The Blog that Dare Not Speak Its Name: DAY 100!!!

January 9th, 2011

The century mark!

This being the hundredth day of the Stupid 365  Project, I figured I’d kick back and review where we’ve been.

I planned to identify the Major Themes that have emerged, pass lightly over the highlights and a little more lightly over the low points.  The tone was going to be urbane, mildly self-satisfied (in a modest way), and forward-looking.

But I’m not going to do any of that.  No Major Themes have emerged, and the highlights (except for Marvin’s poems and the blog Munyin suggested) haven’t actually been that much more elevated than the low points.  So, looking back, we’ve got pretty much what I was afraid we’d have: a collection of 100 relatively short pieces of varying interest. I don’t think I’m any closer to World Wide Web dominance or the Nobel Prize than I was when I started.

On the other hand, I had a real highlight when I got home from the TOTALLY successful Mystery Day at ALA last night. I was already feeling great because the day had gone so well, thanks to writer/organizers Rosemary Harris and Hank Phillippi Ryan (and Naomi Hirahara, who was felled by stomach flu), and thanks to the hundreds of enthusiastic librarians who had listened to us natter and then lined up patiently for signed books.  (Pix maybe tomorrow).  Just a great day.

And then I turned on the laptop and learned that the online mystery group 4 Murder Addicts had chosen THE QUEEN OF PATPONG as the best book of 2010 and that A NAIL THROUGH THE HEART was tied for fifth (with writers like Robert Crais, Jo Nesbo, and Malia Nunn), even though it was written four years ago.

4MA is an impressive group, all 4000 or so of them.  They’re writers and publishers and librarians and fans.  They read EVERYTHING and they’re not shy about dissing books they don’t like.

I have to say that this is the most exciting honor of my writing career, because of who gave it to me.

So that’s my hundredth-day high spot.

So much for planning ahead.

14 Responses to “The Blog that Dare Not Speak Its Name: DAY 100!!!”

  1. Suzanna Says:

    That’s wonderful news, Tim, and I’m even more delighted that the 4MA made you feel so happy.

    How fitting for the 100th Day of your blog project. Thanks for all the high points, and even the low points, and all that falls in-between.

    You’ve done a wonderful job. I hope you realize that even though you may not receive the Nobel Prize for the blog you certainly are providing thought provoking, entertaining material to read and contemplate, and I’m really grateful for it.

  2. EverettK Says:

    Congratulations, Tim, on making the 4MA list!!!

    I’d have to disagree with you, though, on your assessment of the first 100 days. Were they all golden keepers? No, clearly not. But there were MANY high-points (at least, from THIS side of the screen). Don’t go letting your “nattering nabob of negativity” get you down! 🙂

  3. Gary Says:

    Congratulations, Tim!

    An honor well deserved.

  4. Philip Coggan Says:

    Congratulations on the 4MA honour. Aren’t you glad you took up murder as your profession?

  5. Philip Coggan Says:

    Can you give a link to 4MA? Can’t find on google…

  6. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    Congratulations on your 4MA honors. Breathing Water, and Queen certainly stand out for me. As does your blog. As Everett says, it looks good on this side of the screen. No, it may not win you a Nobel, but you’ve given a great deal of pleasure to us, as well as made us think. Lord knows, that’s useful. I’ve admired your commitment to writing, and how you open up to your (adoring) public. There are only a few writers who do that, and I’m lucky I guess. I read the best.

  7. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    Everett will fall down laughing at me giving tech advice, but, Philip, the google link is just 4MA, at least on my computer. It comes up 4 Mystery Addicts.

  8. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Zanna, thanks for the congrats. This is meaningful to me because (a) I need all the praise I can get, and (b) the 4MA group is one of the most discerning (and sometimes ascerbic) groups in all of mystery fiction. So this is serious validation.

    Everett, they’re ALL keepers for you, since you’re keeping them. I do think it’s kind of marginally sort of just barely faintly interesting that no themes have really emerged. I guess I’ve written about writing more than anything else, but that’s hardly a surprise. Glad I don’t have to categorize these things.

    Thank you, Gary — spoken with the generosity for which Aussies are known around the globe.

    Philip, 4MA is a Yahoo group with a subscription base of about 4000. It’s like DorothyL in that regard. Both groups are GREAT places to find out what new books are worth reading. (In fact QUEEN jumped about 15,000 in rank today because of the win. Now I want CRASHED to win.)

    I know, I should be satisfied. (But CRASHED did get nominated, didn’t it, Beth?

  9. Debbi Says:

    Totally awesome news, Tim. Way to go!

    And 100 days? Wow!

    If you don’t get a Nobel, you’ll probably at least get a Pulitzer. 😉

  10. Gary Says:

    Everett, if he keeps winning awards like this, we’ll have to start treating him with respect!

    Is that doable?

  11. EverettK Says:

    Ow. Ow. Oh, god, Lil, stop, please! You’re killing me! Next, I suppose, you’ll tell us you’re welding together a motorcycle?

    [I need to put down an area rug, that floor is hard!]

  12. Robb Royer Says:

    Everett… do so. It’ll tie the whole room together.
    Tim…. sorry, this is 2011. You can’t get famous unless you have no discernible talent. I’m afraid this lets you out.

  13. Glenn W Says:


    I am delighted to read the good news. You’ve worked your ass off for every morsel of recognition. Anyone who knows you and your body of work knows this.

    Congratulations and soak up all those deserved accolades.

    I am certain there are even more good things coming your way.


  14. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Hi, Debbi, and thanks for the congratulations. Yes, 100 days in and I STILL have no idea what to write about next. It’s like writing a novel; I always think I’m getting to the point where the rest of the story will simply present itself to me, like a chauffeur waiting in an airport holding a sign with my name on it. And instead, there are 150 battered taxicabs, and no way to tell which, if any of them, is the right one.

    Discount similes, anyone?

    Gary, Gary, Gary: I wouldn’t know what to do with respect if you gave it to me. Not that I’m expecting it any time soon.

    And Everett, thanks for setting up Robb for the funniest line of the week, and thanks to Robb for delivering it. And Robb, thanks for the compliment.

    And thanks to you, too, Glenn — I always feel a little disingenuous when someone credits me with having worked my ass off. I do, of course, but I can’t imagine what my life would be if I didn’t write. And I don’t mean all the fame and riches the world has so far refrained from showering on me; I just mean the daily task of sitting down and trying to pull story out of nothing and do it delicately enough that I don’t force it or break it. With the exception of my marriage, it’s the greatest joy of my life.

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