Today, my blog turns 10! I can hardly believe it. I really didn’t expect to be still writing it ten years on when I started way back there in May 2009, but it can become addictive, as many of you know yourselves!
I must say that I started shyly. I was nervous about sharing my opinions/ideas publicly, so I did very little to advertise myself, but you can’t be on-line for 10 years without becoming at least a little known, or so I’ve discovered. Fortunately, the responses have been positive and supportive. Litblogs, in fact, are remarkable for the absence of nastiness, proving that people can be polite on-line even when they don’t always agree.
So, I have written over 1600 posts, or, around 13.5 a month, which is not a stupendous number, but a comfortable rate for me. Of these, 442 have been Monday Musings’ posts which I started in mid-2010 as an experiment. Never did I believe I would still be finding topics to write about nearly nine years later, but the interest of readers here has encouraged me to continue. I have hosted a number of guest posts – and thank the generosity of those writers who wrote those posts – and I’ve guest-posted for others. I’ve taken part in other bloggers’ reading weeks and memes, and am also involved in administering or editing four or five other blogs.
Whispering Gums has been archived on the National Library of Australia’s web archive, Pandora, since 2012, which means it will be there, along with other litblogs, for researchers of the future who are interested in how we in the early 21st century shared books and reading, how we communicated on-line, and what we said about our literary culture and environment. I was “freshly pressed” in November 2010 – for a travel-oriented post (hmm) – resulting in my biggest single day of hits ever. (I don’t believe WordPress does this anymore.)
Because of my blog, I have been involved from the start, as a mentor, in the ACT Writers Centre’s arts blogging program. This is a joy, which brings me to the best highlight of all ….
My blog has introduced me to some wonderful people – bloggers, readers, writers, publishers – who have enhanced my understanding of literary culture immeasurably. I won’t name names because I’m sure to miss one, but you know who you are – don’t you? You mean a lot to me. Talking with other readers, as well as with practitioners and professionals in the arts, has added depth and breadth (too) to my own reading experience. I love that I’ve read and engaged with bloggers on every continent – oops, I lie, I don’t think I’ve ever engaged with a blogger from Antarctica! I’m not sure that Emperor Penguins read, though it would certainly give them something to do while they stand around nurturing those eggs!
Finally, for those who joined me later in the piece, here is a link to my first post which explains my name.
To mark this anniversary
To express my gratitude to all of you who have made this blogging journey such a fun and meaningful one, I would like to do a book giveaway, in fact, two book giveaways – one to an Australian-based reader and another to a non-Australian-based one. The book I send to each winner will be a surprise, making this a bit of a lucky dip.
The rules. Express your interest in the comments below, noting whether your postal address is Australian or not, and early on May 10 (in my AEST-zone), I’ll draw from each list using a random number generator. If you win, you will need to provide me with your mailing address (privately) as specified in the post announcing the winner. If you don’t, I’ll redraw. We can’t let a book gift go to waste, after all.
Meanwhile, a huge thanks to you all. You make this blog what it is – well, the positive things about it, anyhow. The rest, as they say, is mine! I look forward to sharing more with you in the future.
139 thoughts on “Ten Year Blogiversary for Whispering Gums, with a Giveaway”
Happy Blogiversary! I’m always interested in the books you review (whether I comment or not). I’d love to be in your giveaway. My address is not Australian.
Thanks Jeanne … it’s always lovely to hear from you. You are, then, no. 1N (N meaning not Australian based)! Good luck!
Ten years! Congratulations! I always eagerly look to see what you have to say, and I never cease to marvel at how much you read, and also at the length and depth of your analysis. 💐💐💐 Thank you.
Thank you Carmel – you are a great support to me, you know. Would you like to go into the draw?!
Happy Anniversary and thankyou not just for all the entertaining reading but also for your support. (We nearly met last weekend, at the Heysen exhibition, but mum wasn’t up to going in to town).
Thanks Bill. I love having you in the blogiverse.
Oh, Lisa suggested I contacted you about the exhibition but I didn’t connect that we really were in town at the same time! What a shame. Going into town is an effort for older people, that’s for sure! One of the advantages of Canberra is that access to galleries etc is generally easier. Would you like to go into the draw?
Yes thanks, I should have said so.
Excellent, that makes you no. 4A!
Congratulations, Sue! You have made an enormous contribution to OzLit, and I for one never miss your Monday Musings and the wealth of info and ideas they contain.
You are 100% correct about the LitBlog community, I think that the ink on the page gets from the fingers to the brain cells somehow and this ensures that the atmosphere stays friendly and supportive. It is one of the pleasures of my day to visit new posts and see what’s being talked about.
LOL I think you’ll understand that I’ll pass on the giveaway because of the size of the TBR, but good luck to everybody!
Thanks very much Lisa – you know how I feel about our friendship! And yes, I completely understand you’ll pass on the give-away. I’d struggle to find one you hadn’t read (though I would have a few challenges up my sleeve if you changed your mind!)
Congratulations, 10 years is incredible, here’s hoping you do another 10. I’m interested in the giveaway and based in Australia
Thanks very much Claire Louisa. You are no. 1A (Australian) in the draw.
Congratulations and gratitude for all you have contributed to the world of books and reading!
Thanks Anna – it’s been great getting to know publishers like you – and reading some books I may not have as a result – through the blog. Are you interested in the giveaway? No need to reply if you are not.
Wow!!! The number of your posts is astounding! Congratulations and thank you for running such a great blog about my first and last love, books! I’d love to receive a surprise, and I’m Australia based – still…
Haha, thanks Annette. It’s been great meeting you through blogging. I still regret not getting to the Bellingen festival. You are no. 2A in the draw!
Even though I prefer ebooks, put me in the draw. I trust once you’ve posted the prizes you’ll let the rest of us know what they were?! And congratulations on ten years of blogging, truly a great achievement. May you have at least another ten. And congratulations to everyone who has posted to this blog, and made it such a vibrant community. My address is Australia.
Thanks very much Neil. I love that you’ve joined this little blogging community. Yes, since you’ve asked I’ll try to remember to announce the chosen books when it’s all done. You are no. 3A in the draw.
Congratulations, Sue! Ten years – that’s wonderful. I love your posts and always read them with great interest. I’m not much of a commenter, I’m afraid, but it’s great to come across someone who shares my interest in Australian books and writing. Here’s to the next ten years!
Thanks Teresa. Comments are always great, but having readers is the thing! And you do comment enough for me to know you are out there. Would you like to go into the draw?
Great Teresa – you are no. 15A
Congratulations on your ten year anniversary, Sue! Over that time, you’ve helped many authors and Australian literature in general, and provided many hours of reading to so many of us. Thank you for all you do. 🙂
Thanks very much Louise. I’ve really enjoyed our connection too. Do you want to join the draw? No need to answer if you don’t!
Gotta be in it to win it! I’d love to enter! Thank you. 😀
Excellent, you’re right, you do. You are no. 5A
Sue, if you want to engage with a reader/writer who has BEEN to Antarctica (although not there now, clearly), then you could talk to me! I’ve been down twice as a volunteer vet working on Crabeater seals on the pack ice and Weddell seals in the frozen fjords around Davis Station!
Oh yes, you have, that’s right, Karen. I saw that in your bio. Then I’m going to say I have covered all continents!! I’d love to talk about Antarctica one day – not sure I’ll ever get there.
Huge Congrats, WG! Wonderful achievements through the past ten years! I as a blogger must thank you too for intro. Australian lit. to me living far, far away… not quite Antarctica, but close, the other direction that is. You’re right about blogging could be addictive. We’re all in it together, supporting and reading each other’s blog and thus sustaining this meaningful cultural activity. All best wishes for another decade in the blogosphere! Hope we’ll all be around still. 🙂
Thanks very much Arti. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you, and discussing films with you in particular. Do you want to be in the draw?
Sure, count me in. Thanks!
Will do Arti. You are no. 2N
Congratulations of ten years. And here’s to ten more from a fan in Japan.
Wow, thanks Chris! From Japan. I’m visiting there again later this year. We love going there. Anyhow, would you like to be in the draw?
Excellent, Chris, you are no. 4N in the draw.
Congratulations, WG! Ten years!! I’m in awe of your regular posts — how do you do it?? — and your commitment to supporting Australian lit. Always thoughtful. Thanks so much. I too have a long TBR list, but happy to go in the draw, if that’s okay.
Hi Robyn, thanks, and of course it’s OK to go in the draw! You are no. 6A.
Congratulations on 10 years of blogging! An impressive anniversary. I would love to go in the draw and am in Australia.
Hi Agnes. Thanks. I enjoy your blog too, though I don’t comment much I know. (I think I read one recently that I meant to comment on and didn’t – I was too slow!!) You are no. 7A in the draw.
Congratulations. A wonderful achievement!
Thanks Dorothy, it’s been lovely sharing much of it with you. Are you in for the draw? No need to answer if you are not.
Ten years! How marvelous!
Thanks Theresa, my how time flies, eh? Are you in for the draw? No need to answer if you are not.
I’ll let others with a smaller TBR have a chance at winning!
Oh, you know I should do the same thing Theresa, but I just can’t help myself. Curiosity over which book I could win is probably driving it 😉
Haha Tracey… I’m curious too about which books I’ll choose!
Understand completely Theresa!
Congratulations! Ten years is impressive. 13 plus posts a month is also very impressive. I am so glad that I found your blog. You have created a site that combines interesting posts about interesting books with excellent writing.
A mysterious book sounds interesting. My address is non Australian.
Here is to the next ten years!
Thanks so much Brian. I think I met you via Stefanie (now of Weeds?) I’m glad we’ve “met” too as I enjoy your posts. I look forward to deciding on the surprise for the non-Australian winner. You are no. 3N
Congratulations Sue, I’m a regular reader and appreciate your thoughtful reviews. Thank you from another fellow Aussie.
Thanks Shelleyrae. It’s lovely seeing you back in bookland. Are you in for the draw? No need to answer if you are not.
Great Shelleyrae, you are no. 10A.
Congratulations on your ten year milestone of blogging! I’ve got to retire so that I can spend more time appreciating your insights.
Haha, Carolyn, you must – and perhaps write a blog of your own. Do you want to go into the draw? (I wouldn’t ask you to send your address should you win!)
Congratulations Sue. You are a marvellous ambassador for Australian Literature and I thank you as a writer and a reader. You are so right about the respectful, supportive community that surrounds this corner of the blogosphere. I sometimes read posts on social media and am totally astounded by the rudeness…no fun at all.
I’ve never been one to pass up a free book – especially a surprise one! Please put me in the draw.
May you continue to blog for many more years. 🙂
Thanks very much karenlee. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you via blogland, and now through the AWW Challenge too. Glad you want to go into the draw. You are no. 8A
Many, many congratulations! I’m so glad I found you through the Six Degrees of Separation meme. I love reading your blog and you’ve introduced me to so many authors I’d never come across before. I’d love to be in the draw – I’m not in Australia. 🙂
Thanks Margaret. Six Degrees has been great for meeting other bloggers hasn’t it. I always enjoy yours. You are no. 4N in the draw.
Happy Blogiversary, Sue. Wishing you (and us, your fans) many, many more.
Oh, and no need to put me in the draw. Free books is one of the perks of my job, groaning TBR pile one of the hazards 😉
Haha, thanks Angela, I responded to your previous comment before I saw this. I completely understand what you mean – any literary/book jobs would be overwhelming (although enjoyably so!)
Haha, thanks Angela, I’ve enjoyed our communications over the years. Would you like to go in the draw? No need to reply if you don’t.
Congratulations on your Ten year Blogiversary!!! Such a significant milestone. I’d love to be entered in your surprise giveaway and I’m in Australia (Melbourne).
Thanks very much Tracey … I’m glad you’d like to be in the draw. You are 9A!
Hi and well done to you on 10 years. I started my own blog on all things reading and writing (and a few other things) only last year. I admire your ten year commitment!
I’m an Australian reader
Good on you Denise. I’ll check out your blog. You’ve probably found it addictive to? You are no. 11A in the draw.
Congratulations…and yes Ibelieve penguins do read.🤠🐧
Haha Pam – and you would know of course. BTW Would you like to be in the draw. Only reply if your answer is YES!
No, I have enough books to get through. A nice idea though🤠🐧
Totally understand. And it improves everyone else’s chances. Haha!
Happy Blogaversary, Whispering Gums! Your Monday Musings are always interesting, and draw on such a wide range of genres and events. May you blog for at least another decade!
Thanks RJ. You must be around 10 too? Glad you like my MM posts. And, would you like to be in the draw? You only need respond if the answer is yes.
Party? Conrats 10 years blogging. Enjoy all your reading insigts….
…and….someone said there’d be cake?
Haha Nancy, thanks … there would be cake if you popped in! BTW I assume you’d like to be in the draw? Just say yes if you do. I know you are non-Aus address.
Great Nancy, you are no. 5N
Congratulations, Whispering Gums! May you enjoy many more years of commenting on our wonderful Australian literature. I’d love to be in the draw please (I’m in Australia).
Thanks muchly Rose. I’ve really enjoyed our conversations over the last year. Glad you want to go in the draw – you are no. 12A.
Thank you 😀
Congratulations, Sue. I just looked for my first comment and it was May, 2009! Although my comments are rare, I read every post. I have read many of the books you have reviewed and you leave me pondering many of the ideas in your Monday Musing posts. I am in awe of your research and reflections for these posts.
Unfortunately, there is no postal service here in Mexico (people use DHL but I haven’t yet) but if you can ‘bend’ your rules I could use my Mum’s address 🙂
Really, was it back in May 2009! I knew you’d commented a long time ago, but that’s great. Of course, I can bend my rules, Glenda – rules are meant to be bent, aren’t they? If your Mum’s address is Australia, as I assume it is, I’d put you in the Australian draw, as my offer is to cover one local postage and one overseas postage. Just let me know.
Thanks much, yes the Aussie draw.
Great, Glenda, you are lucky no. 13A!
Congratulations! What a fantastic 10 years you have had. You are a Rock Star Sue!
Not as much as you are Stefanie! Would you like to go into the draw? Just reply Yes if you’d like to.
Sure, why not! 🙂
Excellent, Stefanie. You are 9N in the draw.
Many congratulations on your 10th blogiversary, Sue. Here’s to the next ten! 🎈
Thanks Paula. Would you like to go into the draw? No need to reply if not.
Well why not! Thank you, Sue. 😀
Great Paula. That makes you no. 10N in the draw.
Congrats! I’d love to enter the INT giveaway 🙂
Thanks Wanderings. You are no. 6N
Hi Sue — I read your blog and every now and then I try to find one of the books and it is not available here, very frustrating! I am interested in your give away. Hope you and your family are doing well.
Hi Carol, lovely to hear from you and that you are here reading along. Love to have you in the draw. You are no. 7N.
All well here, hope you and yours are too.
Hi Sue I can’t believe it either. How fast 10 years has gone. Congratulations on your Tin Anniversary. I love reading your blogs, especially the Monday morning ones. Like tin you shine!. (“Tin has many uses. It takes a high polish and is used to coat other metals to prevent corrosion”) You will never rust out!
Haha Meg, that’s lovely… You are clearly a reader to come up with such an image! Would you like to go in the draw? No need to reply if not.
Congratulations – what an achievement. It takes a lot of effort to keep a blog going which is why so many fall by the wayside after a few years. Here’s to the next 10 years…..
Thanks very much Karen – and do you want to join the non-Aus-based draw? Just reply if the answer is yes, and I’ll add you to the list.
And only for me to know about your blog after 10 yrs!! I dnt know where i have been, under a rock?, a giant rock not gonna lie! Happy Blogversary it made me think about my journey that is yet so fresh! Am i allowed to join the Intl giveaway? 🙈
Haha, of course you are Elber. Welcome. (I’ll come visit you as soon as I can too). You are no. 8N.
Thank you so much 🙈💕
Congratulations, WG, on your decade of blogging about books. It takes a bit of nerve to begin such a venture, I suspect. Your labour of love has grown in importance over that time. Without the efforts of literary bloggers such as yourself, most readers would be unlikely to hear about books from small Australian publishers. Keep it up!
PS No need to enter me in tbe draw. I’ve disappeared down the aged-care rabbit hole, and the book would only sit neglected on the ever-growing TBR pile.
Thanks very much Diana – it does take nerve I think. (At least it did for me as I prefer to be out of the limelight, but I wanted to make myself document my thoughts properly!) Thanks for letting me know about the draw – I completely understand.
I hope you are still writing?! The cover of your book often comes to my mind though interestingly it’s mainly the piano I see!
Congratulations on 10 fabulous years! Australian literature is rather like Scottish in that it is a thriving suburb of the literary Anglosphere. You certainly have made that clear to your non Oz readers!
You have a great way with words Ian. I love the idea of our literatures being thriving suburbs in the literary Anglosphere.
Anyhow, thanks very much for your support over the years. Your comments (and recommendations) always offer a new perspective to make me think.
BTW, are you interested in going into the draw? Just say yes, if you’d like to. Silence will be taken as a no!
Short stuff at the moment, an informal essay in search of an organising principle. I hope the cast of my hibernating novel will wait for me. Characters have been known to grow impatient and bugger off into the ether.
Chaconne must have had a few fans, because somehow it made it onto the Classic FM summer reading list.
Oh that’s lovely Diana – about the summer reading list I mean, not about the characters buggering off into the ether!
Oops, my reply went under Ian’s comment, for some reason. Diana
That’s ok, it happens. I still saw it!
My TBR pile might topple over completely if I won so I will respectfully decline!
Fair enough Ian, thanks for confirming … and it gives the others a greater probability of winning, so they won’t mind!
Happy 10th Blogiversary!
I may not comment often (i.e. hardly ever) but I always enjoy and appreciate reading your blog posts. Your insightful book reviews in particular have inspired quite a few* of my reading choices over the past few years. (*I’m clearly not as good at data collection as you).
Could I please be included in your book prize draw? Mine is an Australian address.
Thank you WG and congratulations once again, from Jane
Thanks very much Jane – it’s lovely that this post has brought out readers like you. I understand people not commenting much, if at all, but it is lovely to hear every now and then that people find my posts worthwhile.
Of course you can go in the draw: you are no. 14A in the draw!
Such an impressive output — I don’t know how you do it! And always so thougthful and insightful. What would we do without you? CONGRATULATIONS!
Oh, you are too kind, thank you. I’ve loved getting to know you – and it was through blogging that that happened.
Would you like to go in the draw – or are you too overwhelmed with reading? No need to reply if you don’t wish to.
Wow! Congratulations, Sue, and thank you for your fabulous blog. (PS if you connect with my friend Robyn Mundy, author of Wildlight and The Nature of Ice, you would come close to your goal—she’s in Antarctica every summer—and she has an amazing blog herself!) x
Thanks Amanda… and thanks for the heads up re Robyn Mundy. I’ll check her put.
BTW Would you like to go into the draw – or, would that be coals to Newcastle? No need to reply if your answer is no to the draw.
Freshie to your blog post and to blogging but you had such a catchy content could not help but have a read! Congratulations, on the anniversary and blog. Makes me love books even more. I’m at an Australian based address, can I enter the draw too? Another read would not hurt.
Kind regards x 🙂
Welcome bloggingwithakenyan. Lovely to have you here. Of course you can join the draw. You are no 16A.
10 years! Congrats Sue that’s such a big achievement and one you should be proud. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you via your reading and your insta pics.
Now that we have one of the boys (sorry, young men) happily ensconce at Canberra Uni, maybe one day we will meet face-to-face! I’m hoping to get to some of the wonderful exhibitions always on offer in Canberra over the next 3 years.
I also have 10 yrs of blogging fast approaching (July). I had hoped to have more free time (for blogging and reading) now that both boys are finished with school, but it hasn’t panned out that way yet. Even though it was VERY tempting to say yes to the offer of going into your book draw, I will pass, as I’ve managed to knock over another one of the piles of TBR lying around my home tonight…the hazards of my work!
Thanks very much Brona. I would LOVE to meet you if you came to visit the young student here. I’ve met a few bloggers here over the years (including Lisa, the Resident Judge, Yvonne from Stumbling through the past, Louise of A Strong Belief in Wicker, Jessica White, and probably more because you always forget at least one don’t you?). I nearly met Bill of The Australian Legend, and Jonathan of Me Fail? I Fly! too, but it didn’t quite happen. (I met Yvonne during the time her child was studying here, btw)
Good luck with the reading more. I thought I’d read more when I retired but it hasn’t happened – yet, anyhow though I still have hopes!! Haha.
I look forward to seeing your 10 year post. It’s amazing how time goes isn’t it?
Thanks for letting me know about the draw. I understand completely!
10 years – what an achievement! Congratulations!
I love your blog because you and Lisa are my touchstones for Australian lit. I especially enjoy your Musings on Monday since they go into such depth about Australia and its books, laying bare for me nuggets I would NEVER have found otherwise. I haven’t commented much (anywhere) lately but I’ve been reading your blog faithfully.
Here’s to the next 10 years!! (And, yes, I’d love to win a book, especially a surprise) Mine is a Canadian address. 😉
Thanks Debbie, I always love hearing from you but I’ve learnt that you come and go depending on life! I had noticed that you were in a quiet time but I think you’d said you might be on the move again?
Anyhow, very happy for you to be in the draw. You are no. 11N.
It’s my first time here. The title caught my attention, so I peeped in.
I am encouraged by your testimonies.
I too can blog!
Thanks favourfasanya. I’ll visit your blog.
I tried your link on your name but it just said that something is coming? Is that right or should I look somewhere else?
Belated but hearty congratulations on ten years, Sue! You’ve been such an important contributor to the online conversation about Australian literature. I am amazed by how prolific you’ve been over so long. Your blog has been informative and stimulating for me.
Thanks Nathan, One of the good things has been getting to know other bloggers like you.
You’ve told us who won. Are you going to tell us what they won?
Haha, yes, I will now, since I presume they have received them. Well, I’ll tell you:
For the Australian winner, a non-Australian book which I thought might interest her given she writes about family: Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko
For the non-Australian winner, an Australian classic by an author I’d mentioned to her in a comment somewhere and whom I don’t think she’s read: Thea Astley’s The kindness cup.
I chose the books after the winners were identified by the random number generator, because I wanted to choose something that I felt would suit the winners based on what, if anything, I knew about them. (So, if YOU’D won, you wouldn’t have got Astley.)
Funny you should mention Astley, I’ve just put one of her titles on my TBR pile. I like to broaden my horizons.
Oh good for you. Which one? I love her but she can be demanding.
Ah, good. I think that’s a good one to start with – though it might be confronting, being about ageing!! (It’s one of the few books whose first lines I know.)