Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages…
My name is Glen Donaldson and I am a most regular reader of this blog. If that statement sounds even vaguely like some kind of soul-bearing admission usually reserved for the opening minutes of an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting, allow me to correct that impression and say it’s not at all meant to.
Before I launch into the detail of how and why ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED came to stitch a multi-coloured, metaphor-dipped square of appreciation and loyalty into my personal soul quilt, I should make a few things clear off the bat –
- Matt Pavlak (aka Pavowski) and I have never met.
- Living more than 14 000 kilometres apart on two different continents (I’m in Brisbane, Australia) it’s quite possible and more than likely we may never meet.
- It took some serious arm twisting on my part to convince Matt to publish this post, which, if stripped down to its bare basics, essentially represents a fan’s glowing tribute to both the blog and its owner’s considerable writing talents.
Via ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED, Matt Pavlak’s been hitting literary jukeboxes to make them play beautiful word music just like Fonzie used to since as far back as March 2014. I joined the party as a follower sometime during 2015 and quickly realized I’d struck pay dirt as far as quality blog writing goes. Since that time I’ve grown even more convinced the blend of worldly wisdom and hilariously observed, downright Seinfeldian recall of life’s micro trial’s and tribulations that make up the content on ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED represents the very tip of the blogosphere spear.
This year Matt attracted his 500th follower. As he’s one blogger who would never think to stoop so low as inflicting anything approaching mediocrity on his readers, not even a single time and not even for a sentence fragment’s duration, I feel confident in saying the quality of his writing warrants easily twenty times that number of followers.
At the risk of labouring the point, if ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED ever decided to install a paywall and charge people to read his musings, I’d no doubt be one of the first to sign up. With thought pieces that hit like the shock wave of a concussion grenade plus channeled wordery that, frankly speaking, rises on very regular occasions to be things of sheer beauty, I can say, quite unequivocally and without word of a lie, he’s that good.
By his own standards, Pavowski claims to have had a somewhat less than stellar year as far as writing goes. Regular readers of this blog will know he’s put this down to a state of mild disorientation brought on by the situational insanity of house selling and moving as well as a slew of time and energy sapping work commitments. Matt’s so-called less than stellar year would be most other people’s Pulitzer Prize winning year, and trust me, he’s not paying me to say that.
Before I launch into counting down my pick of his 20 most memorable posts of 2017, selected from more than a hundred published on ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED throughout the year, I will address the question of what has moved me to cover myself so unashamedly from head to toe in brightly coloured nerd froth. Simply stated, in a world experienced by most of us as a never-ending series of mixed blessings (or put another way, quoting the insight of modern man’s answer to Socrates, Forest Gump – “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna git”), it’s a revelation to come upon something you consider genuine quality. And it’s kinda fun to celebrate it on the rare occasions you do stumble across something like that.
Here then are my nominations, counting down in order, for the best 20 posts of 2017 as appearing on Matt’s blog ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED –
# 1. Never Go Back to your Alma Mater (June)
A trip back to The University of Georgia evokes mixed feelings.
“Going back to your Alma Mater is a little bit like looking up an ex. You do it out of pure curiosity, with the purest of intentions. Just want to see what they’re up to, what they’ve got going on. But it can only end in depression”.
Remember it here
#2. PBV Syndrome (August)
Unpacking the highway phenomena of vehicles (particularly trucks and SUV’s) competitively speeding up when you attempt to pass them.
Remember it here
#3. Stupid House-Selling Stories : Stairs (May)
The sticking point for a prospective house buyer was “too many stairs!”
Remember it here
#4. Faking It (May)
With disarming honesty, Pav hints that easy interactions and an air of confidence may not always be his native tongue.
Remember it here
#5. Toddler Life Chapter 148: Because it’s Hard (September)
The joys of completing late night ‘Sprout’ homework (“The bloody firefighter presentation is tomorrow”).
Includes a reference to ROCKY and a quote from JFK.
Remember it here
#6. Toddler Life Chapter 68: Lack of Sleep Chronicles (June)
A guide to coping with alternative family sleeping arrangements while on vacation amidst “strange barometric pressure”.
Includes a profound use of the word “discombobulates” as well as a nostalgic reference to “planking videos from five years ago”.
#7. Fixer of Things (March)
Home handyman par excellence saves $300 and in the process baths in a warm inner glow of a job well done. Includes a contender for Picture of the Year.
#8. Scrub Up and Slice In (May)
“The problem is, like an insane spider’s web, every part of the thing is interconnected”.
#9. Watch out – There’s Girls Driving! (June)
An incident at the supermarket that perfectly illustrates why Pav and his family prefer to shop on a Sunday morning at 8am.
#10. Splinters (September)
Giving praise to the Gods of Carpentry and what it takes to build a kitchen bench.
Includes maverick use of the word “perambulate” and Picture of the Year.
#11. Cleansing the Stream (February)
A writer’s brain is compared to a mountain stream.
This majestic post boasted an inspired use of the word ‘panoply’.
#12. Can’t Complain (March)
Where Pav pops the lock on his formula for living a happy life.
Includes a quote from Ferris Bueller.
#13. Project Projections: 80% Chance of Bloodbath (March)
A gripping confessional where he admits the plot of his current novel in progress needs work.
“The plot needs work to be sure, but it’s more multi-knotted rescue rope with the odd loose end than formless hairball of half-digested tail fur.”
This is also the post where Matt comes clean on the worst kept secret on the blogosphere – that he loves a good simile or metaphor like he loves a third slice of cake.
#14. Spiderwebs (July)
Pavowski’s spidey sense tingles overtime in this classic post.
“Spiders spin webs because their spidery nature compels them to. They spin webs because if they don’t they will literally die. That’s writer-y”.
Includes sublime use of the word ‘topiary’ and another strong contender for Photo of the Year.
#15. A Burp of Inspiration (January)
Matt let’s on one of his favourite quotes comes from Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), the one about “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”
#16. Who Ever Wanted More Deadlines? (May)
The motivating force of impending deadlines.
Plus a bonus: Matt reveals he’s accepted an offer on his (then) current house.
#17. WriterSpawn (June)
The day Pavowski’s asked his five-year old son if he wanted to go down to the beach and he replied, “No, I want to finish making my book. I’m so excited to read it to you.”
#18. Toddler Life Chapter 419 – Cite Your Source (May)
Where Pav observes his five year old son can craft an argument, make a literary allusion and cite his source. Admits also he grows to hate all books his son loves.
#19. The Fly (November)
The fly is that little idea that gets into your head.
Kenny Rogers is a quoted source of wisdom in this post that contained quite the buzz as well as the classic ‘a fly flew’ “obviosity”.
#20. Magic Signs are BS (June)
There’s no such thing as a sign that it’s time to write that novel.
On behalf of everyone who regards ACCIDENTALLY INSPIRED as blogging royalty, thank you Matt for a spectacularly entertaining 2017. Good luck with getting the agent representation we know you are seeking for your two novels and we look forward to reading another swag of true-life literary gems in 2018.