terms. With particular thanks to Autumn Christian, Nerine Dorman, S.B. Knight, Dark Hall Press and Shane Stadler for providing guest posts, interviews and review materials.

 Most popular posts of 2012

Here’s a new gnu.

  1. The Sons of Anarchy drinking game
  2. “She shot herself with a gnu.”
  3. The Fringe drinking game
  4. Top 10 Tuesday: Character Clichés That Rip My Undies
  5. What’s that on your face?
  6. Some difficulties in being a female horror writer
  7. Lies, damn lies and reporting
  8. Introducing Nerine Dorman
  9. Guest Post from S.B. Knight: To sparkle or not to sparkle…that is the question.
  10. Review: Exoskeleton by Shane Stadler

Statistics are useless without some attempt to analyse them, so what does one make of all of this? I could only come up with six conclusions that remotely made sense.

  1. Guest bloggers make this all worthwhile.
  2. Bacon and chocolate are universal languages.
  3. Ditto Jax Teller’s butt.
  4. The “typical” visitor to Exquisite Corpse is an American, alcoholic, couch potato.
  5. Facial warts are of global importance and concern.
  6. Brazilians love gnus.