Accidentally Inspired Best of 2016

The blog had a few hits over 10,000 this year, and even factoring in (or, rather, out) the unprecedented and unexplained 2500 or so hits from Taiwan late last month, that’s over 2000 more hits than last year. And considering that this blog gets promoted … not at all, but only through repeat visitation and people stumbling across it, I’ll take that as a pretty good sign. (Also — thanks for reading!)

Since it’s growing, and since I have at least a few regular readers and commentors, I thought I’d try something different. I’ve not done this before, but all the cool kids are doing it, and it got me thinking: as much as I spin my wheels around here, I have written a few things that aren’t a total waste of time here at Accidentally Inspired. I mean, granted, 2016 has turned into a total sharknado-show here in the closing months, but it hasn’t all been bad. So what better time than the end of an arbitrarily-defined irregular orbital period to take a look back at some of those posts?

Here, then, are the best of 2016.

Most Popular Overall: These are, in descending order, the most-viewed posts on the site.

  1. Do You Wanna Go To Target? I guess it should be no surprise that the goofiest thing I wrote this year would be the most-read post I’ve ever had here. Lesson learned: start a youtube channel.
  2. Why Mickey Mouse is the Worst Kids’ Show. Kids go through phases, and my kids were in a doozy of a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse phase. It was lodged in my mind like popcorn between the teeth for months, and this was the result. I stand by every word of it, months later.
  3. Orkestra Obsolete. I did something here that I rarely do, which was to re-post a video that I saw and thought was awesome with very little commentary. Somehow, searches for that band ended up directing some visitors here, and still do occasionally. Still a great video.
  4. Why I Am an Atheist. I decided this year I wasn’t going to pretend I wasn’t an atheist any more. I’m too old for that sharknado. This was my coming-out post. Not a bad read if you’re interested in the guy behind the curtain.
  5. More Riffing on Light and Dark. Just a little post about symbolism that I may revisit some time, because it’s everywhere, but we don’t pay all that much attention to it. I think I was high on the scene where (SPOILER!) Han Solo dies in TFA at the time.

Most Popular Flash Fiction: I haven’t written as much flash as I used to (and I need to work on that — it really is great exercise), but I still do from time to time. These stories had the most views out of the lot.

  1. Pegasus Intelligence. A funny bit of fluff about a stymied writer. Funny how that’s a motif across my work.
  2. A Laughing Matter, Ashore, and The Dark Fairy. Three stories in a collaborative flash fiction challenge. Links to the other authors’ contributions are contained within each of those pages. The germ for the first story (A Laughing Matter) came from my Storymatic, which has proven to be a pretty awesome little tool.
  3. The Apocalypse Ticket. A lesser-known superhero races to save the world but is bested by bureaucracy. I think it’s no coincidence that I’m at my best when I’m adventuring in the absurd.
  4. Overtaken. A weird little piece I wrote in the wake of the Olympic games, but not a bad one.
  5. The Cloud Conspiracy. A genre mash-up that I actually quite enjoyed: climate science fiction and noir.

Honorable Mentions / My Favorites (in no particular order): A handful of pieces I particularly enjoyed for one reason or another.

  • The Prisoner’s Dilemma, Egomaniacs, and the 2016 Election. This one very nearly cracked the top 5. I imagine all pre-election pontification looks pretty silly in retrospect, but I was proud of this piece. I particularly liked the precept of using logical problems and thought experiments to structure some entries, which is a thing I may return to.
  • An Open Letter to the Creators of FreeWrite. The FreeWrite is a product I have decided to love to hate. I absolutely adore the idea, but it’s so self-important and overhyped, it’s almost ludicrous. It still pops up in my facebook all the time, and while I would love to own one, there is no way in hell I’m swallowing the $499 (!) price tag.
  • Chick Magnet. I absolutely loved this bizarre little story about a guy who, despite his wishes, is loved and pursued by a flock (haw) of avian suitors.
  • I Hate Everything, Even My Own Birthday. Because it’s true.
  • On Losing, or Why Art Competitions Suck. A little treatise (read: rant) on why it’s bottom-line absurd to compare your art to anybody else’s.
  • No Such Thing as Coincidence. Not a revelatory post or anything, but a little spotlight on what I would consider some tremendous personal growth: earlier in my life, a setback like the one I suffered would almost certainly have had me throwing in the towel for good. But not this one, not me, not now.
  • Star Wars Owes You Nothing. Despite overwhelming positive reception, the haters were out in force over Star Wars VII, and I think that’s idiotic because, well, Star Wars (or any other beloved bit of media) owes you nothing.

Bonus: My Favorite Search Terms for 2016: Unfortunately, Google apparently hides the searches that bring people to the site, and Google is obviously the overwhelming king-daddy of search engines, so that’s a pretty big missing puzzle piece. Still, I get to see some of the terms, and some of them brighten my day.

  • “giving my son an enema” led a few visitors to what is still one of the most-viewed pages of all time on the site, and I have mixed feelings about that. Pity that I don’t actually tell the story. It’s too unpleasant.
  • “sw7 sucks”. Blasphemy! My review is most definitively in support of TFA. Also, as noted above, Star Wars owes you nothing.
  • “are dreams useless?” and “dreams are useless”. Yes, they are.
  • “the meaning of the word babyloading”. I don’t know what this word means, but it does, in fairness, seem like exactly the sort of thing I’d talk about.
  • “‘hadn’t pooped in five days’ diaper”. Again, you’ve come to the right place.
  • “what do you mean by locker room talk”. Oh, you know. Just a desperate attempt to legitimize a serial abuser of women.
  • “bouts of gratuitous whining”. I think I have a new subtitle for the blarg.

I guess that pretty much does it for 2016. So as Han Solo said to a guy who was really just trying to help him out: I’LL SEE YOU IN HELL.

And as we go into 2017, remember our daily affirmation:

Image result for donnie yen i am one with the force

(Thanks imgur.)

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About Pavowski

I am a teacher, runner, father, and husband. I am an author-in-progress. I know just enough about a lot of things to get me into a lot of trouble. View all posts by Pavowski

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