Probably The Most Disingenuous Blog Post In The World (With 45% Extra Lies)

It’s that time of year again, folks. Time for taking stock – and selling it off.

No sooner have you burped your last turkey-laced memory, realising you can’t even remember eating the last seven Quality Streets, than the ads start zinging at you thick and fast, telling you that you can get what you already have for a quarter of the price you paid for it.

It’s a terrible time. It’s the time of year that old, loyal customers get to feel like prize lemons. Despite sticking by their service providers all year, fly-by-night newbies are the new must-have thing. Only new customers matter. Old customers can go and boil their heads in a vat of brandy butter whilst being back-combed by a reindeer.

Probably The Most Disingenuous Blog Post In The World (With 45% Extra Lies)

I’m as bad. Over the last four months of 2015, this blog got a whole truckload of new followers. And so, in the grand tradition of lazy, linky blog posts, I’m going to do a review of this blog’s most popular posts in 2015 – in a pathetic attempt to impress new readers, with little regard for the boredom levels of loyal followers who’ve stuck by me in thick (headedness) and thin (pickings).

To soften the blow, however, in between some facts, I will be making up some shocking and vile falsehoods, which only long-standing, habitual blog readers will be able to spot. I swear.

  1. Topics I Never Thought Would Become Topics

A blogger will generally get inspiration from obvious places, such as newspapers, other blogs, animal behaviour studies, and oversized dustbins. Yet there are certain things you never think you’ll end up writing about.

Probably The Most Disingenuous Blog Post In The World (With 45% Extra Lies)

We’re going which way exactly??

I never saw myself hopping on a soapbox about the wanton destruction of childhood innocence, for instance, but How To Torture A Beloved Story To Death (And Ruin Children) described how one of the best-loved Irish legends of my childhood was ground into dust by a misogynistic schoolbook publisher.

The Secret To World Domination Is… A Hairy Irishman was a little off-topic, but no less true for it. In fact, I’m growing new sideburns as we speak.

I found myself exploring further weird territory with Why I’d Be Really Crap At Having An Affair, which examined the inability to spread ourselves thinly between those close to our hearts. Then, in the spring, I found myself looking at the other side of romance, in Love, And The Way It Might Steal You Away, when for the first time in years, I fell blindly, torridly, and sleeplessly in love.

However, I surprised myself most in 2015 by writing A Mindful Conversation With My Arse. I’m close to my arse, I can’t deny it: but putting our personal ruminations out there in public for all to see was never part of the plan. It led to the offer of a modelling contract with that esteemed publication most famously associated with Kim Kardashian, Posterior Philosophy; but(t), despite sending them my arse’s portfolio as requested, I never heard from them again.

 2. Ye Olde Safe Targets

As usual, some of the most popular rants of the year were about author behaviour on the Internet. The Thin Skin of Self-Publishing was of a mind with 15 Reasons Why I Muted You On Twitter (And Other Rancour) and a little parable set at a cocktail party,  What If Authors Behaved In Real Life Like They Behaved Online?

Each became inexplicably popular, particularly with a few high up in the Vatican, which proclaimed me Patron Demon of the Internet. It also sent me a lovely purple-and-tarmacadam robe, which I now wear on public transport.

Probably The Most Disingenuous Blog Post In The World (With 45% Extra Lies)

As usual there were a few pot shots at the blockbusting end of the book industry, such as EL James Murdered Your Children And Stole Your Kidneys, where I discussed the myriad of stuff EL James is accused of (making sure to throw in a few more accusations myself). Meanwhile, The Seven Deadly Sins Of Bestselling Authors looked at how success is always derided by those who don’t have it.

In a less ranty mood, my favoured fiction genre of the year was Historical. It starred in The Past Is A Foreign Country: Why Historical Fiction Is Surging, as well as How To Know If You’re In A Historical Fiction Novel, which explored (amongst other things) orphans, cutlery, and a dearth of medium-sized towns.

And when I was being in a more helpful frame of mind, topics such as Authors! Your First Chapter Is Killing Your Book and Authors! Your Free Book Is Worthless seemed to strike a chord. In a minor key. With diminished sevenths.

Probably The Most Disingenuous Blog Post In The World (With 45% Extra Lies)

3. Things That Exploded

When all is said and done, my personal highlight of the year was getting Freshly Pressed in August. The holy grail of WordPressery picked up a post written in June about the supposed concentration deficiencies of the Millennial generation – Why Your Attention Span Is A Great Excuse For Someone Else’s Failure. It was a great excuse for smiling at a time when the real world, quite frankly, wasn’t so bloody brilliant, which I touched on in another surprisingly big post: On Waiting Productively, And Why There Isn’t A Word For That.

I thought that was as good as it could get, until November, when the rant I Hate Women’s Fiction And I’ll Tell You Why splattered hits all over the blog like butter on a lobster bib. It blew the Freshly Pressed post out of the water, and even started a few fights, one of which ended up on the front page of every newspaper in the Low Countries.

The Book Title Generators steadily gathered momentum over the year, until their little nest gradually became the consistently most popular destination on this blog. They continue to do the business, and I frequently take them out, stroke them, and blow their noses.

Finally, the blogging year ended on another high, when in the same week the blog reached one hundred, er, million hits, it went on its holidays for a guest post on US Superblogger Anne R. Allen’s site at Christmas. Ten Reasons Why Being A Writer Is Like Being Santa Claus was fun to write, which more than made up for the extremely nasty letter delivered to me on Christmas morning with enough coal for a Siberian winter.

Probably The Laziest Blog Post In The World

4. 2015: A Good Year For Tark And Mara

Let’s face it – Tark and Mara always have a good year – but it’s not everyone that can say they did their bit for the poor by getting revenge on the super-rich and joining their ranks in the process. They also spat venom about that insufferable Spalding woman getting Freshly Pressed, and, literally and finally, broke the Internet by inventing the Post-Bloggerist movement.


So there we have it. 2015 in blog posts, rants, shoutiness, intermittent sentimentality and unexpected milestones.

If you’re new here, you’re very welcome. You’ll be most welcome again, if you should decide to stop by. If you’re an old friend – well, hello you. Thanks for sticking around. You’re my favourite, but you knew that, right?

See you in 2016, lovely people.

  46 comments for “Probably The Most Disingenuous Blog Post In The World (With 45% Extra Lies)

  1. December 29, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Congratulations on a super 2015 catalogue, Ms S. All success and accolades more than well-deserved. Can’t wait for 2016’s ruminations. No pressure! 🙂 Happy New Year to you and yours! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • December 29, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Thank you, Book Nanny. But I always feel the pressure. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to deal with the rash which just broke out with all the self-aggrandising in the post above. Even calling it disingenuous didn’t help.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. December 29, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Ooh, I’m the first to like and comment. (I’m typing this quickly, so no one jumps in Ebay-like before I can press the Post Comment button.) It’s hard to be first on a popular blog like this. I can boast to all my friend(s) now.

    But to be serious for a moment, this blog is one of the few that metaphorically rings a bell when a new post appears in the reader.

    Well that’s the serious bit out of the way. I remember the talking arse post. The audacity. And you mention coal again, furthering the suspicion that you’re actually Arthur Scargill in exile.

    Liked by 2 people

    • December 29, 2015 at 10:37 am

      I don’t believe it. Book Nanny beat me, Ebay-like, to being first post. I’m never commenting on here again.

      Liked by 3 people

      • December 29, 2015 at 11:34 am

        Ah Chris, what happened? You were on the clock! This is a terrible state of affairs. What to do? I just had a word with my arse, there, and it suggested that you still boast to your friend(s) anyway, safe in the knowledge that nobody will ever bother to check the commenting hierarchy (let alone read this post).

        You can’t threaten me with not commenting. If you don’t comment, how am I supposed to put up posts in the first place? Didn’t I just tell you that you were my favourite??? Don’t make me beg!

        Liked by 2 people

        • December 29, 2015 at 11:41 am

          They say a week is a long time in politics, but check the datestamps on the comments: five minutes is along time in the blogosphere. (I thought I might post the first paragraph just to be sure, but then decided that would be childish. I bitterly regret that decision now.)

          I’ve changed my mind about not commenting. After careful consideration, I would be missing out on important cultural discourse, but lessons have been learned. And flattery is always a very influential factor in my decision making.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. December 29, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Commendable, Comrade Sparling. Can you sign my copy of the Longford Leader, please like a good woman *peers over your shoulder* Just below the photo of you photo bombing Tark & Mara on the steps of the colon irrigation clinic. Thanks. Looking forward to you delivering more genuinely laugh-out-loud posts in 2016. I don’t think it’s mentioned above, but I your lateral response to the Paris attacks should get a wee gong too. Happy New Year *raises empty Heroes box aloft*

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 29, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Empty?? Empty??? How very dare you, Tenderlation. You show no mercy. Not even a bloody mini Wispa to show for it and yet you’re trying to soft-soap me with sugary gongs.

      I’ll take it. Hand over the regional newssheet. Muchos gracias.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. December 29, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Reblogged this on The GUNDERSTONE review.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. December 29, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    I really should do one of these posts but cannot put down the cheese board and wine glass 🙂 great post and happy 2016!


    • December 29, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      *cups hands to mouth*
      STEP AWAY FROM THE BRIE. LAY DOWN THE CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE THIS INSTANT. Or you could, you know, keep at it ’til the New Year. Whatever you’re having yourself. Thank you muchly and many many happy blogging returns to you! 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. December 29, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Hope your 2016 is fruitful and rewarding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 29, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Yours too, Dorothy! I am hopeful of something rewarding. At this stage, a thumbs-up would do!


  7. annerallen
    December 29, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    How awful to get a nasty letter on Christmas morning! I hope it didn’t have anything to do with your visit to my blog!

    Thanks for your hilarious Santa Claus post. My readers loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 29, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      I was getting a sense that Santa felt a bit used, Anne. But once I explained the Internet to him in terms of social media, he said he understood, although he let me keep the coal… thank you for making the end of my year by letting me tramp all over your blog! It was a blast!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. carousel1234
    December 29, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I knew I was your favourite! I could re-read your blogs forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 29, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      Be careful what you wish for, Carolann. Sounds like hell to me. I’d be changing word order and wincing at poor grammatical choices for life!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. December 29, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Great post Tara. Nothing wrong with lazy linky posts, nothing at all! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 30, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Tis the season for laziness, anyway, Donna! I could have done something a bit more original, but I was too full. Of cake. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. December 30, 2015 at 6:07 am

    oh to be freshly picked! I think it’s changed name now hasn’t it? If it has I say bring back “freshly picked”

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 30, 2015 at 9:46 am

      What do they call it now? Editor’s picks? I can only find it through the ‘Discover’ command now. I wonder if changing the format and route to these posts has made them more or less popular, who knows?


  11. December 31, 2015 at 12:54 am

    Nice recap, Tara. Now you said this was a list of your most popular posts…23 of them? Does this one make 24? Not too shabby, dear. I think WP told me I had 4 that were worth celebrating (um…resuscitating). Have a lovely new year. I’m looking forward to more of your lively posts 🎇🎇🎇

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 31, 2015 at 9:48 am

      I was basing it on the amount of hits/likes/comments but I’ll admit that some of them were simply my favourites. I might have employed a little data hammering there. WP gave me lots of stats regarding the sizes of various athletic stadiums, but they meant nothing to me! Many happy returns of the new year to you Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ali Isaac
    January 4, 2016 at 12:36 am

    I always enjoy the hilarity which accompanies all your posts, but for me, the best one of the year was about the children’s story version of Diarmuid and Grainne. .. it was shockingly bad, and I was mesmerised by its appallingness (is that a word? No matter, I love making up new ones.) Keep it up, my lovely! Although if I had to make a criticism, I’d say there wasn’t enough of Tark and Mara in 2015, something which I sincerely hope is going to be remedied this year…

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 4, 2016 at 10:10 am

      I would have more Tark and Mara, Ali, if only I could afford them. You wouldn’t believe what they’re charging me to appear, and the inflation rate is disastrous. I’ve already had to mortgage both elbows and one knee. Having said that, it doesn’t mean I’m giving up. I’m in talks with Tark to get a reduced rate if I agree to make him taller by two inches and cut references to his baldness by 33%. Bear with me 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ali Isaac
        January 4, 2016 at 10:23 am

        Well at least you haven’t had to pawn your arse… that would be a problem, a HUGE problem. .. erm, not to be personal you understand! 😆

        Liked by 1 person

        • January 4, 2016 at 10:27 am

          Goodness, no. My arse doesn’t take anything personally. It’s hard to do that, when you’re constantly putting yourself out there, know what I mean?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ali Isaac
            January 4, 2016 at 10:31 am

            Lol! Sadly, my arse knows exactly what you mean! 😊

            Liked by 1 person

            • January 4, 2016 at 10:37 am

              Well, where would we be if we didn’t understand each other on those terms, I ask you?

              Liked by 1 person

  13. January 19, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Another “best of” post?? Now I feel bad for not writing one of those myself when I had the chance.

    Mind you, I hear that Russians are 13 days behind, so perhaps it’s not all that late. Or is that just for religious purposes, like when their church celebrates Christmas, Easter and the like?

    Oh well, at least the Chinese New Year is coming up…

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 19, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      Whaddya mean, ‘another’ one? I was first, surely? I mean, nobody ever thought of doing one before me. I’m fairly certain about that. As certain as I am about most things, including the Russians and the Chinese.

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 20, 2016 at 10:10 am

        Oh, no, darling, of course you were the first! I was merely referring to all those jealous copycats out there, trying to steal your thunder. You know, NY Times, Washington Post, the Economist etc.

        Liked by 1 person

        • January 20, 2016 at 11:01 am

          Oh, okay. Fair enough. For a minute there, I thought someone was telling me I wasn’t important. And you know how I hate that….

          Liked by 1 person

          • January 20, 2016 at 11:10 am

            Gasp! Next thing you know, you’ll be telling me Mara wore the same dress twice.

            Liked by 1 person

            • January 20, 2016 at 11:12 am

              How very dare you! You take that back this instant.

              Liked by 1 person

              • January 20, 2016 at 11:18 am

                Or, even worse, her shoes! *sound of head exploding*

                Liked by 1 person

                • January 20, 2016 at 11:23 am

                  Ah, now you’re just being silly. If you won’t take this seriously, I’m giving Mara the dossier I compiled on you.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • January 20, 2016 at 11:27 am

                    NO! NOT THE DOSSIER!!!

                    *leans in for emphasis, speaks in low voice* Do I have to share with the world your uncanny sense of direction?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • January 20, 2016 at 11:37 am

                      Heh, heh. Touché. Look, you’re safe – for now. But any more jibes, and Mara’s going to choose which godforsaken affluent suburb you base yourself in next.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • January 20, 2016 at 11:41 am

                      The horror… the horror… *wipes drops of sweat from temple*

                      Liked by 1 person

  14. February 15, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Wow. This is one of those rare blogs where one late night scanning session is just not enough time to read all the great posts. I will be back when I feel slightly less tired from toddlers keeping me awake 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 15, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      Woo hoo! Great to hear it! Thanks, Eleanor. Once I have you back, I hold you captive, you know. As long as you’re okay with that. And you could always read it out to the toddlers and bore them to sleep. From what I can tell, toddlers don’t care a whole lot about book sales.

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 15, 2016 at 10:41 pm

        Happy to be captured. And you’re right. My toddlers don’t give a monkeys about my novel and if it EVER gets finished. But I’ll forgive ’em cuz they’re cute 😝

        Liked by 1 person

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